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Anthropogenic Global Warming: How's Man to Blame?

Image: Anthropogenic Global Warming: How's Man to Blame?
Open-pit coal mine and coal-fired power stations. (Ralph Orlowski/Getty Images, file)

By    |   Sunday, 23 Nov 2014 03:58 PM

Proponents of anthropogenic global warming, which is defined as a change in climate caused or at least influenced by human activity, are quick to blame mankind for changes in climate patterns. Others, however, believe that changes in climate simply reflect the cyclical cooling and warming patterns of nature.

According to a recent report by the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), anthropogenic global warming is on the verge of becoming “severe, pervasive and irreversible.” The IPCC report further indicates that global warming exposes not only people but also “economic sectors and ecosystems to risk.”

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Founded in 1988, IPCC is considered a leading international authority on global warming science with a mission to “provide the world with a clear scientific view on the current state of knowledge in climate change.” However, according to The Daily Caller, some scientists argue that the IPCC predictions are exaggerated and even “alarmist.” Chip Knappenberger, a scientist from the Cato Institute told The Daily Caller that rather than raising their estimates of the impact of global warming, the IPCC should be lowering them.

The IPCC report claims anthropogenic global warming is clearly the result of increased human activity due to “economic and population growth.” IPCC also states that this increase has caused the level of greenhouse gases to rise. The increase in gases has in turn, resulted in the depletion of the stratospheric ozone layer.

According to Accuweather, in addition to population and economic growth, anthropogenic global warming is also affected by lifestyle choices as they relate to energy use, land-use patterns, and technology.

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Examples of human activity purported to have increased the level of greenhouse gases and thus contributed to anthropogenic global warming include:

• The burning of fossil fuels such as oil, coal, and petroleum. These fuels are predominantly used in factories, to produce electricity, and to fuel vehicles.

• The clear-cutting of forests to make way for farming or urban development. As trees naturally absorb carbon dioxide, deforestation may lead to an increase in heat-trapping greenhouse gases.

• An increase in landfills and agriculture. These increases have resulted in higher levels of methane gas, specifically from grazing animals and in higher levels of nitrous oxide, which is released from agricultural fertilizers.

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Proponents of anthropogenic global warming — a change in climate caused or at least influenced by human activity — are quick to blame mankind for changes in climate patterns. Others, however, believe changes in climate simply reflect the cyclical cooling and warming patterns of nature.
anthropogenic, global warming, blame
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2014-58-23
Sunday, 23 Nov 2014 03:58 PM
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