A drought that occurred in 1988 over North America sparked scientists to suggest theories as to what caused the phenomenon. From this, studies spawned as to what we can now relate to as “global warming”. According to Congress and the United States Administration, global warming is caused by a build-up of greenhouse gases such as; carbon dioxide, nitrogen oxide, methane and chlorofluorocarbons. This was the stepping stone to more studies and theories on greenhouse gas and global warming.
The greenhouse effect is a natural occurrence that allows ultraviolet radiation to pass on the surface of the earth and blocks infrared radiation from escaping. This process is vital to the sustainability of life on the planet. This led scientists to research further to obtain the levels of gasses from periods long ago by way of studying ice cores and deep sedimentary rock samples. Scientists discovered the carbon emissions are fairly recent with the coming of human activity and industrialization. Scientists estimated that carbon dioxide increases with the industrialist human activity by 19-25%. The combustion of fossil fuels, carbon dioxide and other gases are all significant factors to global warming. There are substantial findings that these gases have contributed to polar ice meltdown. These greenhouse gases all have a life span in the atmosphere. For instance, carbon dioxide and combusted fossil fuels, that block infrared radiation, remain in the atmosphere for roughly 120 years. Methane, which has the same effect, remains in the atmosphere for around 10 years.
Global warming has speculated much debate and to this day there is no substantial evidence as to its prominent effect on the weather. Temperatures have changed over the years in North America; however, analysts speculate this is caused with urbanization, mass amounts of concrete and skyscrapers.
The resolution is up for debate. The general idea is that urbanization, automobiles, and massive industrialization has emitted harmful gas into the atmosphere. The question remains, how do policy makers project to create a resolution? Companies and corporations are not necessarily going to be the first to act on this, so policy makers need to regulate on a grander scale, implementing government regulation, both national and international. How can policy utilize environmental techniques that will not harm the air, land and water?
In order to create efficient and sound policy making, research and information needs to be as accurate as possible. Policy needs to be created and followed for substantial reasons. Scientists and their studies need to have substantial backing as to their climate forecasts so that policy making can be interpreted as necessary and meaningful. Though it is practically impossible to predict the future on a geographic and meteorological scale, scientists can use their research to give an extensive proposal.
This is a circumstance when scientific theory meets economic analysis. In this scenario policy makers need to acquire four factors in pursuing resolutions; greater scientific understanding, likely efficacy of policies, economic impact of no policy action, and economic impacts of alternative policies. With the extensive study and findings from scientists, policy makers need to incorporate these findings into their policy making decisions. Overall, it should always be a priority to look out for the environment when policies are being implemented.
Cox, Loren C. "Special Issue on Global Warming." Lamont-Doherty Geological Observatory of Columbia University (1991): 1-7. Web.