Why We Know Global Warming Is Real

Posted on November 1, 2019

In the era of fake news and increasing conservatism, sometimes people claim that global warming is not real, or that it is not human-made. This essay will show why these statements are false. There is simply too much data out there to deny global warming and humanity’s effect on the environment: global temperatures are rising, oceans are warming, ice sheets are shrinking, glaciers are retreating, snow cover is decreasing, sea levels are rising, Arctic sea ice is declining, extreme weather events are happening more often, and oceans are increasingly acidic.

Global temperatures are rising

From the late 19th century, the average global temperature has risen 1.62 degrees Fahrenheit. Scientists have determined that carbon dioxide and a variety of other emissions that are human-made have caused this dramatic rise. Much of this warming has occurred in the last 35 years (“Climate Change Evidence: How Do We Know?”).

Oceans are warming

For the last 100 years, since the rapid growth of industrialization, the average temperature of the ocean has risen about 0.13°C every decade. This is causing more ocean ice to melt, deoxygenation, and marine species to adapt quickly or to die to changes in their environment. This ultimately affects human beings, as we depend on the oceans for trade, food, business, and much more (“Ocean Warming”).

Ice sheets are shrinking

According to data from NASA’s Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment, Greenland has lost 286 tons of ice every year from 1993 to 2016. Comparatively, Antarctica has lost 127 tons of ice each year in that time span. To put this into perspective, Antarctica’s loss of ice has tripled in the past ten years (“Climate Change Evidence: How Do We Know?”).

Glaciers are retreating

Around the world, glaciers are retreating at alarming rates. Higher temperatures in combination with less snowfall on average are causing this dilemma. This is evident in the Alps, Andes, Rockies, Himalyas, and other well-known mountain ranges (“National Snow and Ice Data Center”).

Snow cover is decreasing

According to satellite data, spring snow cover in the Northern Hemishpre has significantly lessened in the last 50 years. What is even more worrying is that this snow is melting earlier than before these five decades of observation (“Climate Change Evidence: How Do We Know?”).

Sea levels are rising

Since 1880, average sea levels have risen about eight inches. The surprising thing is that three inches of that amount occurred in the last 25 years. This is mostly caused by the emission of greenhouse gases (Nunez, Christina).

Arctic sea ice is declining

For the last few decades, Arctic sea ice has been declining swifter than before. The year 2012, for instance, showed the lowest levels of Arctic sea ice ever on record (“Climate Change Evidence: How Do We Know?”).

Extreme weather events are happening more often

Since 1950, extreme weather events that involve heat have been on the rise. Contrarily, times of very low temperatures have been on the decline. Also interesting is that events of extreme rainfall are occurring more frequently (“Climate Change Evidence: How Do We Know?”).

Oceans are increasingly acidic

A sad fact is that oceans have become 30 percent more acidic since the Industrial Revolution. In addition, “The amount of carbon dioxide absorbed by the upper layer of the oceans is increasing by about 2 billion tons per year” (“Climate Change Evidence: How Do We Know?”). This will make marine life suffer, and we will be impacted by this as well in terms of food supply and the collection of raw materials from the ocean.

Global warming is not a hoax. It is not a conspiracy theory. It is the start of the end of the world. It is easy to notice it is happening due to rising global temperatures, warming oceans, shrinking ice sheets, retreating glaciers, decreasing snow cover, rising sea levels, declining Arctic sea ice, extreme weather events that are happening more often, and increasingly acidic oceans. It is best to not deny what is obviously evident.

Works Cited
“Climate Change Evidence: How Do We Know?” NASA, NASA, 22 May 2019, climate.nasa.gov/evidence/.
“Ocean Warming.” IUCN, 5 Dec. 2018, www.iucn.org/resources/issues-briefs/ocean-warming.
“National Snow and Ice Data Center.” Glacier Types: Retreating | National Snow and Ice Data Center, nsidc.org/cryosphere/glaciers/gallery/retreating.html.
Nunez, Christina. “Sea Level Rise, Explained.” Sea Level Rise, Facts and Information, 27 Feb. 2019, www.nationalgeographic.com/environment/global-warming/sea-level-rise/.

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