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Debate on the causes of global warming - Essay Example

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Global warming is one of the most important world issues in the late twentieth century and the early twenty-first century. The effects of global warming could be very destructive to worldwide civilization. Debate on the causes of Global Warming, the extent of Global Warming, and even the existence of Global Warming is very common in the public sphere…
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Debate on the causes of global warming
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Download file to see previous pages While a dialectic method is used, it is used poorly, and there are almost no attempts at synthesis. The main topoi used by all sides are scientific data, but they are used poorly.
There are three separate arguments made in the debate. One group of scientists claims that global warming is not occurring, another group claims that global warming is occurring because of natural changes in the earth's climate such as an increase in the level of solar radiation reaching the earth or changes in the patterns of winds, ocean currents, or volcanic activity, and another group claims that global warming is occurring because of an increase in carbon dioxide in the atmosphere due to the large scale combustion of fossil fuels by humans that started during the time of the first industrial revolution and continues up to the present day.
There are several different types of arguments used by scientists that deny the existence of global warming. The three main scientific arguments used by that side of the debate are claims that temperatures in the upper atmosphere have fallen in the last few decades, an argument that meteorological data from the last century is inaccurate because of the heat island effect, and a claim that differences in the way that average temperature is measured today cause average temperatures today to appear higher than they were in earlier decades. The claim that the temperatures in the upper atmosphere have fallen in the last few decades is the weakest of the three because there is no scientific proof that temperatures in the upper atmosphere have any correlation with ground temperatures. The temperature data was also slightly modified for scientific reasons in the survey, and scientists who claim that global warming is happening say that it was modified incorrectly. The argument that the heat island effect; or the effect of thermometers in weather stations being in highly developed areas where there are many heat-retaining ground coverings, such as buildings, concrete, and asphalt; is the cause of the observed rise in temperatures is a better argument, but there have been no attempts to analyze the effects of increasing urbanization quantitatively or show the exact levels of new development around each weather station. The claim that average temperatures appear higher because temperatures are now taken four times each day instead of twice is an even better argument, because the temperatures taken at the two other times are usually closer to the daily high than the daily low, and that causes the average daily temperature for each day to appear higher. However, it has been claimed that average highs and average lows have both risen in the past few decades, making this argument seem less convincing. Nonscientific arguments made by scientists and others that claim that global warming is not occurring include an argument that there is a global conspiracy against capitalism or the United States by socialists or internationalists using environmental junk science and the argument that most environmentalist scientists thought that there was a pattern of global cooling and the risk of a new ice age in the 1970s. Both arguments are ad hominem attacks. While many of the scientists that support the theory of human-caused Global Warming are extreme environmentalists, there is ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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