Katie A. Reed
October 30, 2010
PHY 102 Intro to Physical Science
Global Warming: Truth or Hype?
The planet Earth has experienced significant changes in climate throughout its extended history. Scientists have observed these changes over many years, and notice there to be a warming trend where the average temperatures appear to be rising in most places. Thought to be the result of human activity, these changes have come to be known as global warming (Environmental Protection Agency, 2010). The theory of global warming is based on changes in the greenhouse effect, which is the natural regulation of the planet’s temperature. This is caused by radiant energy from the Sun that enters the atmosphere, is absorbed by the Earth, and then is reradiated in a form that cannot easily escape the atmosphere causing a warming effect much like a florist’s glass greenhouse (Hewitt, et al., 2008). The global warming theory has caused much debate regarding whether it is just another natural cycle or truly is influenced by human activity, if it is truly a catastrophe waiting to happen, and from a Christian perspective if is even a concern since (biblically speaking) the world does not end because of global warming (Farley & Hayhoe, 2009).
Though many popular press pinpoints the greenhouse effect as the cause of the global warming problem, it is a natural and necessary cycle that enables Earth to be inhabitable. The evidence provided through study of the greenhouse effect is what provides proof that human activity is responsible for a rise in the global temperatures (Tarbuck, et al., 2009). Increasing amounts of greenhouse gases are released into the atmosphere through activities such as watching television, driving a car, washing laundry, using a microwave, burning garbage, cutting down trees, and turning on lights (Think Quest, 2002). These gases cause an increase in the terrestrial radiation that cannot escape Earth’s atmosphere; in turn causing an...