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Global warming refers to average temperature increase of the earth’s surface including the atmospheric air and water bodies. It can also be defined as an observed state of projected increase in average temperature as it relates to the earth’s surface. The earth has been warming up for over a hundred years. As the earth’s surface heats up, its temperatures continue to rise. When greenhouse gases are increasingly trapped within the earth’s atmosphere, it results into significant heating up thus affecting human activities. People have different opinions concerning global warming. Some people believe that it is a theory while others take it as a fact that been proven over time. There are also different opinions as to whether global warming is a natural disaster or a man-made disaster. Since there has been very little research done on global warming as a natural disaster, many people tend to embrace the opinion that it is entirely a man-made disaster.
As it stands, this remains to be one of the most contentious issues across the world. Common knowledge dictates that climate change including the issues of global warming is a major aspect of the environment that we live in. Reports have shown that the proponents of this ideology are out to make claims just to gain either financial or social interests. For many reasons this development has the capability of derailing substantial efforts that would have otherwise been used to manage the global warming issue. It is a true account that global warming stands a better chance to endanger humanity thus calling for speedy actions to find necessary solutions. Irrespective of the arguments and opinions, a layman can easily observe the increase in temperature in the air and on water bodies. Some of these resultant conditions have made life very uncomfortable for all the affected living organisms.
The question as to whether global warming is a natural disaster or not remains to be the most interesting on the face of the earth today. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) of the United Nations has pointed out on several occasions that the global temperatures are increasing rapidly. They attribute this observation to the notable soaring levels of carbon dioxide in the air. This is commonly known as the greenhouse effect. Whether this effect is big enough to affect global warming is yet to be established owing to the fact that there are still controversies around it.
Some researchers have revealed that many people believe that global warming is with us as opposed to the few who still hold on to the theory that it is a man-made disaster (Rundt Kenneth, 5). Global temperature observation over a long time (50 years) is more realistic than a short time years. A shorter period of study will definitely indicate that human activities such as industrialization are responsible for global warming as compared to longer periods. This is evident by the fact that the last ice age occurred over 100,000 years ago. According to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, the greenhouse effect is a combination of a number of effects. The fact that nature accounts adds more carbon dioxide to the atmosphere than mankind means that nature is so much in control of this situation. Some studies reveal that the temperature variation over the years has occurred without human interference. It is also stated that the earth’s surface is now experiencing a cooling trend after a warming trend.
Carbon dioxide as a greenhouse gas enhances heating of the earth’s surface thus making it warm. This is according to the global warming theory.
Other components of the greenhouse effects include: methane, ozone, nitrous oxide and water which account for close to 95% of the effect. Bates Theunis believes that proponents of the greenhouse effect agree that in the last a hundred years, global warming has been due to the increase of carbon dioxide gas in the atmosphere. They believe that the upper atmosphere is the first to be warmed and it in turn warms the earth’s surface. Satellites and balloons are however not as reliable since they have not been able to indicate atmospheric temperature change in the past one century. The sun (a forcing factor) and water vapor are probably the major contributors to temperature equilibrium.
According to Drrospencer, an increase in temperature means that water evaporates over the surface of large water bodies like oceans, seas and lakes. More clouds are hence formed. At the end of the days the sun’s rays are blocked from reaching the earth’s surface resulting into a state of temperature regulation. Some scientists argue that carbon dioxide is not responsible for global warming since the high levels of this particular gas have been high for a long period of time.
The proponents of global warming as a man-made disaster attribute global warming to human activities that lead to atmospheric pollution. A group of scientists have therefore discovered and come up with theories that associate the greenhouse gases with oceanic heating. They argue that the warming of the earth is what has led to the steady rise of atmospheric temperatures. These studies have been done using latest technology including computer simulation. Pinto Jim states that the revelation has come at a time when America is known to release 25% of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere. Pollution is entirely due to consumption of fossil fuels as opposed to natural causes like volcanicity and solar radiation. In Britain, close to 110 studies have been reviewed. Coincidentally they all point towards a general direction- global warming as a man-made disaster. They have revealed that climate change has occurred with respect to human activities.
Social, Historical and Intellectual Context of the Study
Aspects of climate change such as extreme weather conditions have made mankind vulnerable. The effects have been adverse and have therefore affected human activities to a significant extent. Drrospencer reveals that these effects have been inflicted on small islands and people living in high altitude areas. The human health has also been affected. In other words, the issue of climate change has been reported to have led to displacement of people, unexpected flooding of coasts, insufficiency of water and rising cases of health cases including malnutrition. The rise in temperature due to global warming has different effects for instance some regions could record increased crop yields as opposed to others. These regions are high and low altitude areas respectively. Low yields are associated with increased levels of malnutrition. These effects are automatically translated to the economy since the market will be affected too. The Gross domestic product of countries around the world will also be affected.
According to LiveScience, the survival of human activities is endangered if at all this trend continues. Further increase of the global temperature is very likely to render the earth’s environment uninhabitable. This situation is a reminder that there is always a survival limit within which mankind can easily struggle to exist. It can be referred to as a wake-up call. The conservation of nature has become difficult due to human activities such as illegal hunting and logging as human beings try to adapt to effects of climate change. Some countries have experienced an influx of refugees as they search for water and food, generally greener pastures. The acute shortage of water is closely related to reduced levels of the respective food reserves, a situation that can easily lead to starvation thus migration. Global warming is also likely to result into political instability. It is common knowledge that different countries have different perceptions about the issue of global warming. This situation can easily spark disagreements that could lead to wars or rather forms of war.
Historically speaking, global warming was attributed to the use of fossil fuel as the main cause in 1896. A scientist named Syante Arrhenius explained how the atmosphere was polluted by its combustion particles. By 1940, his claims were ignored and attention was turned to carbon dioxide and water vapor as possible causes of global warming. More research was done to prove the truth behind previous discoveries and theories about global warming. Improved technologies enhanced the study of this catastrophe. There have been quite a number of developments in relation to global warming. Scientists have either agreed or disagreed on various discoveries, opinions or arguments. The common controversy currently is whether it is a natural or human disaster.
The intellectual context of this study is concerned with the state of the mind. Human beings are known to react to a problem by seeking a solution whether long term or short term depending on the prevailing circumstances. The issue of global warming has for a long time been very contentious. This only means that people have been thinking about this catastrophe. The only way to solve a problem is by first of all understanding it then coming up with a solution that best suits it. Many studies have been done by many researchers and scientists in general. There have been many opinions and arguments that have been put forward for the purpose of trying to shed some light towards solving this problem.
Results and Discussion
Proponents of the ideology that global warming is a natural disaster argue from the point of view that there has not been enough research in relation to global warming as a manmade disaster. They argue that climate change should be studied over a long period of time. This move definitely undermines the use of technology. The reader disagrees with this opinion since the advent of computing is supposed to enhance research and in a major way provide quicker and more reliable data and information. This paper takes the stand of global warming as a man-made disaster. According to Rundt Kenneth, this catastrophe can therefore be attributed to the way mankind has conducted him/herself over the years. Nature is judging the world harshly simply because of human activities. The reader thinks that this therefore calls for a quick solution lest mankind faces tough times that could lead to extinction.
The warm temperatures and the increasing cases of hurricanes have attracted the attention of many. This is the reason why the reader agrees with Pinto Jim who asserts that the fact that glaciers have melted; ecosystems are being tempered with and the rise in global temperature by 0.5 degrees is enough to clearly show that the global climate is changing.
The rising of the sea level is still imminent in addition to possibilities of modification of genetic make-up of living organisms. The increased cases of hurricanes can be attributed to the increasing emissions of greenhouse gases. The reader thinks that scientists have made good use of the available modern resources to analyze this situation.
It is estimated that human emissions have caused an increase in temperature by two-thirds. This is a very significant percentage that can easily convince someone of how far human activities have contributed to the major issue of global warming. The soaring temperatures have affected the snow or glacial cover in Siberia and Russia for instance. The rate at which the melting/ thawing process is taking place can only be closely related to global warming. This is according to scientists who have failed to find a better explanation thus the conclusion.
At the moment scientists are looking at ways that can help curb this catastrophe. One of the solutions that have been put forward is to reduce emission of gases to the atmosphere. This is a man-made solution that seeks to solve a problem that has been brought to the earth through human activities. Whether the proposed solutions will stop or slow down global warming is still a mystery.
The fact that modern day scientists have discovered the link between heating of the oceans and the greenhouse gases is convincing enough. The reader acknowledges the fact early research was done under different and probably traditional and conservative conditions that could have been limiting. According to the evolution theory, the human being’s brain continues to develop. It is true to note that with time the human brain has become finer and sharper. This statement means that recent studies should be more reliable. One should not be afraid to take whatever finding as the gospel truth. The fact that many studies that were evaluated indicated that global warming is due to human activities is very reassuring.
Connor Steve reveals that the outcome by the researchers who were funded by the US government signaled a breakthrough in this context. The reader asserts that it makes sense to state that the oceans get heated first then they heat the earth’s surface. Approximately 90% of the warming is taken up by the water bodies.
At this point it is not possible for the oceans to be warmed by processes such as solar radiation or volcanic activities. It leaves the greenhouse effect as the only alternative leading to the disaster. It is a disaster that has taken such a long time to research only to make a breakthrough recently. The reader recommends that it is now time to start thinking about how to manage global warming now that there is a clear understanding of its causes. This is therefore the right time for the countries that have not yet signed up for the Kyoto protocol to do so.
Another issue which makes this discovery or rather study credible is the task force which was behind it. This group was made up of the US Energy Department, the Hadley Centre, the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in California and the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Computer simulation was employed to study the various aspects of global warming. The total number of ocean temperature recordings was 70 million in addition to 2 million for sea salinity. The reader agrees with this statement since this coverage shows just how extensive the research was. The results were then compared with those done in England and the observed temperatures were close to each other. The increase in oceanic temperature indicates that a substantial amount of energy has been absorbed by the ocean over time.
The issue of global warming has been associated with many controversies. Since everyone is entitled to his or her own opinion, arguments will still be there. This paper stands at the position of global warming as a man-made disaster. This is not enough since the disaster itself has not yet been solved neither has everyone agreed with this discovery. The next step should therefore be towards making this world a better place to live instead of wasting time on unproductive arguments. This can be done by finding ways of managing this catastrophe. Since it affects every living organism on earth, it is wise to call for unity and cooperation in order to find sensible and sustainable solutions. Time is not on our side since the effects of global warming are still being felt across the world.