You are on page 1of 3

1

Jack Dobson
Whitted
3-13-14

Climate change. 2 of the most


controversial words you can
string together today. Is it
natural, is anthropogenic
(man made)? Can we stop,
can the Earth handle it?
The Myths of Climate Change

Global climate change is one of the most controversial issues


that the world faces today. Its apparent, and unarguable that the earth
is heating up, but experts are still unsure as to why this is happening.
Researchers have been working to prove that climate change is the
result of man made emissions for years, which no doubt is taking a toll
on the environment. On the other hand, very little research has been
conducted to contradict this idea of man made climate change. The
debate of whether its really a natural phenomenon, or a consequence
of the emissions we lot off, remains to be settled.
Global warming: or the global average temperature, is one of
the largest issues when looking at world climate change.(Spencer 1)
The earth contains many natural greenhouse gases, such as Carbon
Dioxide and Methane.(Spencer 2) What scientists are focusing on today
is the idea of climate sensitivity. Its an idea of equilibrium in
temperature change, having a direct relation with the amount of
emissions that are being forced into the atmosphere. (IPCC 1) For
example, the amount of Carbon Dioxide that the world produces on
average makes up about 84% of the total emissions of greenhouse
gases.(EPA 1) If humans continue to add more Carbon Dioxide than is
naturally present in the atmosphere, its effect could be a lot more
dangerous to the global climate. The controversy this brings up
however, is just how significant these excess emissions are to our
environment. Over the past 20 years, theres been no real substantial
growth in the amount of Carbon Dioxide emissions per year.(EPA 2) Its
projected that in the next 10 years, the amount of emissions may grow
a mere 1.5%.(EPA 3) In the short term, this seems like a manageable
amount, but its apparent that the emissions need to be cut down in
the future if the climate sensitivity is to remain stable.
Its hard to define ways to cut down emissions of Carbon Dioxide,
as it doesnt exactly leave the atmosphere. The gases that arent
absorbed naturally can remain on the surface for thousands of years,
which raises an even larger question.(EPA 4) Why worry about the
amount of Carbon Dioxide emissions if its been a part of our
atmosphere for millenniums? The slow process at which sediments
absorb the gas give light to researchers claiming that climate change is
a natural occurring phenomenon. Studies by the EPA show a promising
trend in climate change that dates back billions of years. The data
shows a shockingly similar correlation between average world
temperature, and annual levels of Carbon Dioxide in the atmosphere.

2
(EPA Graph 1) This could be mistaken as a direct giveaway that excess
emissions are the true source of climate change. However, this raises
a suspicion in the claim that this is a man made issue. If the world has
been experiencing similar climate change patterns for billions of years,
the human impact cant be accurately assessed at this point in time.
The effects of man made emissions go way beyond climate
change, and shouldnt be the main topic of discussion when there is
not yet real scientific proof that the warming is caused by man.
(Express 1) Theres more long term evidence to back up the idea that
this is caused by natural processes than not. Even if this idea of global
warming is a large issue, there were warmer periods in the earths
atmosphere nearly 800 years ago, as well as moments when increased
Carbon Dioxide correlated with spans of temperature decrease. Despite
the concern that levels of Carbon Dioxide are growing, the fact that its
a minor greenhouse gas suggests that no real long term harm can be
done on the environment. The increase of Carbon Dioxide, if anything,
brings hope that it will naturally fuel crops to feed a rapidly growing
population.(Express 2) The true cause of climate change can obviously
not be accurately assessed at this point in time, but history points to
the claim that this phenomenon were experiencing will naturally work
its way out.
Works Cited

Spencer, Roy. Global Warming. 2014. NASA. 13 Mar. 2014.


<http://www.drroyspencer.com/global-warming-natural-or-manmade/>
Solomon, S. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. 2007. IPCC.
13 Mar. 2014.
<http://www.ipcc.ch/publications_and_data/ar4/wg1/en/contents.html>
EPA Climate Science Research. Overview of Greenhouse Gases. 27 Jan.
2014. EPA. 13 Mar. 2014.
<http://www.epa.gov/climatechange/ghgemissions/gases/co2.html>
EPA Climate Change Indicators. Earths Climate in the past. 9 Sep.
2013. EPA. 13 Mar. 2014.
<http://www.epa.gov/climatestudents/basics/past.html>
Meredith, Charlotte. 100 reasons why climate change is natural. 20
Nov. 2012. Express UK. 13 Mar. 2014.
<http://www.express.co.uk/news/uk/146138/100-reasons-why-climatechange-is-natural>