Warming is Getting Colder

August 14, 2012
By sona.trika GOLD, San Diego, California
sona.trika GOLD, San Diego, California
10 articles 0 photos 1 comment

Warming is Getting Colder

Planet Earth is a place overflowing with subtle yet astonishing magic. Dignified mountains stand tall with broad shoulders, their snow-gloved hands caressing the sky. Flowers bursting in all different shades and hues smile, their sweet fragrance filling the air. Purple placid lakes lay calm and serene, deceiving to outsiders; the water underneath bubbles with life. Scenic beauty is found in every direction, land and oceans brimming with incredible plants and species of every kind. Earth’s life cycle is extraordinary, with its intricate systems and complex sequences. Today, this intricate beauty is at a risk of being damaged, and is slowly diminishing, withering away. Since humans were born onto this planet, selfishness and desire overtook life’s purposes. People’s lives became busier, and there was no time to look anywhere but towards themselves. However, it needs to be taken into account that Earth may be suffering right in front of indifferent eyes. The global warming controversy has been a prominent issue for several years. Although steps have been taken to understand and solve the problem, it often ends with disillusionment, and nothing to have an impact on the climate itself. People need to step out of their own bubble and try to comprehend the effects of global warming, and what could mean for the world.
Global warming is the rise in the average temperature in the Earth; the big controversy is over the greenhouse effect, and whether or not humans are causing global warming. While considering the arbitrary idea that global warming will not have an effect on man’s daily life and his interactions, the misinformed fail to recognize the many factors that may lead to the destruction of planet Earth.

Edwin L. Drake started all this mischief and contributed to one of the reasons that the Earth is in such a terrible condition. Drake drilled the first oil well in August of 1859. The world’s economy is now driven by coal, oil and natural gas; these all contain carbon dioxide which were inhaled by plants hundreds of millions of years ago. Now, carbon is returning to the environment through exhaust pipes and smokestacks. Methane, carbon dioxide, and a similar array of gases are dispersed in every corner of the globe. Humanity dumps 8.8 billion (8 metric) tons of carbon into the atmosphere every year. Greenhouse gases are emitted everywhere; daily aspects of life such heating systems throw out gases through vents. Exhaust pipes under every vehicle emit 20 pounds of carbon per gallon. Even then, less than half of it stays in the air. Wolfsy, an atmospheric scientist at Harvard University, conducted a study showing forests, grasslands, and oceans consuming some of the excess carbon. Wolfsy indicates that these sources are acting as carbon sinks and delaying effects on Earth’s climate; keeping the planet at a cooler temperature (for now) and sucking in these heat-trapping gases.

The rate of this warming is precariously increasing, and is on the edge of collapsing, which will cause devastation and wreak havoc all over the globe. The twentieth century’s last two decades were the hottest in more than 400 years, and possibly warmer than the last several millennia. Ocean waters have toasted up a full degree Fahrenheit since 1970. Skeptics point out that the average temperatures for most of Antarctica have been declining since 1960. Climatologists insist that their data does not overturn predictions of rapid global warming. Marine ecologist Mary O’Connor stresses that boosting the temperature of the marine climate will lessen the overall mass of ocean life. Minuscule microorganisms are the base of the ocean food web; the pollution and warmth is killing them off. The whole ecosystem will shatter and shake. Climate is messy. Whether proven fact or conventional wisdom, the puzzled need to take this controversy apart piece by piece and put them back together in a different way.

The only way to explain the pattern of the planet’s warming is to examine the effect of greenhouse gases; they are the major contributors to the world’s warming. There are several gases responsible for emissions. Although carbon dioxide is the most commonly referred to emitter, other contributors include methane, nitrous oxide, and industrial pollutants. Different gases have different heat-capturing levels. Many pollutants capture hundreds of times more heat than carbon, but the concentrations of these can not be compared to the amount of CO2 there is in the air. An average American individual releases 5.5 tons of carbon every year. Ten of the twelve warmest years since 1981 have occurred in the past decade. The global temperature as a whole has increased by 1.5 degrees Celsius in the past 250 years. People need to blame these statistics on something logical.

While scientists agree that carbon dioxide is causing a dramatic rise in temperatures, they are not sure whether carbon is a cause or result of global warming. Carbon is a very heavy gas, and therefore does not rise high enough to penetrate the ozone and atmospheric levels of the planet. This may be the reason that the Earth is breathing in the gas and helping save humans from themselves. On the other hand, with the amount of carbon that is emitted, it doesn’t matter whether or not the gas can rise, and will make an impact either way.

The extremity of these causes marks a perilous succession of events. Glaciers and icecaps in areas like Greenland, Iceland, and Antarctica are shrinking. The ice sheets have decreased in mass, and on average lost 30 miles of ice in recent years. The warming is melting and eroding these icecaps and have caused harm to polar bears and other arctic species. Glaciers around the world are retreating, holding their white flags up high. Due to this arctic shrinkage, sea levels have risen severely. The global sea level rose about 17 centimeters in the last century. In the last decade, however, the rise has been nearly double that of the last century. Soon, coastal flooding will be a commonplace casualty. People will be forced to invest in inland estates, and the world will become an even more crowded enclosure.

Because of arctic shrinkage, several species are dying out; acidity levels are also a major contributor. While ice sheets melt, polar bears and other animals race away, from the spot turning back to see the ice behind them fall into the ocean. This type of scenario is occurring all the time. Arctic krill feed on the algae under ice sheets. Since the ice is melting, the krill are dying out. Like krill, several other plants and animals are not able to survive. Earth’s once glistening, smiling waters are turning a dirty, murky brown. The carbon dioxide content of the Earth’s oceans has been increasing since 1750, and is currently increasing by about two billion tons per year. This has increased ocean acidity by about 30 percent. The acidification poses a threat to the food chains under the deep blue sea. Impacts are the most harmful on coral reefs which are a source of nourishment for hundreds and thousands of creatures. These reefs are a cabinet for medicinal cures. They are a source of income for islands that attract tourists and help protect shorelines from tsunamis and other severe disasters. Coral reefs are glorious gifts from the planet that are seriously being neglected.
Climate change has been happening since the beginning of time; the only difference to the change now and 500 years ago, is that humans are speeding up the process, and turning the natural process unnatural. If global warming was a mere issue of normal climate change, it would have been proven by a number of scientists and this entire debate would not be such a large issue. The amount of data against just plain climate change contradicts skeptics. As the Earth moved out of ice ages over the past million years, the global temperature rose a total of 4 to 7 degrees Celsius over about 5,000 years. In the past century alone, the temperature has climbed 0.7 degrees Celsius, roughly ten times faster than the average rate of ice-age-recovery warming. Human emissions are the only way to explain this accelerated change. Vehement voices protesting against the human causation of global warming are members of the fossil fuel industry with capital jeopardized in the outcome.
Global warming is only natural in the planet’s normal, consistent cycle. This global warming is the exact opposite of being natural. Opponents of warming express arguments in close relation to the planet’s natural changes. They assert that as Earth has undergone changes in the past, ecosystems will be able to adapt easily. Those opponents should take a look at catastrophic ice ages. Ice ages have cyclically occurred every 10,000 years. A new one is actually due around now. At this time, the paucity of sunspots are being investigated and analyzed. This pattern is associated with earth’s cooler temperatures. The earth should indeed be cooling, but something is preventing it. And that something is emission levels. Emissions are caused by humans, and humans are the cause of global warming.

While industries and factories are not going to stop producing, it will take a collective effort to reduce the impact of humans on the planet. Earth was here before humans, and certain measures of respect need to be put towards protecting the globe. To encourage proper care, people can start by taking simple steps. Installing solar panels is a great investment and reduces the use of natural gas. Electric and hybrid cars are a great way to save fuel and the Earth’s oil. A common solution is planting trees. Trees and other plants are great carbon consumers. A single tree will consume one ton of carbon in its lifetime. To fully reduce carbon emissions, large forest ecosystems are needed. Without a pyramid of plants and animals, the cycle will not work efficiently enough to produce results on a grand scale.

Reduce, reuse, and recycle seems like a cliche, but can really lessen waste. Larry West, an environmentalist, possesses a medley of tips and tricks to hamper the heat. By recycling half of household waste, 2,400 pounds of carbon dioxide are saved annually. Setting the thermostat just two degrees lower in the winter and higher in the summer could save about 2,000 pounds of carbon a year. If every family in the US replaced one regular light bulb with a CFL, 90 billion pounds of greenhouse emissions would be eliminated, the same as taking seven and a half million cars off of the road. It doesn’t seem like any of this would make a difference, but when executed as a collective effort, is an integral part of saving the Earth. One step at a time, the suffering planet can be bandaged up, and the life inside it renewed.

While social media is the most popular source of entertainment, it is a great way to spread the news. Link love is a powerful way to spread thoughts and opinions. Sites like Facebook and Twitter are all about sharing feelings, and those about global warming can be shared as well. Every person can pitch in. The truth is that global warming will have an effect on man, whether that is now or sometime in the future, and if man cannot recognize what is causing earth’s destruction, peril and destruction are assured. The earth is a treasure of wonders and as long as man is part of it, and he should take necessary actions to keep it beautiful, healthy, and an admiration for generations to come.

Works Cited

Strickland, Jonathan, and Ed Grabianowski. "How Global Warming Works" 21 April 2005. HowStuffWorks.com. <http://science.howstuffworks.com/environmental/green-science/global-warming.htm> 20 July 2012.

This insightful article shows the different sides to how scientists react to global warming. It addresses the issues of precipitation, plants and animals, and natural catastrophes affected by greenhouse gases. The proposed solution is very laid-back and is more of a “whatever” solution. This gives readers a different way to think about global warming, and puts forth a new perspective.

The article is a reliable source published by the well-known “How Stuff Works” website. The research is quite biased, but it does bring a different way of looking at the issue to the table. Well written and scholarly, Strickland and Grabianowski assert their and other scientists’ views on the issue. The article exposes readers to the debate, however, doesn’t provide two sides to the story. It is very general in that sense, but does provide some great facts and analysis.

Meyer, Warren. "Understanding the Global Warming Debate." Forbes. Forbes Magazine, 09 Feb. 2012. <http://www.forbes.com/sites/warrenmeyer/2012/02/09/understanding-the-global-warming-debate/> 20 July 2012.

This intriguing article is a perfect look on the global warming controversy. It accurately presents the two sides, and establishes facts and evidence into the writing. The author expresses his thoughts clearly and gives the reader good background and data. Meyer suggests that global warming is present in out environment, and proven to be the cause of ozone decay and some diseases. It affects breathing and overall health.

The article is very credible, as it is published by the well-known Forbes Magazine. The article is both scholarly and popular so it gives the reader a variety. This source is perfect for my analysis because it has just the information that is right, and is easy to understand. The writing is clear and cohesive to what my writing is about, and has helped narrow down my topic.

Parry, Wynne “Gaia' Scientist Takes Back Climate Change Predictions." LiveScience.com. 24 April 2012. <http://www.livescience.com/19875-gaia-lovelock-climate-change.html> 20 July 2012.

The web article by Parry shows climate change predictions at a fault. This enforces the side of the controversy that states that global warming does not affect the Earth. It presents data from a credible science source. This helps establish the controversial side thoroughly. The research is quite objective and broad.

The topic is narrow, and focuses on one subject. It gives a straight up issue and facts about it. This helps the reader understand what is being said. In addition, the writer indicates his point in a clear sentence which stresses the point.

Revkin, Andrew C. "Arctic Melt Unnerves the Experts." The New York Times. The New York Times, 02 Oct. 2007. <http://www.nytimes.com/2007/10/02/science/earth/02arct.html?_r=1>. 2 Aug. 2012.

Revkin provides a delightful insight on arctic shrinkage. It presents data that I have used in my piece, and gave information on the decreasing amount of krill and other microorganisms. The New York Times is a very reliable source and has a great variety of information.
The analysis in the article is objective and straight-forward. It gave a new way to think about ice ages and their causes and effects. Also, the information was conveyed very thoroughly. It was quite repetitive, however, this insured that the point was solid.

West, Larry. "Top 10 Things You Can Do to Reduce Global Warming." About.com Environmental Issues. New York Times, 5 July 2009. <http://environment.about.com/od/globalwarming/tp/globalwarmtips.htm>. 2 Aug. 2012.

This article was detailed and gave tons of tips and tricks to prevent global warming. Even though it did not provide any dazzling new ideas that I had not heard of before, the tips were great to incorporate into my essay. It provided me with a substantial amount of adequate information.
West proved himself to be a reliable author and credible source. The format of his essay was very casual, which was a reader-friendly approach. I was able to translate his ideas into more complex ones with no difficulty at all.

The author's comments:
Are humans the cause of global warming?? (:

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