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Global Warming: The years that will change our fate
All over the Earth we have seen climates and ecosystems change dramatically. These are just some of the effects of the worldly disaster we call Global Warming. The world’s people continue to be divided on whether or not the climate change really exists. Global Warming effects the environment, but the cause is continuing to be debated by scientists all over the world.
Earth has the perfect temperature to support life. When Global Warming began to occur, our planet warmed almost immediately. The gases released act like a mirror and reflect some of the sun’s heat back into space (Time for a Change: Cause and Effects of Global Warming). However, too many of these Greenhouse ases, including carbon dioxide and fossil fuels, are ruining the atmosphere surrounding Earth. As this process continues, Earth soaks up more of the sun’s heat. The past two centuries are when most of the present day warming has occurred. Unfortunately, this warming is not going to be put on hold. The world’s demanding economies could cause the World’s temperature to increase 2.5 degrees Fahrenheit -10.4 degrees Fahrenheit (Global Warming Basics: The Pew Center of Global Climate Change). The progressionis steady and still going strong. Before we can put an end to the warming we must answer one question, What is the cause of Global Warming?
Fossil fuels and carbon dioxide are the two main sources of the Greenhouse effect (World Book encyclopedia 232a-233b ed. 2006) . This is no surprise, because the higher concentration of carbon dioxide, the more heat is soaked up by Earth. Deforestation (cutting down trees for factories and other buildings), is also a large part of Global Warming. People also burn fuels that float into the atmosphere.The atmosphere is a thin, but important layer surrounding Earth. If it is destroyed,Earth might not be able to function without the atmosphere because the Earth would be much warmer and could burn all humanity without the protective shield. The loss of atmosphere also has chain-effects. Sea ice, like the greenhouse gases, reflects some of the light back into space. As the Earth warms, sea ice melts and the water left-over retains more of the warmth the ice is capable of retaining ( Hawkes 7). As the causes of this horrible fate continue, the effects get more and more noticeable everyday. Some may flourish while others may die-out. However, no one is sure how things will turn out, that is, until our fate finally becomes a reality.
Positive effects are some of the only alibis that keep factories and people from trying to correct the fault of Global Warming. One advantage is that some species will thrive in a warmer climate. Nobody is completely sure on which species will thrive and the ones that will fail. A longer growing season will benefit some regions (Pringle 20). with longer growing seasons, produce prices could drop for a longer time in markets. Among the non-supporters of Global Warming’s actual existents is Geoffrey Lean. Lean With more than one hundred scientists called in to advise British Prime minister, Tony Blair on the opposing viewpoints of Global Warming. “Technology is available to alleviate much of the disaster, Lean writes (Bily, Cothran, and Szumski 18-19). Lean is also sure to warn that government must act quickly to have any hope of correcting the problem. Lean's also the environment editor of the British newspaper Independent.
While there is positive effects of Global Warming, it’s only fair to present the negative effects as well. Life depends on freshwater, and the melting of it is causing it to be polluted by salt water. Low-lying land already is hard to grow certain crops on lobal Warming could make it worse. Also it could erode away the coastlands and flood the land on these low-lying lands as well. It’s a proven fact that certain flowers can’t bloom without a certain amount of exposure to winter cold (World Book Encyclopedia g 232a 2006ed.) Insect-borne diseases are being fueled to be much stronger from climate change and is wiping out entire ecosystems. People are already putting forth their opinions about Global Warming. Prime Minister, Tony Blair, came to a conclusion.Blair said “Global Warming can cause natural disasters, animal extinction, disease,and starvation.” (Bily, Cothran, and Szumski pg. 18). In the Earth’s past, species and humans have been able to adapt to changes in climate and in their surroundings.However, this is happening so fast scientists don’t know if the world would be ableto adapt. As many remember Hurricane Katrina’s devastating destruction, the unfortunate news is that powerful storms could become much more common. Many glaciers could be gone by the end of the century, effecting countries, like Bolivia, Peru, and India who depend on the ice for drinking and irrigation (Appenzeller and Balog National Geographic vol.211 The Big Thaw 61-65). Even places that have always been warm, climate change is hurting them just as much as colder regions. Among the places affected are the coral reefs. Already in danger, life down under is experiencing high ocean temperatures. The climbing temperatures are causing coral bleaching , which cuts off the coral’s nutrition. As people try to decide the actual truth they need to understand that which ever side they choose they need to be open to all sides of the matter.
Global Warming does pose a threat, but is it all that serious? Many have pointed out that it’s too late to stop Global Warming completely, maybe forever if we don’t change our ways drastically. El Nino (a time when temperature is abnormal for a period of time) was especially strong in 1997-98 as well as in 1982-83. This may not sound too bad but El Nino usually occurs forty- two years apart (Pringle 15). Also the disadvantages of lobal Warming are more noticeable than the positive effects.
Global Warming is hard to link with certain events ( Time for a Change: Cause and Effects of Global Warming), so no one is sure whether or not its existent is truly something to worry about. Some sources even say ice has been melting since the early 1700’s and now is the first time they have addressed it. Many magazines, books and movies have addressed Global Warming and are not afraid to voice their opinions. While many of them have presented all the facts, other have just shown one side of the debate. others have just used Global Warming as a publicity topic. Who can tell the truth of our fate without knowing both sides of the debate? The way things are going now, unanimous opinion is far off from being decided.
One of the most heated debates the world is facing right now is Global Warming. Although Swedish Chemist Svante Arrhenius predicted Global Warming’s exsistents as early as 1896, (Begley, The Truth about Denial Newsweek, August 2007 22-26) , scientists now days still question and fight over the truth. Edson Ramirez of the Bolivian glacier researchers received a similar reaction of denial. “In 1995, when we predicted the disappearance of glaciers, very few people believed us. We were accused of being alarmists, but now it has come to pass.” These men are living proof that the denial of Global Warming is still going strong. Other people believe a slightly different view. U.S. Senator, James M. Inhofe states “Nature is causing more of the planets warming than humans.” (Tanaka 32) As we uncover more and more evidence of Global Warming and Climate Change the world can definitely accept the next quote as the truth regardless of which side of the debate one supports. “We see things today that five years ago would have seemed completely impossible,extravagant, and exaggerated,”(Appenzeller and Balog The Big Thaw National Geographic vol. 211 no. 6 June 2007) Eric Rignot, a scientist at NASA’s Jet Propulsion said. "Whatever side people support there are scientists, quotes, and resources to support it." The world just needs to remember that until you know both sides of your argument before you decide the truth behind your opinion (Bily, Cothran, and Szumski 7)
Effects of climate change aren’t all positive and negative. Some effects can befit some places and cause complete chaos in others. For example Alaska’s temperature has increased (Time for a Change: Cause and Effects of Global Warming) giving a more comfortable temperature for humans and other species and a death sentence for more sensitive organisms. Poorer countries won’t be able to cope very well with the change in climate. While this may seem to be a bad thing, as sad as it seems, it could help the concern of the overly populated developing countries or could cause even more concern and problems. Turtle eggs change sex depending on the temperature.This could level out the population of turtles or extinct the turtle because they would have very few of the opposite sex to breed with. Unfortunately these effects could go either way. No one can be sure which way the effects will go until they actually take place.
Many Global Warming education sources only present what could happen not what already has happened. Costa Rica’s golden toads became extinct in 1989 due to temperature rising (Begley The Truth about Denial Newsweek August 2007). Swallows started laying their eggs nine days earlier in 1991 because of winter cold (Begley The Truth about Denial Newsweek August 2007). By 1999 evidence circled the world in panic. It didn’t get much better when the polar bears began to drown and starve to death from loss of hunting grounds (Begley The Truth about Denial Newsweek August 2007). In 2005 one of the most destructive hurricanes and biggest wake-up of a global disaster, Hurricane Katrina hit the Gulf Coast(Begley The Truth about Denial Newsweek August 2007). As the evidence gets stronger the worries do as well.
To stop Global Warming, we must find renewable resources in place of fossil fuels to keep our world’s economy running. That may seem very complex way to help, but other ways to help are to not burn fuels, buy fuel smart cars, and build dikes to keep waves from over running land (Hawkes 23) Working toward a better world shouldn’t be a setback for people. People need to understand that helping our world only benefits themselves. If the world starts trying to save the world, ourselves together, efforts would be seen in larger quantities and be more effective.
Without a doubt our world is warming. Things are changing for the better and for the worse right in front of the world’s eyes. Changes are being seen now, but the finished result is still a mystery. What has happened already can’t be completely corrected. As the signs of trouble continue people must decide if they are willing to change to save the world. Economies rely on fossil fuels and many other gases, but more money and research should be put toward finding alternatives than waiting for something to happen. The thing people don’t realize is that the signs are here and now is when action needs to be taken, before it’s too late.
Appenzeller, Tim, James Balog, “The Big Thaw” National Geographic June. 2007: Vol: 211, No. 6.
Begley, Sharon. “The Truth about Denial” Newsweek 13 August. 2007
Bily, Cynthia A., Cothran, Helen, , and Bonnie Szumski. Global Warming: Opposing Viewpoints. Farmington Hills, Michigan: Thomson Gale, Greenhaven Press, 2006
“Global Warming”, World Book Encyclopedia 2006 ed.
Global Warming Basics: The Pew Center on Global Climate Change. 25 Jan. 2008
Hawkes, Nigel. Climate Crisis. Brookfield, Connecticut: Copper Beech Books, 2000
Pringle, Laurence. Global Warming: The Threat of Earth’s Changing Climate. New
York: SeaStar Books, 2001
Tanaka, Shelley. Climate Change: Groundwork Guide. Toronto, Ontario: Groundwood Books, House of Anansi Press., 2006
Time for Change: Cause and Effect of Global Warming. 25 Jan. 2008