Today we are debating the important topic of global warming. As the affirmative team, we strongly believe that global warming is caused by the actions of humans. But this is not just a belief, this is a fact. Global warming, by definition, is a gradual increase in the overall temperature of the earth’s atmosphere generally attributed to the greenhouse effect caused by increased levels of carbon dioxide, CFCs, and other pollutants.
The greenhouse effect is the trapping of the sun’s warmth in a planet’s lower atmosphere due to the greater transparency of the atmosphere to visible radiation from the sun than to infrared radiation emitted from the planet’s surface. In simpler terms, this means that the pollution emitted from the earth, such as the gasses from factories, cars etc. enter the atmosphere and the co2 from these gases absorb the heat from the sun and intern warms the climate.
The pollution or carbon dioxide enter the Earth’s atmosphere and absorb heat from the sun, heating the environment, therefore an increase in co2 means an increase in heat, this resulting in bigger problem for global warming. The main producer of this pollution and greenhouse gases are ofcourse humans, our environment and climate are the ones that have to pay for the humanly actions causing global warming. Scientists have determined that a number of human activities are contributing to global warming by adding excessive amounts of greenhouse gases to the atmosphere.
These gases such as carbon dioxide (co2) accummulate in the atmosphere and trap heat that normally would exit into outer space. The main source of excess greenhouse gases is the human use of fossil fuels. The burning of fossil fuels to generate energy for example driving cars, using electricity from coal-fired power plants, or heating homes with oil or natural gas, humans release carbon dioxide and other heat-trapping gases into the atmosphere. Over 100 years ago the co2 level was 35% less than it is currently and since the beginning of the industrial revelution, has been increasing gradually.
Nowadays modern society is producing more co2 and other gases than ever before, this being the result of the economic problem, with humans having unlimited wants and needs that can only be produced in a way that influences global warming. (Figure 1) Another significant source of greenhouse gases is deforestation, this is because fewer trees means less carbon dioxide conversion to oxygen. (Figure 2)Deforestation in rainforests add more co2 to the atmosphere than the sum total of most vehicles on roads.
In fact 25-30%,of the gases released into the atmosphere each year is a result of deforestation. The reason that logging is so bad for the climate is that when trees, which are 50 percent carbon, are burned or felled they release the carbon they are storing into the air, where it mingles with greenhouse gases from other sources and contributes to global warming. As humans, we do not take our actions into precaution and many of us act before thinking. This is the same situation with global warming and because of this, the result is negative.
Global warming affects not only our climate but the environment and air mankind needs for survival, however how can us humans survive when we are the ones destroying our planet and risking our own lives. Greenhouse gases can stay in the atmosphere for an amount of years ranging from decades to hundreds or thousands of years. No matter what we do, global warming is going to have some effect on Earth. These effects range from diseases and economic consquences to different types of hazzards. (Figure 3) Floods, hurricanes, tsunamis, they are all weathering patterns that are directly altered by the differences in temperature.
Most of them are occuring due to high sea level or heavy rainfall. This was seen in 2004 and 2005. (Figure 4) It can be a devastating shock for crops and other agriculture, and also bring death and injury to humans and animals through accidents, hypothermia and starvation. It may seem illogical at first to attribute harsher cold weather to global warming, but a change in atmospheric patterns brought about by receding glacial ice can lead to the redirection of polar air currents and the sun’s rays being absorbed by the larger areas of dark blue sea.
However this process can also be reversed to achieve opposite results. (Figure 5) Some areas suffer serious droughts and heat waves and the severity of these hazzards are increasing by large numbers. Countries such as Africa and India recieve the worst of these affects, since water is already a dangerous rare essential. (Figure 6) As the planet continues to become warmer and warmer as global warming increases and the dry lands that are already susceptible to wildfires are likely to be ravaged by even more frequent and destructive episodes.
In 2007, more than 3,000 fires brought destruction to Southeastern Europe thanks to a long summer that created arid and parched conditions, a situation that would become normal as a consequence of the greenhouse effect. As countries warm, disease carrying insects migrate, bringing their diseases with them. Climate greatly influences some of the most deadly and widespread diseases currently affecting millions of people across the world with the spread of diseases like Malaria, West Nile virus and Dengue fever to parts of the planet.
With greatly reduced rainfall, more severe droughts and loss of soil fertility, food and water supplies would soon diminish, resulting in higher prices, famine, disease, malnutrition, starvation and, ultimately, death. These effects spell one thing for the countries of the world: economic consequences. Hazzards cause billions of dollars in damage, diseases cost money to treat and control and conflicts aggravate all of these. There is simply no other mechanism that can explain the significantly altered climate path and the changes in the radiative forcing other than human causes.
Animals are a major source that are affected by the influences of global warming, some not only lose their habitat and homes, but also suffer in the drastic measures that humans have put them up against. Animals such as polar bears and penguins are the most obvious evidence of consequences of having warmer climates. (Figure 7) They and other animals that are dependent on cold enviornments retreat to more northerly locations as the planet heats up, leading to encroachment upon other eco-systems and displacement of other animals from their natural habitat.
Animals that are driven from their natural habitats or normal migration routes by environmental factors could easily come into contact with human settlements, leading to many deaths among humans and already endangered animals. (Figure 8) The world’s oceans absorb roughly 30% of all carbon dioxide that seeps into the atmosphere, and so inevitably, as more gases are released, ocean life will continue to suffer the negative consequences placed upon them by human actions.
Courtney from Study Moose
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