Global Warming

Essay by jefferson23Junior High, 9th gradeA+, November 2008

download word file, 14 pages 0.0

Severe droughts, flooding, increased disease, and major disruption in ecosystems are the likely consequences of the global warming caused by industrialized human activity, or climate changes are a natural part of Earth's history and no cause for alarm. These two scenarios are polar opposites posited by two sides of the global warming debate. The third prong of the global warming trifecta asserts that scientific knowledge to date is insufficient to develop a theory of the causes or effects of global warming and therefore should not be the basis of public policy on the issue. The debate is intense. The three positions all seem to agree that the temperatures around the globe have increased over those in recent years, but considerable disagreement and insufficient concrete evidence concerning the possible effects of such warming, together with its causes, indicates that drastic and expensive mandates are premature and warrant further study.

That the surface temperatures of the Earth have become warmer recently is the one issue upon which both sides of the global warming controversy seem to agree.

According to an editorial in The Wall Street Journal, the average surface temperature globally has increased about 1 degree Celsius during the 20th century. Other sources indicate that the increase has been about 1 degree Fahrenheit. Some data, including data obtained from study of tree rings and ice cores, indicates that this increase is likely to have been the largest of any century during the past millennia. Some scientists indicate that the pattern of warming is consistent with the warming that would be expected from an increase in the levels of carbon dioxide, or CO2. These same scientists have observed changes in snow and ice, which have decreased. The sea level has increased by 10 to 20 centimeters, and the heat content of the...