English Comp 1
5 December 2018
Vital Signs of the Planet
In recent years it is hard for anyone to not be aware of global warming, it has been a topic people have been looking into it the last few years. Global warming is a gradual increase in the overall temperature of the Earth’s atmosphere due to the greenhouse effect cause by increased levels of carbon dioxide(Baynes). “This has been a controversy scientist have been observing for a long time now the records go back as far as 150 years ago”(Leslie). The debate over global warming has proponents arguing rising air and water temperatures, glaciers disappearing and, ocean levels rising; while opponents argue the sea levels do not increase, it is earth’s natural cycle, the changes are small and the world will adapt.
Many effects of global warming are happening and there are thousands of land and ocean temperatures being recorded around the world each and every day. The first proponent is about how the air temperatures are changing and why. According to NASA’s website “Global Climate Change,” they said “Air temperatures are rising due to the amount of carbon dioxide, which is an important heat-trapping gas and is released through burning fossil fuels, deforestation, and even volcanic eruptions.” Scientist say the natural greenhouse effect on Earth is changing due to the human activities, over the centuries the burning of the fossil fuels coal and oil has increased the amount of atmospheric carbon dioxide. The next proponent is the ocean and how it plays a very important role within the environment, one main part of its role is to soak up the suns energy and distribute it more around the Earth. The top few meters of the ocean will store as much heat as it can but as the planet warms, the ocean will be getting most of the energy which is then heating up the seas of the Earth causing ocean temperatures to increase. With the ocean waters warming, it then causes the ice sheets and glaciers to melt which then causes the ocean to expand and results in higher seas levels. “Having higher sea levels means the world is at risk of deadly and destructive storm surges to push farther inland they once did” (Leslie). Since the ice sheets and the glaciers are melting it is causing differences in ocean-water density caused by warming or cooling for example, they can create density currents. Density currents are those flow along the bottoms of the ocean or lakes, they can exist when two fluid of a different temperature meet. “Pressure gradients are another big problem, it is a change in pressure and they are most effective as a driving force over longer time scales, wind over shorter time scales” (Baynes). They are caused by the unequal heating of the Earth’s surface when incoming solar radiation concentrates at the equator.
The debate over global warming has opponents arguing the sea levels do not increase, it is apart of the earth’s natural cycle, the changes are small and the world will adapt. With the sea levels rising it is one of global warmings most well known consequences. According to the NOAA’s National Ocean Service there are two ways higher temperatures cause higher sea levels and those two things include of melting ice sheets and thermal expansion of seawater. Although these things are happening and are causing global warming the sea level are not rising as high as people think they are. “Ever since the year of 1990 the sea level has risen anywhere between 1 to 2 millimeters per year”(Reisman). All the sea levels are rising at different amounts and times all around the world. High tide and storm-surge flooding will be affecting social, economic, and ecological systems along the United States coasts due to climate change. “The coastal communities are affected by their local sea level rise, which combines global sea level rise, changes in local land elevation, tides and winds” (Shaftel). According to the article Global Warmings Natural Cycle on the Open Source, Science and Solutions website they said, “For the past million years the natural climate has been able to roll between warm periods and ice ages.” Going in and out of warm periods and ice ages is due to the Earth orbiting around the sun. To understand the difference between Earth’s natural cycle and human-caused influences on global warming, one needs to understand how it affects the Earth. “Scientist say if we start using mitigation then it resolves in reducing the flow of heat-trapping greenhouse gases in the atmosphere”(Baynes). In order for the world to adapt we have to start making smaller changes, and we have to start making them fast before the world is just a giant ball of gas.
There have been many debates on if global warming exists or if it is just known as a myth. Scientist have been researching and observing this controversy for a long time now, the records go back as far as 150 years ago. The debate over global warming has proponents arguing rising air and water temperatures, glaciers disappearing with less snowfall, and ocean levels rising. The air and water temperatures are rising because so many fossil fuels being burned it is causing a lot of carbon dioxide. As the Earth warms so does the ocean and it causes the glaciers to start disappearing, which creates a problem from the sea levels, because they begin to rise. While opponents argue the sea levels do not increase, the earth’s natural cycle, the changes are small and the world will adapt. Some people argue the sea levels do not rise but even though they rise 1 to 2 mm it is still a serious problem for the future. This is part of the Earth’s natural cycle, although it is somewhat true because the Earth has rolled through warm periods along with ice ages. The changes might be small and the world will try to adapt but we can slowly fix these problems so global warming will not be as bad.
Baynes Kathleen Sea Level Change: “Understanding Sea Level.” ,NASA,
https://sealevel.nasa.gov/understanding-sea-level/causes/overview Accessed 31 October 2018.
Leslie, John, “Global Climate Change Indicators.” National Climate Data Center,
www.ncdc.noaa.gov Accessed 31 October 2018.
Reisman, John, “Myths vs. Facts: Global Warming.” Open
Source Systems, Science, Solutions, OSS, January 2014.
http://ossfoundation.us/projects/environment/global-warming/myths 7 November 2018
Shaftel, Holly and Callery, Susan, “Climate Change Evidence: How Do We Know?”
NASA, 7, November 2018
https://climate.nasa.gov/solutions/adaptation-mitigation 31 October 2018.