Shahin Sidiqi-Khwaga

Candidate number:

0026

Center number:

US619

John Overton High School

May 2016

Question:

To what extent is Global Warming real, and how is it

affecting the Earth and its inhabitants?

Word count:

1778
To what extent is Global Warming real, and how is it

affecting the Earth and its inhabitants?

The Earth is a sensitive planet that has changed greatly in its existence of roughly 4.54

billion years (Universe Today). The position of the planets, the sun, and the moon are so

perfectly intact to allow life on Earth to thrive with sustainable temperatures and weather.

Though it is subject to change with the way humans live on the Earth. Scientists have become

aware of many of the gases on Earth, such as oxygen, nitrogen, argon, and carbon dioxide. Some

of the gases on Earth are considered to be held accountable for the weather and temperatures.

They are called greenhouse gases and include carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide, and other

gases, according to epa.gov. A greenhouse gas, by definition, is a gas that contributes to the

greenhouse effect in which infrared radiation is absorbed, usually from the sun. The greenhouse

effect happens when the sun’s heat is trapped in the lower atmosphere of the Earth and

contributes to the warming of the Earth, calling it global warming. This is not the only way the

Earth becomes warmed, but it is one of the main contributors. Some scientists believe that the

warming of the Earth is the effect of human actions, and others believe it is the natural cycle of

the Earth.

There are many things that have been recorded that can prove that the Earth is warming,

such as global thermometers. According to the University Corporation for Atmospheric

Research, the Earth has warmed 1.53 degrees Fahrenheit from 1880 to 2012, though most of the

warming began in the 1970s.The research has also concluded that from 1983 to 2012 were the

hottest years in the past 1400 years. Another way scientists have concluded warming in the Earth

is through the drilling of ice sheets. According to National Geographic, scientists drill holes in

these ice sheets to reach trapped air bubbles that contain air from thousands of years ago. In these
ice bubbles scientists compared the concentration of greenhouse gasses to the concentration of

today’s greenhouse gasses and conclude that the concentration of today’s gasses are higher,

specifically since the industrial revolution. This shows that over the past 100 years the average

temperatures and greenhouse gasses concentrations have been rising and that the warming of the

Earth is happening. Not only is the surface of the Earth warming, but the temperatures of the

oceans are rising as well (NASA Climate). According to NASA’s climate research, the tolls have

had a greater effect in the polar regions of the Earth, which has and will continue to affect the

rest of the Earth it. The rising temperatures of the entire atmosphere have been said to make ice

glaciers and ice sheets to begin melting. Evidence from NASA shows that two major groups of

ice sheets has decreased in total mass. One is Greenland’s ice sheets, which has lost roughly 150

to 250 cubic kilometers of ice mass per year within the years of 2002 and 2006. The other is the

Antarctic’s ice sheets which has lost 152 cubic kilometers of ice mass between the years of 2002

and 2005. While the ice melts, it must go somewhere. Around the entire Earth, sea levels have

increased by 17 cm in the past century. According to NASA’s research, the rate at which the sea

level is rising has doubled in the last century. The law of conservation of mass states that mass

cannot be created or destroyed. This shows that the melting glaciers can be held accountable for

the rising sea levels because the extra water levels can come from nowhere else.

Though the global average temperatures have been rising in recent centuries, it is not

rising at an unpredictably dangerous rate. There have been no cataclysmic changes in the Earth’s

climate patterns but rather only small changes. It will only have real drastic effects in thousands

of years, but it is good to look out for the future generations. The Earth has actually had signs of

warming and cooling in the past centuries. “The HadCRUT3 surface temperature index,

produced by the Hadley Centre of the UK Met Office and the Climate Research Unit of the
University of East Anglia, shows warming to 1878, cooling to 1911, warming to 1941, cooling to

1964, warming to 1998 and cooling through 2011,” (Friends of Science). Though overall the

Earth is warming, it shows that the constantly increasing factors of global warming have no

effect over the Earth’s cooling patterns. The trends of warming and cooling are unpredictable and

do not have a normal pattern. Therefore, it can be inferred that the patterns are natural and not

caused by human pollution. The “hockey stick” graph many people refer to in concluding that

the Earth is warming, is misleading. The graph shows many variations of years of spiking in

warming and cooling. Also, it includes an increase in temperatures that is only predicted and has

not happened yet. Another factor of global warming some believe is the greenhouse gas carbon

dioxide. Carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere have increased along with the temperatures of

the Earth, since the industrial revolution. There is no proof of direct correlation between the two.

According to the studies pf Friends of Science, increasing carbon dioxide levels is an effect of

the warming rather than a cause. The study has concluded, “There is solid evidence that, as

temperatures move up and down naturally and cyclically through solar radiation, orbital and

galactic influences, the warming surface layers of the earth's oceans expel more CO2 as a result,”

(Friends of Science). It enhances the fact that carbon dioxide levels increasing is a result of and

not a cause of the warming. The argument that glaciers are melting because of the Earth’s

warming can be misleading as well. Our Earth is just getting out of the small Ice Age we had,

and the melting of the glaciers is only a result of that. According to Friends of Science, scientists

have found at least 33 periods of melting and refreezing, which shows that the recent melting of

glaciers is a normal cycle. Also, changes made to a glacier depend on precipitation as much as it

depends on temperatures, which shows that temperatures cannot be held completely accountable

for it.
Studies from NRDC show that 2000 to 2009 was the hottest decade in 1,300 years.

Though average global temperatures have only increased by a small degree, it has caused a

dramatic transformation on Earth. One great transformation that is still extending to a bigger

degree is the Earth’s weather patterns. These higher temperatures can be blamed as the cause of

severe weather worsening. Many disasters that are considered normal are becoming worse with

its increased severity as well as the increased amount of severe weather patterns the Earth

receives at all. The power of the weather, the destruction, and the effects that it is having on

human’s lives are all important things that are a result of increased temperatures and increased

weather severity. According to NRDC, in the United States had 10 natural disasters that caused at

least $1 billion in losses in 2015. From 1980 to 2015 each year averaged $5.2 billion is disasters

while from 2011 to 201 the average was $10.8 billion. As we get farther and farther into this

mess of global warming, we would have to pay for it. The IFRC shows that from 2004 to 2013

the amount of deaths from natural disasters was 1,059,072. This shows that the more we hurt our

Earth, the more we would have to pay for it- in money as well as lives. Examples of natural

disasters that have increased in severity are droughts, storms, floods, hurricanes, tsunamis,

tornados, etc. Though these disasters are already bad enough, we can expect to see them do

greater harm. Another perspective of severe weather being the cause of many deaths is in poor

countries there is no air conditioning. On an extremely hot day in a poor country, many people

can die from the heat by heat stroke. This cannot be looked over because many countries are

poor in places where temperatures regularly go beyond 100 degrees Fahrenheit. Even in

countries that are not as poor as others, there are heat related deaths. According to NRDC heat

kills more Americans each year than hurricanes, floods, tornadoes, and lightning combined, on

average. In July 2006, it is reported that 225 people died of a heat stroke (NRDC).
Not only does global warming cause higher temperatures, more severe weather, and

deaths, the air becomes polluted which comes with many more disadvantages. Factories, cars,

and all other sources that pollute the air release gasses that expand the ozone layer, which can be

considered a big component of smog. This makes our air dirtier which can affect many people

with asthma and cardiac or pulmonary disease, leading to worse health condition than they

already have. NRDC also states, “Warmer temperatures also significantly increase airborne

pollen,” which affect people with allergies. Somewhere between 10% and 30% of the world

suffer from allergies. This shows that global warming can have a rippling effect of bad things,

even if it is death or increased allergies.

Another effect global warming may have is its ability to effect underwater life. Studies

show that since the Industrial revolution, CO2 levels have increased greatly. This also affects the

ocean because the ocean absorbs roughly ¼ the amount of CO2 released annually. This changes

the chemistry of the ocean water and it has its effects towards the wildlife living in it. When CO2

is in the water, a chemical reaction occurs which creates a threat to underwater life with

skeletons or shells made of calcium carbonate. The underwater life it affects includes mollusks,

crabs, and corals (NRDC). Not only is this bad for the ecosystem, but it affects our economy as

well. “Acidification is believed to have cost the Pacific Northwest oyster industry nearly $110

million,” (NRDC). This, as well as the many coastal countries that depend on ocean life for their

economy, is making our economy weaker, worldwide.

Ultimately, many years of research and studies show that the Earth is becoming hotter

with chains of reactions to the life on Earth, whether on land or in water. There is an undeniable

change in the Earth’s patterns that many people do not believe to see. It is not a great coincidence

that most of the changes began in the industrial revolution. Humans have caused a change and
are continuing to make the Earth and its inhabitants suffer. The evidence of Global warming is

everywhere, and it will make the lives of humans and animals more miserable and harder to live

in.

Works Cited
"Global Warming Solutions, Is It Real? - National Geographic." National
Geographic. N.p., n.d. Web. 17 May 2016.
"Climate Change Evidence: How Do We Know?" Climate Change: Vital

Signs of the Planet. N.p., n.d. Web. 17 May 2016.

"Consequences of Global Warming - Global Warming Effects | NRDC." Consequences of

Global Warming - Global Warming Effects | NRDC. N.p., n.d. Web. 11 Mar. 2016

"Friends of Science | The Myths and Facts of Global Warming." Friends of Science | The

Myths and Facts of Global Warming. N.p., n.d. Web. 15 Mar. 2016.

"Greenhouse Gases." Greenhouse Gases. N.p., n.d. Web. 17 May 2016.

"How Much Has the Global Temperature Risen since 1880? | UCAR -

University Corporation for Atmospheric Research." How Much Has the Global

Temperature Risen since 1880? | UCAR - University Corporation for

Atmospheric Research. N.p., n.d. Web. 17 May 2016.

"World Disasters Report 2014 – Data." World Disasters Report 2014.
N.p., n.d. Web. 17 May 2016.
"Ocean Acidification." Ocean Acidification. N.p., n.d. Web. 17 May 2016.

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