The paper “Global Warming - Natural versus Anthropogenic Climate Changes" is a fascinating example of a term paper on environmental studies. The natural climate changes evolve over long periods of time, while anthropogenic changes take place a little bit less fast, lasting for only a few decades. Furthermore, for the natural climacteric trends, human beings did not play any part as it was purely an occurrence of nature that involved orbital variations of the sun, which instigated global warming. Following the initiation of natural warming, the greenhouse carbon dioxide gases are released, after which the gases combine with methane to increase the orbital warming. The natural changes have been taking place many years before the entry of human beings. On the other hand, following the involvement of human in the cycle especially for the last century, the climatic changes have heightened through what is referred to as anthropogenic changes. In fact, scientists have discovered that the role of the human cycle supersedes the natural cycle. The activities of the humans that include use of fossil fuel have overwhelmed the natural cycle, as this releases scores of carbon overload into the atmosphere (Naomi, 2005).
Since the speed of human stimulated climate change is occurring at a higher speed than that of the natural cycles, for the last 10,000 years, the temperature has increased by 5 degrees Celsius. This difference is equivalent to 0.05 degrees Celsius per 100 years, which is quite an overwhelming difference (IPCC, 2007). For the past 50 years, the difference has increased to 0.7 degrees Celsius (1.4 degrees per 100 years), which talks volumes of the magnitude that these changes have increased due to the role of humans (IPCC, 2007). In view of this, my position is that global warming is taking place. There is a couple of scientific evidence showing that global warming is a reality. Some of them include the earth’s energy balance, increase in temperature, and declining sea ice, just to mention but a few (Bray, von Storch, 2009).
Evidence that global warming is occurring
The earth’s energy and radiation balance has been caused by volcanic emissions, solar activity, as well as greenhouse gases, some of which are caused by human activities. Differences in the energy balance bring about changes in the patterns and distribution of rainfall, temperature, polar seas ice, hydrology, and glacier mass. Internal means of climate variability, including the North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO) and ENSO, can bring about massive decade-to-decade and year-to-year changes in rainfall and temperature.
The other remarkable evidence that global warming is occurring is the scientific data that has revealed that relatively pervasive and rapid increase in temperature for the past100 years, as discussed above. According to NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies, the years between 1997 and 2008 have gone on history as the 10 warmest years. Regarding global seas level changes, it has been established that this has increased by approximately 8 inches over the past 10 years, a rate that is still increasing. Global warming is the cause of the increase in sea-level, as a result of the melting of ice sheets and land-based ice in glaciers, and expansion of ocean water as it warms. According to the National Snow and Ice Data Center, the level of sea ice has declined by over 30 percent, since 1979. In other seasons also, the ice extent has been declining remarkably. In spite of somewhat bigger ice extents in 2009, the latest studies designated that the ice is much younger and thinner than how it used to be many years ago.
Current mitigation strategies for global warming
Carbon taxing is a very effective way of mitigating global warming, especially if revenues are used productively. This strategy involves the collection of a certain amount of tax on countries and industries depending on the extent of their carbon emission. Nevertheless, the efficiency of these taxes highly depends on how those policies are actually designed. In other words, if the policies are effectively designed to create appropriate incentives for compliance and participation, then this mode of global mitigation is very advantageous and fruitful. Nevertheless, the cost of this policy is more transparent in comparison with a quantitative emission target. What’s more, if a country decides to pull out of a global harmonized carbon tax, it does not risk the infection that could transpire by way of global permit markets under a quantitative targets system. In addition, dependence on the revenue streams will support the founding of domestic parties in support of sustaining carbon taxes. These are some of the policy elements essential in putting into practice global carbon taxing (Bhattacharya, 2012).
Carbon sequestration involves storage and intake of the carbon element. Some of the natural examples include photosynthesis of plants, which absorb carbon dioxide and store it as carbon in the process of growth (Maroto-Valer, 2011). This makes plants important components in the efforts to mitigate global warming. However, the establishment of such processes involve high cost, they are dependent on certain locations, and their pricing is relatively less competitive (Bhattacharya, 2012). For this reason, if people are to meet the 8-9% economic growth, radical cuts in fossil fuel usage cannot be deemed practical. In essence, this method entails disposing of CO2 after its production, instead of attempting to restrain its production in the first instance. However, the United Nations’ studies propose that in the current century, this method could play bigger role in fighting global warming more than any other method (Bhattacharya, 2012).
Speculate what policy changes
To help stabilize global climate I would propose that the international bodies such as the United Nations institute a common body that would regulate the activity of humans, which involve heavy emission of carbon in the atmosphere. This body will be entrusted with the legislation of laws and standards that must be followed by signatories, failure to which heavy fines would be imposed. For example, industries that emit a lot of carbon in the atmosphere would be required to follow certain standards to reduce the emission of carbon in the atmosphere.