There are a lot of studies being carried out in regard to the issue of climate change in the modern world because it has become a major area of concern. The climate change has caused a lot of changes that affect both human activities and the wildlife. The effects are very obvious and, therefore, this brings out the question as to whether such changes are due to manmade effects or they are natural causes. Therefore, this essay will be based on the argument that climate change is as a result of manmade activities.
One of the main evidences of climate change is the occurrence of droughts in areas that used to receive high rainfall. This means that the level of deforestation has increased hence making it difficult for such areas to receive rainfall. Also, deforestation has made the soil lose for forestation to take place hence climate change will keep on occurring since such soils cannot support the growth of vegetation. Therefore, this is proof that climate change is caused by human activities (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, 2014).
In addition, global warming has become a major part of climate change and the main cause is the emission of gases such as carbon monoxide. As a result, such gases deplete the ozone layer which is responsible for reducing the amount of radiation reaching the earth’s surface. Such gases are as a result of human activities associated with the increased use of greenhouses. Therefore, with the increased level of technology, activities that omit such gases have increased hence, increasing the level at which global warming is taking place and, in turn, climate change. As well, the burning of fossil fuels have played a substantial role in the emission of gasses that contribute to global warming. As a result, this leads to global warming and hence climate change (Shine, 2014).
However, on the other hand, the earth’s atmosphere has the capacity to balance itself hence making it possible to argue out the recent climatic changes are examples of natural causes. An example is the increased sea levels due to the melting ice caps resulting from global warming. This happens when the ability of the earth to reflect back energy is reduced hence resulting in a hot climate. Also, the scientific data is inconclusive since some of it is obtained from assumptions. Therefore, some people argue that the lack of evidence means that the climate changes are just natural cycles. It is a way of the earth to balance its climate (Wiest, Raymond & Clawson, 2015).
Concisely, the human causes of climate change out do the natural causes and this makes it clear that human beings should control some of this activities to avoid making the earth a place that in unbearable to live in. A combination of the natural causes of climate change are not enough to bring a substantial change that would in turn affect the way of living on earth. Hence, research shows that human activities are the main causes of climate change. Some of the remedies to climate change could be educating people on the importance of reducing the activities that result to climate change or even seeking other alternatives. Therefore, this will ensure that any noticeable climate change is due to the natural occurrences on earth.
- Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. (2014). Climate Change 2014–Impacts, Adaptation and Vulnerability: Regional Aspects. Cambridge University Press.
- Shine, K. P. (2014). Climate change.
- Wiest, S. L., Raymond, L., & Clawson, R. A. (2015). Framing, partisan predispositions, and public opinion on climate change. Global Environmental Change, 31, 187-198.
Just as the world's most respected scientific bodies have confirmed that world is getting hotter, they have also stated that there is strong evidence that humans are driving the warming. The 2005 joint statement from the national academies of Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Italy, Japan, Russia, the UK and the US said:
"It is likely that most of the warming in recent decades can be attributed to human activities."
Countless more recent statements and reports from the world's leading scientific bodies have said the same thing. For example, a 2010 summary of climate science by the Royal Society stated that:
"There is strong evidence that the warming of the Earth over the last half-century has been caused largely by human activity, such as the burning of fossil fuels and changes in land use, including agriculture and deforestation."
The idea that humans could change the planet's climate may be counter-intuitive, but the basic science is well understood. Each year, human activity causes billions of tonnes of greenhouse gases to be released into the atmosphere. As scientists have known for decades, these gases capture heat that would otherwise escape to space – the equivalent of wrapping the planet in an invisible blanket.
Of course, the planet's climate has always been in flux thanks to "natural" factors such as changes in solar or volcanic activity, or cycles relating the Earth's orbit around the sun. According to the scientific literature, however, the warming recorded to date matches the pattern of warming we would expect from a build up of greenhouse gas in the atmosphere – not the warming we would expect from other possible causes.
Even if scientists did discover another plausible explanation for the warming observed to date, that would beg a difficult question. As Robert Henson puts it in The Rough Guide to Climate Change:
"If some newly discovered factor can account for the climate change then why aren't carbon dioxide and the other greenhouse gases producing the warming that basic physics tells us they should be?"
The only way to prove with 100% certainty that humans are responsible for global warming would be to run an experiment with two identical Earths – one with human influence and one without. That obviously isn't possible, and so most scientists are careful not to state human influence as an absolute certainty. Nonetheless, the evidence is now extremely strong.
We'll look at more specific questions about the links between greenhouse gases and global warming separately. Check back soon for those.
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