Global warming is a topic that is shrouded in both mystery in fact that has a number of people worldwide debating upon its actual relevance to us currently. To help you in deciding for yourself whether or not global warming poses a major risk to not only you but all of mankind and life on this planet as we know it it’s first important to look at things from two perspectives –- the natural and historical effects of global warming and mankind’s effects upon it and this planet.
Before jumping in and saying that global warming is only a man-made issued its first important to note that this is not necessarily an issue that people alone are responsible for doing. In fact, throughout the entire history of the planet the Earth as a whole has gone through series of changes and periods where it is either warmer or colder than before. It is these changes that have led us to see major effects upon the entirety of the Earth’s surface and allow for all life to go through series of time periods that involve both ice ages and temperate climates.
To verify these changes scientists have regularly studied both geographic information as well as ice core samples in places such as Antarctica that allow us to see ongoing climate differences that go back millions of years. What they have noted is that the occurrence of an ice age that affected the Earth thousands of years ago was not a one-time event — in fact they discovered an ongoing cycle of both ice ages and temperate climates for millions of years going back as far as well know. This is due to the fact that the world has regular shifts in its climate caused by increases in carbon dioxide in the atmosphere that affect the amount of energy and heat that is withheld in the planet that causes the temperature to raise and drastically fall to correct itself.
While it is not known for certain the actual exact cause of these shifts in the carbon dioxide fluctuations it is theorized that this occurs naturally as both carbon dioxide consuming plants are reduced in numbers and carbon dioxide producing animals and other life forms increase their prominence on the world. The resulting loss of equilibrium balance shifts progressively higher levels of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere and thus retain excessive amounts of heat. As the current state of our climate is a temperate climate this indicates that we are between one of these cycles and can actually expect a naturally occurring ice age to come in the near future should carbon dioxide levels get out of hand.
As stated previously, global warming is a natural phenomenon that is a process of the earth shifting and changing between different stages of ice ages and temperate climates. As science has discovered from research in various locations around the world a major player in causing this climate shift and change is carbon dioxide, both naturally produced by animals and otherwise. As carbon dioxide increases so does the temperature and once it reaches a critical point the Earth’s climate shifts into an ice age to correct itself and reestablish equilibrium.
Due to mankind’s excessive use of fossil fuels and other carbon dioxide emitting energy generation processes while at the same time reducing the number of carbon dioxide absorbing life forms the actual carbon dioxide level normally present in the atmosphere has been significantly increased. In fact, due to mankind’s involvement in the natural cycle of an Ice Age proceeding to a temperate climate before reverting again to an Ice Age that relied previously upon an average amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere for predictability has been shifted as there is now significantly more carbon dioxide present in the atmosphere that ever existed previously in the known history of the planet.
This means that by increasing the consumption of carbon-based fuels and causing increased emissions on an ongoing basis we are speeding up the process of climate change as a whole while most likely helping to usher in a new Ice Age. This is due to climactic change and shifts throughout the oceans as fresh water melts from icebergs in other areas and mixes with salt water, thus shifting oceanic currents that are responsible for helping us maintain our current temperate climates in many areas in both the northern and southern hemisphere.
For an idea of what this might eventually look like although many people have scoffed is as a work of pure fiction the movie “The Day After Tomorrow” actually depicts drastic changes in the climate of the world that are based upon many predictions that the scientific community has made over the past years and have a potential to actually occur if we are not careful. While it may be true that the intense cyclones in the movie that cause instant temperature drops and all they touch may not actually be an occurrence that will happen the overall dramatic climate change due to the shifting of the world’s oceanic currents is a high probability that will most likely result in the loss of a temperate status for continents such as Europe, much of Asia, and in many parts of South America, Africa, Australia and northern North America. This is due to the fact that many of these temperate areas rely upon the ocean currents to circulate warmed water from the equator up into other areas and by destabilizing these currents the natural flows would cease, thus throwing many areas into a colder status that is normally found only around the poles at this time.
While it’s true there are many debates still going on today as to what we can do about global warming and whether or not it needs to be considered a major issue the facts remain that it is happening and even an increase of 1°C over the past 100 years (as has been reported on many accounts) can cause dramatic changes to ecosystems worldwide. That may not seem as major to the average person, however you should never stop being alert and observant and trying to keep up-to-speed on what is happening so that you can make the best choices necessary to help not only yourself but it’s the whole world in the process.
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