Global Warming: Fact or Fiction?

Topics: Global warming, Carbon dioxide, Climate change Pages: 4 (1281 words) Published: October 20, 2005
Global Warming: Fact or Fiction?

Many consider global warming to be the largest threat facing the people of Earth, while others view it as nothing more than Liberal propaganda. Both sides have extremely well thought out arguments. According to Environmentalist there is a growing realization that human activities are threatening the health of the natural systems that make life possible on this planet. While Non-believers claim that you can't find a real scientist anywhere in the world who can look you in the eye, without hesitation, and say "yes, global warming is real." Whether you believe in global warming or not, you are bound to hear more about it.

The theory of global warming itself is an old theory. Since the time of Napoleon, scientist have known about the green house effect- where gases such as carbon dioxide retain heat in the earth's atmosphere, similar to how the glass panes in a greenhouse allow sunlight in but keep heat from escaping. As far back as 1896, Swedish chemist and Nobel laureate Svante Arrhenius had predicted that if the concentration of atmospheric carbon dioxide, which industry spews into the air by the millions of metric tons every year, were to double, global temperatures would rise between 9 and 11 degrees Fahrenheit.

Still, no one took global warming very seriously until 60 years later, when Charles Keeling began to monitor the levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere from the top of the mountain of Hawaii. At the time of Keeling's first measurement, carbon dioxide had already risen by 10% since Arrhenius's predictions. By 1990 the quantity of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere had risen by 20%. By the middle of the next century, at the current rate of carbon dioxide production, carbon dioxide concentrations in the atmosphere will have doubled.

Scientist had long reassured themselves that the world's oceans would absorb any excess carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. They thought this would take place via a simple...
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