Debating the Subject of Global Warming
Introduction: Global warming is an issue that has informed discussions at international level from various government agencies and bodies. The effect of emission of greenhouse gases like carbon dioxide and methane are perceived to have significant effects on atmospheric conditions hence the changes in climatic patterns. Whereas some scholars argue that the effects have been overestimated, there are new studies that have identified other contributors to global warming. For instance, emission of black carbon poses the second most serious threat to climatic balance after greenhouse gases like carbon dioxide and methane. This essay therefore identifies critical viewpoints posited by scholars on main contributors to global warming. Some of the issues under discussions have been overlooked while the impacts of others have been overestimated.
According to findings of various researches by the New York Times, the release of tiny black particles into the atmosphere is a more serious cause of global warning than previously thought. In fact, this is the second major contributor to global warming after carbon dioxide. According to Rosenthal, “researchers said that if indirect warming effects of the particles are factored in, they may be trapping heat at almost three times the previous estimated rate” (1). The significance of this finding is that the implications of release of tiny black particles in the atmosphere may have been previously underestimated. Scientists would have to rethink and come up with new strategies to curb global warming by paying closer attention to the repercussions of emitting black particles into the atmosphere. Mathematical models initially used to predict the impact of particles were too simple to give the right verdict on the repercussions. Nonetheless, the effects of black carbon particles on global warming may be overrated because whereas emitted carbon dioxide takes decades in the atmosphere, “black carbon generally only persists in the air for a week to 10 days, so its presence across the globe is far more variable” (Rosenthal 1). These findings points out to need to change environmental policies geared towards meeting national fuel efficiency in modern machine production.
The depletion of the ozone layer because of greenhouse effect in the global context is overrated because there are no scientific backings to the claims. This political propaganda has no scientific evidence. According to Salmon, “Whatever role might be played by global warming in domestic and international politics, there is no solid scientific evidence to support the theory that the earth is warming because of man-made greenhouse gases,” (2). Scientific evidence do show that the emission of carbon from industrial production plants, motor vehicles, and other sources of carbon emissions constitute marginal impact on the climatic changes. The president of national Academy of Engineering, Robert White, buttresses that there are growing concerns of the real impact of carbon emissions from inverted pyramid of knowledge backed by political machinations without real scientific proofs. Long before human beings existed, greenhouse effect maintained the earth’s natural climate, which does not vary in comparison with the satellite measurements. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, (IPCC) estimates are overrated and vary greatly from the satellite measurements that are the most accurate. The IPCC report itself concludes that reviews by climate scientists leads to myriad reliability issues on the model’s applicability (Salmon 3-4). In sum, climate modeling is a tasking and expensive venture, as computer simulations alone do not have much predicting powers.
Understanding the effect of global warming requires focus on the variations of solar activity due to its correlation with change of climate that calls for the revamp of the evaluation methods of the solar influence. According to Peter, North, and Wigley, examination of the space-borne solar radiometry gives an indication that “the sun brightens during periods of high activity, when bright magnetic structures more than compensate for the dimming caused by sunspots” (1). Nonetheless, with a variance of only 0.08% of the irradiance over an 11-year period, there may be little impact of solar activity on climatic changes (Peter et al. 1). What remain to be studied are the sunspot cycle and its impacts on irradiance variations for a period of more than 11 years. For instance, new climate models examine the effects of ultraviolet, (UV) flux differences to study the UV impact on the stratospheric ozone. Nonetheless, in the 20th century, the UV flux indications do not pose significant threat to the global temperature (Peter et al. 4). It cannot therefore be concluded that the impact of direct solar irradiance should be taken into account when modeling climate control parameters. There lacks adequate scientific evidence now on the impact of solar activity in terms of luminosity variations; but, long-term variations of the Sun cannot be ignored. New technologies like cryogenic radiometers can advance research into this field other than depending on the speculative models.
Conclusion: From the discussions above, the contributors to global warming have either been overestimated or underrated. As Rosenthal writes, the effect of black carbon on global warming is the second main contributor after emission of carbon. With this prior knowledge, it would be vital to carry out more studies on emission of black carbon and improve the efficiency of machines. Secondly, Salmon’s proposition that greenhouse effect and its contribution to global warming is overrated needs further research. While the writer observes that political interests have taken global discussion on global warming, scientific evidence remains vital in policy creation. It would be interesting to carry out research that can establish whether there is a correlation between political agendas and scientific evidence on global warming.