Issues pertaining to global warming have attracted increased interest

in the recent times. This may have resulted from the increased
awareness, as well as increased popularization of the issue, not to
mention the controversies or differences in opinions pertaining to the
subject. Indeed, different individuals have been holding different
opinions as to the reality or the existence of global warming and even
the role of humans in the catastrophe. While there may be differing
opinions, global warming is a reality and human beings have played an
immense role in its creation and acceleration.
Global warming is a term that underlines the increase in the average
temperature of the atmosphere and oceans in the earth since the late
19th century, as well as its projected continuation. Scientists have
stated that since the beginning of the 20th century, the mean
temperature of the earth’s surface has been increasing by around 0.8
°C or 1.4 °F, with approximately two-thirds of this increase having
taken place since 1980 (Royston 14). Indeed, Mr Gleckler, from the
Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory states that “the last 130 years
have seen a 1.4 degrees Fahrenheit increase in the global average
temperature with over half of the increase taking place in the last 35
years (McAdam 13). This pattern has been unmistakable with the twelve
warmest years recorded having all taken place since 1998”. On the same
note, Nathan Bindoff, an oceanography expert has stated that “the past
35 years have been significantly warmer than the average temperature in
the 20th century” (McAdam 13).
Underlining the reality or unequivocal nature of global warming in the
climate system is the IPCC’s report in 2007, which stated that a large
number of the changes observed are unprecedented over decades and
millennia (Royston 16). According to the report, not only have the
oceans and atmospheric temperatures gone up, but also there has been a
decrease in the amounts of ice and snow, an increase in the sea level,
as well as an increase in the concentration of greenhouse gases with
data showing that there has been a steady increase in the levels of
carbon dioxide every year, making today’s CO2 levels 25% higher than
in 1957.
In addition, scientists have increasingly attributed the increase in
global temperatures to human activities. Global warming has mainly
resulted from increased CO2, which collects at the ozone layer thereby
preventing heat from escaping freely into space (Archer 20). Satellite
measurements have confirmed that less heat has been escaping from the
atmosphere than it was 40 years ago (McAdam 18). While there carbon
dioxide may have been emitted from different activities, scientists have
acknowledged that carbon dioxide emanating from human activities such as
burning of natural gas, oil and coal comes with a distinctive chemical
“fingerprint”. The additional carbon dioxide in the atmosphere,
indeed, has that signature (Archer 21).
On the same note, they have noted that increased deforestation has
meant that the existing vegetation has decreased capacity to clean the
air of the impurities emanating from such human activities. This,
coupled, with increased industrialization and burning of coal and
natural gas, has resulted in about 85% increase in the atmospheric
carbon dioxide (Archer 22).
In conclusion, global warming has gained increased interest in the
recent times. While there may be controversial opinions as to its
existence or even its causes, its occurrence is evident alongside the
fact that human beings are the cause. Scientists have underlined the
fact that global temperatures have been on the rise for the last 130
years, around the same time that the globe saw increased
industrialization. Not only have the twelve warmest years been from
1998, but also the temperatures in the last 35 years have been
significantly higher than the average temperature in the 20th century.
On the same note, ice and snow has been decreasing, with ocean level
increasing immensely. This has been primarily blamed on increased
atmospheric CO2, as it prevents heat from escaping into space.
Scientists have identified a distinctive “fingerprint” in the CO2
from human activities such as the burning of coal, oil and natural gas.
85% of the additional CO2 comes with this fingerprint.
Works cited
McAdam, Jane. Climate Change, Forced Migration, and International Law.
Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2012. Print.
Royston, Angela. Global Warming. Chicago, Ill: Heinemann Library, 2008.
Archer, David. Global Warming: Understanding the Forecast. Malden, MA:
Blackwell Pub, 2007. Print

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