Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Global Warming Myths & Facts

As global warming continues to receive more exposure on the internet, the television, and the radio, you may start to pay more attention.  If global warming is an issue that you are concerned about or if it is an issue that you would like to explore more, you will want to continue reading on.  A few interesting and occasionally devastating global warming facts are outlined below, as well as some common myths about global warming.

Temperature predictions from some climate mode...
Temperature predictions from some climate models assuming the SRES A2 emissions scenario. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Fact: Global Warming Is Real.  Although there is a lot of opposition and debate that surrounds global warming, scientific proof shows that global warming is real.  This is something that cannot be ignored much longer, even by those who oppose global warming or claim it is a sham.  The earth’s temperature is rising.  With that in mind, this aspect of global warming isn’t always debated as much as the affects of global warming are. (This recent article highlights some of the impending dangers of the warming of our planet - the effects of which are becoming frighteningly evident lately:

Myth:  Humans Are the Sole Cause of Global Warming
While humans do have a significant impact on global warming, as well as the emission of greenhouse gases, we are not the only cause.  Many scientists claim that the earth’s temperature has always been on the rise, albeit a slight rise.  Although the exact cause of global warming or is under debate, there is absolutely no proof that humans are the sole cause of it.

Global Warming
Ha ha - cute! (Photo credit: mirjoran)
Myth:  Global Warming Isn’t True, As It Is Cold Outside
If you live in the north, you are likely to experience cold and chilly winters.  In fact, even during the summertime, you may experiences a slight decrease in temperature.  This decrease in temperature is what often leads people to believe that global warming is just an untrue theory.  Despite opposition, many scientists do believe that global warming does exist and that it will have a serious impact on the future.  As for the temperature, global warming summarizes planetary weather patterns, not just individual events; therefore, you will likely experience a wide range of temperatures and other weather patterns, regardless of where you live.

Fact: Glaciers and Polar Icecaps Are Melting.  This is another fact of global warming that we should all be well aware of.  While there is debate that surrounds this fact, this melting is occurring.  Generally speaking, the debate surrounding the melting of glaciers concerns the causes of it.  Global warming is causing glaciers and icecaps to melt at a faster rate of speed, but it is not the sole cause. 

Myth:  Global Warming is the Sole Reason for Glaciers Melting
Many global warming activists, including Al Gore, claim that global warming is what is causing the glaciers and ice masses in the north and in the extreme south to melt.  Yes, it is true that global warming does have an impact on glaciers melting, but it is not the only cause.  There are a number of scientific studies that show that the melting and shifting of glaciers and other ice masses has been happening for years now.  This means that global warming is not the only cause of ice melt and the possible rise in sea level because of it.

Decline in thickness of glaciers worldwide ove...
Decline in thickness of glaciers worldwide over the past half-century (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Fact: In keeping with the melting of glaciers, icecaps, and snowcaps, this melting is having a profound affect on sea and wildlife.  For starters, polar bears are the animals experts are most concerned about.  Polar bears rely on glaciers and icecaps as a way to travel and find food.  As these important masses continue to disappear, polar bears are likely to find it more difficult to travel and find food.  In fact, many will die because of this difficulty. 

In addition to melting ice and snow, the increase in the earth’s temperature will also have an impact on water. This is most commonly the case with coral reefs. Coral reefs are suffering due to the steady rise in water temperature.  This change with coral reefs is commonly referred to as bleaching.  This when coral reefs lose their beautiful, vibrant colors.  Unfortunately, this can have a negative impact other sea life, as many rely on coral reefs for food, shelter, and protection.

Fact: The melting of glaciers and icecaps will also have an impact on coastal flooding in the future.  This fact is supported by much independent research and many computer generated models.  As for the impact this important global warming fact can have on the coastal areas, it can and will be devastating.  Many coastal residents will be displaced.  Those in the United States who are most like to be impacted by this flooding are those who reside in low-lying coastal regions such as Louisiana and Texas, as well as some parts of California, but potentially all coastlines could be impacted.

Myth:  Computer Models that Predict Global Warming Are UnreliableOne of the many debates that surround global warming is the use of computer generated weather models.  It is no secret that scientists and meteorologists use computer models to predict the weather.  Although these weather models are not right all of the time, they do have a pretty high success rate.  In fact, numerous weather predicating computer models basically show that global warming is real and that it does have the probability to become a huge problem in the future.

If you are still unsure as to whether or not global warming is a real problem, now is the time to do some research.  Many individuals think that global warming prevention steps are just a waste of time and energy if global warming does not exist.  That is why researching the facts that surround global warming are important.  In fact, you may also want to encourage your friends, family members, neighbors, and coworkers to do the same. See the article referenced above to get you started, and be sure to check back for other helpful resources as well.

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