The Global Warming Controversy
Global warming has been a longstanding debate on the social, political, scientific, and economic fronts of the global community. Proponents of the process claim of the available scientific evidence on increased earth temperatures since the nineteenth century as well as the unpredictable weather patterns witnessed in the modern times. On the contrary, opponents of global warming assert that climate changes have been natural trends since the history of humanity. All in all, given the eminent unpredictable climatic patterns, global warming is a reality that threatens the sustainable long-term social-economic development and/or survival of the human community.
Scientific information indicates that global warming is caused by increased concentration of greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, which in turn form a protective layer near the earth’s surface that traps the heat reflected from the earth’s surface. The concentration of heat near the earth’s surface leads to increased temperatures, hence the global warming phenomenon (Johansen 76). Available scientific statistics have shown an increase of earth’s temperatures of approximately 0.74 ± 0.18 °C over the 1906 to 2005 (Johansen 34). Based on the above scientific facts, global warming as a source of increased temperatures is evident from the high rate of reduction rate of the world ice reserves. True from available literature, rate of polar ice caps melting has almost doubled over the past few decades as the effects of ozone layer shrinking take major impact in the Polar Regions. In addition, the level of mountain ice caps has witnessed a sharp decline since the twentieth century (Wollstein). This has been closely attributed to the swelling of sea waters that is evidently risking the submergence of low lying islands across the globe.
Another argument is support of global warming is the unpredictable and extreme weather conditions being experienced in the global community. From existing scientific principles, an increase in temperature results into formation of strong winds through expansion of air or formation of low pressure belts or zones. This high temperature is also responsible for increased evaporation of sea waters leading to high levels of rains, which in turn cause floods. The global community is marked a combination of unpredictable flood rains and droughts as well as a widespread of diseases (Wollstein). This has been blamed to an increase in strong winds as a result of global warming. Such winds are responsible for carrying rain clouds across regions, thus risking compromising of weather forecast predications. On the issue of diseases, it is no uncommon to sustain tropical diseases in otherwise safe regions of the globe. This is due to the fact that the temperatures in these regions can now accommodate the diseases.
Opponents of global warming claim that climate changes are natural. They assert the fact that historically temperatures have been changing; bringing with it seasons, droughts, and flood rains (Johansen 102). Nevertheless, such assertions are negated by the fact that over the past two centuries, the globe has evident a gradual but constant increase in earth’s temperatures. Scientists have associated this trend to increased emission of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere. Such can be supported by the emergence and increased engagement in the industrialization process by nations; the main contributor of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. Further, traditional climate changes were marked with variation of certainly predictable temperature changes. However, the modern world is witnessing an ever increasing increase in earth temperatures with not indications of reducing.
Such facts can never be blamed to natural causes given the magnitude of the greenhouse gas production caused by mankind activities. Therefore, global warming is a reality that threatens the sustainable long-term social-economic development and/or survival of the human community. Saving the world from this imminent crisis calls for concerted efforts by all stakeholders in the global community.
Johansen, Bruce. The Global Warming Desk Reference. Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 2002. Print.
Wollstein, Jarret. “Global Warming Myths and Reality”. Global Warming Myths and Reality. 2007. Web. 12 August 2010 http://www.isil.org/resources/fnn/2007june/global-warming-hoax.html