About two million years ago. Ice sheets expanded across Earth’s surface and transformed the climate. Scientists have uncovered many fossils; however, still to this day scientists do not know how the catastrophic event occurred. This was the beginning of the Ice Age.
Green house gasses are compounds found in Earth’s atmosphere. Humans emit greenhouse gasses many different ways.
The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) recorded green house gasses that change the air and raise temperatures. Fossil fuels from cars, factories, electricity, construction and methane that are released through landfills, gases for refrigeration and loss of forest and tree life are all contributors to green house gases.
How much does the average person open a refrigerator door, how much garbage does a family takes out each day, or how many times does someone leave on a light switch on? All these little problems make a difference because when one person does it that is multiplied by billions.
Humans go on with their daily lives, producing, creating and living. According to the IPCC the warmth in the air is increasing, even in cold states. Global warming is a huge controversy, and many people believe it is true. Statistic Brain says that 70 percent believe do believe global warming is true but 17 percent do not.
The ice age is one of the biggest examples for global warming not because of the effects but because it is an example of how the Earth can drastically change. This time the earth is heating up instead of cooling down, such an idea could be so much worse.
“When I was younger I remember one Christmas where it was 65 degrees outside, and I rode my bicycle. This happened one Christmas and then the next year the temperature was perfectly fine, so I think there is a huge difference between climate change and global warming,” said Karen McConnell, librarian at Gull Lake High School.
According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the period from 2000 to 2010 was the warmest on record. Global average temperature has increased 1.4°F over the last century. Climate change does occur normally, but why has the temperature increased to such a great extent? Imagine what the total rise in surface temperature will be 100 years from now, will it threaten, or can we make a change?
By Tanisha Jaynes
Climate change: why we shouldn’t panic
Every year, more greenhouse gases are being released into the atmosphere. There has been a steady upward trend in methane and carbon emissions since the industrial revolution, the time when fossil fuel usage became widespread. Large output of CO2 (est. at 35 billion metric tons in 2010 by the USGS) has caused a significant stir in governments and communities across the globe, resulting in restrictive policy decisions. However, climate change is not something to panic about.
Natural hot/cold cycles dominate the history of Earth. Large swings are notable when volcanic eruptions occur – not from carbon emissions, but particles launched as high as 20 miles into the sky. Those tiny pieces of dust reflect light away from the atmosphere, causing cooling.
Data on the past 400,000 years was obtained from an ice core sample originating from an island on Lake Vostok, an under-ice reservoir in Antarctica. The trend in the graph below suggests that a peak in the consistent cycle of heating and cooling is approaching.
Scientists theorize that a break in the cycle could occur due to a spike in carbon dioxide levels, but nothing definite has been proven. Speculation is the only tool science has as to how the Earth will respond to its atmospheric composition. It is unknown what the outcome will be – it could even stabilize the swings shown above.
Even if the cycle breaks, high temperatures are not a novelty. The graph found before the next paragraph illustrates (through various data points which agree with other resources) the planetary temperature shifts which have happened over millions of years. Note that other periods in Earth’s history exhibit significantly higher temperatures than those today.
Humanity would need to be immensely narrow minded to consider itself the sole cause of current temperature shifts. Yes, the Earth is being mistreated. Yet, unfortunately for adherents of anthropocentrism, the world has taken worse blows – extinction level events that blotted out sunlight, killed more plant life than people could ever hope to, and made the environment hostile to life. Men cannot be the sole cause of climate change. Humans influence their environment, but our species will be destroyed or limited by circumstance long before natural cycles are broken. Nonetheless, long term greenhouse gas reduction strategies should be implemented in the light of good stewardship – but not at a panicked pace that destroys innovation and infrastructure.
More information can be found at http://www.wmich.edu/corekids/Climate-Change.htm.
by Alec DeVries