Global Warming Essay Sample
Type of paper: Essay
Topic: World, Environmental Issues, Warming, Global Warming, Temperature, Increase, People, Greenhouse
Global warming is defined as an increase in the average temperature of the planet. This very simple definition has a lot of implications and affects every living thing in the planet. Before it was just a prediction until the people learned to keep records of the temperature in 1880 (Wang & Chameides 1). And after that, the warmest years has occurred. Global warming is related to various natural disasters such as melting of ice caps and rise of sea level.
But before this thing is further discussed, let’s look first at how Earth’s temperature is being controlled. The Earth absorbs light from the sun, and then the heated ground emits infrared radiation. When the ozone layer absorbs the ultraviolet radiation from the sun or air, specifically greenhouse gasses, absorbs infrared radiation, the atmosphere’s temperature increases (Wong 2). As the level of the greenhouse gas increases, the temperature also increases.
It can be observed how global warming is being portrayed by various types of media. In a comic illustration of Hayanon, it was said that there is an expected increase of temperature from 1 to 5oC between years 1990 to 2100 according to the report made by Cambridge University. Global Warming is portrayed by media as an Earth-destructing event brought about by the high level of greenhouse gases like carbon dioxide and methane that traps the heat inside the Earth that should have been released back to the outer space. Humans are aware that these gases really exist in the atmosphere, but because of human activities, it increases in tremendous amount causing the climate change. Advocacies on decreasing carbon dioxide contributions are rampant to educate the people on what they can do to make global warming manageable (Hayanon 1-7).
Global warming can drastically affect plants and animals. Media shows that an increase in the temperature can greatly affect animals. Once the temperature increases, they will have to go to colder place for their survival, but for plants, they may not survive which brings problem to the food chain due to food insecurity. When plants die, plant-eating animals will also die and when they die, meat eating animals will die as well (Hayanon 1-7).
But aside from that, there are also other examples of what has global warming done to the planet. In Europe, at least 27,000 people died as a result of the relentless heat or commonly known as heat wave, breaking all records worldwide for heat-induced human fatalities. Aside from the medical cost it brought in terms of health care, it has also caused several wild fires in the continent, causing for its economy to lose $14.7 million on agriculture. It was predicted that by 2040, the heat wave could increase by 100 fold. Due to extreme heat and drought, wild fire was also been rampant in other places like the Arctic spruce and pine forest spanning Alaska, northern Canada, Scandinavia, and Siberia (Wang & Chameides 3-8). Negative impact on crop yield was also observed in different regions (Field et al. 7)
In 1995, Chicago experienced one of its worst weather related disaster, when 525 people died due to the highest temperature they experienced, which is 41oC. The extreme heat eventually results to lots of flood and rain, but even so drought is expected to be more frequent and severe. Indian and west Pacific Ocean were exceptionally warmer between 1998 and 2002. Then until in 2004, western part of US experienced the most severe drought in the past 80 years and was said to be one of the worst in 500 years (Wang & Chameides 3-8).
Another exceptional effect of global warming is the rise of the sea level. Around the world, sea level rose by 4 to 8 inches due to the expansion of the water in the ocean and melting of ice glacier because of too high temperature. This global sea-level rise has contributed at least one-eighth of the flooding in the world and is predicted to continue to rise up to 3 inches to 3 feet as a result of greenhouse gas pollution made by human activities. In the absence of expensive physical barriers, this rise can drown a large portion of island nations, specially the one with a low location (Wang & Chameides 10-12).
After the rapid increase in temperature on 1998, a lot of predictions on the trends of temperatures have been going out to the public. Almost everyone was expecting the world to be hotter and hotter each year, but this was not the case. For few years now, the world’s temperature has stabilized. Global warming has been in standstill. The idea of the temperature not rising has been set nonsense by some scientist and media men, as the trend was set to go up. But in 2006, an article made by Professor Bob Carter was published by the Daily Telegraph said that for past eight years, from 1998 to 2006, there has been no increase in global temperature that was observed. Carter noted that it was not the global warming per se is the problem, but the way people have been “brainwashed” on what it is about (Whitehouse 7).
Many people reacted saying that the article was dangerous. The idea was still not looked at until another writer, Whitehouse, made an online article showing data of temperature not increasing for the past years as well and despite of not considering the concept of standstill, in the report of IPCC last 2007, it showed that even if the level of aerosols be kept constant at year 2000 levels, only further warming of 0.1C is expected for the next decade, which is contrary to the previous reports saying that there will be an increase of 0.2C every decade. Then the following year, in 2008, another book was published saying that the global temperature has not increased despite the steady increase of the greenhouse gasses in the atmosphere (Whitehouse 8-10).
Several studies about standstill are being released to inform other scientist and most of all educate the people about the matter. In news released by the Telegraph last 2013, it was said that a new forecast on global warming was made by the Met Office showing a downgrade on the temperature by a fifth compared to the original, saying that by 2017 the temperature will remain the same as it is for two decades. From the initial forecast of 0.54C it was downgraded to 0.43C which is still higher than the long term average and highest temperature from 1971-2000 (Rojas).
The slowdown of the increase in temperature was attributed to the ocean current patterns, but it was said that it does not alter the long term trend. There are no long-term comprehensive observations of the ocean to help scientists understand how the global oceans behave over decadal and longer timescales (Rojas). Another factor could be slower growth rate of the net climate forcing and decline in the carbon dioxide in the atmosphere for the past decade but same with the first factor, authors said that it did not stopped the global warming but just slowed it down (Hansen, Sato, and Ruedy 4-5).
It was in November 2012 when The Telegraph published in the Met Office’s first announcement that global warming was slowing down. Although during that time, it was the ninth warmest recorded temperature since 1850, it was still cooler than the average of the past decade. According to Dr. Peter Stott, Head of Climate Monitoring and Attribution at the Met Office, although the first decade of the 21st century was considered the warmest period on record, data has shown that warming has not been as rapid in the beginning of 2000 as over the longer period since the 1970s. Furthermore, 2011 and 2012 have been cooler due to La Nina patterns in the south oceans. They are also looking at the possibility that pollution could have had contributed in slowing down the global warming by reducing the amount of heat that reached United Kingdom. Even this time, they have already been looking at contributing factors that could have slowed the global warming from what was first predicted (Gray).
Some scientists are not accepting the idea of standstill. Some says that 15 years of observation is not yet enough to predict such accurate or precise data about global warming. But as for the scientists who believe that the global warming is slowing down, the fact that the expected rapid increase of temperature has not happened yet after the long study on the planet’s long term average temperature and the predicted increase in temperature, it is worth to acknowledge that there’s standstill (Whitehouse 5).
Some scientists think that the media has been exaggerating global warming. People are panicking and are waiting for a very drastic effect of global warming to the Earth. Government and political organizations are putting so many funds on several studies and management techniques that they can adopt. Although we should be really alarmed on the way we treat the Earth and contribute so much greenhouse gasses, still, the true status of the issue should be known and released to people for correct and appropriate actions to be taken. It’s important that we do not overly sensualize the topic but rather be more factual.
It is acknowledged that different groups have different results about the raise of temperature of the planet, which happened to be one of the most crucial identifier of the global warming, but label on to what particular country is the reading pertains to and its relation to the rest of the planet, or the global average is important to be known.
It is very important that we are aware of the worst case scenario, and we should be very prepared to face it, but along the way, if there are significant changes that happen, it should also be known, if it is a good thing, it has to be appreciated. But correct information as to why there is a standstill is important to be relayed as well so that the people will not be lax and still continue the preventive measures that they do. Besides, the main reason scientists are pushing the validity of the existence of standstill is to add vital new information to our understanding of how our planet is responding to enhanced levels of greenhouse gases that greatly contributes to global warming and at the very least an appreciation of the disrupt of climate change. But, it does not mean that the climate change has stopped. This way, people will be aware that the temperature is not moving, but it is not yet because of their effort and it is not sure if for how long will it be, so they will have to continue all the effort to support the temporary stability of the temperature. By this, everyone will be empowered instead of mislead.
Field, Christopher. Et al. Climate Change 2014: Impacts, Adaptation, and Vulnerability: Summary for Policy Makers. 2014. Web.
Gray, Lousie. “Doha: Global warming is slowing down, says Met Office.” The Telegraph 28 Nov 2012. Web.
Hansen, J, M. Sato, and R. Ruedy. Global Temperature Update Through 2012. 15 January 2013
Hayanon. What is Global Warming?. Trans. Y. Noda and Y. Kamide. N.d. Web.
Rojas, John-Paul. “Global warming at a standstill, new Met Office figures show.” The Telegraph 08 Jan 2013. Web.
Wang, James, and Bill Chameides. Global Warming’s Increasingly Visible Impacts. Environmental Defense, 2005. Web.
Whitehouse, David. The Global Warming Standstill. The Global Warming Policy Foundation, 2013. Web.
Wong, Vicky. The greenhouse effect and global warming. RSC Advancing the Chemical Science.