Global Warming

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WORLD

Global Warming

The Hottest Debate of the Decade
Kristen Flint ‘14

G

lobal warming has been a point
of contention in our society for
years, and the extreme views
from both sides of the argument have
transformed the subject of global warming from a factual theory into a mythical idea. At one extreme, those who consider themselves “green” bemoan the tragedy that man is causing our planet’s
climate to heat up while the other side
of the debate refuses to believe any part
of the global warming theory. Behind
both opinions, there is often confusion,
misunderstanding, and a general lack
of knowledge. The theory that global
warming has anthropogenic causes has
existed for over a century, and scientists have collected evidence on global warming for over fifty years. In spite
of the evidence, the public generally
lives in the dark, constantly wondering if global warming is fact or fiction. Global warming is the increase in
the Earth’s temperature caused by increased emission of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere (1). The greenhouse

gases, including CO2, form a blanket
in the Earth’s atmosphere that traps
heat and causes global temperatures
to increase (1). This theory of global
warming was first offered by a Swedish chemist named Svante Arrhenius in 1896 (2). Arrhenius estimated that
“doubling the level of carbon dioxide in
the atmosphere would raise the mean
global temperature by several degrees”
(2). Even then, his audience was skeptical as many other factors could also affect global temperature. Since Arrhenius’ paper, the global warming discussion has grown convoluted as both scientists and the media have addressed the subject. Scientists track climate

change and publish their evidence, but
then the media hypes it up in its articles
to the public. To add to the confusion,
the public tends to avoid thinking much
about the topic unless extreme weather
occurs unexpectedly. However, despite
overwhelming opinions, there...
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