Global Warming – Persuasion
Global warming is an epidemic in today’s world referring to the escalation of the average annual temperature. It brings with it a widespread ongoing debate about whether or not the Earth’s temperature is growing due to the emission of gasses from burning fossil fuels. There have been numerous debates, movies, and books on the rising pandemic. It may not seem to affect the world now, but, if true, global warming could cause a serious demise in the quality and quantity of human life. Many people are doubtful when it comes to the idea of the earth gradually moving towards its end, but this issue does not need to be left in the dark.
According to the article Global Warming on NASA’s website, published by Holly Riebeek on June 3, 2010, between 1906 and 2005 the Earth’s average surface temperature rose between 1. 1 to 1. 6 degrees Fahrenheit. This is not the first time the Earth’s climate has changed. The climate has experienced changes since the beginning of time. Small differences that occur in the Earth’s orbit cause a somewhat different temperature. The sun is the main ingredient when it comes to temperature. In the past, the Earth’s orbit has changed, causing a slight change in temperature (Riebeek 1).
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This is not what the controversy sweeping the world. The problem is the more drastic change recently because of humans. The Earth has a natural heating mechanism called the Greenhouse Effect. The Greenhouse Effect is a necessary part of human existence. However, the problem is humans are increasing these greenhouse gasses by burning fossil fuels, such as oil, and burning down forests, increasing the carbon dioxide level (2). Without all this, humans would face an inevitable downfall. Countless arguments have been made supporting global warming.
In the article World Could Heat Up 4 Degrees C in 50 Years from USNews, published by Janet Raloff on December 3, 2010, plans need to be put into action in order to stop the problem (Raloff 1). Raloff says that if nations do not reach agreements on how to handle global warming soon, then it could be too late. If greenhouse emissions are not cut down drastically, the average global temperature could rise four degrees Celsius by the 2060’s. She quotes Niel Bowerman, an atmospheric physicist at the University f Oxford, who says, “ Climate negotiators tend to focus on political goals, like setting timetables of 2020 or 2050 for when binding emissions limits should go into effect, but Mother Nature doesn’t care about what we emit in any particular year. What matters is cumulative carbon emissions” (1). This is important because to keep putting off dates to take action, global warming can only get worse. Bowerman and his Oxford team figured that in order to avoid the four-degree increase, humans must not emit more than one trillion metric tons of carbon by 2200.
Bowerman adds that humanity is almost halfway to that mark already (1). As with any argument, there must be two sides. People that support/believe global warming is occurring and those that do not. One professor trying to convince people of the warming phenomena is Victor Miguel Ponce, a civil and environmental engineering professor at San Diego State University, published an article with thirty-three facts supporting global warming. Ponce states that within the 21,000 years leading up to the year 1900 the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere rose from 190 ppm (parts per million) to 290 ppm (Ponce 2).
Amazingly, since 1900, only one hundred and ten years, the global carbon dioxide rate has increased to 387 ppm . Along with this he says population increase has added to the problem. Between 1959-1999 the worlds population doubled to make it 6,000,000,000. With this extreme jet in population came the need for more carbon dioxide emitting machines. Today, 80% of transportation in the world is by motor vehicle (2). These statistics are terrifying when it comes to the earth’s existence. Playing the devils’ advocate is Michael Totty who wrote the article “What Global Warming? , published on December 6, 2009 by The Wall Street Journal. He states the most common arguments for skepticism of global warming and then answers why they are untrue. Totty reports skeptics say even though the Earth has warmed some throughout the twentieth century, since 1998 temperatures have been shown to be dropping some. December 2007 to November 2008 was the coldest year of the decade. He reasons this by saying 1998 was above average when it comes to global temperature due to El Nino. Using this as a reference point is inaccurate, because the year was so abnormally warm.
Since 1970 average temperature has been increasing about . 18 degrees Celsius per decade (Totty 1). Another argument skeptics use is that surface temperature readings are normally done from ground stations. Because of this nonbelievers say the temperatures recorded are too high due to an “urban heat island” effect. They say cities trap more heat, which will raise the temperature gauge higher than it should be. Totty reasons by saying urban temperature stations go back and adjust the readings in order to account for the “urban heat island” effect (2).
Despite the reasoning, skepticism still exists among scientists. Global warming does not only impact the earth as a planet, but it affects basic human life as well. With global warming comes higher sea levels, more extreme weather, and hotter summers, possible leading to strokes (Riebeek 13). Earth’s ecosystems are also at risk if something is not done to reduce gas emission. Warmer temperatures lengthen the growing period for plants, which requires more water to keep the plants alive.
However, higher average temperatures will decrease the amount of rainfall. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) states that if temperatures rise 1. 5 – 2. 5 degrees Celsius, then twenty to thirty percent of plant and animal species will be threatened by extinction (12). Many American states have already taken initiative to slow down their releasing of harmful gas. In The New York Times article “On Global Warming, Start Small”, published by Bruce Usher on November 27, 2010, possible solutions to the warming problem are shown.
Usher says rather than waiting on an international agreement on how to cut back gaseous emissions, states should begin to take action on their own. Texas is responsible for producing more wind electricity than all world countries but five. Many states are beginning to harvest solar energy to run their homes, such as Arizona and California (Usher 1). New cars are being created every year that burn less and less detrimental fuels. Despite all these actions if everyone does not do their part, then these precautions are almost useless.
Even if global warming is a hoax or a fluke, it will not hurt to try and cut back on usage of carbon gas emitting products. As a human race, people must be cautious of the resources available now, because when they are gone, they are gone for good. Global warming is a problem that can be extremely reduced if humans will do their part to help cut back on toxic fumes going into the atmosphere. Riebeek ends her article by saying, “ Since people are causing global warming, people can mitigate global warming, if they act in time” (Riebeek 13). Riebeek says this as to offer a sort of hope for tomorrow.