By Torilynn Qualls |Staff Writer|
Global warming is affecting our earth as we know it.
NASA scientists recorded 2013 was within the top 10 warmest years since 1880, continuing a long-term trend of rising global temperatures.
Some believe global warming is a natural phenomenon while others, like myself, blame man for causing the rise in climate change across our planet.
As of Jan. 17, Gov. Jerry Brown issued that the state of California is in the midst of a drought.
“Nearly the entire state of California is currently experiencing dryness that hasn’t been experienced in living memory,” said Daniel Swain of Weather West.
Meteorologists believe that this drought is being caused by the Ridiculously Resilient Ridge (RRR).
The RRR is a naturally created high pressure weather system blanketing our entire state and keeps cold weather systems from making their way to California.
Natural changes in the temperature of the earth’s atmosphere could be the possible culprit of the RRR.
Theorists believe that global climate change can be naturally affected by variations in sunlight.
“Tiny wobbles in earth’s orbit alter when and where sunlight falls on earth’s surface,” states NASA’s Earth Observatory website. “Changes to the sun have both increased and decreased the amount of solar energy reaching earth.”
This leads to the increase and decrease in global temperatures from century to century.
Those in favor of natural causes blame volcano eruptions for pumping carbon dioxide into the earth’s atmosphere.
Carbon dioxide is a greenhouse gas that traps heat; it greatly affects changes in the earth’s climate.
“On average, volcanoes emit between 130 and 230 million metric tons of carbon dioxide per year,” according to NASA.
Some theorists also believe in an idea developed by Henrik Svensmark called cosmoclimatology.
“Cosmoclimatology is the idea that when the sun is more active, fewer cosmic rays strike the earth and cloud cover is reduced, resulting in warmer temperatures,” stated Larry Vardiman in his article for the Institute for Creation Research.
Although these natural causes contribute to earth’s overall climate change, man’s contribution to climate change is far greater.
Carbon dioxide and other air pollution collecting in the atmosphere, like a thickening blanket, traps the sun’s heat and causes the planet to warm up.
Volcano emissions alone can’t possibly be the only explanation for the increase of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.
According to NASA, there have been an increased amount of artificially raised concentrations of greenhouse gases over the past 250 years.
There have been 38 percent increase of carbon dioxide and 148 percent increase of methane.
By burning fossil fuels, people release about 26 billion metric tons of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere every year, states NASA.
According to the Natural Resource Defense council the U.S. has the largest coal-burning power plants that contribute to the source of carbon dioxide pollution.
Automobiles are the second largest source to billions of carbon dioxide annually.
“There is absolutely no way that global warming is only caused naturally, look at the environment around us, the dryness, the smog in the air we breathe,” said student Mark Patterson. “Man is the only cause of this.”