In this essay I will be exploring the question ‘To what extent is human impact the cause of Global Warming’. I will do this by studying the effects humans have on our world and ecosystem, especially with the recent increase in technology and transport, such as cars. The Oxford dictionary describes global warming as “a gradual increase in the overall temperature of the earth's atmosphere generally attributed to the greenhouse effect caused by increased levels of carbon dioxide, CFCs and other pollutants” on a brief look, this seems to be the main reason behind global warming. However, through thorough research, I have discovered several more alternative opinions which disagree with the aforementioned statement. I will be exploring the reasons for global warming, focusing on three main opinions; Humanity has caused global warming through the emissions of fossil fuels, Global warming is a natural occurrence and lastly global warming is not real because God created the world and is the only one able to destroy it. I want to disclose cause and effect essay on global warming.
I chose to do this topic as global warming is a huge issue in our recent news, especially with significant influencing figures such as Greta Thunberg. The work that Thunberg is doing inspired me to explore and understand more about global warming and climate change myself. I believe the effects of global warming are seriously impacting our planet and the lives of future generations of our species are in jeopardy. I believe it is important to do as much as we can to stop or reverse this. I am intrigued to learn more about what global warming is, how it will affect my future, and who is responsible.
One reason as to why the earth has started to heat up is a natural shift in temperature. Over the last 800,000 years there have been natural fluctuations in the earth's climate. There have been many ice ages and warmer periods throughout the existence of earth. We have learnt this by observing ice cores taken from Antarctica which are formed thousands of years of snowfall which has pressed down on previous layers of snow Due to the weight and after many years all of the pressure forms glacier ice. From this they allow us to look at the accumulation, air temperature and air chemistry from thousands of years ago. For example LeGrande says, that as snow deposits onto a growing glacier, the temperature of the air imprints onto the water molecule. The layers of ice also hold particles such as sea salts, pollen, ash ect which back up and provide evidence of past natural events such as volcanic eruptions which release CO2 into the atmosphere which helps scientists understand the cause for increase in global warming. Most importantly the ice core traps tiny molecules of bubbles of atmosphere which includes greenhouse gases.”scientists can directly measure the amount of greenhouse gases that were in the atmosphere at that time by sampling these bubbles” said LeGande. From taking and looking at the ice cores from an area of high ground in which the snow accumulates in ordered fashion, scientists have made records which allow them to design graphs which can reconstruct past climates going back at least 800,000 years. These show how the climate naturally fluctuates in a rhythmic pattern which is evidence proving that human gas emissions are not the cause of global warming.this can be seen in this chart which shows the temperature has altered in a steady pattern for the past hundreds of thousands of years.
Ice coring has been around since the 1950s and are used worldwide but mainly in greenland and antarctica. Inside the ice cores you can see where there were high rates of snow accumulation and trapped bubbles in the ice contains samples of ancient atmosphere therefore scientist can compare the atmospheres from todays to how it was thousands of years ago.the bubbles also show us when the ice has melted as in these hot periods no bubbles are found, this is because when the snow melts it releases water which filters gradually through the snowpacks. To be able to reconstruct past air fluxuations, it is very important that you must look at the age of the ice being analysed. Ice cores are preserved in annual layers however the further back in time you look at the ice core the more difficult they are to read. There are also other ways in which scientists have proven that the temperature has naturally changed for centuries such as looking at rings inside trees. This shows scientists how old the tree is and what the weather conditions were during each year of the trees life. Light coloured rings indicate that the tree grew in the spring or early summer and darker colour rings show it grew in late summer and fall therefore one light ring plus one dark ring is equal to one year. As well as this the width and thickness of the tree rings displays the weather conditions of that specific year for example tree rings normally grow faster in warm and wet years and therefore the tree rings are wider and in cold and dry years the growth is not as rapid and is therefore less meaning the tree rings are thinner. In conditions such as droughts tree might not even grow or grow only slightly. All of this research shows that scientists have very reliable and accurate information determining what the temperatures of the earth was in the past.It also proves that global warming is a natural occurrence therefore not due to human impact
In contrast to this belief there are many opposing people and evidence which shows that human impact has had a massive effect on global warming and is significantly to main reason for the rapid increase in temperature.
Firstly, although the world has been proven to go through natural fluctuations which have been happening for thousands of years, causing our planet to heat up and cool down, through looking at evidence measured through ice cores and other mechanisms scientists have proved that the earth's temperature has acceded any record of our planet naturally heating up. By looking at the numbers of CO2 which has been trapped in the ice it shows that cooler periods had less CO2 emissions to hot periods in the past. Which shows how the emission of greenhouse gases either natural or man made increases the rate of global warming. This can also be seen in the chart which shows the results of ice core and what they have found out about past atmospheres as it shows that when the amount of greenhouse gases has increased so has the overall temperature over antarctica.
Antarctic ice cores show us that the concentration of CO2 was stable over the last millennium until the early 19th century. It then started to rise, and its concentration is now nearly 40% higher than it was before the industrial revolution. this is clearly shown in this chart which shows the increase of co2 and ch4 over the last 1000 years.
In addition to this, through thorough research scientist have found multiple pieces of evidence that proves that global warming is due to the increase in carbon dioxide and therefore means that humans have caused global warming by burning fossil fuels like coal and oil for many different purposes such as fuel/gasoline and to generate electricity. The industrial activities that our modern cultures depend on have raised atmospheric carbon dioxide levels from 280 parts per million to 400 parts per million in the last 150 years. This means that since First Industrial Revolution where people started to burn Coal and build railroads, greenhouse gas emission has almost doubled what it was originally. Since 1850 almost all of the long term warming of our planet can be explained by greenhouse gas emission and other human activities.during a congressional hearing, the US energy secretary, Rick Perry, remarked that “to stand up and say that 100% of global warming is because of human activity, i think its on the face, is just indefensible.”
In conclusion, I believe that global warming is due to human activity because through researching this topic I have found many scientific studies such as jean louis rodolphe agassiz who was a swiss-american paleontologist and geomorphologist who ruled out natural factors that could influence climate change such as the sun and ocean cycles as well well as many others which prove humanity as the main cause of global warming. , These also have showed me how and why humans have caused global warming. On top of this research I have found is written by trusted scientists and is fairly recent. I also believe that natural occurrences did happen and are still continuing, however , are not the main cause of global warming. Finally, as a young citizen and the future of our planet i believe that humanity should be doing much more to help reverse the effects we have caused to our planet in order for us to live long and healthy lives. I have been inspired by the words of greta thunberg when she says 'We deserve a safe future. And we demand a safe future. Is that really too much to ask?'.Whilst millions of people across the globe went on strike, Greta herself joined a rally in New York, along with around 100,000 people.Many students who witnessed Greta speak said that they felt moved by what she said, calling her 'empowering'. She has touched millions of people including myself and inspire them to take action, she has fought for what she believes in when asked Many students who witnessed Greta speak said that they felt moved by what she said, calling her 'empowering'. 'Right now we are the ones who are making a difference. If no one else will take action then we will,' she said. 'It should not be that way. We should not be the ones who are fighting for the future. And yet, here we are.'