Climate Change

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Climate Change


Climate Change Article

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The Scientific Viewpoints on the Natural and Artificial Causes of Climate Change

When we view images of Earth from space, we are taken back by the beauty and splendor of this planet. One of the most notable features of this planet is a very thin layer of gas around it. All life on Earth is dependent on this thin layer of gas. It regulates the amount of radiation that enters our atmosphere and the gases that are present. It is this thin layer that is a most fragile piece of life on Earth. This is the focus of our study on climate change.

Science has a couple basic views on climate change, while politicians have their own varying views. We will focus on the two main scientific viewpoints. One is that the Earth naturally cycles through climate changes over time. The other is that large changes in climate are the result of human technologies interrupting a natural balance. Most notably, the latter scientists point to correlating increases in the concentrations of what are now known as greenhouse gases in our atmosphere.

Let us take a look at what we know. Our sun is a star. Radiation from the sun provides our earth with warmth and supports many life processes. Much of the energy that is directed at our planet from the sun is not absorbed by the Earth, being redirected into space. Otherwise, our planet would be too hot for life.

The scientists that emphasize the human role in greenhouse gases believe that they cause the Earth to absorb more of the sun's radiation. Large-scale industry in the last 150 years, producing a variety of gases while burning fuels, is believed to be the main culprit in the increased concentrations of these greenhouse gases. The more economies of scale achieved by industry, the more quickly industry is able to release toxic gases.

Waste is another culprit of these greenhouse gases. All of these mass produced products with non-biodegradable components eventually end up in landfills. Many react with others to release a variety of gases over time, especially when burned. Some human products even release greenhouse gases during use, such as coolants, agricultural chemicals, and aerosol cans. The more of these consumer products produced and used, the more contributors there are of greenhouse gases to our thin atmospheric gas layer.

According to the second scientific view of climate change, these greenhouse gases will disrupt the natural cooling cycles of the Earth. The amount of radiation absorbed by the Earth will continue to increase, resulting in more heat around the Earth, and eventually in more drastic hot and cold cycles. The longer this continues, the greater the buildup of these gases. This is believed by these scientists to be the primary reason why the Earth has gotten warmer since the industrial revolution.


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