Increase in carbon dioxide absorption, in the environment, as one of the
Increasein carbon dioxide absorption, in the environment, as one of thecauses of global warming
Toulminmodel of argument
Currently,global warming is a worldwide hitch. Available evidence suggests thatis caused by increasing absorption of carbon dioxide in theenvironment. Human activities are the main source of excess carbondioxide that is causing problems. Skeptics are in doubt of that andinsist that global warming is a natural calamity.
Accordingto experts, global warming is caused by an increase in the absorptionof carbon dioxide gas, in the atmosphere. There are other gases thatproduce the same effect as carbon dioxide. However, the principle gasthat is the main root of the greenhouse effect that causes globalwarming is carbon dioxide. This gas has been widely studied byclimate scientists due to the role it plays in causing globalwarming. One area of interest about carbon dioxide is itsconcentration. The main finding related to its concentration in theatmosphere is that its volume is increasing. For example, in 1950,the absorption of carbon dioxide in the environment was 315 parts permillion, whereas the present concentration is 385 parts per million(Houghton 23). Scientists have also discovered that the absorption ofcarbon dioxide in the environment has been increasing rapidly for thelast 500 years since the industrial revolution. In the previous 500years, concentration of the gas in the atmosphere was fairly stable.The question climate scientists asked themselves is what caused therapid increase in the last 500 years.
Industrialrevolution changed the world forever. New machines that manufacturegoods or are used in transport of people and goods were discovered.These machines use fossil fuels such as crude oil and coal to producethe energy required to power them. Once fossil fuels are burned, theyproduce carbon dioxide. Trillions of tones of fossils fuels have beenburned in the last 500 years since the industrial revolution. Thisexplains the rapid increase in absorption of carbon dioxide in theenvironment. Before the industrial revolution, the absorption ofcarbon dioxide in the environment was 280 parts per million. This isfurther evidence that developments after the industrial revolutionare responsible for the high absorption of carbon dioxide in theenvironment. Back during the ice age, concentration of carbon dioxidewas only 100 parts per million during the cold period. During warmperiods, concentration was 300 parts per million, and this figure isstill low compared to the modern levels. Therefore, for the last10,000 years, absorption of carbon dioxide in the environment hasbeen at its highest. Human activities are the greatest contributorstowards this.
Peoplewho object that carbon dioxide is the main cause of global warmingpoints out that its increase in the atmosphere is natural phenomena.According to data collected after studying ice cores, carbon dioxidein the atmosphere keeps on fluctuating and this was the case duringthe ice age periods. Temperature and carbon dioxide change at 100,000year intervals. Ice also shows the pattern where temperatureincreases initially and then carbon dioxide increases, as a result.Following that pattern, it appears that the present levels of carbondioxide are normal and not caused by human activities as some climatescientists argue.
Theobjection that has been raised by skeptics of climate change iswrong. According to data, temperature increased and then increase incarbon dioxide followed later. This is not the case presentlybecause carbon dioxide concentration increased first followed bytemperature increase due to the greenhouse effect. During the iceage, temperature increase was caused by wobbles in the earth orbit.As the temperature rose, some of the carbon dioxide trapped in theocean would be liberated and released into the environment.Gradually, concentration of the gas in the atmosphere would increase.This gradual rise would last for 100,000 years and the process wouldreverse (Archer 63). As the earth orbit returned to its normal tilt,the temperature would decline, and as water solidified, some of theenvironmental, carbon dioxide would be trapped in ice andconcentration of the gas would drop. There is no evidence that globalwarming is caused by changes in the earth orbit. The current warmingstarted with an increase in carbon dioxide concentration.
Globalwarming is a serious problem. That needs to be addressed. Availableevidence suggests that it is caused by increasing absorption ofcarbon dioxide in the environment. Human activities are the mainsource of excess carbon dioxide that causes global warming. Skepticsdoubt that and insist that global warming is a natural happening.
Noteveryone agrees with the fact that the increase of carbon dioxide inthe environment is the main cause of global warming. The mainargument advanced is that changes in earth orbit increases bothtemperature and carbon dioxide concentration. This position issupported by scientific evidence. Data collected from ice coressuggests that for every 100, 000, the absorption of carbon dioxidegas changes (Dincer 85). The cause of this change is the changes intemperature. As the temperature rises, more carbon dioxide isreleased into the environment. Now, based on information discussedabove, global warming skeptics say that the current warming beingwitnessed and the increase in carbon dioxide concentration are partof a natural process. While this argument is persuasive, it ismisleading. Firstly, when the earth orbit tilts, earth temperatureincreases and this causes an increase in the absorption of carbondioxide gas. What starts is the increase in temperature and thencarbon dioxide concentration. That is not the case as an increase incarbon dioxide is followed by the increase in temperature. Theargument made by skeptics could be persuasive if there is evidencethat the earth has tilted slightly.
Inthe absence of evidence that global warming and increase in carbondioxide absorption, in the environment, are being caused by wobblesin earth orbit that are changing its tilt, it means that globalwarming is a phenomenon that is being caused by human activities. Scientific evidence collected in the last 500 years suggests that isthe case (Archer 50). Modern developments that require extensive useof fossil fuel are the primary contributors to atmospheric carbondioxide. Concentration of this gas in the lower atmosphere istrapping sun radiation that is warming the earth. During the onset ofthe industrial revolution, atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrationstood at 280 parts per million against the current level of 385 partsper million. This is a clear evidence that global warming is relatedto the levels of carbon dioxide in the environment and that the wholephenomena is caused by human activities. This conclusion betterreflects the reality. In addition to the evidence presented here,there is more evidence showing that man has played a critical rolein effecting global warming. For example, computer models shows thatcarbon dioxide, methane, and other greenhouse gases are heavier andoccupy the region near the earth surface and traps some of the heatthat should normally escape back to space. The trapped heat isresponsible for global warming. However, despite the devastatingeffect of the greenhouse effect, it is a natural phenomenon and playsan important role in regulating temperature and weather on earth. Theproblem is that when the concentration of these gases is too high,problems start to arise.
Houghton,Joseph. Globalwarming: the complete briefing(3rd ed.). Cambridge, UK:
Archer,David. Globalwarming: understanding the forecast.2nd ed. Hoboken, N.J.: John Wiley & Sons, 2012. Print.
Dincer,Ibrahim. Globalwarming engineering solutions.Dordrecht: Springer, 2010. Print.