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Global Warming Essay

global warming essay



So You Want To Write A Global Warming Essay?

One of the most important issues of our time is climate change, or global warming. As a student, you should know that climate change is real and that the only political issue is what to do about it. Climate change is not something you can believe in, any more than gravity is something you can believe in. However, it can be difficult to propose solutions to the problem that are realistic and workable.

Climate change is complex but can be explained in simple terms even by those with no scientific background. Basically, climate change caused by the greenhouse effect, which means exactly what it says: the earth is like a giant greenhouse in which the heat can get trapped beneath the atmosphere. The atmosphere traps heat that emits from the surface of the planet. That heat would normally be allowed to move into space, but due to the proliferation of “greenhouse gases,” the atmosphere is becoming less permeable.

Writing the Essay

When you have been asked to write about global warming, you may be overwhelmed. There are many approaches to this complex subject. You could write about it for a science class, or for a political science class. You could talk about the causes or global warming, or the effects of global warming, or both. In fact, you could even write only about your suggestions for how to deal with the effects of global warming.

Looking for a creative or unique approach to global warming that will impress your readers? Want to write about global warming in a way that will interest you? This article will help you understand how to write an essay about global warming from many different perspectives.

Topics

  • The different effects of global warming in two different geographic regions.
  • Possible social or humanitarian effects from global warming, such as population migration.
  • The places on Earth most at risk due to rising sea levels.
  • The most reasonable policy solutions to address climate change.
  • The countries that are doing the most to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
  • Some of the most effective global warming policies
  • The history of global warming.

Titles

  • Not Yet Worried About Global Warming? You Should Be
  • Why Global Warming Is a Political Issue
  • Will Global Warming Bring The World Together For a Common Cause?
  • The Possible Effects of Global Warming
  • Global Warming: Policy Suggestions
  • Why Some People Think Global Warming is a Hoax
  • Global Warming: Worst Case Scenarios

Getting Started

Before you begin your essay, consider things like how long it has to be and what class you are writing for. Then, narrow down your topic using one of the suggested subjects above or one of your own ideas. The next step would be to create a subject outline to help you structure your essay. With a subject like global warming, you are generally going to talk about causes, effects, and possible solutions to the problem.

Outline

I. Introduction

A. One degree in temperature change may not seem like a lot, but that amount of global warming can cause major crises, displacing millions of people and causing billions of dollars in damage.

B. It is a known fact that fossil fuel burning, particularly coal, is the biggest culprit of global warming (MacMillan, 2016).

C. Knowing what causes global warming makes it possible to take action, to minimize the deleterious effects of global warming.

D. Thesis Statement: A comprehensive solution to global warming would be to curtail carbon emissions further through innovations in alternative energy, combined with a plan to minimize humanitarian and financial damages.

II. Body Section One: Causes of Global Warming

A. Topic sentence: Global warming is anthropogenic, meaning that it is caused by human beings.

B. Human industrial activity results in the emission of greenhouse gases, with China and the United States the biggest culprits (MacMillan, 2016).

C. Knowing the causes of global warming, it becomes easier to come up with targeted and reasonable solutions to the problem.

III. Body Section Two: Effects of Global Warming

A. Topic sentence: Global warming is a problem because it can lead to extreme weather conditions, flooding due to rising sea levels, and resulting deaths, destruction, and displacement.

B. The term “global warming” is misleading, because not all areas will experience uniform temperature rises and some areas will not warm at all (NASA, 2018).

C. However, global warming has the potential to radically alter the climate conditions around the world.

1. Effects on agricultural production and food security.

2. Effects on water security.

3. Effects on population displacement and financial damages due to natural disasters.

4. Humanitarian and political effects due to displacement, which could even lead to the outbreak of wars.

D. Because of how devastating the effects of global warming will be, taking action now is an ethical responsibility.

IV. Body Section Three: How to Prevent Global Warming

A. Topic Sentence: Taking action on global warming now requires a concerted coalition between the private and public sectors around the world.

B. Governments need to work together better to create stimulus packages for investment into alternative energy.

C. The private sector needs to become more environmentally responsible, requiring new anti-pollution laws if necessary.

D. Governments and the private sector also need to work together to build resilience and have strategies in place for mitigating disasters.

V. Conclusion

A. Doing something about global warming requires being proactive, both in terms of changing the way industry operates, and also building resilience to minimize harm.

B. Innovation in new technologies will be essential to prevent global warming and stimulate the global economy.

C. Investment into infrastructure improvement will also help to minimize damages due to climate change.

D. Legislation and public policy, in addition to ethical behavior from the private sector, will help reduce climate change and create a safer tomorrow.

Introduction

Thesis Statement

A comprehensive solution to global warming would be to curtail carbon emissions further through innovations in alternative energy, combined with a plan to minimize humanitarian and financial damages.

Essay Hook

One degree. That is all it takes to create massive changes on planet earth. Just one degree in temperature change may not seem like a lot, but that amount of global warming can cause major crises, displacing millions of people and causing billions of dollars in damage (NASA, 2018).

One degree. That is all it takes to create massive changes on planet earth. Just one degree in temperature change may not seem like a lot, but that amount of global warming can cause major crises, displacing millions of people and causing billions of dollars in damage (NASA, 2018). It is a known fact that fossil fuel burning, particularly coal, is the biggest culprit of global warming (MacMillan, 2016). Knowing what causes global warming makes it possible to take action, to minimize the deleterious effects of global warming. Global warming is not a political issue, but a simple fact. However, what to do about global warming is a political issue. A comprehensive solution to global warming would be to curtail carbon emissions further through innovations in alternative energy, combined with a plan to minimize humanitarian and financial damages.

Body

Causes of Global Warming

Global warming is anthropogenic, meaning that its primary cause is human beings. In particular, human industrial activity results in the emission of greenhouse gases, with China and the United States the biggest culprits (MacMillan, 2016). The population of the planet has also exploded rapidly over the past century, which results in increased industry, increased use of land for agriculture, and increased human activities that contribute to global warming. The most important cause of global warming is greenhouse gases, which trap hot air in the Earth’s atmosphere instead of allowing that heat to escape into space. Greenhouse gasses build up in the earth’s atmosphere, effectively insulating the planet just as a greenhouse used to grow fruits and vegetables traps heat.

According to NASA (2018), the primary greenhouse gases responsible for global warming include water vapor, carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide, and chlorofluorocarbons. Deforestation leads to an overabundance of carbon dioxide, and agriculture leads to an overabundance of methane (NASA, 2018). Therefore, unsustainable agricultural practices and related issues like land use are one of the biggest causes of greenhouse gas buildup. Unsustainable agriculture is a major cause of global warming. There are several reasons why agriculture is a problem. One reason is linked to land use. When rainforests and other vegetation-dense areas are cut down to make room for agriculture, the result is an increase in carbon dioxide emissions (MacMillan, 2016). Many crops and farm animals are especially bad for the environment. For example, animals like cattle emit methane, a greenhouse gas, and certain fertilizers used extensively in mono-crop agriculture also lead to greenhouse gas emissions (NASA, 2018). Yet the burning of fossil fuels like coal and oil for electricity production and transportation also cause global warming. Knowing the causes of global warming, it becomes easier to come up with targeted and reasonable solutions to the problem.

Effects of Global Warming

Global warming is a problem because it can lead to extreme weather conditions, flooding due to rising sea levels, and resulting deaths, destruction, and displacement. In fact, the term “global warming” is misleading, because not all areas will experience uniform temperature rises and some areas will not warm at all (NASA, 2018). However, global warming has the potential to radically alter the climate conditions around the world. The main effects of global warming will be on agricultural production and food security, on water security, on population displacement, financial damages due to natural disasters, and the humanitarian and possibly military effects of global warming.

Global warming will lead to changes to weather patterns, causing some areas to experience flooding and other areas to experience drought conditions (NASA, 2018). The result is that food production will be less reliable, and there could be major crop failures. Crop failures and unpredictable food supplies will drive up prices of food, leading to humanitarian crises, and possibly even cause famine in some of the most affected areas. In addition to alterations in food production, global warming will also lead to increased extreme weather events including major storms like hurricanes, and wildfires (Union of Concerned Scientists, 2018). These extreme weather patterns can destroy whole communities, leading to humanitarian crises. The initial extreme weather may cause deaths, while the long-term effects include population displacement and refugee crises. Because of what it could mean for displacement and refugee crises, global warming could cause wars in the future. Because of how devastating the effects of global warming will be, taking action now is an ethical responsibility.

Rising temperatures cause ice packs to melt in the arctic and other glacial regions. The melting of ice is the primary contributor of sea level rises. Some ice packs will melt directly into the sea, altering the salinity of the sea water too, thereby having an impact on all underwater life. When inland glaciers melt, the additional water fills rivers, which could lead to disastrous flooding. Rising sea levels could inundate coastal regions and cause whole islands to disappear. Flooding due to global warming could displace countless people all around the world, creating humanitarian crises. As MacMillan (2016) also points out, flooding also increases the rates at which communicable diseases spread. Therefore, global warming could indirectly lead to disease proliferation.

It is also important to address the effects of global warming on the non-human populations of planet earth. Global warming has the potential to wipe out whole species. Whole ecosystems will change because of global warming, causing some animals and plants to move to new territories, altering the food chains and also changing the relationships between humans and nature.

Another important effect of global warming is related to national security. As the Union of Concerned Scientists (2018) points out, global warming may directly impact American military bases, particularly those located in coastal areas. In addition to the impact on military bases that are at risk for flooding, global warming could also create national security issues such as diverting military resources to helping the victims of climate change. If the United States experiences water shortages or crop failures due to global warming, it would also become more vulnerable and dependent on other nations, creating national security crises or alternatively, causing a bellicose president to invade another country for its resources.

How to Prevent Global Warming and Minimize Damage

Taking action on global warming now requires a concerted coalition between the private and public sectors around the world. Governments need to work together better to create stimulus packages for investment into alternative energy. Likewise, the private sector needs to become more environmentally responsible, requiring new anti-pollution laws if necessary. Governments and the private sector also need to work together to build resilience and have strategies in place for mitigating disasters. Unfortunately, getting multiple stakeholders to work together can be challenging, even within the same country. Creating international coalitions between governments and private sector organizations has been ineffective so far, but there is still room for hope.

As the Union of Concerned Scientists (2018) claims, reducing greenhouse gas emissions is the first and most important order of business, and will require politicians to take action. The reason why politicians are often reluctant to take action is fear that doing so would adversely impact the economy. After all, many businesses have yet to develop alternative methods, processes, or technologies that can replace those that caused global warming. To overcome this problem, politicians need to simultaneously pass laws that offer incentives to companies for developing alternative technologies or energy sources. Another reason why governments need to take responsibility is that in most places, land use issues can be mitigated via legislation. Instead of allowing more deforestation, governments can cease new developments in favor of a more sustainable economic policy.

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Taking action on global warming requires a multifaceted effort, that combines working with the private sector as well as forming local, regional, national, and international coalitions. Each region will experience global warming differently. Therefore, it is important to not just focus on what can be done nationally or internationally but also locally. Each community needs to build its own resilience strategy to reduce harm. For example, regions in California and the American West that could experience greater wildfires and droughts need to have in place improved fire mitigation strategies. Low-lying coastal regions like Florida and the Atlantic seaboard need to have evacuation or land reclamation measures in place in case of storms and rising sea levels. Local approaches help to create more robust long-term solutions. It is often easier to get smaller groups of people from the same region to agree on a course of action than it is for larger and more diverse entities. The residents of one area can see the immediate results of their work, and are more connected to the need to take action for their community.

Individual consumers also need to take responsibility for their choices to help reduce global warming. Because the private sector responds to consumers, and because governments respond to the private sector, ultimately consumers have more power than they may believe. By choosing sustainable products, and supporting sustainable, ethical companies, individuals can reduce global warming. Eating less meat or no meat is one way to contribute to the effort in reducing demand for unsustainable agricultural practices. Likewise, boycotting products that are manufactured in ways that contribute to global warming can also help create a consumer-driven revolution. Walking, riding a bicycle, and otherwise avoiding unnecessary use of fuel-burning cars is another way consumers can make a difference even before governments are willing to take action. As the Union of Concerned Scientists (2018) also points out, individuals have a responsibility to promote science literacy and reduce misinformation. When voters are empowered with information about global warming, they are more able and likely to elect officials who are dedicated to implementing solutions.

Minimizing damage is also an important global warming strategy. Both governments and the private sector need to work together to create more resilient communities. Disasters will happen, but responses need to be more robust. For example, the public infrastructure needs to be improved so that hurricanes like Katrina cause less damage than they did. Helping the most vulnerable areas around the world to prepare for disasters and evacuate people as safely and efficiently as possible is one of the most important ways of responding to the problem of global warming.

Conclusion

It may be impossible to completely eliminate global warming because of the huge population on the planet, but a lot can be done to minimize it and reduce harm. Doing something about global warming requires being proactive, both in terms of changing the way industry operates, and also building resilience to minimize the damages that may result from extreme weather, drought, and other problems. Innovation in new technologies will be essential to prevent global warming and stimulate the global economy. Investment into infrastructure improvement will also help to minimize damages due to climate change. Legislation and public policy, in addition to ethical behavior from the private sector, will help reduce climate change and create a safer tomorrow.

References

MacMillan, A. (2016). Global warming 101. https://www.nrdc.org/stories/global-warming-101#warming

NASA (2018). Facts. https://climate.nasa.gov/causes/

Union of Concerned Scientists (2018). Confronting the realities of climate change. https://www.ucsusa.org/global-warming#.WrwXPtPwYWo

Closing

When you write about global warming for a class, always remember to keep your audience in mind.

Are you writing your global warming essay for an environmental science class? If so, then make sure you use credible science sources and talk about the chemistry of greenhouse gases and other scientific principles.

However, if you are writing your essay for a debate class or for an English composition class, you will want to use the principles of argumentative essay or expository essay writing.

You might even be asked to write about global warming from a historical perspective, such as tracing the evolution of policies or attitudes towards global warming. Sociology, anthropology, and psychology classes might also ask you to write about attitudes towards global warming.

Remember to use an outline to stay organized while you write, and proofread your copy when you are finished writing your draft.

To avoid being accused of plagiarism when you write an essay, always keep track of what sources you use and cite them properly in the References or Bibliography section of your essay. If you need help composing an essay on global warming or any other subject, you can seek help with a writing tutor.

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