Week 4 Response
This week’s readings had the common theme of global climate change. All of these sources encompassed different aspects of climate change. John Houghton’s “The Greenhouse Effect” was more factual and scientific. S. Goerge Philander’s “The Ozone Hole, A Cautionary Tale” was informational too, however, the piece also discussed global reactions to the rapid climate change. Thomas R. Karl and Kevin E. TrenBerth’s “Modern Global Climate Change”, focused on the intensity of anthropogenic influences of climate change and the dismal projection of the future. In “Stabilization Wedges: Solving the Climate Problem for the Next Fifty Years With Current Technologies”, Stephen Pacala and Robert Socolow went in a different direction and presented a positive outlook on the improvement of the Earth’s current environmental state and introduced the idea of stabilization wedges. Lastly, the IPCC 2014 Summary report is a report that focused on looking at how nations can act to limit climate change. In the rest of this response, I will provide a synopsis of the goals and themes that were displayed in each of the readings. Finally, I will reflect on any questions or concerns the readings have evoked in me.
In “The Greenhouse Effect”, John Houghton presents a detailed description of the Greenhouse Effect how the earth keeps warm. Houghton begins by discussing how thermal radiation emitted by the Earth’s surface is completely reliant on temperature. There is a direct relationship between how warm it is and how much radiation is emitted. In other words, the higher the temperature, the larger amount of radiation emitted. He later goes on to discuss what the greenhouse effect is by first explaining the natural greenhouse effect. Houghton describes the greenhouse effect by saying there are specific gases that absorb some of the radiation emitted by the Earth’s surface and then emit radiation back out into space. These gases act as a “radiation