Global Warming: A Fact or a Hoax


Most teenagers and young adults today can say that one of the first scientific or environmental words they first heard before they knew what a class was, may be “global warming”. However, a recognizable number of people cannot really explain what it means. In fact, there are those who do not believe that it exists. Since the universe came into being, it has experienced a number of climatic changes, having warming and cooling effects because of a shift in its orbit. However, in the past century, humanity has continued to influence the Earth’s climate (Riebeek, 2010). If people could live through the centuries, those in the 19th century could testify that the climate in those days was not as it is today. The weather is going to the extreme. When it is hot, it because overly hot and when it is cold, it is to the extreme. What went wrong? As far as humanity is concerned, the earth in the 19th century is still the world in the 21st century. As much as some people may deny it, the earth’s climate is changing. Unfortunately, it is not doing it in favor of humanity. As discussed, despite of the deniers, global warming is a fact.


Global warming is the abnormal fast increase of the temperatures on the earth’s surface. This is mostly caused by the greenhouse gases emitted after the burning of fossils. As mentioned earlier, the Earth experienced its own climatic change. The temperatures on the earth start with the sun. Around 30% of the sunlight goes back to space. This is because of the reflection caused by things like ice and clouds. Most of the 70% that remains is taken in by the oceans and the land. The remainder is taken in by the atmosphere (Riebeek, 2010). That absorbed energy from the sun is what heats the planet. The heat energy radiated from the rocks and water goes into the atmosphere where a lot of it is taken in by water vapor and greenhouse gases like methane and carbon dioxide. When these gases absorb the energy, their molecules turn into heaters so that they may continue emitting energy even after the fire has gone off. The radiation from these molecules heats the surface and the lower atmosphere thus increasing the heating they get.

However, scientists have found the current climatic change to be unnatural as there is an influence of the humans. Evidence obtained from tree rings, ocean sediments coral reefs, amongst others, shows that the climate change happened in the past. In fact, according to the global models, there were periods in the past that were warmer than today. The natural factors that caused the climatic change in the past are still present but their effects are too small to explain the fast climatic change that is being experienced presently.

NASA (National Aeronautics and Space Administration) satellites monitor and record a huge number of important signals, which also include atmospheric aerosols, the temperature of the ocean surface, gases in the atmosphere, radiation from the sun and earth’s surface, the sea level, how far the ice sheets have extended, amongst others. The changes in the atmosphere can easily be noted. There are other additional methane and carbon dioxide molecules in the atmosphere, which are radiating more heat. This lead to an increase in the temperatures and hence the current global warming (Cooper, 2011).

If something is not done about it, the gas concentrations from the greenhouses will continue to go up. It is estimated that the temperatures could go up between 2oC and 6oC by the time we come to the end of this century. This is incomparable to the fact that it has taken the planet around 5,000 years in order to get 5 degrees warm. Even if the gases were reduced, the warming would still take place because the earth is not yet adjusted to the changes humanity has made. Out of a million, 240 people died because of extreme weather conditions in the 1920s. This included weather conditions, drought, earthquakes, floods, landslide, just to mention but a few (Berg, 2011).

Numerous articles have been released claiming that global warming has nothing to do with the current changes in temperatures that are being experienced. The writers believe that the high concentration of Carbon dioxide has nothing to do with the wearing out of the ozone layer thus the effects it causes. The fact that 99% of climate scientists believe in the reality of global warming, should be convincing enough to take that matter seriously. If global warming is not responsible for the melting down of the polar ice, then what is? Some of these questions have not yet been fully answered by the deniers.

Apart from the fossil fuels emissions, other day-to-day activities greatly contribute to the global warming experience. Transportation has been made easier by having cars and other gasoline burning means of transport. These gases released into the air are not only harmful to the respiratory system but also the Earth in general. The emissions from cars and other outsourced goods contribute to 33% of the emissions in the United States. The population is rapidly growing and so is the demand for the cars (Markham, 2009).

The chemicals, fertilizers and other inputs used in farms also contribute to the global warming. These inputs contain methane. As mentioned earlier, methane is a dangerous gas when in excess, does a lot of damage. When organic matter decomposes, methane is released. This methane is also found in the intestines of herbivorous animals. A resent survey shows that there is an increase in the keeping of cattle and other farm animals. These gases released into the air are absorbed by the rain, which falls as acid rain and is not good for the soil.

Some countries cut down wood for fuel purposes and to increase farming land. In the first world countries, deforestation takes place because people want to acquire wood for building and construction, paper and paper products, livestock keeping land, planting of industries and firms, places to live, amongst others. Amongst other uses, forests are meant to remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. This is because the take in carbon dioxide and excrete oxygen. When they are cut down, there is excess carbon dioxide left in the atmosphere (Markham, 2009).

Global warming has very serious effects, which are feared to get worse as time goes by. Some disease carrying insecticides like very warm weather. For example, as the northern countries continue to heat up, insects carrying diseases continue to migrate towards them. This is why; scientists believe that diseases like malaria will not be fully eradicated in some countries. Some bird species that carry human pathogens have changed their migration and breeding dates. In this way, they are more effective in transmitting the diseases.

We do not need to be told. One can be their own witnesses of water calamities that have hit the earth. Tsunamis and hurricanes are on an increase more than they were there before. As the water temperatures increase, more hurricanes and tsunamis will be on the increase. The wind speed of the tropical cyclones has shot up at an alarming rate since 1981. There is also a detected increase in the sea level. This is due to the melting ice in the Antarctica and Greenland. As a result, this will displace millions of people in some years to come. The Maldives are already in search of a new place to live (Chan & Kin, 2004).

We need not be told of the hunger and drought strikes that have filled the headlines of newspapers and television news. The drought spells are much longer and the floods come to kill. Africa is feared to be worst hit by the drought effect. Landslides and increased earthquakes that have left many dead are also due to the increased temperatures of the earth’s lower surface. The lack of food is also feared to lead to war and internal conflicts in the African countries. This will be in pursuit of land and food to sustain the families.

Another inevitable consequence is the economic strain. Drought, hurricanes and tsunamis, floods and other calamities cause governments billions dollars. Diseases cost the governments a lot of money in order to treat them Countries with balance of payment deficit experience a financial strain.

The melting of the polar ice caps will do more harm than just raising sea levels. The global ecosystem will be imbalanced. Since the ice is fresh water, it will go and make the oceans’ water less salty. This will make the desalinization of the gulf current mess up ocean currents, which control the temperatures. When the ice caps are melted and gone, the only reflector of the sun will be the ocean. Since darker colors absorb the sun more, the earth will be warmed even more (Morrison, 2011).

According to an article published in Nature, the increasing temperatures could cause an extinction of a million species or more by the time we reach the year 2050. Humans depend on these species and so their disappearance will mean that the humankind is also in danger. If push comes to shove, coral population will go down by the year 2100. This will be due to increased temperatures and the acidity in the oceans. This is a threat for the life in the oceans as most species depend on the coral reefs in order to survive.

The bad news is that nothing much can be done to stop the warming. However, humans are doing something in order to adapt to it. According to the International Disaster Database, the 1920 figure went down to three deaths per a million. In the 20th century, risk deaths from drought reduced by 99% and the risk deaths from floods dropped to 89% (Riebeek, 2010).

Many improvements have been made to curb the effects of the consequences of global warming. Better communication and transport have been utilized in order to take help where there floods and drought. Agricultural technology has enabled humankind to grow food even in the harshest of the climates. Types of food that persevere harsh climates are been grown so that the effect of droughts, flood and other natural calamities are not felt. Advanced control and prevention of floods, quicker response to emergency services and accurate weather forecasting are all used in order to ensure that the damage caused by floods is not as severe. As there seems no concrete international action to decrease the carbon emissions, people have decided to adapt rather than stop it.

In addition, there are a number of steps, though small, that are being taken n order to slow down its effect. Countries are being more serious about protecting their forests now than they were before. This is also because some water sources are running dry due to lack of forests in the water catchments areas. An on going campaign of planting trees has reached many of the people. This is meant to increase the number of trees and thus enlarge the forests. In some countries, one must obtain a work permit in order to cut down a tree (Berg, 2011).

Countries have been urged to cut down the amount of greenhouse emissions. However, this has become a challenge, as most are not willing to suffer the financial consequences that come along with the responsibility. Cutting down on the number of vehicles on the road is another remedy. Not many are willing to give up their cars and share or even use bikes. People are still using chemical fertilizers instead of using natural additives like manure.

Countries are not willing to cut down their carbon emissions to the required amount. For example, the ten American states that had come together in order to act on the climate change is slowly going down in number as new Hampshire is planning on withdrawing from the coalition. George Monbiot once wrote in The Guardian that even if economies closed down their nuclear plants, they would not fall back on wind, wood, sun or water, but they would turn to fossil fuel.

While other countries are trying to reduce their carbon emissions, China has increased its emission by approximately 12%. It is feared that by the time we hit the year 2020, China will be at 500% more than what it used to emit in 1990 (Berg, 2011).

Global warming is said to increase even in the next years. Water vapor is known to be one of the greatest factors that are enhancing global warming. As temperatures continue to warm, more water vapor goes into the atmosphere. The amount of temperatures determines the amount of vapor in the atmosphere, which determines the increase in warming. In the past couple of decades, the balance between vapor and temperature has been constant. If this goes on, (models say it will continue), the water vapor may double the warming.

The cooling effect of the clouds can change in an environment that has higher temperatures. Clouds also take in the Re-emit of infrared energy. Clouds that are much lower release more energy as compared to clouds that are higher and colder. According to the current trend, the clouds are much higher thus; they are reducing the Earth’s capacity to cool hence increasing temperatures (Riebeek, 2010).


Global warming is not going to go away any time soon. Whether one accepts it or not, the effects are still being felt globally. Hurricanes are being seen, droughts experienced and the results are quite “loud and clear”. The only possible solution is to stop talking and start acting. Whether it is finding adapting to the effects or plainly finding the remedies, much talk and debates have been done. The whole world is in danger and the effects are on the rise. If we do not take care, we might become as history as the dinosaurs in a few decades to come.



Works Cited

Berg, Chris. “Climate change can’t be stopped, but we will adapt”. The Sydney Morning Herald. Fairfax Media. April 6, 2011. Web. April 6, 2011.

Chan, Johnny & Kin Sik Liu. “Global Warming and Western North Pacific Typhoon Activity from an Observational Perspective”. AMS Journals Online. American Meteorological Society. Vol. 17 Issue 23, 2004. Web. 6 April 2011.

Cooper, Caren B. “Media Literacy as a Key Strategy Towards Improving Public Acceptance of Climate Change Science”. BioScience. American Institute of Biological Sciences: 231-237. 2011. Web. 6 April 2011.

Markham, Derek. “Global Warming Effects and Causes: A Top 10 List”. Planetsave. Solar Energy charity. June 7, 2009. Web. 6 April 2011.

Morrison, David. “Letter to Climate Skeptics”. Millenium Press, Inc. Jan 1, 2011. Web. 6 April 2011.

Riebeek, Holli. Global Warming. Earth Observatory. NASA, June 3, 2010. Web. 6 April 2011.



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