Much good has come from widespread availability of information characteristic of our current society. Unfortunately, this abundance of information also makes it very easy to be mislead or confused and there are many parties in whose best interest it is to for you to be confused. Global warming is possibly the most significant event humans will face - don't be fooled! Read on to learn about the basic facts of the possible climate catastrophe our earth is facing. Myth #1: Within the scientific community, debate persists as to whether or not anthropogenic (human-caused) gases are the primary cause of global warming. Fact: Worldwide, climate scientists are united in agreement that the current rise in greenhouse gases and global temperatures are directly correlated to human-related causes. Mean temperatures across the globe are trending upwards, scientists agree.
The vast majority of climate scientists-the people intimately studying atmospheric changes who are experts in their field-agree that global warming has increased significantly since the Industrial Revolution and that those changes correspond with increased burning of fossil fuels and other human activities. Whatever debate exists does so in the popular media and political arenas. Skeptics are often spokespeople or "scientists" hired by industries that have a stake in new emission-cutting regulations or changes in consumer buying patterns that would curb global warming.
Myth #2: The current warming trend is just part of the natural cycle of rising and falling climate variation. A small shift in degrees is not a big deal. Fact: It is indeed normal for the global climate to experience undulations in temperature over given periods, but the world is currently experiencing an increase in temperature that is nearly unprecedented.
While some animals and plants were able to adapt to slow changes over time, many will become extinct as a result of faster climate changes. Evolution requires time to change any given species-successful changes are made over thousands (or millions) of years. In contrast, scientists predict that the average global temperature will increase anywhere from 2.
5 to 10.4 degrees F in the 21st century alone. While this may seem like a small fluctuation on a regional scale, on a global scale it is significant. The last Ice Age was only 5-9 degrees colder than today's temperatures.
Myth #3: Global warming is a good thing; an extended warm season would be more comfortable and extend the growing season, thus increasing global food supplies. Fact: While a small amount of warming might benefit some select regions, the negative effects of global warming will far outweigh any positives. Among the many expected results of global warming are: drought, flooding rainstorms, forest fire, and species extinctions. Many of the extreme weather events will occur in areas that are already experiencing trouble producing their own food because of resource depletion, specifically in the developing world where hunger is already prevalent. Furthermore, population density will further increase pressure on the globe as a result of the rising seas forcing people from their homes to higher ground.
Finally, warmer winters and an increased growing season will extend the range of many invasive plant and animal species, which may crowd out natives. Harmful insects that eat crops or harbor disease will have expanded geographical and seasonal ranges. Myth #4: Like examples of the past, humans can easily adapt to the effects of global climate change, especially with current and future technologies. Fact: While it is true that humans as a species have survived through climate variations in the past, it has been the cause of civilization collapse in many proven cases. If the global warming trend continues without action, the rate of increase and the degree of warming will exceed anything experienced since the beginning of human civilization.
The fallout from global warming will drastically impact all aspects of modern human life, as well as the global economy with which we are so intertwined. Furthermore, even if developed countries were able to come up with technology to ease the effects of global warming, poorer countries will likely not have the resources to adapt. The pressure from the movement of large groups of people displaced by global warming will be felt across borders, both political and socio-economic. Additionally, conflict over food and water will likely have a ripple effect across the globe. It is clear that the need to act on global, industrial, political, and individual levels is imperative to address one of the biggest environmental challenge humans as a species has ever seen.
Education is the first step; action is the next. The future is in our hands. Sources: Wang, James, PhD.
and Michael Oppenheimer, PhD. "The Latest Myths and Facts on Global Warming." Environmental Defense, 2005. [PDF] "Myth Manners Thinks Abrupt Climate Change Would Be Rude.
" Grinning Planet. June 21, 2005.
This article may be reprinted freely as long as this resource box is included. It was provided by ACoolerClimate, a website devoted to creating a revolutionary movement by showing people how to help prevent global warming. Related Global Warming Article: Help Prevent Global Warming by Knowing Your Paper Recycling Facts