A topic of global warming has become more controversial over the last five years. It was a proven issue and a reason for international concern while today many people oppose its existence. It is reasonable to question any idea before believing in it; however, the status of global warming has reached its peak of speculations, misconceptions, and disbelief. Despite the effort of reliable scientists, international organizations, politicians, and ordinary people, there is a severe lack of trust in global warming as an aspect. Such debate is a result of misunderstanding about the climate change and its causes. Global warming is real, despite media coverage, political opposition, and biased scientific researches on the issue.
Arguments for Global Warming
One of the most obvious ways to observe global warming is an increase of global temperature across the planet. The average annual temperature continues to grow for about “0.2 degrees each year” (Ostberg et al. 349-350). In many countries, each summer sets a new record of air temperature, and the situation seems to worsen. Heat during warm seasons becomes unbearable and dangerous, while cold seasons have serious frosts. As a result, the weather has become destructive and unpredictable for many parts of the world. Even temperate climate of Europe has changed to a more subtropical one, which is abnormal for the continent. The dramatic changes in air temperature are even more significant if compared to the same seasons and average annual temperature two-three decades ago. The difference is dramatic and results in 1-2 degrees more in some places.
Weather reacts to global warming almost instantly. It has become more unstable and extreme (Wang and Chameides 7). There are examples across the world, when areas with seasonal floods have faced even more destructive and longer floods. The dry regions have suffered from droughts. In other words, the weather reacts to the changes in a radical way. There are also areas which experience abnormal weather, and it has increased instability of climate (Ostberg et al. 353-354). The data, which was used five years ago to forecast weather and prepare for it, is no longer applicable. Habitual principles and norms are useless as they cannot reflect current conditions.
The extended warm seasons and a lack of precipitation cause wildfires. Extreme heat kills insects, trees, and grass and they become “a dry fuel for a wildfire” (Wang and Chameides 8-9). The main problem with wildfires is an inability to detect them as they start. Furthermore, they occur on large open areas of hundreds of square kilometres. Hence, there is a technical limitation for emergency services to extinguish the fire. The hardest areas hit by wildfire are North America, Scandinavia, and Siberia (Wang and Chameides 10). Global warming helps the dry fuel to accumulate in forests. Additionally, human activity exhausts natural ecosystems which dissolve the dead plants and insects before wildfire can occur. All of these factors lead to practically unstoppable wildfires and destruction of green plants.
Due to the fact that everything is connected in nature, the rising temperature influences entire ecosystems and landscapes (Cook et al.). For instance, the most infamous example is a reduction of polar caps. The icebergs disappear and melt because of increased temperature. This process reduces amount of fresh water on the planet. In fact, in Greenland, many new territories revealed itself after ice melted. Taking into consideration the current pace at which ice melts, in several years even larger areas will be free of ice. Overall, in the 21st century, the melting of the ice has reached its peak, compared to the end of the 20th century.
The next issue is a rise of sea level. Even though the changes are not as visible as the other consequences of global warming, it is a serious issue that threatens coastal areas, territories below the sea level, and water resources of many countries (Hughes et al. 373-374). The sea level will continue to rise in the future in a bigger scale. Apart from changing the topography of the continents, it also negatively influences the marine ecosystem. At the same time, it also changes the density and salt content in water that affects the state of marine forms of life. Sea level will also cause serious weather changes with its contribution to the greenhouse effect.
Extinction of animal species and destruction of ecosystems across the globe has been one of the results of global warming as well. The human activity has contributed to the extinction of animals and species the most (Cook et al.). Several species disappear from the surface of the Earth each day forever. The global warming and weather changes force animals to migrate and change the existing ecosystems in a new area of habitat. In some cases, the animals attack each other to protect their territories and resources they have. However, the situation escalates more every year, as humans have to interfere to preserve rare and endangered plants and animals, as their natural habitat is destroyed.
Arguments against Global Warming
Despite being proven on multiple occasions and considered a serious issue, there is some informational stigma regarding the existence of global warming. It has an image of a hoax and something unreasonable. Indeed, there are some facts which suggest climate changes each cycle of several thousands of years. However, naturally it occurs gradually and without rapid leaps in temperature growth or rise of sea level. It should be a more stable process which can be invisible because of how slow it is. Nonetheless, the differences between climates of the 21st century and the 20th century are radical. Hence, these changes do not support this hypothesis and contradict it.
It is a popular misconception among government officials and ordinary people to reject global warming. According to people’s opinion, it is just a conspiracy theory that aims at reduction of natural resources use by smaller countries while the well-developed and powerful ones can use this as an “opportunity to advance their national economy” (McCright et al.). Global warming is used as a bait to distract people from national problems (Broadbent et al. 5-6). Surely, it is possible to imagine that there is a worldwide conspiracy about this issue; however, there is no point in that. Like many conspiracy theories, this one lacks any arguments. Some elements of global warming are debatable, as there is a lack of data, for example, on the rise of sea level and its speed. However, overall it is impossible to ignore all of the other concrete evidence which proves climate change.
Furthermore, there is an idea which is quite popular among researchers that the anthropologic activity does not contribute to global warming at all. It is just a change in the environment which will resolve itself in the future as nature always does. However, the critical component of global warming theory is the fact that it became more evident and destructive in the last 60 years, but it started with the Industrial Revolution (McCright et al.). The modern state of ecology is below satisfactory, and it is hard to deny that although human activity might not be a single cause of global warming, it is still one of the primary reasons that force nature to change. The scale of human activity and its devastating effect on natural resources, climate, ecosystems, and landscapes are well-documented and researched.
In recent years, many political parties have speculated about science and its field of interest. Global warming has been used as a speculative tool to distract people from economic challenges, according to some people. As a result, such claims typically attract attention, and the controversial statements are used as a tool for public image or popularization of a specific individual. Politicians influence the opinion of their voters and it creates a new gap between real facts and political statements. Therefore, there is informational isolation for many people which negatively influences perception of serious topics, among them is global warming. It has become a speculative theme for modern political parties as populist ideas accumulate strong support of the public.
One of the major tools to debunk these hypotheses is a lack of proofs. There are not any credible data, which might completely refute global warming as a scientific matter. Typically, the arguments against it come from non-scientific fields such as media and politics (Broadbent et al. 3). Global warming as a fiction has become popular among conservative groups of people. Despite that, there is visible impact of climate change on the planet. Even though some areas might avoid the negative influence to a certain degree, it is possible to compare modern stats of temperature and sea level. According to the data, the average annual temperature increased up to 2 degrees. It is a recognized fact in scientific community and the most obvious one.
30 people participated in a survey, all of whom are males. 60% of them belong to an age group of 20-29 while remaining 40% are 10-19 years old. Even though it does not represent society in any way, it still provides a general understanding of how people perceive global warming as issue and whether it is a serious problem for them. The survey consists of 10 questions which are related to global warming: its status, personal opinion about it, and how it correlates with their lives. There was not a single respondent who skipped a question; in fact, everyone provided one’s answers to all of the questions.
75% of respondents are aware of global warming, while others do not. However, when it comes to seeing it as a threat and only 50% of people consider global warming as something dangerous. The remaining half of the participants do not believe that there is something dangerous about global warming. It is a vivid example of public consideration of the issue, as the absolute majority of people is aware of it but they do not see it as current problem. When it comes to which policy is the best to resolve global warming, 62.5% agree that national and international strategies have to cooperate to stop climate change, while 37.5% believe that it should be an area of interest for national government.
There is a positive tendency in regards to the solution to global warming. The majority of respondents state that it is entirely possible to stop global warming. 37.5% think that the problem will not have solution. Even though the problem requires a lot of resources and international cooperation, it is possible to resolve the issue. Nonetheless, the methods by which it can be stopped are different, as nearly third of respondents suggests decrease of fossil fuels production, reduction of driving distance is the second option for 25%. Stop cutting down trees is also supported by nearly the third of participants. In other words, people understand the causes of global warming and potential ways to stop or at least slow it down.
In conclusion, global warming is a serious and real matter which concerns international community. There are lots of scientific proofs which everyone can observe the consequence of global warming without any intricate equipment. Weather, sea level, average air temperature, ecosystems, and landscapes change under the influence of climate change. Even though there is criticism of global warming, the majority of it is based on nothing. Media and politics try to attract attention with controversial statements about rejection of global warming.
Broadbent, Jeffrey, et al. “Conflicting Climate Change Frames in a Global Field of Media Discourse.” Socius: Sociological Research For A Dynamic World, vol. 2, 2016, pp. 1-17.
Cook, John, et al. “Consensus on Consensus: A Synthesis of Consensus Estimates on Human-Caused Global Warming.” Environmental Research Letters, vol. 11, no. 4, 2014.
Hughes, Terry P., et al. “Global Warming and Recurrent Mass Bleaching of Corals.” Nature, vol. 543, 2017, pp. 373–377.
McCright, Aaron, et al. “The Influence of Political Ideology on Trust in Science.” Environmental Research Letters, vol. 8, no. 4, 2013.
Ostberg, S., et al. “Critical Impacts of Global Warming on Land Ecosystems.” Earth System Dynamics, vol. 4, 2013, pp. 347-357.
Wang, James, and Bill Chameides. Global Warming’s Increasingly Visible Impacts. Environmental Defense, 2018, pp. 3-22.