Climate Change

TERM PAPER
CLIMATE CHANGE / THE GLOBAL AGENDA 2010

I. Introduction:
This paper looks at the controversial issue of climatic change. In particular, it develops the question of if and why earth??™s climate is changing The roles of man, naturally occurring trends, and earth??™s cycles are considered, and an outlook for what can be expected in the near and distant future is given. ???The uneasiness of modern man arises from a rupture between himself and nature that leaves him homeless within the universe…??™ William Barrett Introduction Over the past years most individuals have become acutely aware that the intensity of human and economic development enjoyed over the 20th century cannot be sustained. Material consumption and ever increasing populations are already stressing the earth??™s ecosystems. How much more the earth can take remains a very heated issue. Here a look at the facts sheds some very dark light.

II. Body:
Climate change is an amazingly simple phrase for such a complex subject. Following, we have a go at defining climate change in today??™s terms. Climate Change ??“ What is it In the current day lexicon of scientists, climate modification isn??™t really a term of use anymore. The reason for this is that we have come to understand that the effect of the changes we make to our environment will increase the temperature in many locations on the planet, but will also cool a few places. In light of this, the thing you know of as climate modification is actually referred to as global climate change. Over all, however, the world is definitely warming. We need a simple definition for climate change in relation to the warming of the planet, one that gets the gist without excluding the simplicities. The simplest and most accurate definition is that climate change is the effect greenhouse gases have on the earth??™s climate. Greenhouse gases include, but are not limited to, carbon dioxide and methane. While this sounds like a simple definition, there are a couple of key things to realize. First, climate change is both a natural phenomena and one created by man. Put another way, greenhouse gases are a natural part of the biosphere and would exist if man did not. Indeed, they are a critical component to the existence of life on this planet. If greenhouse gases didn??™t exist, the temperature on planet earth would average zero degrees! Naturally occurring gases, however, keep the temperature at a much more livable 59 degrees. So, if climate change occurs naturally, what is the big panic about The problem we are facing is the volume of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. These gases act as thermal blankets for the atmosphere. The more gas in the atmosphere, the thicker the blanket and the less heat escapes. Over the last 80 years, we have been pumping massive amounts of greenhouse gases into the sky. At the same time, we have been reducing forestation around the planet, the primary plant collection that sucks greenhouse gases out of the atmosphere. This double whammy is starting to show negative results, the increased heating of our world. The ultimate question with climate alteration is what will happen as the planet heats up. We are already seeing signs with the retreat of the glaciers. Glacier National Park, for instance, is going to have to be renamed since it has already lost 65 percent of all of its glaciers! While the exact end result of these environmental changes is not clear, we can expect major climatic changes over the next 80 years.

Climate modification is essentially the excessive heating of the planet, which results in dramatic climatic changes. So, are there ways to prevent climate modification Ways to Prevent Climate Modification In many ways, the climate modification debate is benefiting from the current highly volatile issues concerning energy. The world wide industrial revolution has been powered by coal and oil. While coal is available in many countries, oil is not. Circumstances being what they are, the largest concentrations of oil are found in areas with significant political and armed conflict. One needs only look at the situation in Iraq to understand this fact. With the growing China economy, there now seems to be a universal understanding that oil alternatives are necessary. Perhaps proving the concept of Karma, nearly all oil alternatives are favorable ways to reduce climate modification. Whether we are talking about hydropower, solar, wind, geothermal or even nuclear energy, each alternative power source produces significantly less pollution than classic fossil fuels. Less pollution is the key for one very simple reason. A major byproduct of using fossil fuels for energy is the much discussed greenhouse gas. Whether using oil to produce electricity or just to gas up the car, the use of this medium produces carbon dioxide. Carbon dioxide is a major greenhouse gas. Reducing the volume of it in the atmosphere will greatly reduce the greenhouse effect. As our energy production evolves away from oil, we should see improvements in the atmosphere. The bigger issue, of course, is whether we will get around to this anytime soon. A second major way to prevent climate modification is to stop deforestation. Vast forests, such as the one found in the Amazon River Basin in South America are being clear cut. This has a devastating impact on climate modification. Nature being what it is, it has a natural method for filtering harmful gases such as carbon dioxide out of the air. It does this through photosynthesis with plants. Dense, huge forests are the biggest and best filters of carbon dioxide. By cutting them down, we reduce the ability of the planet to filter out the bad gases while we continue to pump more of the gases into the atmosphere. Any way you measure it, it is a formula destined to cause trouble. Are there ways to prevent climate modification Yes. We need to kick our oil habit and stop wiping out our forest areas.

The scientists from all over the world have reached the verdict: the world is in a continuous warming due to pollution. The most dangerous air polluter is considered to be the carbon dioxide. Along with other air polluters the carbon dioxide accumulates into the atmosphere and makes up a blockage against the sun??™s heat, leading to the planet??™s warming up. The main source of carbon dioxide is: the coal-burning power plants and the automobiles. Nature is trying to warn us about the consequences of our mistakes and is sending us signs that the global warming is installing. These early warning signs are: heat waves and unusually warm weather; the ocean has warmed up in the last few years, the sea level has been in a continuous rise and the coasts have been flooded; glaciers are melting and the Arctic and Antarctic are warming up. This is only the beginning as consequences will be seen soon: diseases will spread, the spring will arrive earlier, plant and animal range will shift and population will change; coral reef bleaching; in some parts of the world flooding, downpours and heavy snowfalls will follow and in other parts droughts and fires will dominate. In order to protect ourselves, our economy, and our planet from the consequences of climate change, we must consider reducing emissions of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases. Such a transformation needs the involvement of all humans, over the near and long-term, in order to protect our planet. In the beginning we must understand that small measures like: recycling plastic and glass, saving water and conserving power will make a difference is everybody will adopt them. Until now ???greener??™ ways of producing energy have been considered, like using solar panels, producing gas from rotting rubbish and using the water for new energy.

III. Conclusion:
Climate change, its detrimental effects and the steps that should be taken by governments has long been a source for contention between Greenpeace societies and the various governmental units worldwide. Recent studies and research on the extent of these climate changes have determined the alarming severity of the problem and this has sparked further debate among national policy-makers and international bodies. What measures should be carried out by the executive sovereignty and how these actions vary from nation to nation based on population, wealth, economic strength and pollution index has become the subject of many a heated debate. However, the agreed upon foundation is that every government should contribute to avert, or failing that, lessen the impact climate change will have on mankind if left unchecked. The effects of climate change on the sea level is probably the most discussed ramification of global warming and will continue to plague debates, discussions and headlines for years to come.