Global Warming: Myth or Reality?
Although governments around the world have signed up to international treaties to reduce the amount of carbon dioxide emissions produced to prevent an escalation in global warming, there are people, some of them scientists, who dismiss this environmental threat as pure myth. There are several lines of evidence that are a source of debate between those on both sides.
The Rise in Average Global TemperatureThe graphs showing a steady increase in average global temperatures since the industrial revolution are often cited by those who believe global warming is caused by excess carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. They argue that there is a strong correlation between our increased production of carbon dioxide, an established greenhouse gas, and this temperature increase. Those on the other side of the argument say that the way the readings have been taken is the cause of error. Although said to be average temperatures, the readings are taken in urban areas, which are ‘hot spots. Overall, the average global temperatures have not increased.
Human Activity is Causing Climate ChangeData released by the United Nations shows that there has been a gradual increase in global temperatures over the last 1000 years but this has speeded up dramatically since the start of the industrial revolution, causing the start of climate change. Weather disturbances, rising temperatures, rising sea levels etc add weight to this theory. People who disagree point out that the Earth has very long climate change cycles that are completely natural and say that it is impossible to link human production of carbon dioxide with climate change over such a short period of Earth’s history.
Carbon Dioxide is Bad News for the EnvironmentThis is a point that causes huge debate because there is a lot of misunderstanding about carbon dioxide. This is a natural component of the Earth’s atmosphere and without it, life on Earth could not exist. Plants use it in the process of photosynthesis. It is also true that without some carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, the temperature on Earth would be so cold that life could not survive. The greenhouse effect is a necessary part of the Earth’s electric blanket that keeps our temperatures in the range where living things thrive.
Seeing beyond all that, those that believe that carbon dioxide levels are increasing because of burning fossil fuels and other activities and so causing too much of the greenhouse effect, warn that we must reduce carbon emissions to keep the Earth in balance. Those who believe carbon dioxide levels are within normal limits argue that the increase in temperature is smaller than commonly reported, and due to normal planetary cycles.