There are analyses which oppose the hypothesis of human-induced global warming. The analysis of physical evidence (such as ice cores, tree rings, dust plumes, and even the analysis of prehistoric villages and algae skeletons) provided by Singer and Avery (2007) along with human records and memories of the ice age and medieval warming show that global warming has been witnessed every 1500 years, and human-induced activities cannot significantly change this trend.
3. Actions to stop human-induced global warming
The effect of greenhouse gas emissions on the atmosphere and climate of the Earth is inevitable, as the existing concentration of gas emissions in the atmosphere is unnatural and will have a long-lasting effect leading to further rise of temperatures and climate changes. However, if the humanity retains the same methods and operations, the risks might significantly increase. It is necessary to take actions towards reducing the emissions and decreasing the magnitude of climate changes (Turk & Bensel, 2011).
It should be noted that these goals cannot be reached by a specific group of countries – the united efforts and contribution of all countries are required to have a significant impact on the situation (Turk & Bensel, 2011). Many regulations and protocols aimed at reducing the risks of global warming have already been signed. One of important steps in environmental protection was the Kyoto protocol, ratified in 2005 (Turk & Bensel, 2011).
This protocol limited greenhouse gas emissions, and the dramatic increase of concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere was stopped to a certain extent. The Montreal protocol signed in 1987 helped to address the problem of the ozone holes. Thus, there is significant evidence that the humanity is capable to unite and make the world more sustailable.
Among the changes which should recently be implemented in order to avoid future dangerous climate changes there are the reduction of human induced carbon dioxide emissions, modification of production methods and energy generation methods, and activities aimed at adapting to the changing climatic conditions (Turk & Bensel, 2011). It is neither possible to stop the global warming nor to eliminate the effects of greenhouse gas emissions, but timely actions and well though-out policies of governments all over the world can help to mitigate the risks.
4. Actions to address natural warming processes
The opponents of the global warming theory state that it is not possible to address the causes of warming, as they are related to increase solar and volcanic activity. The followers of this point of view might still have different opinions regarding the necessary reaction of world community to these trends. Some of the opponents of global warming state that the processes happening now in the atmosphere are mostly natural, and the effects of the decreased solar activity during the next periods will compensate for the current increase of average temperatures (Singer & Avery, 2007). Another opinion existing among the opponents of human-induced global warming hypothesis is that it is not possible to change climatic patterns shaped by internal and external changes, and the humanity should adapt its activities to the new conditions (Rowland, 2010).
Kump (2011) reports the evidence of a much worse global warming which took place 56 million years ago, when the average temperatures increased by 5 degrees during 1000 years. The researchers stress the importance of studying the climatic changes prior to that warming, and outline that the analysis of the prehistoric warming can help the mankind to prepare for possible natural threats and changes induced by warming. Other groups of scientists believe that although the causes of the global warming are natural, the humanity should possibly measure and reduce the effects of technology on the natural ecosystem to avoid breaking the balance (Singer & Avery, 2007). The latter opinion is in fact similar to the conclusions of the supporters of human-induced global warming.
5. The impact of global warming on a sustainable world
As it was mentioned before, it is not possible to remove the effects of greenhouse gas emissions on the climate of the Earth; actual problems for the humanity are reduction of the emissions and adaptation to new environmental consequences. The developing countries might suffer great damage due to changes of average temperatures by 1-2 degrees: floods, hurricanes, droughts, etc (Turk & Bensel, 2011). In order to reduce emissions, such countries would need substantial economic help, and farmers all over the world would need assistance for changing their operations, adapting their crops, schedules, treatment methods, they might need new pesticides and fertilizers, etc.
Some of the issues associated with global warming can, nevertheless, be recovered. The most vivid example in this case is the state of ozone layer, which has significantly improved after the Montreal Protocol was signed. The level of inorganic chlorines in the environment has strongly decreased, and there is evidence that natural processes of ozone production will cover the existing gaps during 50 years.
Among a variety of issues which should be considered to build a sustainable world in the new conditions, there are the changes in rainfall patterns, increasing possibility of high temperatures and heat waves, perceived severity of storms and hurricanes, and increased changes of infectious disease patterns in the developing countries. All spheres of human life, especially agriculture, manufacturing industries, health care and construction have to be ready to address the changes, and in order to create sustainability, the solutions should be developed before significant problems with the existing methods emerge.
Both the supporters and opponents of the human-induced global warming hypothesis present statistically significant data and provide reasonable explanations. The truth is that it is not possible to check their models and assumptions as long-term analysis of climatic changes and external factors is required, and history of environmental studies is too short to address such fundamental questions. However, there is clear evidence that human activities can add to the climatic changes (Turk & Bensel, 2011), and uncontrolled expansion and production are very likely to create conditions for environmental catastrophe, even if the main cause of global warming is natural. Thus, the humanity should focus primarily not on searching for the causes of global warming, but on future response to potential environmental challenges, and on creating a sustainable society (Rowland, 2010).
It should be noted that although there exist two opposing viewpoints on the problem of global warming, both sides stress the importance of sustainability. Rowland (2010) gives evidence that due to human activities the regenerative capacity of the biosphere has been exceeded, and human beings are acting as the main factor changing the Earth’s ecosystem now (Turk & Bensel, 2011). This fact increases the environmental responsibility of the mankind, and relates to the issues of global warming in particular. The humanity should thus stop debating whether the global warming is human-induced or not, and try to reduce own effect on climate changes. It can be done by creating sustainable development strategies for both developed and developing countries, and also addressing the problems of population growth and extractive industries needed to maintain the survival of a large number of people (Rowland, 2010). These issues are interrelated, and although global warming does not directly relate to overpopulation, these two issues should be addressed simultaneously in order to build a sustainable future for the mankind.
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