THESIS: Climate change have been a natural phenomenon which has been occurring for over millions of years involving periods of high temperature as well as cold periods and hence global warming is also a part of natural climate change with humans contributing very little towards it.
I. History of our world clearly shows that climate change is a natural process.
A. Big Bang was a start of first climate change in our universe.
B. About 125000 years ago regional temperatures were even warmer than what we have today.
C. U.S. senate reports say that exaggerated impact of humans on climate should not be promoted.
D. Life still existed on planet about 49 million years ago once the temperatures were warmer than now.
E. No genuine consensus exists on relationship of global warming and human beings.
F. Many renowned scientists have converted their belief on human impact on global warming after latest research.
II. Despite above many still opine in favor of human impact on global warming.
A. Chloro-Floro-Carbons and carbon dioxide which contribute towards global warming are produced due to human activity.
B. Many evidences support involvement of humans in increase in temperature of oceans.
Man Made Global Warming Vs Natural Climate Change
With the advent of modern technology and heavy industrialization of the world, many problems have cropped up which human kind had never envisaged. Global warming is one such issue which, with the passage of time, is gaining more and more momentum. The reasons could be many but the two most prominent of the reasons are natural climate change and man-made global warming. Many believe that the problem of global warming has gained real momentum only in the recent past, which means that this phenomenon is not linked with the natural process and humans are to be blamed. As a matter of fact, climate change have been a natural phenomenon which has been occurring for over millions of years involving periods of high temperature as well as cold periods and hence global warming is also a part of natural climate change with humans contributing very little towards it.
Natural climate change
Our world was created as a result of Big Bang. The temperature at that time was extremely hot and as the world expanded, the temperature dropped down (Hawking). This was the first known temperature change on the face of the universe which was result of a natural process. That natural process, which started millions of years ago continued and our universe saw many climate changes. If we study the history of climate changes in the past, we reach to the conclusion that climate change has always been a natural process and this change has varied from decades to millions of years. Meteorological record available today does not provide us a detailed data for more than two hundred years. However, certain other records provide us the climate data of even centuries which include composition of annual growth rings of trees and analysis of ice cores of permanent glaciers. “All of them clearly indicate that climate varies, due to natural causes, on all time scales, from decades to millions of years” (Crowley).
In past there had been intermittent warm periods and ice ages. Some mild temperatures were seen in early centuries of present millennium with maximum temperatures around 12th and 13th century. The longer view of history tells us that present warm period started about ten thousand years ago, whereas the regional temperatures, about 125000 years ago were somewhat warmer than the present times. Hence the variation of greenhouse gases had been a continuous phenomenon in the past as a result of natural process. “The net impression of this evaluation of “things past” is that the future climate promises to look very different than the present and, perhaps more disconcertingly, possibly unlike anything known before” (Crowley).
According to U.S. Senate report of May 2007, many scientists have converted from belief of man-made global warming to disbelief. According to the report a Swedish Geologist Dr. Wibjorn Karlen, professor of the Department of Physical Geography and Quaternary Geology at Stockholm University, critiqued the Associated Press for promoting exaggerated impact of humans on the climate. The report mentions about over 400 scientists having a similar view about the global warming, claiming that the process of global warming is not man-made, rather this is nothing new if we see the overall history of climatic changes in the past.
According to ‘The New York Times’ article, published on 27 Dec 2005, our earth has seen similar rather hotter times in past which should help in relaxing us. as the warming process of the present times is not a new thing. According to the article, about 49 million years ago the balmy Arctic Ocean, was not covered with ice and life and thick vegetation existed there in those times also. Though carbon dioxide concentration is increasing nowadays, but these concentrations had been far higher in the past than present. Despite higher temperatures at that time, there was life and even many new species of animals originated in that time (Revkin).
According to Cybercast News Service report, Fred Singer, a prominent atmospheric and space physicist declared at Heartland Institute’s 2008 International Conference on Climate Change in New York City that “natural forces, not human activity, are primarily responsible for any global warming taking place”. Most of the scientists on the conference believed that that United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) had failed to provide any proof that humans are the major cause of the climate change. They agreed that there was no genuine consensus on global warming and man-made emissions ((yMoone.
According to All American Blogger, Lester argues that global warming is not man-made phenomenon. To support his argument, he goes on to say that Mars is also experiencing similar global warming and temperature increase as earth is. Since there is no life on Mars which could contribute towards global warming, it suggests that the warming is a natural phenomenon. He further argues that it is a fact that carbon dioxide generation is increasing with each passing year. But if this is affecting the temperature, then why the temperature has not increased from year 2001 to year 2007. He supports his argument by quoting David Whitehouse, former science editor of the BBC, saying that “the fact is that the global temperature of 2007 is statistically the same as 2006 as well as every year since 2001” (Lester).
According to another U.S. Senate report of May 2007, growing number of scientists have converted to skeptics after reviewing new research. According to report, those scientists who believe in natural causes of climate changes include many big names like Dr. Claude Allegre, a top geophysicist having authored more than 100 scientific articles, Bruno Wiskel of the University of Alberta, Dr. Ian D. Clark, professor of the Department of Earth Sciences at University of Ottawa and many more. These scientists who initially believed in man-made causes of global warming have now converted their belief saying that there is no evidence of humans being the cause of global warming.
Man made global warming
Besides those who believe that the climate change is a natural phenomenon which is continuous since centuries, there are many who believe that humans are to be blamed for this climate change and humans are the major contributors towards this change. They believe that global warming has occurred due to the emission heavy Chloro-Floro-Carbons(CFCs) and increased concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere due to heavy industrialization and burning of fossil fuels. According to The New York Times of 7 Apr 2008, “the United Nations scientific panel studying climate change declared that the evidence of a warming trend is “unequivocal,” and that human activity has “very likely” been the driving force in that change over the last 50 years. According to ‘The Independent/ UK’ article of 19 February 2005, Dr. Tim Barnett, a marine physicist at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography in San Diego says that it was now clear from the latest study, that man-made greenhouse gases had caused vast amounts of heat to be soaked up by the oceans (Connor).
Times online article of 19 February 2005 also goes on to say that latest study of rising temperatures in world oceans have shown a strong evidence that human activity has been the major cause of rising sea temperatures which has risen by half a degree Celsius (0.9) F in last 40 years. A Washington post article of 3 February 2007 also quotes an international panel of climate scientists that “there is an overwhelming probability that human activities are warming the planet at a dangerous rate” (Eilperin). There are evidences that increase in the concentrations of carbon dioxide, which is a major cause of global warming and climate change is mainly due to human activities and by 2030, due to doubling of carbon dioxide and other green house gasses, there is a likely warming of an average of 3o C (Tolba 89,90).
There are divergent views of various scientists on the issue of global warming. Though a lot of people believe that human beings are the driving factor behind the global warming; however, the facts of the history cannot be altogether ignored as well. History is a testimony to the fact that such climate changes had been continuous natural phenomena. Though the present man-made activities are also contributing to global warming to some extent but their effect is negligible if we see the overall effect on the climate change. Global warming is taking place as a result of a natural climate change and should be taken as such; however, efforts should be made to minimize the effects of man-made activities on this natural process.
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Eilperin, Juliet. “Humans Faulted for Global Warming.” The Washington Post 3 February, 2007 <http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/02/02/ AR200702020 0192.html>
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Tolba, Mostafa Kamal, Rummel-Bulska, Iwona. “Global Environmental Diplomacy: Negotiating Environment Agreements for the World, 1973-1992.”, Global Environmental Accords Cambridge, Mass. MIT Press, 1998.
U.S. Senate Report, “Climate Momentum Shifting: Prominent Scientists Reverse Belief in Man-made Global Warming – Now Skeptics.” 15 May,2007, <http://epw.senate.gov/public/index.cfm?FuseAction=Minority.Blogs&ContentRecord_id=927b9303-802a-23ad-494b-dccb00b51a12>
U.S. Senate Report: “Over 400 Prominent Scientists Disputed Man-Made Global Warming Claims in 2007.” <epw.senate.gov/public/index.cfm?FuseAction=Minority .Blogs&Content Record_id=927b9303-802a-23ad-494b-dc >
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