The Climate Change Debate:

Topics: Global warming, Greenhouse gas, Carbon dioxide Pages: 6 (2223 words) Published: December 4, 2011
Every year, almost 7 billion tons of carbon dioxide is released into the atmosphere by human activity (“How do we contribute individually to global warming.” Global Warming: 2006. Web.12 Oct. 2011). That is the equivalent of 107,700,000 jet airplanes being in the air at once! This harrowing figure is the main cause of global warming, and has been increasing for the last 50 years. Global warming is caused by the increase of greenhouse gases, carbon dioxide and methane primarily, in the earth's upper atmosphere directly caused by human burning of fossil fuels, industrial, farming, and deforestation activities. Global warming is defined as an increase in the average temperature of the earth's atmosphere (especially a sustained increase that causes climatic changes). Many people believe in these statements, but there are many people around the world that refuse to believe that human contributions are the main cause of global warming, saying that the increase is part of the natural climatic change of earth. Debatable causes and solutions of this theory of global warming include the natural climatic change, the grounds of human causes, and the solutions we can take to halt global warming. As humans, we all have our own opinions. The surface of the earth has been warming, the average temperature increasing, for several years. People studying this do not agree on the cause of the warming trend. Some say that man has caused the change; others claim that it is a natural trend. For several years believers and skeptics have argued about the cause of global warming. The problem is complicated because believers warn that man-made causes if left to advance too far may be irreversible. Reduction of the rainforests, continued growth in hydrocarbon industries, increases in livestock, and depletion of the ozone are all considered factors in the debate. Skeptics maintain that the climate change is a natural phenomenon, that man’s effect on nature is largely overrated. The debate isn’t whether the globe has been heating in the last 70 or so years, it’s whether man is the cause (anthropomorphic global warming) or nature. The current heating trend is identical to historical ones (i.e. the temperature increases proceeded CO2 increases). These gases persist in the atmosphere for years, meaning that even if such emissions were eliminated today, it would not immediately stop global warming. Some experts point out those natural cycles in Earth's orbit can alter the planet's exposure to sunlight, which may explain the current trend. Earth has indeed experienced warming and cooling cycles roughly every hundred thousand years due to these orbital shifts, but such changes have occurred over the span of several centuries. People have also begun to link global warming to the sun in the last decade. Some people do support this issue, like John Christy, director of the Earth System Science Center at the University of Alabama in Huntsville. Christy says, "The carbon dioxide from fossil fuels is distributed [very] evenly around the globe and not concentrated in the Arctic, so we can't blame greenhouse gases for the Northern Hemisphere warming over the past 27 years. The most likely suspect for [warming] is a natural climate change or cycle that we didn't expect or just don't understand." This quote describes a natural cause to global warming, and refrains from relating to cause by carbon dioxide emissions from humans Also the views of David Bellamy, a conservationist, and Dr Sami Solanki, the director of Max Planck Institute for Solar System Research, include that the majority of people are seeing global warming in the wrong light and that the brightness of the sun is directly related to the warming of the Earth in the last century (Leidig and Nikkhah 1). The sun is a popular resource for natural cause of global warming, but there are scarce amounts of evidence on this information. Sallie Baliunas, an astrophysicist, believes that the sun is the main culprit...
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