Global Warming: Anthropogenic Essay

1330 words - 6 pages

This article argues that global warming and the rise of temperatures is definitely caused by human activity. Based on the steady rise of atmospheric moisture over the oceans since 1988 and the humidity findings from satellite data, the column of atmosphere above every square yard of ocean now holds nearly three more cups of water than it did two decades ago. This is according to a team led by Benjamin D. Santer of the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in California. The increase did not come from solar radiation, volcanoes, El Nino, or other factors considered, but instead, from the greenhouse gases people have been pumping into the air. These gases, including water vapor, warm the ...view middle of the document...

In contrast, only 2 percent of the country had average above normal temperatures from 1964-1968. Jerry Mahlman, a climate scientist at NCAR, said, "It is a telltale sign of global warming." Experts believe global warming is partly to blame for the hot summer nights because daytime air pollution counteracts warming to a certain extent but is not as widespread at night.

"Hot summer nights." Weatherwise 59.5 (Sept-Oct 2006): 10(2). Student Edition. Gale. North Carolina WiseOwl. 7 Oct. 2008 


In their efforts to determine whether physical processes provide any evidence that anthropogenic activity has begun to affect Earth's climate, researchers have pointed out that the historical and geologic records of mountain glaciers show that they have retreated substantially in the past few centuries. In order to determine whether this recede lies within the range of natural variation, scientists have conducted calculations of mountain glacier (from Norway and Switzerland) fluctuations, using a mass balance model of intermediate complexity and a dynamic ice flow model. Fluctuations in mountain glacier temperatures were produced exclusively by internal variations in the climate system; the simulations indicate that the pre-industrial fluctuations of these glaciers can be explained by internal climate variability, having nothing to do with external forcing factors such as solar irradiation changes or volcanic or other natural effects. In contrast, the observed present-day decline is too large to be due to natural causes alone and must result from external events, with anthropogenic climate forcing being a likely candidate.

"Beyond natural variation. (Climate Science)." Science 298.5596 (Nov 8, 2002): 1139(1). Student Edition. Gale. North Carolina WiseOwl. 7 Oct. 2008 

The large and rapid atmospheric warming of the twentieth century, which few now doubt can be explained without invoking human activity forcing, is thought to be mostly the result of the buildup of trace greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. Although carbon dioxide has received the most attention, an equal amount of heat is trapped in the atmosphere by the combination of the other four principal trace greenhouse gases: Methane, chlorofluoro-carbons (CFCs), tropospheric ozone, and nitrous oxide. Methane emissions could be reduced by modifications in agriculture, animal husbandry, coal mining, oil drilling, and waste management. Decreasing soot and ozone would mean positive benefits for human health. Significantly slowing the trend of global warming probably will require burning less fossil fuel, although these other methods should help slow the rate of anthropogenic climate change over the next century until better technology has been developed.

HJS. "Strategies for Slowing Global Warming." Science 289.5485 (Sept 8, 2000): 1655. Student Edition. Gale. North Carolina WiseOwl. 7 Oct. 2008 


Climate variability and weather patterns are often...

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