Good Example Of Research Paper On Global Warming: Causes And Mitigation
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Climate change characterized by indicators such as changes in temperature, winds and precipitation has resulted from both natural and anthropogenic forces (Baringer et al. 2010). Natural changes are external to the climate system. Natural changes affect the Earth’s energy balance by influencing the amount of incoming energy. Natural changes were primarily responsible climate change before the industrial era. Physical changes are caused entirely by natural factors such as volcanic activities, solar outputs and earth’s orbit around the sun. Some natural changes such as volcanic eruptions are primarily episodic and produce relatively short-term effect on climate. Physical changes fundamentally affect the amount of solar energy that reaches the earth. Natural changes require significant periods of time before the change they cause in the climate can be detrimental. An example of natural climate change is the advancement and retraction of ice sheets in the Northern Hemisphere attributed to changes in the Earth’s orbit.
Anthropogenic changes are primarily responsible for climate change from the industrial era to present. Anthropogenic changes are also external to the climate system. Anthropogenic changes involve the emission of various substances into the earth’s atmosphere that change its composition and consequently its operation. It also includes human activities that change the land surface altering its normal role in absorption and reflection of received energy. The changes affect the Earth’s energy balance by affecting the energy that is incoming and the amount that is outgoing as well. Anthropogenic changes cause substantial effects on climate within reasonable time periods necessitating the need to manage them. An example of anthropogenic climate change is global warming attributed to the greenhouse effect. Greenhouse gas emissions result from human activities such as burning of fossil fuels causing the release of carbon dioxide and other heat-trapping gasses.
The gradual and steady increase in the average temperature of the earth’s climate system that is referred to as global warming is happening. The earth’s climate has experienced changes characterized by cycles of glacial advance and retreat. Although there have been temperature fluctuations in the past, the current trend of steady increase is of concern. In the past, the climate change was attributed to natural causes however the current change is attributed to human-inducement. Increase in greenhouse gas emissions, particulates and soot are perceived to be the largest contributors to global warming. Global warming is associated with the climate change that has been experienced in past decades characterized by unpredictable patterns and extreme weather. It also perceived as a significant threat to human health especially for children and the elderly. The effects of global warming are felt differently in different regions on the earth.
Shrinking ice sheets is evidence supporting the occurrence of global warming. The evidence shows that the mass of ice sheets in Greenland and Antarctic has decreased. The data shows that Greenland lost between 150-250 cubic kilometers of ice per year in the period 2002-2006. The Antarctica has lost an estimated 152 cubic kilometers of ice within the same period. Sea level rise is also evidence that supports the happening of global warming. The global sea rose by about 6.7 inches in the last decade. Increase in global temperature is also proof in support of the incident of global warming. The land temperatures are estimated to have increased by 0.25 degrees per decade. The ocean temperatures have increased by 0.13 degrees with the top 700 meters showing warming of an estimated 0.3 degrees (Lyman et al. 2010).
Carbon taxing is a global warming mitigation strategy that is a form of carbon pricing. It involves levying a fee on the production, distribution or use of fossil fuels based on the carbon content in fuels (Corkery 2009). Carbon taxes help address the problem of emitters of carbon dioxide failing to be responsible for their actions. The method is useful because it significantly reduces the emitting of greenhouse gasses directly related to global warming. The strategy is also effective because it instills crucial price signals that spur the carbon–reducing investments. The cost implications of the carbon tax include increased prices for fossil fuels. This results in increase expenditures for businesses and individuals arising from an increase in the prices of electricity, oil and gas. The policy implications will include drafting new policies that indicate the amount of money one will have to pay per metric ton of carbon dioxide released. The policies will also have to indicate which no carbon-emitting fuels are exempted from taxation.
Carbon sequestration is another strategy aimed at mitigating global warming. The approach involves the capture and storage of carbon dioxide in reservoirs. Carbon dioxide is captured through chemical, physical or biological processes. The process is effective in mitigating global warming because it reduces the amounts of greenhouse gasses in the earth’s atmosphere. The effectiveness of the process is also enhanced by the fact that the capture is permanent and facilitates chemical degradation of the carbon dioxide. However, carbon sequestration is an expensive venture with huge cost implications. It is also predicted that the financial costs would increase over time. The policy implications are not major as they would only affect the parties directly involved in the process.
One of the policies, I would propose to stabilize global climate is the use of tradable emissions permit. The policy would be based on the development of permits either using the records of 1990 or each country’s population. The policy would involve signing of a treaty by the nations agreeing to observe the emission limits allowed by their permits. The policy would also state the amount that each license is worth facilitating the trading of the same between nations. The policy will stabilize global climate because it eliminate excess emissions and keep all countries in check. It will also encourage countries to emit less than they are allowed to so that they can sell excess permits as a source of revenue (Babiker et al. 2004). The nations that would be held to more strict standards are those with well-developed manufacturing industry such as China.
Another policy that I would advocate in stabilizing global climate is a greenhouse gas fee. The policy would involve setting a price for all emissions associated with climate change regardless of the energy source. The policy will target all forms of energy that release greenhouse gasses such fossil fuels and natural gasses and hold them responsible for the negative externalities that they cause. The policy will stabilize global climate because it will encourage businesses and individuals to be efficient in their energy use and also seek for alternatives that are less harmful to the climate. The companies that would be held to more strict standards include those involved in the production and distribution of fossil fuels. The countries that would be affected more include those whose primary source of revenue is production and sale of fossil fuels.
Babiker, M., J. Reilly, and L. Viguier (2004) Is international emissions trading always beneficial? Energy Journal, 25(2):33-56.
.Baringer, M. O., Arndt, D. S. & Johnson, M. (2010). State of the Climate in 2009. American Meteorological Society, 91 (S1–S224).
Corkery Jim. (2009). A carbon Tax-Onwards. Revenue Law Journal, 19(1): 1-4.
Lyman, J., Gourestki V., Ishii M. Johnson, G. Palmer M. & Smith D. (2010). Robust warming of the global upper ocean. Nature, 465: 334–337.
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