By Richard Tian
Is global warming real? Answered in the Guardian: “If we don’t know how much of recent warming is natural, then how can we know how much is manmade?” How about we give some evidence as to why global warming is real to see if we can change some minds.
What causes global warming?
According to NASA and the EPA, global warming is caused when greenhouse gases like carbon dioxide are released and traps heat in the atmosphere. These greenhouse gases, according to NASA, are carbon dioxide, nitrous oxide, methane and water vapor.
NASA continued to explain that water vapor is the most important greenhouse gas – as the Earth’s atmosphere warms so does the possibility of clouds and precipitation. According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, this happens because heat causes water to evaporate, which then rises into the sky to form clouds. When the water droplets get too heavy, they fall back as rain, snow, sleet or hail.
NASA then moves onto carbon dioxide, saying it is a minor but also an important part of the atmosphere. The reason is that carbon dioxide is a greenhouse gas that traps heat and without it our planet will be inhospitably cold, as the University Corporation for Atmospheric Research center for science education stated. Carbon dioxide is released through natural means like volcanoes and respiration, but also deforestation, land uses and burning fossil fuels. And of course, according to NASA, “Humans have increased atmospheric CO2 concentration by 47% since the Industrial Revolution began. This is the most important long-lived “forcing” of climate change.”
NASA then moved onto methane, which is a gas released through burping, farting, decomposing of landfills, manure and rice cultivation, among other causes. Methane is by far a more active greenhouse gas, but less abundant in the atmosphere as NASA stated.
Furthermore, quoting directly from NASA, nitrous oxide is “a powerful greenhouse gas produced by soil cultivation practices, especially the use of commercial and organic fertilizers, fossil fuel combustion, nitric acid production, and biomass burning.”
Lastly, a quote directly from NASA: Chlorofluorocarbons are “synthetic compounds entirely of industrial origin used in a number of applications, but now largely regulated in production and release to the atmosphere by international agreement for their ability to contribute to destruction of the ozone layer. They are also greenhouse gases.”
Causes for the release of greenhouse gases
The EPA stated that the “primary sources for greenhouse gasses were transportation (28.2%), Electricity production (26.9%), industry (22.0%), Commercial (12.3%), Agriculture (9.9%), and Land Use and Forestry (11.6%).” (Note: all their data was from 2018 and were estimated.)
The data provided shows what causes the greenhouse gases to be released into the atmosphere.
Evidence that shows global warming is real
According to NASA, “Several lines of evidence show that current global warming cannot be explained by changes in energy from the sun”, giving us examples like:
- “Since 1750, the average amount of energy coming from the Sun either remained constant or increased slightly.
- “If the warming were caused by a more active Sun, then scientists would expect to see warmer temperatures in all layers of the atmosphere. Instead, they have observed a cooling in the upper atmosphere, and a warming at the surface and in the lower parts of the atmosphere. That’s because greenhouse gases are trapping heat in the lower atmosphere.
- “Climate models that include solar irradiance changes can’t reproduce the observed temperature trend over the past century or more without including a rise in greenhouse gases.”
The University of Hull did an interview with Professor Mike Rogerson, an earth and science professor at the university, as to why people believe climate change is false…and why we know they’re wrong. The first thing they disproved was the belief that “climate change is part of a natural cycle”. Professor Rogerson first agreed that there are natural cycles, but said, “Another problem with natural cycles is that people look at too small a sample size.”
He continues, saying, “A cold winter in the USA doesn’t disprove climate change. Did you check to see how hot it was in Asia at the same time? We need to look globally and for longer than the last couple years we remember.”
Columbia.edu also said that for many decades, people have been collecting many samples like ice cores, trees, coral and carbon dating. Due to the data they collected, Columbia.edu “discovered details about past human activity, temperature changes in our oceans, periods of extreme drought, and much more.” The more data that is collected, the more accurate the existing climate models.
Moving on, ice sheets are another great place to see why global warming or climate change is real. First off, ice cores are what many climate scientists use to study the weather in the past. The reason is that ice sheets contain snow, which traps tiny air particles that contain gases from the past. Due to that, climate scientists can analyze the air particles and gather data for the climate models.
According to AntarcticGlaciers, “They allow us to go back in time and to sample accumulation, air temperature, and air chemistry from another time. Ice core records allow us to generate continuous reconstructions of past climate, going back at least 800,000 years.”
For more information please visit the sources provided or search for other sources to learn more since this article only covers the important points mentioned in each source. This article is to give you a basic understanding of why global warming is real. For more in-depth knowledge, it’s better to dig deeper.
Sites referenced in this article can be found below:
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