Global Warming Essay

1190 words - 5 pages

Global warming is a serious and complex issue that is at the forefront of much modern scientific research. Everyone, from the scientific community to, unfortunately, politicians, seems to have their own opinion on the issue. Climate change is a serious issue that needs to be examined for root causes so that it can be realistically addressed by humanity as a whole.
Global warming is an expression that refers to the idea that the physical earth, along with certain elements of the atmosphere, is increasing in overall temperature. This disturbing issue is indicative of an overall trend that has accompanied the increase of greenhouse gasses in recent years. Global warming has started to take an increasing effect in, primarily, the last fifty years. The full extent of the seriousness of global warming cannot be fully understood at this point, but it is doubtful that it is positive.
The greenhouse effect has played and continues to play a vital role in the warming of Earth’s surface and its atmosphere. However, there is the misconception that greenhouse gases are bad. This is fundamentally false; these gasses (such as CO2) have always been in the atmosphere. It is only when there is too high of a concentration of these gases, that the energy and heat from the sun cannot escape the Earth’s atmosphere. This scenario causes heating and is thusly referred to as the greenhouse effect. This effect is a major source of global warming.
Much of what we know about climate change comes from instrumental data. Instrumental data is, by definition, data that is collected with the aid of instruments. In the terms of global warming, the primary type of instrumental data that scientists have come to depend on is a history of temperature data (Paleo Perspective...on Global Warming). This temperature data comes from two main sources. Both ground based thermometers and satellite based atmospheric temperature readings. Both of these are critical to the long term understanding of the planet’s climate and its change.
The instrumental data shows some interesting facts about Earth’s temperature. While there have been some random anomalies, the overall average temperature has risen. It seems to have specifically risen dramatically over the last twenty five years ("Paleo Perspective...on Global Warming").
On the other hand, proxy date is a type of data that scientists gather from the natural world that give indicators to climate and/or specific weather patterns at a particular point in time. While there are a huge amount of different kinds of proxy data, one of the most widely studied ones is the rings of a tree. Tree rings can tell scientists what type of weather (like rainfall and temperature) that specific tree experienced in a given year, by counting the number and thickness of the trees rings ("Paleo Perspective...on Global Warming"). Scientists also make use of sea coral to determine historical weather patterns. The coral can give scientists an...

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