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Global Warming has been a large issue for many years and is linked to human behavior. Some of the problems we face are, an increase in temperature and the number of natural disasters. For the past thousands of years the earth’s temperature has been rising, but for the past one hundred years, it has been rising at an extremely fast rate. The earth is not made to last forever, human carbon emissions must be reduced substantially in the next decade if we want to avoid a global warming disaster.
Since the times of the Industrial Revolution, people of the United States and around the world have been steadily increasing the number of machines in the world but most importantly it is the amount of carbon in the air. With the world population rapidly growing the amount of machinery and carbon skyrocketed this carbon is being trapped within the earth’s atmosphere and creating the effects of a greenhouse, also known as global warming. The rising in temperature and greenhouse gases has been around for many years, but there has been a sudden change and in recent years showing that it is linked to human behavior. “Humans emissions and activities have caused around 100% of the warming observed since 1950” (Hausfather 1). With all of the data pointing to humans as the problem to all of this, why have we not made a change yet? The answer is the world is built to be powered off of fossil fuels and we are not going to change our ways until we run out.
The earth’s temperature is rising and with this it brings numerous problems throughout the entire world. One of the biggest problems we deal with on our everyday basis is extreme weather events. Over the past year of 2018, there have been more hurricanes in the Atlantic Ocean than ever recorded. Next is the increase of temperature on the planet, “Two-thirds of the warming has occurred since 1975, at a rate of roughly 0.15-0.20°C per decade.” (World Of Change 1). At this rate, if something does not change there will be a catastrophic event within the next 25 years. What people don’t understand is that the amount that is changing is very small but, “A five-degree drop was enough to bury a large part of North America under a towering mass of ice 20,000 years ago.” (World Of Change 1). With the temperature rising it is bringing with it some pretty serious side effects, “the oceans temperature has risen .4 degrees since 1969” (Climate Change Evidence 1). As the ocean temperature rises there is even more that is coming with that, ice shelves are melting and the water level is rising eroding more and more away from coastal state beaches. When the ice melts it also affects the amount of sunlight being absorbed by the earth, the ice and snow is white and reflects the heat back to outer space and without the snow and ice more of it is absorbed. In total, “From 1993 to 2016, Greenland has lost 281 billion tons of ice and Antarctica lost 119 billion tons” (Climate Change Evidence 1). Across the globe in Australia is the Great Barrier Reef, it has officially been pronounced as dead and one of the reasons people believe is the rising carbon levels in the water. What the carbon in the water does is it increases the acidity and is bleaching the coral killing it. The problem in the
Great Barrier Reef is the amount of acidity in the water; it is killing lots of the coral and fish, not letting the area flourish. If they don’t start doing more to save the reef it will be gone forever.
The continuous emissions of a large amount of carbon means that there is only going to be more weather events and they are going to get even bigger and even worse. Not only does global warming increase the hurricanes but also it increases all weather events. The weather is going to become more and more difficult to predict as time goes by, which can affect many people eventually leading to people losing their lives to knowing what is about to happen. “The Northeast has seen a 74 percent increase in the amount of rain or snow falling in the heaviest storms” (Are Severe Rain Storms 1). More problems coming from the increase of weather events is the destruction of the earth. Earth makes its products in a specialized manner, meaning that many different parts come from all around the earth and country to build one item. If something were to happen to that area of the earth and supplies could not go in or out this could affect many different people around the world. Changing the climate also affects a lot of the animals that roam the earth today, many different animals have instincts inside them to do certain things like fly south for the winter or eat an excess of calories to stay warm in the winter. When the climate changes so fast or there are large temperature changes this can throw animals of tremendously and even cause them to die because they do not know what is going on. The amount of damage we have already done to the earth has even caused many animals already to go extinct or be endangered with few of the species alive today. Not only is it affecting animals but also it is even killing off plants because they are unable to grow in the new environment that they are in. One big problem in 2018 that we had was the amount of rain and flooding from the hurricanes in the southern states. “Global warming also increased the odds of extreme wet and dry spells. Dry extremes — such as California’s 2012-2016 drought — were influenced by global warming 57 percent of the time” (Krieger 1). Krieger explains that in these events of droughts that over 50 percent of the time it is linked to global warming.
There is major evidence pointing out that climate change is directly linked to humans, the main problem that almost everybody has been a part of is, carbon. Carbon is being polluted in the air and being trapped in causing the earth to heat up-bringing many more problems with that. The biggest way humans pollute the earth almost every day that most don’t even think about is, our cars, we burn through gallons and gallons of fossil fuels and all of the smoke goes straight into the air we breathe. There is a growing population and this is only going to get worse. Humans have made their number one resource being fossil fuels and the most ironic part about it is fossil fuels make fossil fuels. Meaning that we are burning gas and many other different fuels, to harvest and gather these other fossil fuels. This is one big cycle of carbon going straight into the air and polluting. The power many of us use in our homes every day is also coming straight from fossil fuels being burnt, “28 percent of U.S. greenhouse gas emissions come from generating electricity” (Climate Change ProCon 1) This is a major statistic because as days go on, the people of the world are going to demand more and more energy increasing this statistic and carbon emissions.
In order to start a large change in the United States for this issue, could be to start at the politicians. If we want to make real change we must get as much help as possible, our leaders of this country would have to be in favor to pass laws and acts to change what is going into the air. There have already been rules and regulations for the amount of carbon they put into the air sometimes making cars, factories, and businesses illegal. If we elected leaders being pro-environmental change, we could start to convert the economy over into a clean eco-friendly economy. Starting this change, we could start building renewable energy sources that are much cleaner and don’t rely so heavily on fossil fuels such as, wind turbines, water turbines, and solar panels. “Despite growing renewable generation, fossil fuels still account for about two-thirds of U.S. electricity” (Regulating Power 1). We have started to make some change but yet fossil fuels are still used for over half of the electricity made in the United States. Another major contributor to this problem is the amount of deforestation, this would likely have to change tremendously also, with the overcutting of trees and not enough being replanted, it makes it harder for the trees that are still living to process all of the carbon dioxide making the air quality worse. Changing our society into a clean and renewable resource society will benefit us substantially in the long run and could even help our economy; bringing in jobs to America and saving Americans money. “What we need is a set of smart, practical policies to jump-start this transition without delay and maximize the benefits to our environment and economy.” (Global Warming Solutions 1). There is no easy way to end global warming but there are many things we can do in our everyday lives to help make a change.
Even with the amount of evidence linking global warming and climate change to human activity, there is still counter evidence saying that it is not from humans. Global Warming is a large issue across the world and many scientists agree with it being caused by human-related activities but there are many that disagree. One of the arguments against global warming is that the earth has been changing since its existence heating, cooling, and conforming to whatever it has to deal with. This means that even though humans emit very large amounts of carbon into the atmosphere, it is not our fault that the earth’s temperature rising and changing like it always has and that we have no effects over it. There are even studies with statistics showing that “many records reveal that the 20th century is probably not the warmest nor a uniquely extreme climatic period of the last millennium” (Climate Change ProCon 1). Using these statistics that there have been large increases of temperature in the past without these large amounts of carbon being released in the air; this can prove that carbon emissions could not be linked to humans. Another argument is that the earth is capable of absorbing the carbon in the air negating any possible claims of global warming. “About 50% of the CO2 released by the burning of fossil fuels and other human activities has already been re-absorbed by the earth’s carbon sinks” (Climate Change ProCon 1). A carbon sink is a reservoir that is able to absorb and store carbon for periods of time. If the earth is able to absorb almost 50 percent of the human carbon emissions, it is possible that humans are not causing global warming but the earth is going through another change and is just increasing in temperature. With the earth’s atmosphere already being saturated with carbon, there is the argument that human emissions would have little to no impact on the earth because it is already here. A final argument against global warming has nothing to do with the earth itself, but the sun. Not only does the earth change over the years but so does the sun. The sun goes through solar-cycles which can increase the amount of heat shed down onto the earth’s surface, there have been studies proving that “up to 70% of the observed post-1850 climate change and warming could be associated to multiple solar cycles” (Climate Change ProCon 1). Overall, the earth’s temperature has been rising rapidly for years and can be linked to both human and natural causes.
In conclusion, for the past thousands of years the earth’s temperature has been rising, but for the past one hundred years, it has been rising at an extremely fast rate. Humans have been emitting more and more carbon into the earth’s atmosphere, with temperatures and weather events rising we must take action and help reduce the emissions if we want to avoid a catastrophic event.
- “Are Severe Rain Storms, Snow Storms, Drought, and Tornadoes Linked to Global Warming?” Union of Concerned Scientists, www.ucsusa.org/global-warming/science-and-impacts/impacts/global-warming Accessed 1 May. 2019.
- “Climate Change Evidence: How Do We Know?” NASA, NASA, 21 Sept. 2018, climate.nasa.gov/evidence/. Accessed 10 Nov. 2018.
- “Climate Change ProCon” Is Human Activity a Substantial Cause of Global Climate Change?, climatechange.procon.org/. Accessed 1 May. 2019.
- “Global Warming Solutions: Reduce Emissions.” Union of Concerned Scientists, www.ucsusa.org/our-work/global-warming/solutions/global-warming-solutions-reduce-emissions#.W-0nb3pKhAY. Accessed 2 May. 2019.
- Hausfather, Zeke. “Analysis: Why Scientists Think 100% of Global Warming Is Due to Humans.” Carbon Brief, Carbon Brief, 31 May 2018, www.carbonbrief.org/analysis-why-scientists-think-100-of-global-warming-is-due-to-humans. Accessed 1 May. 2019.
- Krieger, Lisa M. “Extreme Weather Linked to Greenhouse Gases, Global Warming, Stanford Study Says.” The Mercury News, The Mercury News, 29 Apr. 2017, www.mercurynews.com/2017/04/24/extreme-weather-linked-to-greenhouse-gases-stanford-study-says/. Accessed 2 May. 2019.
- “Regulating Power Sector Carbon Emissions.” Center for Climate and Energy Solutions, 30 Oct. 2018, www.c2es.org/content/regulating-power-sector-carbon-emissions/. Accessed 2 May. 2019.
- “World of Change: Global Temperatures.” NASA, NASA, earthobservatory.nasa.gov/world-of-change/DecadalTemp. Accessed 1 May. 2019.
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