Global Warming Essay

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“CHANGE YOU CAN BELIEVE IN” GLOBAL WARMING: NATURAL OR MAN-MADE? FINAL PAPER BY FERNISHA SPANN Introduction The global warming controversy includes a variety of disputes about the nature, causes and consequences of global warming. The debates are more in the popular media than in the scientific literature. The disputed issues involve the causes of increased global average air temperature, especially since the mid twentieth century, whether such a warming trend is unprecedented or within normal climate variations, whether humankind has contributed significantly to it, and whether the increase is wholly or partially an artifact of poor measurements. Also, let me point out that there are additional disputes concerning estimates of climate sensitivity, predictions of additional warming, and what the consequences of global warming will be. In the scientific literature, which is on the rise, there is a strong consensus that global surface temperatures have increased in recent decades and that the trend is caused mainly by human-induced emissions of greenhouse gases. We will come back to this point on scientific consensus later on in the debate. The debate is evaluating evidence of man-made global climate change versus the evaluating evidence of natural positioning of the earth to maintain constant average temperature, which is the result of a balance between the amount of sunlight the earth absorbs and the amount of emitted infrared (“IR”) radiation that the earth continuously emits to outer space. Natural Position: History of Global Warming and Climate Change

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