Debating the Cause of Global Warming Essay

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Global Warming

The world is warming up. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has declared that the cause of the warming is human emission of certain gases into the atmosphere. The verdict of the IPCC is widely, but not universally, accepted. A small minority of scientists reject the finding of IPCC and propose that global warming is driven by the sun. Some also charge that IPCC is driven by a political agenda. These dissidents are beginning to get a public hearing. It is important that this matter be debated openly.

The conventional scientific consensus is that global warming is caused by the enhanced greenhouse effect. The only external source of energy available to earth is the sun. Radiation from the sun
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It all seems to hang nicely together and the conclusion is that our current global warming is driven by man-made emissions of carbon dioxide.

A small minority of climatologists are not convinced by this argument. They claim that changes in the earth’s temperature are largely driven by cyclical changes in the sun’s activity. They propose an alternative theory which says that cosmic rays are driving global warming by influencing cloud cover.

Cosmic rays are high energy particles and rays emitted by exploding stars elsewhere in our galaxy. These cosmic rays constantly rain down upon the earth. It is proposed that these rays interact with molecules of gas (ozone, sulphur dioxide and water) in the atmosphere, disrupting their electrical balance (ionisation) and thereby seeding cloud formation. White clouds have the effect of reflecting back incoming solar radiation and cooling the earth. If there is a diminution in incoming cosmic rays, fewer clouds will form and the earth will warm up. This, the dissident scientists claim, is what is happening now.

The intensity of cosmic rays reaching earth is affected by the sun’s magnetic field and this varies cyclically. The stronger the field, the more it deflects away incoming cosmic rays from outer space and fewer such rays reach earth. The cosmic ray theory proposes that

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