Impact and History of Global Warming
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Published: Fri, 15 Sep 2017
We stand watch as the great abundance of waters around us heats up faster than ever, creatures of the sea are rapidly migrating. We witness the steady increase of contemporary dilemmas, unseen before, such as nuclear power plants being over ridden with jellyfish. Recurring heat waves and extremities in whether have become the norm. When we choose to do nothing, we witness as the world commences on its path to an apocalyptic nightmare less than a century from now, when we’ll be faced with mass extinctions, a substantial increase in wildfires, deceased aquatic life, and meager fresh water to drink. By 2030, agricultural yields will plummet. By 2040, a plethora of species will be on the verge of extinction; both flooding and drought skyrocket without proportion. By 2050, common crops will stop growing from heat exhaust and food will become a problem with our growing population. Warmer areas such as Africa will definitely be a breeding ground for diseases and a host of malnutrition. The coral reefs by now will have completely disappeared. By 2060, extreme coastal storms have the capacity to wipe out major cities; Populated urban centers become a breeding ground for an outburst in invasive species all while the Alps are drastically changing from a lack of snowfall. In the 2080’s, due to the rise in sea levels coastal cities inundate more frequently and consistently costing lives and billions in capital. By 2090, delta temperatures peak nearly an average blazing six degrees hotter. How can we stand idle while our comrades are fallen? While it may seem as in the world described all is lost, doom and gloom, we can only hope that for the worst case scenario. In a world so delicate where one massive volcanic eruption can throw us into another ice age, how far can humanity actually change the course of Earth’s history? Global warming is by no doubt the greatest challenge in environmental problems we have ever faced and can no longer be ignored. It endangers life on earth and the world’s economies every day. With global warming comes longer and more intense heat waves and storms. As the climate changes, the likelihood of new pests to humans, plants, and animals increases and further puts us in danger. Agriculture and forestry are hit harder than ever before though wildfires and harder growing seasons; These are devastating effects of the destruction of ecosystems. Global warming has become humanities new greatest problem and our future generations are at risk.
While 97 out of every 100 scientists confirm to believe in the harmful effects of global warming, there exists an array of persons who doubt the existence and disregard the vitality in taking repercussions to reduce the increasing threat of global warming. Skeptics have often stated climate is always changing. “Climate has changed before. We have had ice ages and warmer periods when alligators were found in Spitzbergen.” (Lindzen 1) Ice ages have occurred in a hundred thousand year cycle for the last 700 thousand years, and there have been previous periods that appear to have been warmer than the present despite CO2 levels being lower than they are now. “More recently we have had the medieval warm period and the little ice age.” (Lindzen 1) Another argument against the so called threat of global warming is often stated as ‘it’s the sun’. Over the past few hundred years, “there has been a steady increase in the numbers of sunspots, at the time when the Earth has been getting warmer. The data suggests solar activity is influencing the global climate causing the world to get warmer.” (BBC 1) While the evidence for global warming may controversially exist, is global warming really such a bad thing? “Two thousand years of published human histories say that warm periods were good for people. It was harsh, unstable Dark Ages and Little Ice age that brought bigger storms, untimely frost, widespread famine and plagues of disease.” (Avery 15) There are several common argumentative points presented to debunk the view on global warming; however, most arguments either simply say ‘it’s a hoax,’ or attempt to blame the changing global patterns on other sources. There exists many uneducated persons who still fail to recognise the potentially damaging effects of global warming who argue global warming is a hoax and nothing should be done about it.
While climate has changed before, as many use as an argument, the lengths and causes of climate change were not nearly as abrupt, or created by humans. Greenhouse gasses including mainly Carbon Dioxide, had a part role in the previous global warming epidemics. As natural processes of CO2 reduction occurred, climate generally cooled; Likewise, as CO2 rose in levels, the climate warmed. When levels of CO2 increased at much higher rates, the effects of this rapid increase caused much more catastrophic disasters and even lead to mass extinctions. “Humans today are emitting prodigious quantities of CO2, at a rate faster than even the most destructive climate changes in earth’s past.” We can observe a fine line between the general natural gradual changes over time and the sudden abrupt CO2 bursts. The effects of gradual CO2 is noticed as life itself was prosperous in the “Eocene, the Cretaceous and other times of high CO2 in the atmosphere because the greenhouse gasses were in balance with the carbon in the oceans and the weathering of rocks.” Living creatures, the biochemical diversity of the oceans, and atmospheric gasses had millions of years to adjust to those levels. (Quinn 1) however, there are countless times in earth’s history where we see the temperature jumping abruptly, which can be related to today. Similarly to the greenhouse gas emissions seen today caused by humans, yet those abrupt global warming events were almost always highly destructive for life, causing whats described as “mass extinctions such as at the end of the Permian, Triassic, or even mid-Cambrian periods.” (Cook 1) These similar symptoms are seen today in the changes of climate with what we humans are causing. While we have seen the climate change before, in those cases scientists know why it was caused, and we can connect the similar causes of higher CO2 emissions. As past examples of rapid carbon emissions similar to today were generally highly destructive to the sweet life on Earth.
Sunspots, while seen as a potential cause of bursts of heat, have been decreasing gradually and are not a major factor in the contributors to climate change. BBC says “The data suggests solar activity is influencing the global climate causing the world to get warmer.” However true this may be, the factors that contribute to global climate change as far greater than solar flares, which are also much more rare than they used to be. “Over the last 35 years the sun has shown a cooling trend. However global temperatures continue to increase.” (Cook 1) Clearly, if the sun’s energy influencing our planet is decreasing, all the while earth is gradually shown to be increasing in temperature, the sun simply cannot be the main factor to influence the heating of our planet. While there have been occasional relations with sunspots heating as well as the earth, no significance is observed. For argument, some try to look to the sun as their escape to why the planet is heating up by cherry picking up data. They only portray moments of times where the sunspots rising and global temperatures are rising together. While some may misinterpret data or purposely pick it out, sunspots, while seen as an immediate cause for bursts of heat, are shown to be decreasing gradually and do not correlate to the major factors that are contributing to climate change.
The atrocities that will arise with global warming will to all extents outweigh any superficial benefits that can arise. The effects of global warming can even be visible today with the increase in violent tropical storms and the raising of the ocean acidity. Some have a simple go to argument when all else fails, “It’s not bad” says (Avery 1) he continues, “Two thousand years of published human histories say that warm periods were good for people. It was the harsh, unstable Dark Ages and Little Ice Age that brought bigger storms, untimely frost, widespread famine and plagues of disease.” While the thought of a slightly warming vacation for the generations to come, always tanning in sunshine may not sound to bad, there are much greater risks of global temperatures raising 2, 3 or even 6 Degrees. “While CO2 is essential for plant growth, all agriculture depends also on steady water supplies, and climate change is likely to disrupt those supplies through floods and droughts.” (Cook 3) Most crops rely on the stability and predictability of rainfall and temperatures. The increase in global temperatures means there is an increase in wildfires during the more frequent dry seasons. Another argument against the harmful effects of climate change is that “having an increase in temperatures could benefit us by thawing more land to farm on.” (Avery 2) However, “the soil in Arctic and bordering territories is very poor, and the amount of sunlight reaching the ground in summer will not change because it is governed by the tilt of the earth.” (Cook, 3) We have seen that the crop yield is already at the brink of destruction when a sudden local rise in temperature causes all the crops to wither and abstain from yielding necessary produce. “Warmer winters would mean fewer deaths, particularly among vulnerable groups like the aged.” (Avery 3) While this may be true and seem simple, ” the same groups are also vulnerable to additional heat, and deaths attributable to heatwaves are expected to be approximately five times as great as winter deaths prevented.” (Cook 4) The increase in temperature will also contribute to a surplus of insects, particularly mosquitoes, which have been signed off as humanity’s greatest killer have killed an estimated 40% of the world’s population through malaria. The excess heat will melt polar glaciers which will only contribute to the rise in sea level; consequently, the increased ocean surface area will only absorb more sunlight and heat the oceans faster. Many parts of the world which are at sea level, even major cities housing millions are at risk if the sea level rises only several feet. The CO2 emissions that have risen so far these past decades will be devastating to the atmosphere as we have already seen with the ozone layer, and aquatic life. “This process is caused by additional CO2 being absorbed in the water, and may have severe destabilising effects on the entire oceanic food-chain.” (Cook 5) There is clearly no argument that supports the globe is not heating other than cherry picked data, and the ignorant who only look at their local temperatures and can claim to see no immediate effects of global warming. The atrocities that will arise with global warming to all extents can easily outweigh any superficial benefits that can arise.
It may seem as if the world is already being torn apart and there is no hope for restoring all the evident effects of global warming. In a world so delicate where one massive volcanic eruption can throw us into another ice age, how far can humanity actually change the course of Earth’s history? Global warming is by no doubt the greatest challenge in environmental problems we have ever faced. It threatens the health of the earth’s inhabitants and the world’s economies every day. With global warming comes longer and more intense heat waves and storms. Along with those climate changes, come more pests which in turn can carry devastating diseases. Forestry and farming are feeling the negative impact of global warming and we’re also seeing traces of a devastated ecosystem. The greatest problem with global warming is us, and if humanity doesn’t change, the destruction of our earth won’t stop. It seems easy to lay back and ignore the clear sights of climate change, the tropical weather patterns and elongated drought. However little the effects of global warming will be visible in our lifetimes, the future of generations to come will be living in a much different situation where they will try to revert our damage and see that it’s already too late. Global warming has become humanities new greatest problem and our future generations are at risk.
Quinn, Stephen. “Eocene Period – Ellesmere Island as It Appeared 50 Million Years
Ago. – Painting – Nature Art by Stephen Quinn.” Www.natureartists.com, www.natureartists.com/artists/artist_artwork.asp?ArtistID=608&ArtworkID=23399. Accessed 12 February 2017.
Cook, John. “Climate Science Glossary.” Skeptical Science, Skeptical Science,
www.skepticalscience.com/argument.php. Accessed 12 February 2017.
Lindzen, Richard S. “Resisting Climate Hysteria.” – Quadrant Online, Quadrant Online,
quadrant.org.au/opinion/doomed-planet/2009/07/resisting-climate-hysteria/. Accessed 13 February 2017.
Avery, Dennis. “500 Scientists Refute Global Warming Dangers.” WND, WorldNetDaily,
9 Dec. 7ADAD, www.wnd.com/2007/09/43489/. Accessed 13 February 2017.
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