Since the 1900, the temperature of the earth has risen by about 0.7C. (Nggieng, Global warming Apa dan Mengapa) This rising is significant as it affects the polar ice cap and can cause the sea level to rise. The direct victim from this problem is the small islands that are located worldwide as the rising can causes major floods. No wonder environmentalists are urging the public to save the earth right now by reducing greenhouse gas emission. While the media are constantly depicting the image that humans are the only culprit of this universal issue, the truth is that there are also natural causes of global warming in which the majority of the public still didn’t know about. In fact, the natural causes of global warming may even be the same or more than the anthropogenic cause. Scientists nowadays are in a debate on whether nature or human plays a bigger part in recent global warming change, although the majority seems to agree on the latter. Geologists have long known that there are Ice Ages and global warming periods back then before human even exists (Hazards to Our World, Global Warming). The question to ask is how could this massive temperature shifts happen long ago? Unfortunately, researchers haven’t found out the definite answer to this yet, but there are some predictions that scientists think could also explains the recent temperature rising.
There is one object that could drastically affect the earth’s temperature, which is the Sun. If we could control the Sun, we could literally control the temperature. One of the biggest natural causes of global warming is the sun spots, which are explosion in the Sun. Sometimes, there are parts in the Sun that explodes and produces more heat. This heat could travel to the earth and influences our weather. N. Scafetta and B.J. West, two researchers from Duke University, have estimated that 25-35% of the temperature increases in the last 30 years are caused by this sun spots. Other natural causes that could influence the earth’s temperature includes changes in earth’s orbit, changes in earth’s orientation towards the sun, explosions by large meteors and volcanic eruptions (Hazards to our world, Global Warming). While some websites claim that the earth’s orbit and distance towards the sun has change slightly during the past 30 years, Greenhouse Huddle.com claim that Milankovitch cycles, which are the cycle that is the cause of the ice age every 100.000 years, and also the cycle that is responsible to determine the position of the earth relative to the sun, is not responsible for the recent warming as we are now in the stable and long-term cooling portion of the cycle. Lastly, volcanic eruption could also contribute carbon dioxide to the atmosphere, but the majority of scientists conclude that it decrease the temperature, rather than increasing it, because of the haze effect and massive volcanic eruptions could decrease the temperature by about 0.1C (Climate effects of Volcanic eruptions).
While many people agree that it is the anthropogenic cause that plays the most influential part in rising the earth’s temperature, some evidence stated the opposite. A study in 2003 concludes that the earth is warmer in the Middle Ages compare to now. If this is true, then it proves that natural causes play a bigger role as at that time, fossil fuels by human faults are not significant and thus, the natural cause is the one causing the earth’s temperature to be higher than now (The Age.com.au). Geologists have also found out that glaciers shrinkage actually started to increase around 1812, and at that time, people are not using much fossil fuels (Hazards to our World, Global warming). These contradictory facts baffle scientists because it arouses an important question, what is the caused of global warming back then? No wonder there are so many different opposite articles in the internet. Some source says it is the anthropogenic cause that plays a major role and some says it is the natural cause that contributed more to warming the earth. Long ago, it is clear that the natural cause is the one affecting the earth temperature, but today, it seems that human and nature works together to warm up this beautiful planet. There is also a theory that nature contributed much more carbon dioxide, but then it is neutralized itself by the plants that absorbed it. Therefore, if humans produce more carbon dioxide and then destroy forests, it multiplies the rate of global warming because not only they reduce the source that absorbed carbon dioxide, they also increased the amount of carbon dioxide fleeing into the air. (http://elibrary.bigchalk.com/libweb/elib/do/document?set=search&groupid=1&requestid=lib_standard&resultid=8&edition=&ts=168487EE73A164CA9B555F52F6705137_1225613859503&start=1&urn=urn%3Abigchalk%3AUS%3BBCLib%3Bdocument%3B146082873)
Although people are still debating on whether or not human plays a large role in disrupting the earth’s temperature, it is palpable that human speeds up the whole process. Scientists have estimated that even if pollution and auto emission suddenly stops today, sea level would still rise by about 4 inches by 2100 (Britt, Live science). That is why I believe the world should prepare for this consequence. Rich countries should prepare by building walls and dams so that the sea level rising would not cause floods in cities bordered with water. Poor countries should be given donation to help prepare and land-locked countries should also help donating to the poor countries. Furthermore, I think the government should educate people that sea level rising could not be stopped instantly. I think they should put more fund in trying to research how to reduce global warming, rather than advising people to reduce greenhouse gas emission because I think it is not fair for the poor countries. In rich countries, it is easier for people to be eco-friendly because the majority is already rich, but in poor countries, it is harder as their economy is not strong enough. I believe that if the whole world cooperates to stop this environmental issue, we can stop this global warming by the end of the century. For the solution, I think scientists have found several alternatives, such as burying carbon dioxide in a factory using a pressurized pipeline and injecting water or building a galactic sunshade. This project, proposed by Roger Angel, a leading scientist in astronomical optics, consists of building 16 trillion transparent film discs and then float it 1.5 km above the earth. This will block just enough sunlight to reduce the earth’s temperature. The problem with this project is that it costs $5 trillions (Reader Digest March 2008).
In conclusion, people should be aware that there are also natural factor that is causing the global warming. They should know that whatever they do, global warming could not be stop instantly. But, their actions have been speeding up the whole process and therefore they should still reduce greenhouse gas emission. In addition, the government should invest more funds to prepare for the upcoming rising of the sea level and not just trying to prevent further warming in the future. They should prepare for the short-term result more because I think at this moment, they are only trying to prevent the long term effect of global warming but neglect the visible danger pose by the rising of the sea level in the near future.
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