In this lesson we will discuss and answer the following questions:
- What is global warming?
- What are the two different viewpoints?
- Do the changes in teh atmosphere effect global warming?
- What is the greenhouse effect?
No reading assignment except online lecture.
Since Global warming first appeared during the last decade as a serious environmental issue, it has been the subject of a lot of debate.
Global warming is defined as the warming of the earth by greenhouse gases emitted into the atmosphere naturally or by mankind.
There still remain many questions about global warming from its causes to its full effects.
Many people question whether or not global warming exists. And if global warming does exist, people question why it exists. One may even ask the question as to the earth moving closer to the sun. But one fact that no one questions, researchers have determined that the surface temperature of the earth has increased 0.45 – 0.6 degrees Celsius in the past century.
Should We Worry About the Increased Temperature?
The answer to this question has two different viewpoints. They are the believers and the skeptics .
The believers in global warming think that the increased temperature proves that global warming exists, and it's a significant problem that should not be taken lightly.
The skeptics of global warming believe that the increased temperature is a natural occurrence, and that if global warming does exists, it's not that we should worry about.
Scientific data has been gathered to prove both side of this interesting debate.
With the use of computer climate models, global warming has been proven and disproved. Believers in global use them to show that in the next century there will be an increase in the Earth's temperature, and that the sea level will increase in height. But, global warming skeptics suggest that theses models are not entirely fact based, and they are not to be trusted.
There are a numerous arguments for and against the existence of global warming.
Let's Take a Look at Both Sides of the Argument
The believers of global warming views:
Surface analysis has shown that temperature of the earth has increased dramatically over the past century by the emission of greenhouse gases. Greenhouse gases, like carbon dioxide, act as a shield and trap heat inside the atmosphere. They also believe that the earth is getting closer to the sun.
Graph shows that the temperature rises because of the increase of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.
Earth and Sun
Another concern is with the earth's temperature increase the ice caps will melt and the sea levels will rise. When this happens the world's coastlines will be washed away.
Coastline Key West
They are also concerned with the effects on humans and wildlife with the outbreaks of diseases. The notion of this of serious disaster could happen from global warming
The skeptics views on global warming:
Skeptics believe that global warming is not an environmental problem. To them the recent increase in the earth's temperature is no cause for alarm. They feel that the polar icecaps and coastlines are in no danger of disappearing. They believe that the climate models that are being used to prove global warming and in the prediction of its effects are misrepresented.
One point they point out is that the last century should have been much worse than it actually was. They see that the increased temperatures occurred before the widespread emission of carbon dioxide in the middle of the 20 th century. The graph below is from the NOAA and shows the widespread of temperature changes form the year 1979 to 1998.
Part 2: Atmosphere