So What’s Really Causing Global Warming? – Part 2
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 5: Ozone Pollution
Naturally occurring ozone – high up in the atmosphere – actually cools the planet. On the other hand, human produced ozone does warm up the atmosphere slightly, but NASA data suggests that its effect is negligible.
Argument 6: Aerosol Pollution
Again, it does not warm the planet. In fact sulphate aerosols (produced from coal burning) reflect sunlight and cool the atmosphere.
However, the two graphs below show that it really is greenhouse gases that are contributing to global warming. Atmopsheric CO2 levels are 40% above their concentration in 1750, with the oldest figures (August 2015) from the Keeling Project citing CO2 concentration at 399.2 ppm. Compare this trend to global warming.3
There is no denying the figures, and therefore there is no denying the science behind global warming. It is time to move the discussion along to finding solutions for the problem.