Global Warming

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Global Warming: We Are All Guilty

For every person with an opinion, there is another person who believes the opposite. This goes for almost any public affair in today’s society, it is a part of human nature to disagree and argue. Considering this, it is no surprise that there are many differing opinions on the numerous different parts of one of today’s biggest issues: global warming. In most cases it is perfectly fine to have differing opinions on issues. However, this is becoming too big of an issue for us to waste time arguing about. In the words of Tony Blair, “Global warming is too serious for the world any longer to ignore its danger or split into opposing factions on it.” (Notable Quotes) There are a lot of different parts of global warming that people argue about: causes, effects, whether its happening or not, if it is natural, etc. A person’s religion, beliefs, upbringing, access to information, and many other factors can have a big influence on their opinion on different parts of global warming. The part of global warming that I mainly want to explore in this paper is how it occurs, in order to show that us humans are the ones causing it. Many people ask the question: is global warming being caused by human activity? Some people are led to conclusions that say that global warming is not caused by humans, that it is a natural cycle, and that we have nothing to worry about. (Bast) With this paper I am going to disprove these myths and show you that humans are the main factor behind global climate change.

To be able to prove myself, I believe it is essential that I first explain how global warming is happening. To start, the earth is constantly undergoing the natural process of the greenhouse effect. Most people believe that humans cause the greenhouse effect, but this is not true. Humans cause the enhanced greenhouse effect, which is commonly referred to as just the greenhouse effect, but I will explain this later. The earth needs the regular greenhouse effect to keep it warm enough to be a planet suitable to live on. The greenhouse effect occurs when the sun’s ultra violet and infrared rays shine through the earth’s protective atmosphere. Most of these rays are able to pass right through the atmosphere. From here, they continue through the troposphere until they hit the earth’s surface. Upon impact, about fifty percent of these rays are absorbed into the earth, while the rest are either reflected or absorbed by the atmosphere. This process naturally warms our planet, much like a greenhouse uses the sun’s rays to raise the temperature inside of it. Overall, this means that our atmosphere captures about eighty percent of the energy that bounces off of our earth. This is not a bad thing, but the trouble starts when the enhanced greenhouse effect starts to happen. (Strickland and Grabianowski, pg. 3) The enhanced greenhouse effect is considered to happen when more than eighty percent of the heat energy radiated from the earth is trapped/ absorbed by the atmosphere. The main reason that the enhanced greenhouse effects occurs is because of greenhouse gases, which are emitted by human activities that cause pollution such as burning fossil fuels and deforestation. The top five greenhouse gases are H2O, CO2, CH4, NO2, and CFC’s. The names of these gases are water vapor, carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxides, and chlorofluorocarbons. When these greenhouse gases cause the enhanced greenhouse effect, the earth is warmed more than it should be naturally. When the climate of the earth changes due to this, we see many negative effects on the earth. (Strickland and Grabianowski, pg. 4) Why are we seeing all of these negative effects caused by the enhanced greenhouse effect? The answer is simple: human pollution. Before the Industrial Revolution, there was only a small fraction of as many greenhouse gases in the atmosphere as there are today. The Industrial Revolution was the turning point for this because this is when...
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