General Question

nerdman's avatar

main causes of global warming

Asked by nerdman (1points) February 13th, 2008
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6 Answers

cwilbur's avatar

Not yet determined with any certainty, but evidence suggests that the quantity of greenhouse gases (gases that retain the heat of the sun instead of reflecting it back to space, as a greenhouse does) may be a contributing factor. Quite a bit of the increased production of greenhouse gases has to do with human industrial action, in particular burning of hydrocarbons.

This isn’t proven beyond a reasonable doubt, to borrow a term from law, but (at least from where I sit) it’s proven by a preponderance of the evidence.

occ's avatar

The great majority of the world’s scientists are in agreement that the planet is getting warmer, that the warming poses major threats to myriad species (including humans) and that it is caused by human activity—primarily, the burning of fossil fuels. i.e., coal from coal-fired power plants, and emissions from cars, trucks, airplanes, etc. There are a handful of climate scientists that say global warming may just be a natural phenomenon and they can’t tell if the evidence points to the fact that global warming is caused by humans, but since those scientists are funded by Exxon Mobil, you can draw your own conclusions.

There has been some general confusion on this topic because some of the big polluters have released data about scientists being “unsure” of global warming, but the important thing to ask is, Which scientists? IF you read the fine print, these studies quote scientists who are not climatologists, and the ones who are climatologists agree that global warming is a real threat and caused by industrial activity. If you had a medical problem involving your eyes, you’d want to ask an opthamologist—you wouldn’t really care about the opinions of a dermatologist or podiatrist. Likewise, for climate related issues, the opinions of climatologists are much more significant than those who are involved in other scientific fields.

The good news is, we can actually make changes to curb global warming and reverse this trend before it’s too late. Renewable energy, efficiency, and personal conservation can all play a part. If we basically reduce our carbon emissions (pollution) by 2% a year for the next 50 years, scientists say we’ll be in the clear…that is a pretty doable amount, if our politicians and businesses would just accept the challenge and start moving forward.

glial's avatar

I thought it was the exhaust emitting from Al Gore’s pie-hole.

paulc's avatar

Actually its the global decline in pirate population since 1800 – a little known fact left out of Inconvenient Truth.

vanguardian's avatar

@occ – I would like to know where you are getting your info about a majority vs a handful.

To answer the question…Its up to debate what the main causes are. I keep saying to myself that we had an “ice age” and it melted. So the only “real” evidence we have is that the earth had experienced global warming in the past without humans.

So I think its a natural planet cycle, with human involvement speeding up the process. Plus, I don’t believe we can stop it, unfortunately.

boffin's avatar

glial and paulc
Both of you get a “Great Answer” atta boy (person) [want to be PC] from me…

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