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The human cause of global warming? Research essay.

kriegle 2 / 1  
Jun 5, 2007   #1
Here's the nearly finished draft. I was wondering if you could take a look at it and give me feedback. Thanks.

Every year, almost 7 billion tons of carbon dioxide is released into the atmosphere by human activity. 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 gasses, 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, but the problem of global warming should not be debated; it should be solved.

Many people around the world debate about the facts about global warming. The evidence that supports the human cause is plentiful and powerful, but few can find support for the issue that global warming is a natural part of the Earth's climatic change. 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.

People have also begun to link global warming to the sun in the last decade. 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 of global warming, and that its varying activity is the cause for the global warming. As a strong scientist of her field, Baliunas supports her opinion with many statistics that prove that the sun does cause changes in the earth's climate. However, by stating that the sun is the only reason for global warming, she is quite a biased individual. The evidence presented by these scholars is very influential in the scientific community, contradicting the mainstream idea that humans are to blame; this is negative upon the goal of the people trying to stop global warming.

Many believe that global warming is a myth, just an excuse for the record temperatures and other weather patterns, but they are very wrong. There are two main sides to the argument of the cause of global warming; those who believe that global warming is just a natural phase in the climatic habits of earth, and those who believe humans are the direct cause through the burning of fossil fuels and other processes. Each side of the debate provides much scientific evidence that proves there point. In an article released by the Dept. of Commerce, NASA claims "...the solar increases do not have the ability to cause large global temperature increases... greenhouse gasses are indeed playing a dominant role" (1). As the leading global scientific institution of the US Government, NASA's point is highly accepted by the community. In the same article, the Dept. of Commerce says that only a quarter of the amount of global warming can be attributed to the sun (3). That one-quarter is the natural part of global warming; the rest is from human activity.

The majority of the population of the Earth believes that Global Warming is an effect of the burning of fossil fuels. According to the Stanford Solar Center, Global Warming is attributed to the increase of greenhouse gasses (carbon dioxide and methane) in the Earth's atmosphere, caused by human burning of fossil fuels, industrial, farming, and deforestation activities (1). The affects we humans have on the environment seem to be popping up all the time, and many think that global warming is our defining effect on the Earth. Every year, billions of tons of carbon dioxide are added to the atmosphere, adding up to the largest concentration in 420,000 years. Many cars, power plants, and burning of anything containing carbon generously add to this number. We as humans should be able to understand our fossil fuel burning habits enough to stop the increase of carbon dioxide every year.

To witness the change of the world from a global warming standpoint, there are many indicators proving human cause. Some of the sources that expose the causes of global warming include tree-ring research, ice-core analysis, and sediment research. For example, research from looking at sediment layering shows that the water level of the ocean is 60 ft lower than 400,000 years ago. Contributing is tree-ring research, which shows the amount of precipitation in the atmosphere. By looking at this kind of data, scientists can help evaluate the amount of change that we have might have inflicted compared to the thousands of years prior to our modern existence. One of the main effects global warming is causing now is the melting of the north and south polar caps. The extremely fast rate of the thaw at the caps is an affect of global warming, and in a National Geographic magazine, scientists conclude that the earths polar caps and glaciers all around the globe are already melting at an unstoppable rate from global warming.

The problem of global warming has been unsolvable for scientists in the last 30 years, but modern day researchers have found various remedies to the problems that we as humans have inflicted on the earth. The deforestation that is occurring around the globe is a key factor to causes of global warming. According to a Popular Mechanics magazine, studies are underway that have a goal to reduce global warming with genetically engineered plants that will be completely efficient in recycling carbon dioxide. The result of these plants would be less carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. Another solution to the problem is replenishing the oceans with algae. Algae are also one of nature's carbon dioxide recyclers. There are plans to grow trillions of algae at farms and release them into the oceans around the world. Since the actual algae population of the world is decreasing, this would benefit not only decrease in carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, but also repopulate the algae population. Both of these examples of helping to decrease global warming are worth looking into, but the most accessible way to solve the problem would be to look into alternate forms of energy. The major forms of energy used in the United States include coal burning, natural gas burning, nuclear reactors, and petroleum (oil). These are all non-renewable resources that have a limited quantity present on our planet. Renewable types of energy, like hydroelectric, geothermal, wind, and solar energy, are all barely in use in America. By switching to these more efficient types of energy, the amount of carbon dioxide released into the atmosphere would be drastically decreased.

As a nation, we are attributed as the leading cause of global warming, with the most greenhouse emissions anywhere in the world. In addition, as the most influential country in the world, we can choose to sit by and watch it happen, or we can decide to become a more environmentally aware population, setting an example for the entire world to see. The debate of the causes of global warming should not matter, because the fact is that we are contributing to global warming through our activities, adding on to any natural climatic phase that the earth is experiencing. By not releasing so much greenhouse gasses into the atmosphere, we can end the global warming scare, and end the most debated environmental topic of the world today.

Any last minute tips before I turn it in would be great! Thank you for your time.

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