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Running head: ANALYSIS OF THE CAUSES OF GLOBAL WARMING
CAUSES OF GLOBAL WARMING
Global warming is one of the most controversial issues in the modern world. For instance,
following the withdrawal of the US from the Paris Climate Agreement, to which President
Trump fell short of declaring the concept a fallacy, the world reacted very differently. There are
some countries who saw this as a sign of the waning influence of the US in global matters, while
some just chided China to take a more aggressive role in global matters. However, locally, it led
to a division as some states just decided that they would not follow in the footsteps of the
president. It all shows that there is a need to try and form a foundation on what is global warming
and what it means to a world that is determined to keep looking for reasons to be divided rather
than united. Global warming should not be one of these issues. If there should be consensus, then
there should be a foundation in what causes global warming, and what this means moving
Global warming occurs when ‘carbon dioxide (CO2) and other air pollutants and greenhouse
gases collect in the atmosphere and absorb sunlight and solar radiation that have bounced off the
earth’s surface’ (Zhong, 2016). Under normal circumstances, these gases are supposed to
disappear into space, but these gases and pollutants, which can last in the atmosphere for a long
time, centuries to be precise, trap the heat from the sun and this makes the earth to become
hotter. The more these pollutants keep accumulating in the atmosphere, the hotter the planet
becomes. The concept has been commonly referred to as the greenhouse effect. The ozone layer,
which protects the earth from the harmful direct radiation from the sun becomes depleted as it
cannot carry out its designated responsibilities, and this leads to global warming, which is one of
the existential threat facing this generation.
According to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report, human beings are solely
responsible for the global warming. It is a position that is hotly contested in the political circles,
CAUSES OF GLOBAL WARMING
with some politicians arguing such a position as ‘indefensible’. Politics and facts are an
oxymoron, they simply cannot be used in the same sentence. However, this should not be
interpreted as a blanket condemnation for all those who do not believe in the threat of global
warming. It implies that everyone should be open-minded on the concept and try and see the
scientific facts that have been given to substantiate the position. Thus, why has there been the
assumption that human beings are 100% behind global warming? It is neither here nor there but
the facts speak for themselves.
In its justification, the IPCG gave interesting statistics to support its premise. First, the body
argued that since 1850, all the long-term warming can be traced from the impact of global
warming and human activities. Secondly, the body argued that ‘if greenhouse gas emissions
alone were warming the planet, we would expect to see about a third more warming than has
actually occurred. They are offset by cooling from human-produced atmospheric aerosols’
(Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, 2015). It means that the two aspects need to be
seen as correlative, which brings about the third argument. There are projections that the aerosols
will be eliminated from the Earth by 2100, or at least there will be a significant decline, which
means that greenhouse effect will be the only contributing factor to global warming. Lastly, the
body noted that the natural variability of the earth, inclusive of its climate changes, will not be
adequate to play any major role in dealing with the warming that arises because of the global
While making its recommendation to the policymakers, the IPCC noted that it is ‘extremely
likely that more than half of the observed increase in global average surface temperature from
1951 to 2010 was caused by human activity’ (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change,
2015). By the use of extremely likely as a qualifying phrase, the body referred to a 95-100%
CAUSES OF GLOBAL WARMING
probability, which all shows the integral role that human beings have had in development of
global warming. It is a number that has been supported by the US assessment report which gave
its range of human contribution at 93%-123% from 1951 to 2010. It all shows that indeed, while
there could be differences in the arithmetic on the accuracy of the human beings’ contribution,
they remain the sole major contributors to the problem of global warming.
There is a need to try and give some perspective on why the human beings have almost
singlehandedly caused a problem that now seems to be spiraling out of control unless there are
some drastic changes that are taken. First, the question of carbon fuel. Take for instance in the
US, the burning of the fossil fuels to produce electricity is the major source of the carbon
dioxide, estimated to be two billion tons annually. The plants that use coal are the major culprits
and the ongoing debate to eliminate coal as a source of electricity could not have come any time
sooner. The generation of electricity is not alone, it is closely followed by the transport sector
which also generates 1.7 billion tons annually of carbon dioxide. The problem is not just in the
US, Australia is the largest contributor of carbon dioxide globally. The statistics indicate that the
country’s citizens produce double the amount produced by the developed nations and four times
the world average. It all shows that the global production of carbon dioxide is not proportional,
which could be an indicator as to why some countries such as the US feel they are being
shortchanged when expected to play the leading role against global warming. It is a worrisome
trend when one notes that only 14% of electricity comes from renewable sources in Australia,
with a whopping 73% coming from carbon fuels (Adger & Brown, 2014). It is not that the
country is short of ideas to generate renewable energy but it is the close matrix that has made
energy to be a measure of power that makes such alternatives not to be pursued.
CAUSES OF GLOBAL WARMING
The question that needs to be asked is how should the human beings reverse such a trend?
Frankly speaking, there does not see, like there is a clear framework because the emerging
powers such as China have all hinged their positioning by increasing their coal energy
production. A major question that has always informed this debate is whether even a nation’s
citizens can sacrifice economic gains as a way of dealing with global warming (Bord, 2008).
Energy production and its consumption is a global indicator on the power that each country
wields, and this implies that remedying steps required to deal with the imbalance of the human
influence on global warming has all but been hijacked by imperialism and other vested interests.
Human beings have also been at the helm of the age of industrial revolution. It means that there
has been massive clearing of land, even forest covers to make wat for agriculture and industries.
Clearing of land has also been done to make timber products, which means that there is a trend
that has pushed the demand for land clearing to significant high. The population growth, which is
estimated to continue steadily over the next three decades is only likely to increase demand for
more land, which all indicates that there is a need to start planning for such a situation.
Urbanization, with more than 70% of the global population expected to be living in towns in the
next decade means that there will also be increased pollution and a need for mechanization,
which all show that global warming is likely to rise and rise, unless there are some drastic steps
that are taken. The Australian model of livestock keeping shows that these livestock contribute
16% of the total greenhouse gas emissions from the country, and this shows that some economic
activities need to be modified so that they may not have such impact.
Consequently, there are arguments that human beings are not the only contributors to global
warming. Skeptics have been quick to point out to some factors such as volcanic eruptions, and
they are right to do so, but all these activities have been almost negligible. For instance, when
CAUSES OF GLOBAL WARMING
was the last time there was a significant volcanic erosion? All other factors have been sporadic
and inconsistent. Human beings, on the other hand, have been aggressive and consistent. It all
shows that the challenge to global warming all lies in confronting its greatest causation; human
Adger, W. N., & Brown, K. (2014). Land use and the causes of global warming. John Wiley &
Zhong, C. X. (2016). Causes of global climate change. International Journal of Global
Warming, 10(4), 482-495.
Bord, R. J., Fisher, A., & O’Connor, R. E. (2008). Public perceptions of global warming: United
States and international perspectives. Climate research, 11(1), 75-84.
Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. (2015). Climate change 2014: mitigation of climate
change (Vol. 3). Cambridge University Press.
Part 1: Slides
Title Slide with the title of your selected research, your name, and Date
Minimum of 5 slides: (Max of 8 slides, not including introductions and references); supporting details; the
knowledge you’ve gained from your global warning research; conclusion; and, references cited at the
end of your presentation
ClipArt on at least 3 of the slides
Follows 7 X 7 Rule (number of points on a single slide)
Part 2: Oral Presentation
The following assessment rubric is used to evaluate the student’s ability to communicate verbally effectively using
The presentation is
The presentation has a
focus and provided some
evidence which supports
No apparent organization.
Evidence is not used to
The content is
are likely to gain new
insights about the
topic. i.e., speakers
knowledge of subject
The content is generally
accurate, but incomplete.
Listeners may learn some
isolated facts, but they are
unlikely to gain new
The content is inaccurate or
overly general. Listeners
are unlikely to learn
anything or may be misled.
The speaker is relaxed
Speaks without undue
reliance on notes, and
listeners, i.e., eye
The speaker is generally
relaxed and comfortable;
but too often relies on
notes. Listeners are
sometimes ignored or
The speaker appears
anxious and uncomfortable.
And reads notes, rather
than speaks. Listeners are
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