Although scientists and environmentalists across the globe fear that the adverse implications of global warming threaten the very existence of humanity, the global warming skeptics have stayed put and insist that this concept is just a myth. The bone of contention pertains to the fact that the earth’s temperatures are increasing progressively and this is attributed to human activities. The global warming skeptics have generated various counter arguments that argue against this fact. They believe that the contentions put forth by the scientists and environments are not reliable as they are computer generated. Before we underscore the particularistic aspects pertaining to each side of the debate, it is imperative to understand the natural and anthropogenic factors that contribute to this phenomenon.
According to Wegman (2007), global warming denotes changes in the mean temperatures of the earth. This has been implicated for triggering changes in climatic conditions that compromise the quality of life on earth. The natural causes for these changes have been cited by McBrewster, Miller and Vandome (2009) to encompass solar activity, orbital forcing and volcanic emissions. From a theoretical point of view, it is argued that the sun has increasingly been gaining strength in the last sixty years. This has culminated to increase in the mean temperatures and hence global warming. Orbital tilting on the other hand is a natural cause that is defined by implications of the tilting of the axis of the earth to its climatic conditions. Finally, volcanic emissions contain a wide variety and significant volumes of green house gases that increase the temperature of the earth by a significant twenty five percent (Craven, 2009).
According to Craven (2009),manmade causes of climate change include industrialization that releases green house gases to the atmosphere; deforestation that inhibits carbon sequestration and burning fossil fuels that releases green house gases in the atmosphere. Scientists contend that human contribution to this phenomenon currently stands at eighty percent.
As indicated earlier, the current debate in this regard comprises of two opposing factions that have substantial information to back up their positions. While scientists and environmentalists understand the relative hazards that are associated with this phenomenon, the skeptics argue that the contribution of man to this is negligible and the phenomenon in itself is insignificant. Facts about climate change are defined by the increase in the frequency and magnitude of natural catastrophes, increase in temperatures, extinction of species, and the effects of this to humans.
With respect to natural catastrophes, Haghoe and Farley (2009) cite that the increase in seal level and the resultant flooding and disappearance of the coastal regions is a clear indication that global warming is a fact. In the recent past, incidences of drought, floods and other natural calamities such as hurricanes have been more frequent and extreme. Of great reference in this respect is the fact that summers have become increasingly warm and winters unusually cold. Further, scientific evidence ascertains that there are inherent changes in the global temperatures of the earth. In this respect, McBrewester et al (2009) asserts that the last thirteen years constitute the warmest years in history. Variations in these temperatures have led to increased incidences of not only droughts and floods but also cold waves and heat waves. This has had significant changes to disease patterns due to migration of disease carrying insects.
The increase in extinction of certain biological species can also be attributed to increase in global temperatures. In his review, Craven (2009) indicates that the extinct species range from birds and amphibians to mammals, reptiles and insects. A classic example of a species that got extinct due to changes in temperatures is the Monteverde toad that was endemic to Costa Rica rain forests. Currently, the continued survival of the polar bear is also being compromised by the warming of the earth. Their habitats are being destroyed due to the melting of icecaps. In order to secure their survival, Bowen (2008) affirms that they are increasingly migrating towards the North Pole.
Perhaps the most vital implications that accredit the fact that global warming is reality are the effects on human beings. It cannot be disputed that of all the species, humans are the most depended on nature. They exploit it for various reasons and therefore any modifications are likely to have far reaching implications on their existence (Wegman, 2007). The changes in climate have led to crop failure in different parts of the world. Coupled with loss of important vegetation cover and extinction of species, this has greatly affected the ability of man to survive. Most importantly, the loss of coastal habitats due to submerging of this indicates that the implications of global warming are real and grave.
Despite this realization, various counter arguments have been put forth and essentially, they maintain that global warming is just a myth. Despite having cited that the phenomenon is derived from computer generated models, Hoggan (2009) cites that the scientists in this regard have a vested interest and exaggerate the relative implications for them to be able to get funds from different activist companies. Basically, he maintains that this phenomenon is very minor and therefore it should not consume a significant percentage of limited resources. Further, it is indicated that the fact that scientists have made significant errors in the past implies that this is also an error that is related to their computer simulations. According to Ollhoff (2010), opponents of this indicate that the relative effects are a characteristic of different phases of climate changes that are cyclic in nature. The credibility of this phenomenon has also been undermined by the fact that there are no long term and historic records of weather patterns upon which the conception was derived.
At this point, it is certain that the climate change debate has been compounded by various complexities. While environmentalists and scientists provide factual information about this phenomenon, skeptics still believe that is just fiction. A critical review of the impacts of this need to be employed in making decisions related to the same. Timely interventions should seek to address the causes of climate change in order to reduce its grave impacts.
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