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The role of humans in the global warming - Term Paper Example

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Author’s Name: Due Date: The Role of Humans in the Global Warming The question as to whether humans should fully shoulder the responsibility over global warming sounds simple, yet inherently difficult. More puzzling in the entire aspect of global warming are the divergent controversies that seem to cancel each other at will, with skeptics’ voices growing even louder in the recent past…
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The role of humans in the global warming
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Download file to see previous pages A war that is now fought with scientific data as the baseline, the rifts between the two opposing sides continues to widen with rising global temperatures, evidently, becoming grossly enjoined in the controversy. From the observed instrumental temperature records, the rising sea levels, to the disappearing glaciers in the Northern Hemisphere relative to the increased greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere, the indication that the present environmental state of affairs is massively man-made is beyond any reasonable doubt (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate (b) Change chapter 2). Indeed, from a sketchy “greenhouse” effect warning as a result of heat-trapping emissions due to global, heavy reliance on fossil fuels over the last two decades to the recent conviction of an increasing impact on the Earth's climate, coupled with deforestation, but to a lesser extent, the absolute certainty of man’s contribution to global warming has become even clearer. While scientific experts have fallen short of determining the precise amounts of warming attributable to human activities, recent measurements of the temperature increases of the world’s oceans relative to the expected amounts of warming from greenhouse gases, strengthen the IPPC consensus (Hansen 1433). Without a doubt, the observed dramatic increases in the concentrations of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere since the advent of modern civilization, buoyed in part by industrial revolution, have been higher than at any other time in history (IPCC (a) chapter 12). As alluded above, the principal greenhouse gases [carbon dioxide (CO2), nitrous oxide (N2O), methane (CH4), and the halocarbons (such as fluorine, chlorine and bromine)], each of which absorbs outgoing infrared radiation in the atmosphere, ultimately warming the planet, are all attributable to human activities. Increases in carbon dioxide (CO2) concentration in the atmosphere have not only resulted from the use of fossil fuels in transportation, cooling and the manufacture of cement and other goods, but have also emanated from decaying plants occasioned by deforestation (IPCC (b) 19-20). The alterations of natural land cover around the world, principally for crop production since the industrial era, have all negatively impacted global climate. Available evidence indicates that industrial activities over the past 150 years increased the level of Carbon dioxide (CO2) in the atmosphere from 280 parts per million to 379 parts per million (IPPC (b) 54). Agriculture related activities and man’s increasing need of landfills have contributed more than stuffed Methane (CH4) into the atmosphere. The use of fertilizers has also done a fair share in the emissions of nitrous oxide (N2O). Industrial use of halocarbons on the other hand has had irrefutable effects in stratospheric ozone depletion. A number of aerosols, now massively preset in the atmosphere, are the result of biomass burning and surface mining among other industrial processes (IPCC (b) chapter 8). The above human activities, in addition to many more similar activities, have all contributed to significant radioactive forcing in one way or another, consequently altering the earth’s surface temperatures over time. Accordingly, the 2013 revised, integrated scientific review of climate change by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (7) has ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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