Since the first meeting of the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development in Rio de Janeiro on 1992, the issue of global warming has been in the centre of every debate in the international community since the signs are no longer things they could ignore. Studies have pointed out that the earth is slowly reacting to the side-effects of man’s continuous abuse of the earth’s natural resources and development. However, many years have already passed since the first Earth Summit and many are wondering on how much the Earth has changed since then. This paper will discuss the 2007 and the present research on the urgency “Global Warming” and identify how the data from both researches differ from one another given the time both researches have been done.
In the assessment done by Eichler (2007), there have been notable factors that show the significant changes that are happening around the globe because of the problem of global warming. Surface temperatures have increased from 0.5-1.0 degrees Fahrenheit since the end of the 19th century and the world has experienced the warmest year it has on 2005. There are also indications that the snow covers are slowly decreasing and has increased sea level up to eight inches since the last century. The Artic has also significantly warmed up to eight times faster than it has over the span of a century. Many of the famous ice shelves such as the Larsen B ice shelf in Antartica have already broken down in a significant rate since 2002 and many snow caps have also followed suit such as the ones in Mt Kilimanjaro and in the Glacier National Park. Reports have noted that weather patterns are slowly being affected around the globe and have caused a lot of damages for each country it has struck. Many signs have attributed high temperatures around the globe as the cause for precipitation to decrease and seasons to move earlier or shorter. Eichler also noted that the ecosystem has been affected by global warming as biologists have been alarmed of the changing habitats that may affect species in terms of how they cope up. Due to the changes that global warming induces, species are now starting to get confused with their environment as the environment changes later than expected while at some time, they only change for a short time. The international community is still deciding on methods in reducing the effects of global warming by implementing policies that would regulate emission levels and usage of chemicals that affect the planet.
In the study done by Hansen, Ruedy, Sato and Lo (2010) for NASA, the global temperature has increased 5 degrees higher than the temperature around the 1980s. Some areas such as in eastern Asia, eastern United States and Eurasia are relatively warm as compared to their previous status on the past few years. The study also noted that 2010 became one of the warmest years recorded. Heavy rains and floods have also increased in some areas, especially in areas where glacial and ice shelves are located; while some areas have hotter drought season that may even cause forest fires. Each country would also experience shorter seasons that would be a threat to local plant life and animals .
The international community has continuously met yearly and took part in the Copenhagen Accords. But Doyle and Wynn (2010) notes that the United Nations has seen the pledges of the 110 countries that have took part locating a solution to global warming to be very weak as the solution would not decrease emissions in a passing rate of below 2 degrees Celsius each year. According to the report, there is still a consensus that the Kyoto Accords are still better than the Copenhagen Accords due to the steadfast policies and changes the Kyoto Accords introduced to the countries which have utilized it. As far as the UN is concerned, a 100% support on reducing emissions that affect the globe would be a must if each country would like to combat the risks Global Warming would induce to everyone.
Doyle, A., & Wynn, G. (2010, March 31). Copenhagen Accord climate pledges too weak: UN. Reuters. Retrieved from http://www.reuters.com/article/2010/03/31/us-climate-accord-idUSTRE62U13M20100331
Eichler, B. (2007). Climate Change. In L. Hjorth, B. Eichler, A. Khan, & J. Morello, Technology and Society Issues for the 21st Century and Beyond (pp. 244-259). Upper Saddle River: Prentice Hall.
Hansen, J., Ruedy, R., Sato, M., & Lo, K. (2010). Global Surface Temperature Change. Review of Geophysics, 48, 1-29.