Turky Is global warming really happening? If so, should we try to stop it?

Global warming is a critical issue that concerns all people. The greatest problem that we have is that we are uncertain about the effects that global warming will cause. We are not sure if global warming will happen in the next few years. However, numbers of scientists are divided when it comes to discussing this specific issue. Some believe that global warming poses a major threat to our future if it continues to increase and raises the earth’s atmospheric temperatures, and the melting of the polar ice caps could become a reality. This would cause serious devastation to many parts of the world. There would be floods, record heat waves, and destruction of life. If this scenario is likely to happen then we should be worried about this issue. Others argue that there is insufficient evidence as yet that global warming is taking place. In my opinion it is just as serious as an international issue as any war. Therefore, we should worry about it because there is enough evidence that global warming is happening and it may cause changes to climatic and weather patterns and rises in the sea level.

Bryce Mortlock in his article "History's Lesson is to keep a cool head on global warming "(1998) asserts several arguments in defence of his view that we should not worry about global warming because of temperature fluctuations; besides, he says, there is not enough evidence that global warming is occurring and that warmer periods are better than colder periods. He claims that temperatures have been fluctuating violently for the last 100,000 years and that in the past the climate has fluctuated between long cold periods interrupted by short warm periods (Mortlock 1998, p 12). This may be true, but his other points are contentions. His claim that

global warming is not happening. It is not a convincing argument for several reasons. First of all, Scientists offer very precise historical measurements and have reached the conclusion that the global average of the temperature has increased by “about 0.5 degrees centigrade over the past 100 years" (Alley et al 2007, p 3). Second, according to the Notional Resource Defense Council website <www.nrdc.org/globalWarming>, the average temperature is rising every year and is expected to be five to 10 degrees higher by the end of the century, a faster rate of increase than has occurred in the last ten millennia (Ibid). In addition, they also confirm that since the start of the industrial revolution, "atmospheric concentrations of CO2, CH4 and NO have increased by 30%, 145% and 15% respectively"(Ibid). Third, the report of the CSIRO which has used computer models to determine the impact of global warming in South Australia from now until 2070(Adelaide now stark on climate 2006), indicates that the negative effect of the changes to weather patterns to 2070 would be mainly on the dry inland(Ibid). By 2070, average temperatures over the north of the state could rise by as much as six degrees(Ibid). For example, the CSIRO report predicts average temperatures in South Australia will raise "up to 4.7C by 2070, up from the prediction of 4.4C as outlined in the 2003 report" (Phillips 2006, p3). In the meantime, rainfall will decrease by up to 35 per cent, up from predictions of 30 per cent in 2003 (Phillips 2006, p3). Moreover, if a warming climate continues to melt polar caps, port Adelaide will be under water by the end of the century (Jenkin 2006, p 3). Therefore, Bryce Mortlock is wrong because there is sufficient evidence that global warming is happening, that it is inevitable, and the impacts are becoming increasingly obvious, so we should be worried about it because temperatures are increasing dramatically in our globe.

Bryce Mortlock also claims that warmer periods are better than colder periods. This might be true, but it is not a convincing argument because warmer periods may unexpectedly bring about glacial periods (Mortlock 1998, p12). Robert Lee Hotz in his article "Greenland's Ice Sheet Is Slip-Sliding Away" (2006) believes that the massive glaciers in Greenland are deteriorating twice as fast as they were five years ago. If the ice thaws totally, sea level would rise about 6 metres (Hotz 2006). Furthermore, Thom Hartmann in his article "How global warming may cause the next ice age "(2004), argues that instead of warming we might face a glacial period in the next few years, and. as a result many people will not have a place to live and some may die. As evidence of this he cites possible changes in the Great Conveyor Belt that is, the global movement of sea water which presently helps keep both Europe and North America warmer (Hartmann 2004). He describes the process by which the warm water of the Great Conveyor Belt comes from the Pacific to the Atlantic because of the sea level in the Atlantic which is slightly lower than in the Pacific. Therefore, when water reaches Greenland, it cools and sinks because it is saline, and again returns to the Pacific (Hartmann 2004). Further, he points out that ice in Greenland is melting, so the sea level in the Atlantic is rising and becoming less salty and less colder , so it does not sink and return to the Pacific. The consequence of the scenario described by Hartmann is that if global warming continues then the Great Conveyor Belt might stop, and the weather in Europe and North America might be so cold that we might face another next ice age (Hartmann 2004 ). His assessment of the possible outcome of weather change is contrary to that of Bryce Mortlock who is wrong because there is sufficient data to prove that warmer periods are not better than colder periods because the melting of the icebergs could lead to the next ice age. So it is apparent that regardless of the predicted scenario, human actions are changing

atmospheric and climatic conditions and so we should worry about it because the .change in climate might accelerate in the next few decades

In conclusion, global warming is a serious phenomenon and the most pressing environmental problem today. We should worry about it because there is enough evidence that climatic change is taking place and it might lead to either a hotter world with higher sea levels, or a cooler world with many people displaced. These findings prove global warming is an issue to be taken seriously therefore steps should be taken to avoid increasing temperatures to protect our globe.

References list

'Adelaide’s now stark warning on SA climate' 2006, Advertiser ,viewed 19 September 2007,<http://www.theadvertiser.news.com.au/?from=ni_story>. Alley et al 2007, climate change: the physical basis summary for policy markets, viewed 19 September 2007,< http://www.climatescience.gov/Library/ipcc/wg14arreview.htm>. Hartmann T 2004, 'How global warming may cause the next ice age ',viewed 21 September 2007 ,<www.commondreams.org/views04/0130-11.htm>. Hotz R 2006, "Greenland's Ice Sheet Is Slip-Sliding Away", Los Angeles Times ,5 June, viewed 18 September 2007,< http://www.latimes.com/news/printedition/la-scigreenland25jun25,0,5245607,print.story?coll=la-home-headlines>. Jenkin C 2006, 'Threat from rising oceans', Advertiser, Thursday 28 September. viewed 20 September 2007,<www.news.com.au/adelaidenow>. Mortlock B 1998, 'History's lesson is keep a cool head on global warming', Australian , P 12. Phillips K 2006, ' climate change terror' , Advertiser, Thursday 28 September. viewed 20 September 2007,< www.news.com.au/adelaidenow>. The National Resource Defense Council website n.d., consequences of global warming ,viewed 19 September 2007,< www.nrdc.org/globalWarming/fcons.asp>.