Many researchers, scientists, and environmentalists are expressing concerns about changes in the overall climate of the earth. Some believe that a dramatically dangerous warming is taking place in the overall global climate, a problem that is referred to as "global warming." This paper will attempt to explore this very issue.
Climate is defined as the analysis of accumulated weather data for long term patterns and trends. The Oxford Reference Dictionary defines change as, "To make or become different." Climate change is therefore defined as "long-term weather patterns and trends becoming different over an extended period of time." For example, if the average temperature in Kalamazoo, Michigan over the 20th century is significantly higher or lower than the average temperature in Kalamazoo, Michigan over the 19th century, this would be an example of climate change.
Changes in climate can result from both natural events and human activities. Examples of natural causes of climate change are volcanic eruptions, variations in the earth's orbit around the sun, and variations in solar output (Ahrens, 485-491). Examples of human-induced causes of climate change include industrial pollutants and fossil fuels (Rhodes, 116), warming of average annual temperatures due to urbanization (Eichenlaub, 163), and changes in the earth's albedo due to deforestation of tropical rainforests (Geiger, 320). Climate change in the context of this paper refers to changes that result from human activities, especially as these changes relate to the issue of global warming. Of special importance is the "greenhouse gas" effect which is defined as, "The trapping of thermal emissions from the earth's surface by human-induced greenhouse gases" (He). If global warming is indeed happening, it is the greenhouse gas effect that is believed to be the most responsible.
There are some scientists who do not believe that there is enough evidence to support the...