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| Words: 1490 | Submitted: 03-Mar-2012
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Global warming is a subject of huge controversy in contemporary times. The debate is about humans and their effect on global climate and how policies should be tailor made to minimise the undesirable effects of climate change. We are going to explicitly evaluate the phenomenon of global warming through the use of a case study to capture the finer points of the subject matter.
Global warming has been constantly on the rise in the past couple of years at a rate faster than what was originally anticipated. The very proof of this can be seen through constantly growing global sea levels , retreating glaciers , change to biological and physical systems as well as rising surface temperatures as touch upon by Maslin in his theories on the subject. The major attributers to the problem are largely thought to be us – yes Human Beings!
The terms global warming and climatic change are sometimes used interchangeably but it is important to note that they are not one and the same thing. Global warming is an overall warming of the planet, based on average temperature over the entire surface. Climatic changes are mainly those that occur and vary according to regional climate characteristics, including rainfall, temperature, humidity and severe weather events. They are terms which are intertwined in some respects but yet exclusive in their own right.
Radiation from the sun warms up the earth and these rays pass through the earth’s atmosphere after which they are reflected back to space again. The atmosphere consists of layers of gases, a certain few of which are known as greenhouse gases. These gases are natural and form some kind of a thermal blanket over the earth . Some of the rays are thus led back to the atmosphere and this helps in ensuring that the Earth is maintained at the correct degrees in order to ensure sustenance of animals , plants and us humans. Considering this , one may be forgiven to think that global warming is good but indeed not . There are extra greenhouse gases which could potentially be made and this could lead to the thermal blanket becoming thicker and increasing the heat on the earth atmosphere which then exposes the bad side of global warming.
Over the past century or so , the temperature of the Earth has risen by over a degree with the increase in the last 50 odd years attributed to human activity . Global sea levels have also increased by 4 to 8 inches in the past century . Burning of fuels such as natural gas , coal and oil produces greenhouse gases in excessive amounts . ...
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