The Study of Global Warming
Numerous years of research has been put into the study of global warming, where/what it comes from, and what we can do to stop it from destroying the planet further. According to the Global Commissions on the Economy and Climate, the next three years are a critical window? for important climate decisions that can help aid in a new era of economic growth by 2030. This means that there is little time to stop the extreme effects that global warming is going to have on the Earth.
Evidence and Opposing side
Global warming is dangerous in many ways. According to NASA, since 1906, between the North and South Pole, temperatures have increased between 1.1 and 1.6 degrees Fahrenheit (0.6 to 0.9 degrees celsius). That might not seem very important, however, that little change in temperature has caused effects on animal life, sea ice, and shifts in precipitation patterns. The International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), which includes over 1,300 scientists from the US and other countries, expects there to be a temperature raise of 2.5 to 10 degrees fahrenheit.
How it works
There are many effects that global warming is going to have on Earth. Most of them, being negative. There will be changes in weather patterns. As the climate continues to warm, NASA warns that intense weather patterns, like hurricanes, tornadoes, storm intensity, and rainfall rates will continue to increase. Summer temperatures are continuing to rise, therefore, that means there will be more droughts in the Southwest. The sea levels will rise. In 2017, the global mean sea level was 3 inches (77 millimeters) above the 1993 average– the highest annual average in the satellite record. (Climate.gov). The reasoning for the rising in sea levels, is due to the rising in global temperature. Because the atmosphere is heating up, it is melting the glaciers and sea ice, causing sea levels to rise. It will also cause effects on animal life. Most plants and animals live in areas with very specific climate conditions that enable them to strive. (epa.gov). This means that any change to the areas where they live, they can be greatly effected. Some of the species whose habitats have become warmer, have already started to migrate to colder climates. Animals who live in the arctic have already had drastic changes happen to them. Due to the glaciers and sea ice melting, animals like polar bears are losing their homes. In 2008, the polar bear became the first animal to make the Endangered Species Act list of threatened species because of global warming? (World Wildlife Fund). It won’t only have an effect on land life, it will also have a great effect on ocean life, too. According to Insideclimatenews.org, warming above the threshold? could cause a near-loss of the world’s coral reefs. We have already started to see this happen, with the bleaching of the Great Barrier Reef. The reason that the GBR has been bleached, is because the oceans are getting more acidic, due to the heating of the water. (Insideclimatenews.org). According to this source, the oceans are 40% more acidic than they used to be, causing the bright colors in coral to be stripped.
The main cause for global warming is greenhouse gases. Certain gases in the atmosphere block heat from escaping. Long-lived gases that remain semi-permanently in the atmosphere and do not respond physically or chemically to changes in temperature are described as “”forcing”” climate change. Gases, such as water vapor, which respond physically or chemically to changes in temperature are seen as “”feedbacks.”” (climate.nasa.gov). Also according to NASA, the burning of fossil fuels like coal and oil has increased the concentration of atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2).
There are many people who speculate whether global warming is even real. They question if the change in weather patterns is related to global warming. According to globalchange.gov, The recent increases in activity (hurricanes) are linked, in part, to higher sea surface temperatures in the region that Atlantic hurricanes form in and move through. (ucsusa.org) Other weather patterns are also being affected by the change in global temperature. The reasoning for this is because One consequence of global warming is an increase in both ocean evaporation into the atmosphere, and the amount of water vapor the atmosphere can hold. High levels of water vapor in the atmosphere in turn create conditions more favorable for heavier precipitation in the form of intense rain and snow storms. (ucsusa.org). They question if the ice is really melting, because they don’t believe that the atmosphere is heating up. Due to these thoughts, skeptics say there is no real evidence on the consequences of Global Warming. However, Earth-orbiting satellites and other technological advances have enabled scientists to see the big picture, collecting many different types of information about our planet and its climate on a global scale. This body of data, collected over many years, reveals the signals of a changing climate. The heat-trapping nature of carbon dioxide and other gases was demonstrated in the mid-19th century. Their ability to affect the transfer of infrared energy through the atmosphere is the scientific basis of many instruments flown by NASA. There is no question that increased levels of greenhouse gases must cause the Earth to warm in response. (climate.nasa.gov).
There are many solutions to global warming. Things like mitigation and Adaptation, government resources, and energy innovations. Mitigation means to reduce climate change by reducing the flow of heat trapping greenhouse gases into the atmosphere (climate.nasa.gov). Adaptation means to adapt to life in a changing climate, adjusting to the actual or future expected climate. (climate.nasa.gov). The way that this will decrease climate change is by not burning fossil fuels for electricity, transportation or heat. NASA is already creating projects to help us regulate our carbon dioxide usage and greenhouse-gas emissions. The goal is to add other cities around the world and to ultimately deploy a worldwide urban carbon monitoring system that will enable local policymakers to fully account for the many sources and sinks of carbon and how they change over time. (climate.nasa.gov) The reasoning for this project is not to completely stop global warming, but to regulate the greenhouse gas emissions in large cities, so we can slow down the process of global warming. There are ways that we can stop carbon dioxide from getting trapped. We could restore forests, sprinkling iron dust on the oceans to spur rapid plankton growth (nationalgeographic.com), which is the more natural approaches to the situation. We could also do as National Geographic suggests, and injecting sulfate particles into the upper atmosphere. This is a form of managing solar radiation, which would slow down the process of global warming.
There are also ways that you can curve the global warming process at home. Things can be done like turning off all of your lights when you leave the room, unplugging your computers when they aren’t being used, and change to energy efficient light bulbs. This will prevent the emission of sulfur dioxide (sustainability.tufts.edu).
In conclusion, global warming is a very real issue that should be taken incredibly seriously. Our Earth is in danger, and if we don’t do something to solve the issue, we will face the extreme consequences. Despite many skeptics on the topic, there is no deny that global warming is real, and it is starting to take effect right now.