Global Warming

The issue of global warming is a hot topic at present, with massive debate as to what is happening, why it happening and what we should be doing about it. Global warming is a term used to describe the increase in temperatures across the world, which in turn leads to climate change. The terms ‘global warming’ and ‘climate change’ are often used as if they mean the same thing but they are quite different; global warming is the measurable increase in temperature, whereas climate change refers to ‘any change in the state of the climate that can be identified by changes in the average and/or the variability of its properties (e.g., temperature, precipitation), and that persists for an extended period, typically decades or longer’ (Nodvin, 2010)
Evidence shows that global temperatures have been rising steadily over the last few decades (Nodvin, 2010), and that this has had an effect on the natural climate and topology of our world. Global warming is a result of the greenhouse effect. Our earth is naturally surrounded by a layer of insulating greenhouse gases which help to retain energy within the earths’ atmosphere. Increase in the levels of greenhouse gases - such as carbon dioxide (CO2), water vapour and methane - results in an increase of the heat trapped, boosting the global temperature. Higher temperatures lead to shifts in climatic patterns across the world; the weather becomes more erratic, rainfall increases and changes in distribution and sea-levels rise. Human activity is seen as the biggest factor in this climate change. Global warming is accepted as fact by the large majority of climactic scientists (The Royal Society 2004), yet there is a small group of dissidents who debate its cause, or even its very existence. These sceptics suggest that global warming is part of a natural cycle of the Earth, or that the effects of global warming do not result in climate change.

The increase in CO2 production is one of the most significant causes of the increase in...