Global Warming: Cause and Mitigation

Compare and contrast natural versus anthropogenic climate changes

Research studies indicate that various factors influence the global climate. These factors are categorized into either natural climate changes or anthropogenic climate changes. Both natural and anthropogenic climate changes contribute to global warming (Archer, 2012). Natural climate changes occur naturally without any human influence while anthropogenic climate changes are caused by human activities.

Human activities in the industries have resulted in increasing in greenhouse gases in the environment (Eastwood, 2011). Examples of these gases include carbon dioxide, water vapor, and methane. These gases have the impact of absorbing and keeping more heat in the atmosphere that is required and this result in global warming.

Another example, which leads to anthropogenic climate change, is human activities on land such as cutting down of trees. Deforestation alters the surface albedo. In addition, deforestation alters water vapor in the atmosphere and results to desertification which influences climate.

Natural climate changes include volcanoes. Volcano activities spread aerosol particles in the atmosphere where they absorb the sunlight (Casper, 2010). These particles thus have the effect of heating the atmosphere thus altering global temperatures.

Another natural climate change is the sun. Changes in the solar magnetic field affect the number of cosmic rays reaching the atmosphere. These variations result in photochemical processes in the atmosphere, which results in changes in global climate (Thompson, 2010).

Evidence to support global warming is taking place

One indication of global warming is the increased temperatures in the oceans with time. Scientists claim that the heat content is more than ninety percent of the total heat resulting from land, air, and ocean. Ocean currents have also been altered. Scientific studies reveal a significant reduction in the Antarctic Bottom Water over the years, which has been warming and drying in the past (Eastwood, 2011). Ocean currents help in carrying heat and carbon on the earth thus controlling the earth’s climate.

Changes in climate have significantly altered snow and ice (Thompson, 2010). The amount of snow that falls in a particular region has decreased over the decades. Studies reveal that these regions receive downfall in the form of rainwater instead of snowfall. In addition, the majority of water bodies in America ice up later and defrost earlier. This is a new weather condition, which was not experienced in the past decades.

Rainfall patterns have shown astonishing changes over the decades (Archer, 2012). Studies indicate that the global water cycle is expanding with a warming climate, which implies that regions will experience the same conditions though at an intensifying rate. For example, wet regions are likely to worsen while dry regions experience more dry conditions because of climate change.

Current mitigation strategies for global warming: potential costs and policy implication

A more effective method to reduce carbon emissions is carbon taxation on all carbon emitters. Carbon taxation would help the market explain the societal costs of carbon emissions thus limiting their emissions. Moreover, carbon taxation would be beneficial for any nation during discussions of global carbon dioxide limits (Casper, 2010).

One of the sectors affected by carbon taxation is the power sector because it is the biggest emitter of carbon. As the cost of emitting carbon rises, other sources of producing power such as nuclear and wind energy are considered. Carbon taxation will alter the consumption pattern, resulting in the application of technologies with fewer carbon emissions.

Carbon sequestration involves processes done to eliminate carbon dioxide in the atmosphere and direct it to oceans or geologic formations (Eastwood, 2011). Geologic carbon sequestration involves seizing carbon dioxide from their sources and then injecting the carbon dioxide four kilometers beneath the ground.

The injected carbon dioxide can remain in the ground for a thousand years. To utilize geologic sequestration, environmental hazards and the cost of infrastructure must be considered. The expenses incurred will be determined by the position of storage sites. Researchers are investigating new techniques that would help to predict expected costs and the environmental impacts of geological carbon sequestration.

Policy changes to help stabilize global climate and the business sectors or countries that would be held to more strict standards

Several policy changes can be adopted, which have the capacity to lower the effect of carbon emission. One of them is to transfer subsidies from fuels that produce carbon to those that do not emit carbon (Thompson, 2010). The withdrawal of these subsidies would make alternative sources of energy more attractive to consumers. Subsidies on alternative energy sources would increase investments in renewable energies such as wind power and solar energy.

Another policy change is technology transfer to developing countries. The World Bank finances various energy development initiatives. These investments can be directed to projects that will reduce overreliance on fossil fuels (Archer, 2012). Therefore, developing countries will be in a position to utilize clean energy thus curbing the problem of climate change.

A policy to increase investment in the transport industry is essential in stabilizing global climate. More than ninety percent of the energy used in the transport sector is sourced by fossil fuels, which are carbon emitters. Investment in the transport sector will help in carrying out research and development of other sources of energy such as hydrogen fuels, which emit less carbon. In addition, this technology will eliminate the cost of policies such as carbon taxing if fully implemented (Casper, 2010).

Reference List

Archer, D. (2012). Global warming: understanding the forecast. USA: John Wiley & sons.

Casper, J. (2010). Global warming: changing ecosystems effects of global warming. New York: Infobase Publishing.

Eastwood, E. (2011). Global warming: What you can do about it. USA: IUniverse.

Thompson, L. (2010). Climate change: the evidence and our options. The Behavior Analyst, 33(2), 153-170.