There seems to be a lot of controversy about global warming these days. Some say it is a fact, others say it isn’t. But regardless of whether or not it is a fact, let’s step aside from the arguments on the subject, and take a common-sense approach. let’s take look at the issues involved.
What is Global Warming?
We can take a look at the definition of global warming – without taking sides or getting into vested interests, political motivations, reasons, or causes.
The definition of global warming in its purity is “an overall increase in world temperatures.” As you can see, whether this has to do with greenhouse emissions, or whether it is caused by a natural phenomena, has no bearing on whether there is an average temperature increase.
Is There an Overall Increase in World Temperatures?
Alright, now we can take a look at what scientists say about world temperatures.
Again, we are going to leave out the reasons why, and simply look at whether or not the Earth’s general temperature is rising.
According to NASA scientists, the average temperature of the earth rose by one degree Celsius, over the last century. This is based on actual measurements taken with exact measuring instruments.
Another report, compiled and submitted by 600 scientists from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, issued the following statement:
“Warming of the climate system is unequivocal.”
These 600 scientists sifted through thousands of studies and reports, in order to come to the above conclusion.
Even scientists who are “opposed” to the global warming theory are not contradicting the fact that the earth’s temperature is rising. These scientists are only saying that global warming is a natural phenomena, and is not caused by man.
The Causes of Global Warming
There are several factors that could contribute to or influence global warming.
Greenhouse gases are gases that prevent heat from escaping from the Earth’s atmosphere. A few examples of greenhouse gases are:
– Carbon Dioxide – A minor but important part of the Earth’s atmosphere. Carbon dioxide prevents heat from escaping earth, by blocking infrared radiation reflected off the Earth’s surface from leaving the atmosphere.
– Methane – A gas produced through the decomposition of waste (in landfills, animal waste, and decomposition of food in human and animal digestive systems). It is created by the production and distribution of natural gas, oil and coal. It is also is produced by incomplete fossil-fuel combustion.
– Nitrous Oxide – Another gas produced through the use of commercial fertilizers, natural fertilizers, and fossil fuel combustion (cars, airplanes, and conventional power plants, to name a few).
– Chlorofluorocarbons – Commonly referred to as CFC gases, these are produced primarily by our industries, and are used for products such as, styrofoam, spray-can propellants, refrigerants, electronic circuit boards, and many more.
– Water Vapor – This is completely natural, and is caused by the sun evaporating water from our oceans.
As you can see, carbon dioxide, methane, and nitrous oxide are produced mainly by human resources, whereas chlorofluorocarbons are exclusively produced by industrial installations.
Out of all the above, interestingly enough, the greenhouse gases which have the largest effect on global warming are water vapors. This fact will no doubt please all critics of the “global warming theory”.
You have to keep in mind, however, the cyclic effect of global warming. A slight increase in temperature will increase the amount of water vapor in the atmosphere, which in turn will increase the temperature, and so on. Thus, a slight effect created by other greenhouse gases has a much larger impact, due to the creation of additional water vapor in the atmosphere.
Greenhouse gases: Facts and Figures
Let’s go over some facts and figures here. Again, keep in mind that these are measurements taken by scientific tools. They are not statements for or against global warming.
– The amount of carbon dioxide in our atmosphere has increased by 25 percent since the early 1800s. Ten percent of this increase has occurred between 1958 and the present day.
– There are two main factors that responsible for the increase of carbon dioxide. The leading cause is the burning of fossil fuels. Next in line is deforestation.
– Methane content of the atmosphere increases at a rate of 0.6 percent per year, by current measurements. The atmospheric methane content is now more than twice as high as it was before the Industrial Age, which started in the early 1800s.
The Effects of Global Warming
I am not the doom-and-gloom sort of person, so I am going to spare you the details here. But I do have an opinion on this subject and I will share it with you.
Regardless of whether the globe is warming or not, it is simply common sense to take care of the environment you live in.
The plain truth of the matter is that carbon monoxide is unhealthy, methane makes for unpleasant breathing, and nitrous oxide in the atmosphere is no laughing matter.
While the lack of ozone might make for faster tanning at the beach, the long term effects are not as desirable.
What You Can do About Global Warming
Believe it or not, you are important – what you do and say is listened to by others, and does make a difference. It doesn’t take a lot of effort. A little extra care will go a long way. Many are already doing it, and all of us need to get aboard.
It starts as simply as recycling your waste, saving energy where you can, or even planting a tree.
A great way to reduce pollution is the use of solar power. 75% of the average home’s energy consumption goes to hot water and heating. The most economical, effective, and inexpensive way to use solar power is using solar heating, and solar hot water heaters. Find out more at Solar Hot Water.
Tags: Global Warming, What is Global Warming, Solar Power, Solar Energy, Greenhouse