There are always two sides to an issue. This is especially true in Science. Each side will gather facts and statistics to help their argument. They will also fuel the argument with their opinions. Some articles are more persuasive in their reasoning then others. This persuasion can ultimately change a person’s opinion of the issue. The question to be answered is does human-produced carbon dioxide contribute significantly to global warming.
In John Farley’s “Human Produced Carbon-Dioxide Contributes to Global Warming”, he firmly believes that human’s are producing carbon dioxide that contributes to global warming (Farley, 72-80). His paper is fueled by facts and statistics. One of the facts he uses is the change of temperature before and after the industrial revolution. He writes that the CO2 levels had remained “around 280 ppm during the last 10,000 years” (Farley, 75). He then says that the CO2 levels have begun rising since the industrial revolution, and are “now 38% percent higher” than they were before the industrial revolution (Farley, 75). He tells how humans are contributing to increased Carbon Dioxide levels. He says that the increasing levels of Carbon Dioxide are caused by “the burning of fossil fuels” and “deforestation” (Farley, 73). These two are both human activities. He then uses the fact that many scientists agree with him. He says that other climate scientists attribute the rise of Carbon Dioxide after pre- industrial levels to “human activity” (Farley, 77). He goes on to explain the importance of Carbon Dioxide. He says that CO2 is either “9 percent or 26 percent of the greenhouse effect” (Farley, 78). He also says that the IPCC predict that the doubling of the CO2 in the atmosphere will “result in a temperature increase of a few degrees Celsius” (Farley, 79).
In Roy Spencer’s “Human-Produced Carbon Dioxide Does Not Contribute Significantly to Global Warming”, he shares his view that human produced carbon dioxide does not contribute significantly to global warming (Spencer, 81-81). His article is fueled more by his opinion and ideas. He starts by saying that CO2 is “necessary for life on Earth” (Spencer, 82). He then goes on to say that he believes that “our recent global warming has been natural, not manmade” (Spencer, 84). He then starts to state how global warming might actually be good for the planet. He says that increased CO2 helps a plant “grow faster,” become “more drought-tolerant, and” become “more efficient in its water use” (Spencer, 84). He then goes and talks about how we aren’t producing enough CO2 to make the ocean acidic. He says that the ocean’s ph is around 8.1, so it would “take an awful lot of CO2 for it even to make the water neutral (ph = 7), let alone acidic (pH less than 7)” (Spencer, 84). Another point he brings up is the worry “that extra CO2 would hurt the growth of plankton” (Spencer,84). According to him though, there has been “recent research (published on April 18  in Science Express)” that shows that “one of the most common forms of plankton actually grows faster and bigger when more CO2 is pumped into the water” (Spencer, 84).
After reading both articles, I have to side with John Farley. Humans are producing carbon dioxide that contributes to global warming. There is much evidence to support this claim. According to an article on NASA’s website called “Vital Signs of the Planet: Global Climate Change and Global Warming”, the Intergovernmental Panel of climate change says that there’s “a more than 90% probability that human activities over the past 250 years have warmed our planet.” According to the article mentioned before, “Scientists have high confidence that global temperatures will continue to rise for decades to come, largely due to greenhouse gases produced by human activities.” The effects of this are astounding. According to data in this article on NASA’s website, “The industrial activities that our modern civilization depends upon have raised atmospheric carbon dioxide levels from 280 parts per million to 379 parts per million in the last 150 years.” Also according to this article, “Humans have increased atmospheric CO2 concentration by a third since the Industrial Revolution began.” Unlike Roy Spencer would have you believe, increased levels of carbon dioxide have negatively affected our planet. According to the article on NASA’s website, because of increased temperatures “Glaciers have shrunk, ice on rivers and lakes is breaking up earlier, plant and animal ranges have shifted and trees are flowering sooner.”This article on NASA’s website states that, “Effects that scientists had predicted in the past would result from global climate change are now occurring: loss of sea ice, accelerated sea level rise and longer, more intense heat waves.”
In the end, both articles bring up very good points, but I found John Fraley’s article to be more knowledgeable and it fit better to my views. As I said before, there are always two sides to an argument. This is especially true in the case; does human-produced carbon dioxide contribute significantly to global warming. John Farley said that human’s contribute to global warming while Roy Spencer said they didn’t. The argument that usually wins is the one that is well supported by facts. Roy Spencer’s article won for me because it was well supported and used many facts.
Farley, John W. "Human-Produced Carbon Dioxide Contributes to Global Warming." Opposing Veiwpoint: Global Warming. Ed. David Hagun, Susan Musser, and Kasey Lovelace. First Ed. New York: Gale and Greenhaven Press, 2010. 72-80. Print.
Global Climate Change: Vital Signs of the Planet. Ed. Amber Jenkins. NASA & NOAA, Jan. 1980. Web. 27 Mar. 2012. .
Spencer, Roy. "Human-Produced Carbon Dioxide Does Not Contribute Significantly to Global Warming." Opposing Veiwpoint: Global Warming. Ed. David Hagun, Susan Musser, and Kasey Lovelace. First Ed. New York: Gale and Greenhaven Press, 2010. 81-86. Print