Essay on The Earth Has A Fever

2980 Words Jan 7th, 2015 12 Pages
“The Earth has a fever, and the fever is rising… We are what is wrong, and we must make it right” (Al Gore, 2007). In the context of global warming, discuss the extent to which you agree with this statement.

For the last 2.5 million years, global temperature has shifted between cold glacial periods that last for around 100 000 years, and warmer interglacial periods that last for around 10 000 years. Right now we are in an interglacial period. 20 000 years ago the Earth was cold. Around 15000 years ago it started to warm up, this was the end of the last glacial period. Over the last 10 000 years the climate has been warm with minor fluctuations, however over the last 1000 years the climate has been fairly constant with small fluctuations
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Human activities such as surface mining and industrial processes have increased dust in the atmosphere. There have been recent trends in burning fossil fuels; the USA contributes to the most greenhouse gases alone, with 20%. General trends have been found in graphs that the richer the country the more emissions they produce, however there are some anomalies such as China, India and Russia. In developed countries, over ¾ of CO2 is from burning fossil fuels (81%) and in developing countries only 41% of CO2 is from fossil fuels burning and 33% of CO2 is produced from land use change and foresting.
There has been evidence for climate change, mainly historical, physical and biological evidence. Historical records can indirectly show different conditions in the past, for example agricultural reports show changing conditions throughout human history. Historical records can include cave paintings, depth of grave digging in Greenland, diaries, documentary evidence of events, such as ‘frost fairs’ on the Thames in the Tudor times and evidence of areas of former vine cultivation. Details of weather conditions have been consistently collected since 1861 and these can be used to show detailed climate changes over the short period. Since 1873 daily weather reports have been documented, and the Royal Society has encouraged the collection of data since the seventeenth century; parish records are a good source of climate change. Furthermore, we can see the
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