Human Activities on Global Climate Term Paper

Excerpt from Term Paper :

A closer look at a soap bubble basically reveals swirling colors that are usually in motion with the forces that keep these colors swirling being likened to those that create weather. The weather is moved around by very delicate forces which are the variations between cool and warm areas and their slight variations in constituents. Similar to the complexity of these processes, it's difficult to understand the nature of human influenced climate change.

Carbon dioxide and methane which are primarily greenhouse gases are the derivatives of industrial activities. These greenhouse gases basically gather in the atmosphere and bring changes in the way the earth absorbs and discharge heat. One of the major examples of the effect of these gases is Venus than is hotter than Mercury regardless of the fact that it is farther from the sun. While human beings didn't create the greenhouse gases on Venus, the effects of the gases on Venus are similar to those on the planet. Additionally, as compared to humans, volcanoes create more carbon dioxide while swamps create more methane. Therefore, the three major producers of greenhouse gases are volcanoes, swamps and humans respectively. While it is difficult to determine the extent of their effect on climate, human activities influence climate.

Political Part:

The oil industry being the largest supplier of hydrocarbons will be mostly hurt since curtailing greenhouse gas emissions will be very difficult. Consequently, the oil industry and investors in this field reject the idea of global climate change because the industry will be seriously affected if making of carbon dioxide was stopped. In order to find scientists who disagree with the notion that human activities result in global climate change, the industry and its investors give a lot of money into anti-climate change organizations such as the Heartland Institute. The anti-climate change organizations basically produce complex charts and graphs that suggest that global climate changes all the time in reaction to CO2 and other factors ("Global Climate Change," n.d.).

The other thing that these anti-climate change organizations emphasize on is the name global warming as opposed to global climate change. This emphasis is because it's easier to argue on global warming instead of the global climate change and the fact that people wouldn't mind if the weather was slightly warmer. On the contrary, scientists who suggest that global climate change is as a result of human activities work for the same reason as the anti-climate change scientists. These scientists who work for both intergovernmental and governmental agencies wouldn't be funded if other factors other than human activities are found to be the major cause of global climate change.

Therefore, these intergovernmental and governmental agencies scientists may lose their jobs if global climate change is not caused by any human activity and are motivated to find human-caused global climate change. Similar to most world leaders, more scientists have generally accepted that certain human activities contribute to the changes in global climate. However, this doesn't mean that the scientists and leaders are basically right in their conclusions.

Scientific Evidence that Nature Contributes to Global Climate Change:

While the Intergovernmental Panel Climate Change attributes human activities to be the primary cause of global climate change, the Non-governmental International Panel on Climate Change suggest that nature rather than human activities is the main course of global climate change. This panel rejects the idea fronted by the intergovernmental panel through a careful analysis of the IPCC report and scientific evidence showing the influence of nature on the global climate. The non-governmental panel states that the IPCC fails to reflect on significant scientific issues that would prove that the increase in global temperatures is not as a result of the visible rise in anthropogenic greenhouse gas concentrations. Furthermore, the panel argues that the IPCC does not apply the normally accepted techniques of determining the exact fraction of climate change caused by nature and increase in greenhouse gases.

Moreover, the non-governmental panel states that the intergovernmental panel continues to underestimate the irresistible evidence that the Sun and other atmospheric cloud effects are the causes of historical climate change. Given that these atmospheric conditions associated with the Sun were the causes of previous climate change, there is a probability that they are the major causes of today's global climate change. However, anthropogenic greenhouse gases are also considered to be the causes of global climate change though their contribution is only in a minor fraction.

Consequently, given that the NIPCC considers human activities to be a minor contribution to the global climate change, they attempt to examine and provide the major causes of the changes in global climate. According to this panel, the prominence of a contributing factor is dependent on the considered time scale with decade-long factors being regarded as the major causes of global climate change. NIPCC provides the following scientific evidences as the proof that nature rather than human activities are the major contributing factors to global climate change & #8230;

Internal Oscillations:

As considered on a time range of decades to centuries, natural oscillations of internal basis play a significant role in global climate change (Singer, 2008). While these internal oscillations cannot be predicted or estimated, they are examined on a regional scale and are not associated with human causes. Some of the most famous natural oscillation of internal origin are the Atlantic Multi-Decadal, El Nino-Southern, North Atlantic and Pacific Decadal Oscillations. These oscillations contribute to global climate change regardless of the fact that they are assigned to the atmosphere-ocean system by the IPCC.

Solar Variability:

This is considered to be one of the most important factors that contribute to the recent increases in global temperatures. According to the NPCC, the influence of solar variability on the global climate can no longer be underestimated and neglected. While IPCC initially neglected the influence of solar variability on global climate, the demonstration of its influence is very overwhelming. According to research, the visible variations of carbon-14 are a vivid illustration of the equivalent changes in galactic cosmic rays. These parallel changes are transformed by the differences in solar activity with the intensity of galactic cosmic rays being altered by both the solar wind strength and its associated magnetic field. These studies on solar activity over a given period of time usually from decades to centuries basically reveal the climate effects of fluctuating differences of the galactic cosmic rays. Consequently, the findings have proven that the solar-wind differences are a major cause of global climate change based on a decadal time range.

How Human Activities Cause Global Climate Change:

While it is difficult to examine the exact extent within which human activities contribute to global climate change, there are various ways in which these activities contribute to climate change. Over the past century, there are many visible changes in global climate that have been widely recorded in a number of reports ("Global Climate," n.d.). These human activities lead to climate change by bringing changes to the Earth's atmosphere through greenhouse gases, cloudiness and aerosols. The main human activity that results in climate change emanates from burning of fossil fuels that discharges carbon dioxide gas to the Earth's atmosphere.

Both aerosols and greenhouse gases influence climate by changing the incoming solar emission and outgoing thermal emission. Both the solar and thermal radiations are significant portions of the Earth's energy balance that brings changes to climate if altered or interfered with. When these atmospheric abundance or gas properties are altered, they either result in the cooling or warming of the global climate system. Human activities have generally had a warming influence on the global climate since the beginning of the industrial revolution. This influence of human activities has greatly exceeded the influence of natural causes such as volcanic eruptions and solar variability. Human activities impact global climate through & #8230;

Burning of Coal:

This is one of the major human activities that result in global climate change because it produces radiation of sulfur-containing compounds. The sulfur-containing compounds in turn form sulfate aerosol elements that return some of the inward bound sunlight away from the earth. Consequently, the reflection of the incoming sunlight causes a cooling effect on the Earth's surface. Additionally, these sulfate aerosols have a tendency of making clouds more capable of reflecting sunlight resulting in an extra indirect cooling influence.

Greenhouse Gases:

The four principal greenhouse gases that are released into the Earth's atmosphere by human activities are methane, halocarbons, carbon dioxide and nitrous oxide. These greenhouse gases gather in atmosphere resulting in increased concentrations over time with significant increases occurring during the industrial revolution. Carbon dioxide usually increases from various reasons such as the use of fossil fuel in transportation, deforestation, cement manufacturing and decomposition of plant matter. On the other hand, methane has increased as a result of agricultural activities, distribution of natural gas and landfills. However, this gas is not currently increasing in the Earth's atmosphere because of the decrease in growth rates in the last two decades.

While the increase of halocarbons is primarily…

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Fact Sheet. Retrieved November 4, 2010, from

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