Present the case against the anthropogenic causes of global warming - Essay Example

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Global warming Introduction The temperature of the earth is controlled by the heat energy of the sun that is retained by the atmosphere. Greenhouse gases play an important role in absorbing the sun’s radiation and maintaining the earth’s temperature. The energy of the sun that reaches the earth’s surface is in the form of short-wave radiation, and about one-third of it hits the surface and goes back to the space…
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Present the case against the anthropogenic causes of global warming
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"Present the case against the anthropogenic causes of global warming"

Download file to see previous pages This phenomenon is termed as global warming. There can be many negative consequences of global warming including growing risk of human survival on this planet (Maslin, 2007, p.9). One impact of global warming is melting of ice in the north and south poles which includes glaciers and ice sheets over West Antarctica and Greenland. There is also the risk of rising of the sea level that will result in inundation of the low-lying areas. Many species of the earth like penguins and polar bears are rapidly decreasing in number due to the melting of ice caps. Due to increased precipitation, there has also been an increase in rain and snowfall around the world. There is also damage of coral reefs because of warming of sea water; almost one third of coral reefs have already been severely damaged (Effects of global warming, n.d.). The concept of man’s impact on global warming has currently become a controversial issue because of the various difficulties faced by scientists while studying climate change. This paper argues against the anthropogenic factors of global warming and presents the natural and scientific factors responsible for this phenomenon. Greenhouse effect Greenhouse effect is the phenomenon of increased temperature of the earth’s surface and lower level of atmosphere due to emissions of various gases. Similar to a glass house where heat enters but some of it is retained and is prevented from going out, the earth’s surface too absorbs two-thirds of the sun’s radiation and expels one-third of the heat. In order to maintain balance of the solar heat the earth has to give back equal amount of heat to the atmosphere. Since the earth is colder than the sun, it reflects back heat in longer wavelengths than the sun’s radiation. A large part of this thermal energy emitted by land and water bodies is absorbed by the atmosphere and also by clouds that result in rainfall and cooling of the earth’s surface. This entire phenomenon is known as the greenhouse effect (What is the greenhouse effect? 2007, p.1). The most important greenhouse gas is water vapour followed by carbon dioxide which is the second most important greenhouse gas. Some of the other greenhouse gases present in the atmosphere are methane, ozone and nitrous oxide (Montzka, et al, 2011, p.43). If there would been no greenhouse effect then the surface of the earth would have been colder than the present temperature. The estimation is that without greenhouse effect the temperature of the earth’s surface would have been 330 C, and the earth would not have been appropriate for living beings to survive. The concern among scientists is that human activities may increase greenhouse gases to a high level which will lead to increase in temperature by 50 C within the middle of this century. However, the extent to which human life will be affected is still under controversy as it is still a matter of speculation how much the temperature change will affect the normal patterns of rainfall, drought, seasons and sea level (Schneider, 1990[1], p.13). The amount of thermal energy reflected back to space by the earth’s surface depends upon the temperature of the surface. A hot surface will radiate more thermal energy than a cold surface. The amount of radiation is also ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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