Geology 109 Term paper

Geology 109 Term paper - The imminent threat of Global...

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Unformatted text preview: The imminent threat of Global Warming Global Warming, the increase in Earths surface air and ocean temperatures over the past century, is currently one of the most debated topics in the media. The debate over the increasing Earths temperature has been occurring since mid-twentieth century. During the industrial revolution, humans exploited natural resources such as coal to increase the rate of consumer good production and increase the standard of living. Exploiting the carbon based natural resources and producing goods to exceed the consumer demand resulted in introducing greenhouse gases that caused rapid rise in global temperatures. Greenhouse gases, a family of gases in the atmosphere containing Water vapor, carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide, and ozone, trap the infrared radiation that is emitted by the Earths surface and increase Earths temperature. The scientific community showed that since the Industrial Revolution, there was direct correlation between increase in greenhouse gas emissions and rise in sea levels, shrinking ice sheets, and rising temperatures. They argue that the threat of Global Warming, caused by increase in greenhouse gases emissions, is immediate. However, few major corporations do not believe that global warming could be the product of humans and fail to pass stricter environmental policies to prevent greenhouse gas emissions. Therefore, scientists argue that global warming caused by GHG emissions is damaging the atmosphere, the cryosphere, the lithosphere, the biosphere, and the hydrosphere and environmental policies must be changed to reduce the effects. The scientists showed that greenhouse gas emissions, not the solar activity that is responsible for the rising temperatures. Earths temperature is directly dependent on the amount of radiation released by the Sun. Over the years, the solar activity has been measured by the number of sunspots and solar irradiance, the amount of solar radiation in an area. The sunspots indicate higher solar activity and solar irradiance. The 400 year data from NOAA released on the sunspots and solar irradiance shows that they are on approximately 11 year cycles since the modern maximum in the 1960s [1,2]. The solar irradiance was on a cyclic cycle varying up to 0.2%, which could not have triggered the constant increase in temperature over the past 50 years. Also, the data indicates that we are experiencing a Solar Minimum with very low solar irradiance over the past decade. However, since the 1950s, the temperature records by NASA indicated that the temperature constantly increased by approximately 0.5C, which does not correlate with the cyclic nature of the sunspots and solar irradiance [3]....
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This note was uploaded on 10/13/2011 for the course GEOL 105 taught by Professor Lees during the Spring '08 term at UNC.

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Geology 109 Term paper - The imminent threat of Global...

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