The Global Warming Controversy

Essay by Quat6Junior High, 9th grade April 2009

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Global warming is one of the biggest social topics of our time. In addition, it is one of the most hotly contested. Nearly everyone believes in the greenhouse effect, which basically means that the sun's warmth is trapped in the Earth's atmosphere by the Earth's natural gasses such as: methane, ozone, carbon dioxide, nitrous oxide, water vapor, and chlorofluorocarbons. Without the greenhouse effect, we would not be able to live on Earth because it would be too cold. The concept of global warming, however, is not as widely accepted. Scientists on all sides of the argument admit that it is only a theory. There are many viewpoints on global warming. The two major arguments are: (1) Global warming is a problem and is caused by humans, and (2) Global warming is not a problem and is not caused by humans.

HISTORY OF GLOBAL WARMINGIn 1896 a Swedish chemist by the name of Svante Arrhenius predicted that if CO2 levels doubled, the average global temperature would rise by 6°C.

In the 1950's, Charles Keeling monitored CO2 levels on a mountain in Hawaii. He found that the CO2 levels had risen by 10%. By 1990 CO2 levels had risen by 20%. At this rate, CO2 levels will double by 2050 (Bilger 14).

Harvey 2Scientists were not concerned about global warming before Keeling because they knew that natural gases were absorbed by our oceans, soils, and vegetation.

Oceanographer Roger Reville found that oceans could only absorb some of the CO2 in our atmosphere. So by the 1960's and 1970's global warming became a concern (Bilger 15).

In the early 1970's, the Earth had become unusually cool in temperature. Scientists believed that we were entering into another ice age. They believed that air pollution was blocking the sunlight and cooling the Earth. Nigel Calder...