Benefits of Recycling.com is presenting this series of pages on global warming becaue we believe there is evidence to support it is real. Even so, we are open to be proven wrong, which is why there are pages on why it is not real. Fair is fair.
The truth is we just want people to be aware that human activities (as well as natural causes) have the possibility of creating adverse effects in the US, Antarctica, Greenland, and throughout the world.
Whether you believe global warming is real or not, we invite you to read what we have uncovered on the many pages of this site… and beyond. Remember, knowledge is power.
Anthropogenic Global Warming / A Natural Phenom
Though global warming as the natural phenomenon has been known to scientists since the 19th century, it belongs to one of the most widely disputable issues these days. Scientists are unanimous as to the fact that the process of global warming, we face nowadays, started thousands of years ago.
However, sharp disputes are conducted around the theory of anthropogenic global warming, which says that human activity and mainly burning fossil fuels has already caused a significant acceleration in the rates of global warming.
Anthropogenic Global Warming / What is Global Warming
Global warming is not a new phenomenon for planet Earth. Actually it is the natural process, which stopped the last Ice Age period about 18 000 years ago. Without global warming the average temperature on the surface of our planet would be somewhere below zero these days. The major aim of natural global warming is to accumulate warmth near the Earth’s surface.
When sunrays reach our planet, they warm the surface (land and oceans), which in its turn warms the atmosphere or, speaking in simple words, air. Greenhouse gases, such as carbon dioxide or water vapor, which are always present in the atmosphere “catch” large portion of heat, going from the Earth’s surface, and instead of letting it escape into the space, send this heat back to earth, thus warming it up again.
That is how the Earth has maintained the temperature suitable for living organisms on its surface for thousands of years.
Anthropogenic Global Warming / What is the Anthropogenic Theory?
The core of anthropogenic global warming theory is that because of human activity the concentration of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere increased significantly, which resulted in the greater amount of heat caught in the atmosphere and sent back to our planet’s surface.
This caused the increase of average temperature worldwide, and the first signs of serious global climate changes are already visible: ice glaciers melting in Greenland and Antarctica, floods and extreme hurricanes, etc.
Though global warming is a naturally occurring phenomenon, many scientists say that human or anthropogenic factor played a significant role in acceleration of global warming during the past century after the industrial revolution.
Because of extensive use of fossil fuels and vast deforestation, the concentration of greenhouse gases increased significantly during the 20th century, and many scientists claim this to be the major culprit of today’s climate changes.
When fossil fuels, such as oil, gas or coal, are burned to get energy, tons of carbon dioxide are released into the atmosphere.
Besides, because humans have already destroyed many forests, such as Amazon rainforests, which acted as a natural filter to maintain the appropriate amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, the concentration of greenhouse gases also went out of control. Thus, according to many scientists, human activity caused a rapid progression of the global warming.
Anthropogenic Global Warming / The Controversy
The whole concept of anthropogenic global warming still remains just a scientific theory with not many reliable evidences and proofs. In the meantime, some issues still remain unexplained in this theory.
For example, if greenhouse gases concentration depends mainly on the burning of fossil fuels, then it is not clear why there was not a decrease in carbon dioxide amount in the atmosphere during the Great Depression, when industries almost seized their activity.
Second argument of opponents is that fossil fuels are not the only source of carbon dioxide, a huge amount of which is released by the ocean or from volcanoes.
Finally, it is a fact that water vapor and not carbon dioxide is the major contributor to greenhouse effect. So, the problem of global warming and the role of human influence on it is still far from its final solution.
Anthropogenic Global Warming / The Future
Climate on the planet Earth has never been stable – ice ages and warm periods changed each other from time to time. But the fact is that such changes took many thousands of years, but the global warming, we are facing today, may appear to cause much more rapid climate changes and thus letting humans not enough time to get prepared for them.
That is why it is important for the scientists to finally investigate the theory of anthropogenic global warming and if it turns out to be right, than all of us will have to implement active measures to slow down the progression of global climate changes.
Anthropogenic Global Warming / Sources
For more information on Global Warming follow these links: