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Global Warming

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Global Warming

Global warming is an environmental issue that is concerning masses of people. Global warming has been an issue for many years. One area of this issue that is taking over right now is whether global warming is due to human actions or if global warming is due to natural cause. Some people believe global warming is due to human actions of pollutants such as burning fossil fuel, coal, and oil, human finger prints, and deforestation; while other people believe it is a natural cause and global warming is just a theory.

People who believe global warming is due to human actions say that humans are releasing large numbers of heat trapping greenhouse gases into the atmosphere. A few examples of greenhouse gases are "carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide, chlorofluorocarbons, and ozone in the lower atmosphere." (U.S. Global Change Research Information 2006, para. 1). These types of gases get trap heat in the atmosphere and cause the climate to rise. Since the Industrial Revolution, there has been more and more fossil fuels being burned, which is causing more pollutants. The pollutants are trapping heat in the atmosphere causing the average temperature of the Earth to rise. (Turk and Bensel, 2011) The most common heat trapping gas is carbon dioxide (CO2) which is caused by burning fossil fuel, coal, and oil. (Turk & Bensel, 2011)

Carbon dioxide (CO2) is produced by so much equipment that humans use and do. Carbon dioxide is produced from burning fossil fuel, coal, oil, driving vehicles, heating systems, cooling systems, logging and even ranching. "The use of fossil fuel currently accounts for eighty

to eighty-five percent of carbon dioxide (CO2) being added into the atmosphere." (U.S. Global Change Research Information, 2006, para. 3). Just by looking at the number of vehicles out there, it is easy to see how much carbon dioxide is being released from vehicles alone. Now add is everything that humans use to burn fossil fuel, coal, and oil. The numbers of heat trapping greenhouse gases add up to an enormous number. When adding in all of the heating systems, energy plants, logging, and farm land, it is hard to believe that people could think global warming is not due to human actions.

Another reason why there are people who believe global warming is due to human actions is because of the act of deforestation. Forests are being cleared to make clean land to build on. Trees are also being cut down to produce paper, firewood, lumber, furniture, housing, and miscellaneous items. The Urban Sprawl plays a big part in clearing forests as well. As the population grows, more homes are needing to be built to house the pollution. Trees can also be cleared to be exported. Trees are being but down to support many human needs and this causes carbon to be released. According to Turk and Bensel "trees, like all living organisms, are made mostly of carbon; when forests are burned to clear land, the carbon in the trees is released as carbon dioxide [(CO2)]." (Turk & Bensel, 2011, p. 226). Since there is so much deforestation taking place for many different reasons, this leads to a large number of carbon dioxide (CO2) entering the atmosphere adding to the problem of global warming. Taking into consideration all of these actions that human do that cause heat trapping greenhouse gases, it can be easy to see how humans are being blamed to the fact that global warming is happening and in-turn causing the average climate of Earth to rise. Could these human actions be the reason why climate change is happening?

Looking at the reasons as to why humans are being blamed for global warming, it is hard not to think about other reasons why global warming is happening. Some people believe that global warming is not due to humans. Peoples, S. of Charleston, West Virginia says that global warming "is a scientific theory that has not been proven." (Peoples, 2011, para. 1). If global warming is just a theory, then how can humans take the blame for it? These people view global warming as a natural cause and that global warming cannot be proven as human error. "Frankly, if Mother Nature has decided it [is] time to get a bit warmer, there is nothing we can do about it." (Anonymous, 2010, para. 6). 'Mother Nature' has her own way of cooling and warming (ice age).

There are natural factors on Earth that create carbon dioxide (CO2¬). People who believe that global warming is not due to human actions look at other areas where carbon dioxide (CO¬2) can come from. Hunt and McMahon (2010) believe that it is a mistake to believe that heat trapping greenhouse gases are the main reason for global warming. Wang and Chameides (2007) believe that the climate change is due to natural causes and that the climate change is due to "the Earth's orbit around the sun" (p. 3).

Another natural cause that is contributing to global warming is solar activity. Some scientists argue that volcanoes allow a large number of carbon dioxide (CO2) into the atmosphere. "Gases escape continuously into the atmosphere from soil and volcanic vents." (U.S Geological Survey, 2010, para. 1). Carbon dioxide is released from the ground of volcanoes and it is also released when volcanoes erupt. However, even with the amount of carbon dioxide (CO2) in the atmosphere, the warming of the earth has slowed showing that

humans are not to blame. Could Mother Nature be the reason why the Earth's climate is changing?

No matter who is to blame, the effect of global warming is the same. Global warming is causing issues in so many areas. Some problems it is causing are wildfires, droughts, floods, melting glaciers, worse hurricanes, rising and warming seas, hurting farms and animals, and the amount of carbon dioxide (CO2) out there can cause health issues to people including headaches, higher heart rate and even death.

The Earth is warming and this is cause the climate to be hotter. During the summer months this leads to wildfires and droughts. According to the Natural Resources Defense Council (2005),

In 2002, Colorado, Arizona, and Oregon endured their worst wildfire seasons ever. The same year, drought created severe dust storms in Montana, Colorado and Kansas, and floods cause hundreds of millions of dollars in damage in Texas, Montana, and North Dakota. (para. 4)

Global warming is also causing issues with the oceans. The warming of the seas is causing glaciers to melt. This is not only causing flooding, but also "Polar Bears are declining in numbers as the sea ice - their primary feeding grounds, disappears." (Turk and Bensel, 2011, p. 230) Humans could also be



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