Is Global Climate Change Man-Made?
The human influence on global climate change could not be denied. Several studies conducted by different scientific organizations and led by Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) show the reality of climate change and how human beings contribute to it. In fact, several studies claim “that about 97% of climate scientists actively doing research agree that climate change is happening and is human-caused” (“Climate Change Just the Facts”).
Although there are other groups of people who strongly believe that global climate change is brought about by “the natural variation in the planet’s complex weather systems” (Harvey, “Scientists attribute”) instead of emission from human activities, the scientific community, particularly in the US and the UK have arrived at a strong consensus, based on empirical evidence that they have gathered and studied, that human activities are warming our planet.
The increase in global temperatures and the extreme events, such as extraordinary flooding and erosion of coastal areas around the world, have been attributed to the colossal amounts of greenhouse gas emissions, most specifically carbon dioxide (CO2), that we, human beings unload into the atmosphere. These pollutants “trap heat and prevent it from escaping to space, warming the planet” (“Climate Change Just the Facts”). Recent studies have also allowed “Climate change researchersto attribute recent examples of extreme weather to the effects of human activity on the planet’s climate systems” (Harvey, “Scientists attribute”). This is a breakthrough that many climate change researchers have been waiting for, as it will help to determine whether the various weather patterns that have been experienced in different parts of the world, such as wet and cold summers can be attributed to human causes.
More and more findings show that activities that human beings perform have dramatically altered the concentration of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere in two significant ways. As the population of the world increased, we made way for agricultural lands, cutting down majority of the forests which absorb most of the carbon dioxide. The agriculture industry is one of the major sources of green house gas emissions. As population grew, the demand for energy increased; therefore we burn more fossil fuels such as oil, gas and coal, all of which release greenhouse gases. Several studies show that:
“Currently, burning fossil fuels emits about 6.5 billion tonnes of carbon dioxide in the
atmosphere each year. Since before the industrial revolution which, began in the 18th
century, concentrations of greenhouse gases have increased by 30 per cent” (“Is climate
Climate change is a matter of science, backed up by a great number of empirical evidence. It is significantly important that every human being understand what climate change means and look at the available evidence which suggests that we ourselves, contribute to this phenomenon. We have all experienced and seen recent events which have far reaching consequences: coastal areas being eroded and flooded, heat waves getting more frequent and hotter, snow packs quickly melting, wildfires getting more intense and frequent, and many more. These events put our lives and our world in danger. Although I believe that nature has its own role to play in our weather systems, I am convinced that the global climate change that is happening at a very fast rate, can only be caused by our activities and therefore, it’s high time that we look for more sustainable and environmental friendly ways of doing things, otherwise, we will continue to destroy the only habitat that we can survive in.
“Climate Change Just the Facts”. opr.ca.gov .OPR California, n.d. Web. 16 August 2012.
Harvey, Fiona. “Scientists attribute extreme weather to man-made climate change”.
guardian.co.uk. The Guardian, 10 July 2012. Web. 16 August 2012.
“Is climate change natural or man-made”. torfaen.gov.uk. Torfaen County Borough Council, 29
March 2012. Web. 16 August 2012.
Pope, Vicky. “Do you believe in climate change?” guardian.co.uk. The Guardian, 23 March
2012. Web. 16 August 2012.