Is global warming a real problem?

Is global warming a real problem?

Global warming is a gradual increase in the mean annual temperature of Earth's atmosphere and oceans. In addition to raising the ocean level increase in global temperature, it will also lead to changes in the quantity and distribution of rainfall. The result may be of natural disasters such as floods, droughts, hurricanes and other fall harvest crops, and also many can species disappear. Global warming should, in all likelihood, increase the frequency and magnitude of these phenomena.

Some researchers believe that global warming is a myth, some scientists reject the possibility of human influence on this process. There are those who do not deny the fact of global warming and admit that it is people’s fault, but they do not agree with the fact that most dangerous of the impacts on climate are industrial emissions of greenhouse gases.

There is scientific consensus that current global warming is very likely due to human activities. The climate system varies as a result of natural internal processes or in response to external influences, both anthropogenic and non-anthropogenic, and the geological and paleontological data show the presence of long-term climatic cycles, which in the Quaternary period took the form of periodic glaciations, and now accounts Interglacial.

Causes of climate change remain unclear, but among the major external factors are the change the Earth's orbit, solar activity (including changes in the solar constant), volcanic emissions and the greenhouse effect. According to direct observations of climate (change in temperature over the last two hundred years), average temperatures on Earth have risen, but the reasons for this increase remain a subject of debate, but one of the most widely discussed is the anthropogenic greenhouse effect.

We cannot say that is a debate between those who “believe” and “do not believe” in the theory of the greenhouse effect. Rather, the disputed outcome of the effect of increasing the amount of greenhouse gases in the Earth's atmosphere, that is not offset by a warming effect of greenhouse effect changes in the distribution of water vapor, clouds and the biosphere, or other climatic factors. However, the observed past 50 years, raising Earth's temperature is contrary to theories about the role of compensating the above feedback. Recent studies reinforce the theory that global warming is to blame human activity. The study involving scientists from Scotland, Canada and Australia showed that the probability of natural rather than anthropogenic causes of climate change on the planet is not more than 5%.

Global warming does not mean warming everywhere and at any time. In particular, in some areas may increase the average temperature in summer and decreased the average temperature in winter, that is, the climate becomes more continental. Global warming can be detected only averaging the temperature of all geographic locations and all seasons.

According to one hypothesis, global warming will stop or seriously weaken the Gulf Stream. This will cause a significant drop in mean temperature in Europe (and the temperature in other regions rise, but not necessarily all), as well as the Gulf Stream warms the continent due to the transport of warm water from the tropics. Global climate change is not limited to warming. There has also changed the salt density of the oceans, increasing humidity, the changing nature of rainfall and melting of Arctic ice at speeds of approximately 600 thousand square km per decade. The atmosphere becomes more humid, more rain falls in the high and low latitudes, and less - in the tropical and subtropical regions.

Greenpeace point of view is "... The struggle to reduce emissions of “greenhouse gases” in any event will bring many benefits. It involves a transition to an innovative way of economic development through the introduction of energy efficient technologies, renewable energy, etc., etc. These requirements would be relevant even if the climate change problem does not exist. Fossil fuels, on which global economy is based, are not forever. Sooner or later it will end. The only question is who will be ready for this, and who, speaking about the "global conspiracy of environmentalists, politicians and business will remain with nothing."

The report of the Working Group of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (Shanghai, 2001) includes seven models of climate change in the XXI century. The main conclusions of the report are: the continuation of global warming, accompanied by
increase in greenhouse gas emissions (although under some scenarios to the end of the century as a result of the prohibitions on industrial emissions can decrease emissions of greenhouse gases); increase in surface air temperature (by the end of the XXI century is possible to increase the surface temperature in some parts of the globe in 6 ° C); sea level rise (on average - at 0.5 meters per century).

The most likely changes in weather factors include more intense rainfall; higher maximum temperatures, more hot days and fewer frost days, in almost all regions of the Earth, while in most areas of continental heat waves will become more frequent; reducing the spread of temperatures. As a consequence of these changes we can expect more severe storms and increased intensity of tropical cyclones, increasing the frequency of heavy precipitation, marked increase in areas of drought.

The Intergovernmental Panel identified a number of areas most vulnerable to the expected climate change. It is Sahara region, the mega-deltas of Asia, small islands. The negative developments in Europe include increased temperatures and increased drought in the south (from - decreasing water resources and reduction of hydropower production, decrease agricultural production, worsening terms of tourism), reduced snow cover and the retreat of mountain glaciers, increasing the risk of severe flooding and catastrophic floods on rivers, strengthening of summer precipitation in Central and Eastern Europe, increasing the frequency of forest fires, fires in peat bogs, the reduction of forest productivity, increase the instability of soils in Northern Europe. In the Arctic - a catastrophic decrease of the covering of glaciers, the shrinking of sea ice, increased coastal erosion.

According to German sociologist Ulrich Beck, people are now facing the rise of a world risk society. Beck defines risk as “a systematic way of dealing with hazards and insecurities induced and introduced by modernization itself. Risks, as opposed to older dangers, are consequences which relate to the threatening force of modernization and to its globalization of doubt”. As a result, industrialization created obvious problems of its own in the society: pollution and other urban poverty-related conditions. They belong to the human-made risks, which Ulrich Beck calls manufactured risks. According to Beck, Contemporary risks are invisible and it is often hard to measure them, as we cannot see or taste the toxins and antibiotics in our food. And also we do not really perceive dramatic climate disruption. As stated by Frank Furedi in Parenting isn’t a bunch of skills that can be taught, “If we can instill in the next generation an understanding of how our actions can mitigate or cause global warming, then we lock in a culture change that could, quite literally, save the world.” As well, in Why skepticism is still “the highest of duties” by Frank Furedi, Johann Hari, a columnist for the UK Independent, stated that “Any properly skeptical analysis leads to the conclusion that manmade global warming is real”. Some researchers offer a pessimistic outlook, according to which in the first quarter of the XXI century will be possible surge climate in unexpected directions, the consequences may be the beginning of a new ice age lasting hundreds of years.

According to some researchers, to 2300 (at current rates of warming), Earth will be virtually uninhabitable: the temperature will not be higher than 12 ° C, 40% of the land will go under water, and the remainders of the resources will be rapidly depleted. That is why it is important for everyone to act consciously and to implement new ways of using the resources the planet gives us. Taking proper care of the environment is a must, as, unfortunately, some major environmental disasters were man-made.

Works cited

A new cosmopolitanism is in the air. 2007. Web. 2 September 2010.

Frank Furedi. Web. 2010.
Frank Furedi on Worst-Case Thinking. 2010. Web. 2 September 2010.

Hegerl, Gabriele C.; et al. 2007. "Understanding and Attributing Climate Change". Climate Change 2007: The Physical Science Basis. Contribution of Working Group I to the Fourth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. IPCC. "Recent estimates indicate a relatively small combined effect of natural forcings on the global mean temperature evolution of the second half of the 20th century, with a small net cooling from the combined effects of solar and volcanic forcings." Web. 2 September 2010.

Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change . 2001. "Atmospheric Chemistry and Greenhouse Gases". Climate Change 2001: The Scientific Basis. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press. Web. 2 September 2010.

World Risk Society. 2009. Web. 2 September 2010.

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