So What’s Really Causing Global Warming? – Part 1
Some climate change sceptics believe that either there is no global warming. This is an argument easy to refute by massive scientific evidence. The more polished sceptic argument is this: yes, the world is warming, but it’s not due to human induced carbon emissions. Let’s see how this argument holds up.
These sceptics offer several alternative arguments as to why the earth has warmed over the last century. Some cite volcanic eruptions, some blame anomalies in the Earth’s orbit and some even go as far as to blame sunspot activity. The common theme with their arguments is that the growing emission of greenhouse gases is not to blame for rising average land and sea temperatures.
However, are the sceptics correct?
No. Let’s examine data from NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies (all data collected is from 1880 to 2005):
Argument 1: The Earth’s Orbit
The Earth does wobble on its axis as it revolves around the sun. Also, its tilt and orbit change over several thousands of years, which pushes the planet in and out of ice ages. However, over a mere 125 years, data confirms that it has done little to warm the planet.
Argument 2: Solar Activity
As evidence suggests, it’s not the sun or any solar activity either. The sun’s temperature varies over decades and centuries, but that does not explain the warming of the planet.
Argument 3: Volcanic Eruptions
Again, data suggests that volcanic eruptions have not warmed the planet. On the contrary, because volcanic eruptions release sulphate chemicals into the atmosphere, they actually cool the planet. And human beings release 100 times more CO2 into the atmosphere than volcanoes.
Argument 4: Deforestation
Some arguments point to the probability that deforestation causes the release of millions of tonnes of CO2 into the atmosphere. However, here as well, data collected over 125 years suggests that this has not caused global warming. In fact, because it has exposed vast swathes of open land, these land patches have been reflecting sunlight and have therefore lead to an overall drop in average temperatures.
Continued in Part 2…