Should Humans Be Blamed For Global Warming?
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Published: Thu, 27 Apr 2017
Global warming is the next big impact that will bring about a change in the weather patterns. By definition, Global Warming is the increase in average temperature that gradually warms the Earth’s atmosphere. ‘It is a phenomenon, which has been on the rise but in the last century, the increase in the levels have been alarming’ (George Christodoulou, 2006).Global warming has caused a lot of changes to the environment in a negative manner. ‘According to the study by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), it is observed that the increase in global average temperature has been caused due to an increase in greenhouse gas concentrations’ (Slashman, 2007). Global warming can have many causes, but it is most commonly associated with human interference, specifically the release of excessive amounts of greenhouse gases (EPA, 2006).It is either caused by humans or natural causes. Global warming is no more a myth but a fast approaching reality, which in the long-term will bring the much feared ice age that will wipe out all living organisms on Earth. The latest IPCC report states “widespread mass losses from glaciers and reductions in snow cover over recent decades are projected to accelerate throughout the 21st century, reducing water availability, hydropower potential, and changing seasonality of flows in regions supplied by melt water from major mountain ranges (e.g. Hindu-Kush, Himalaya, Andes), where more than one-sixth of the world population currently lives” (Geneva, 2010). Global warming has caused a major increase of heat towards the earth’s atmosphere and it is still affecting us till today due to numerous human activities.
Although some people think that global warming happens due to natural factors, it is scientifically proven that humans are responsible for global warming. The purpose of this paper is to point out the irresponsible people causing global warming and not to blame the natural factor for global.
There are many scientific and logical factors of global warming that are caused by human activities. The main factor is due to the depletion of ozone layer of the atmosphere which happens in the stratosphere which is 30 miles above the earth. What is the function of the ozone layer? The ozone layer protects the earth from radiating ultraviolet (UV) rays. The ozone is made up from oxygen molecules named triatomic oxygen. The ozone molecules or the triatomic oxygen will absorb the UV rays. Eventually the triatomic oxygen will split into diatomic oxygen and a monoxide. This process is repeated as the monoxide combines with diatomic oxygen to produce ozone molecules back and protects. Thus, this helps to protect UV rays from entering the earth’s atmosphere. The UV rays will heat up the earth as it penetrates through directly without the shield of ozone layer. ‘Every time 1% of the ozone layer is depleted, 2% more UV-B is able to reach the surface of the planet’ (Miller, G. Tyler Jr., 1987). The thinning of ozone layer happens due to human activities on the earth’s surface by burning and releasing harmful gases. As the ozone layer becomes thinner the UV rays will be trapped inside the earth’s atmosphere, therefore our earth becomes hotter. The shine of UV rays may cause skin cancer. In addition, it also dries up the earth and causes drought.
Moreover it is because of the release of chlorofluorocarbon (CFC) gases the ozone layer depletes. Human being use air conditioners to make the hot environment cooler, but what they don’t seem to realize is that they are making the atmosphere even hotter. Air conditioners releases CFC gas when it is turned on. Besides that, refrigerators also release CFC gases when the doors are opened. The CFC gas will react with the ozone layer. The triatomic oxygen will be split and the chlorine atom from CFC will combine with the diatomic oxygen gas. This will produce chlorine monoxide. Referring to the statement above, there will be no chance of the oxygen to recombine to form ozone molecules. As a result a hole is created in the ozone layer. ‘Slowly they start infiltrating into the upper layers of the atmosphere and soon reach the ozone rich stratosphere, where they undergo major chemical changes’ (H. Khemani, 2010). The CFC gas will soon disintegrate and the chlorine atom will react with the ozone molecule and changes to oxygen molecule. As soon as the ozone layer changes to oxygen molecule the ozone layer will be depleted. The most shocking fact about CFCs is that they have exceptionally long atmospheric life which, in certain cases, even extends to 100 years. ‘This means that if CFC refrigerants are leaked in the atmosphere, they will keep depleting the ozone layer for the next 100 years to come’ (H. Khemani, 2010). There are other materials used by humans that release CFC gas such as chemical sprays and the burning of Styrofoam materials.
Furthermore, the increase of carbon dioxide level leads to climatic changes. Humans are the main people to emit green house gasses to the environment. They emit them in a variety of ways. The combustion of fossil fuel by human activities releases green house gases which is carbon dioxide and others. ‘When there is an increase in the percentage of carbon dioxide in the air, the amount of heat captured by the carbon dioxide also increases’ (Bidisha Mukherjee, 2010). As the amount of carbon dioxide level increases in the atmosphere, heat is trapped inside the atmosphere and causes warming of the earth. Moreover, coal-burning of power plants also increases the carbon level in the atmosphere. ‘Burning coal produces about 9 billion tonnes of carbon dioxide each year which is released to the atmosphere, and about 70% of this is being generated from power plants’ (World-Nuclear.org, 2011). In addition factories emit more smoke and harmful gases such as carbon dioxide, methane, and oxide. These gases do not only increase the temperature of the environment but causes harm to humans and animals.
In addition to that, the burning of gasoline from transportation also contributes to global warming on a large- scale. Burning of gasoline will increase the amount of carbon monoxide. Carbon monoxide is a very harmful gas that it can cause death to living organisms on earth. This gas can react with other atoms to be more harmful. For example, it can combine an oxygen atom to produce carbon dioxide. By combining energy is needed and heat is produced. Dusts are also accumulated in the atmosphere which can trap the heat. Smog is another form of cloud of carbon which is also related to accumulation of heat in the atmosphere.
Besides that, Brazil and Indonesia, which contain the world’s two largest surviving regions of rain forest, are being stripped at an alarming rate by logging, fires, and land-clearing for agriculture and cattle-grazing (NationalGeographic.com, 2011). Human activities of depleting forest illegally have caused a major climate change to the environment. Men nowadays are selfish and do things on their own for selfish benefits. They want to upgrade the economy of the country with the improvement of technology. The usage of land for development of buildings makes them to cut down forests uncontrolled. Besides, illegal deforestation for exporting logs to other countries for business purpose causes global warming. Trees are needed to reduce the amount of carbon dioxide in the environment. By deforestation, the land is barren and exposed. Therefore, the earth will eventually get hotter. ‘Excessive cutting of trees in forests for urban use and other purposes like buildings is detrimental to the environmental balance’ (Manali Oak ,2011).
Another point related to this argument is the role of politicians who carry activities for the nation’s benefits that politicians play a role in global warming too. ‘Even those politicians who are courageous enough to fight for action on the issue are not telling us the whole truth’ (Mark Jeantheau, 2004).The government is not responsible for the occurrence of global warming. They do not take any action towards illegal people who cause global warming and are mostly money minded. On their mind they always think of bribery and do not think about the effects of global warming. Public are not aware of this phenomena and take it easy. Government should be blamed for this for not educating the public about the effects of global warming and point out the consequences. So global warming happens due to the irresponsible activities of humans can lead to negative consequences.
On the other hand opponent argues more by supporting that carbon dioxide released are not by human activities but natural phenomenon. Carbon dioxide is a natural source from the environment itself. As a natural phenomenon volcanoes rupture and emit carbon dioxide and sulfur dioxide to the environment and causes a lot of negative impacts regarding global warming. Water vapors are also released which is the most hazardous gas to humans and the environment. Our studies show that globally, volcanoes on land and under the sea release a total of about 200 million tonnes of CO2 annually (hvo.wr.usgs.gov ,2007 ).
Besides volcano eruptions, natural burning of forest or called forest fires release carbon dioxide in a drastic level to the environment. Forest fires happen spontaneously due to overheat and not by people. Sometimes forest fires can be spontaneous due to hot and dry weather (Chandramita Bora,2010).Moreover, forest fires happen when the weather is thundering and storming. The lightning carries high voltage current. As the current hits the trees a small spark created would light up a leaf and spread the fire to the whole forest. There are no ways for fire fighters or other rescue teams to put out the fire due to high temperatures. The carbon level of the environment increases drastically and causes haze also. The heat of the earth goes up tremendously. It can increase the level of greenhouse gases (water vapor, carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide, ozone, and chlorofluorocarbons), and thereby increase pollution and global warming (Chandramita Bora,2010).
The opponent says humans are not the only people who emit carbon dioxide by exhaling them but animals do too. It is wrong to say humans are to be blamed alone for global warming. Humans are not responsible for the increase of the concentration of carbon dioxide on global scale. Furthermore, carbon dioxide does not have a long life time. Instead of pinning an absolute value on the atmospheric lifetime of CO2, the 2007 report describes its gradual dissipation over time, saying, “About 50% of a CO2 increase will be removed from the atmosphere within 30 years, and a further 30% will be removed within a few centuries due to the plants and others (Mason Inman, 2008).It is only temporary and if it would be blamed that it is going to affect the future generation which is wrong.
In addition to that, a meteorological scientist named William Kininmonth (2004) explains that climatic change occurs due to natural phenomenon and not by human activities. The assumption of a climate system forced primarily by the radiation effects of greenhouse gases is a limited perspective of the complex climate system. (William Kininmonth ,2004). Climate scientists cannot prove that the current warming is not due to natural processes and therefore cannot claim with certainty that the warming is due to human interference.
However, the Medieval Warm Period (MWP) disproves global warming by human activities. MWP is a natural phenomenon and the MWP was a time of warm climate in Europe. So, human activities have nothing to do with the global warming, as evident from the Medieval Warm Period (MWP).
The ice age is not due to global warming as mentioned by scientist. There will be a new prediction of ice age where it is a natural phenomenon not caused by humans that contributes global warming.
The supporter refutes the opponent’s argument by giving explanations that very little carbon dioxide is caused by volcanic rupture. There are no proves that volcanoes emit more carbon dioxide and it is a myth. There have been volcanic eruptions so massive that they covered vast areas in lava more than a kilometre thick and appear to have released enough CO2 to warm the planet after the initial cooling caused by the dust ( Catherine Brahic , 2007). Volcanoes emit carbon dioxide naturally as it a natural cycle of the phenomenon. Furthermore, there are not many volcanoes around the world and it only ruptures after a long period. Besides that, the supporters argue more on the point of forest fires. Forest fires are mainly caused by human activities like clearing and burning for starting plantations to produce cash crops like oil palm , rubber and sugar cane. Throwing of cigarettes by hunters or campers, creating camp fires and picnics causes light ups of fire and would put up fire on the forest. Even though, carbon dioxide has a life-time, it still can contribute heat to the environment for a certain period. Climate changes are due to human activities on a large-scale. Humans burns fossil fuel like coals openly, followed by spraying aerosols which could damage the environment, cement manufacture factories releases smog and artificial harmful gases which changes the climate and causes global warming.
As a conclusion of this argument about should humans be blamed for global warming, it can be strongly mentioned that humans are to be blamed mostly. Natural factors do contribute to global warming but it is minimal. In order to prevent global warming from occurring, governments should take more drastic measures on this matter and do awareness campaigns among their countries. As a concluding statement for this topic humans are to be blamed for the cause of global warming.
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