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Global Warming? MAG
One popular myth is that greenhouse gases and CO2 arepollutants; according to some, these things are causing global warming. Thechloroflucarbons and carbon dioxide will eat away at the protective ozone layer,allowing more hot, radioactive ultraviolet rays to strike the earth. The carbondioxide will then form an insulating layer, which prevents additional heat fromradiating into space. The result? Global temperatures rise, the ice caps melt,coasts flood and disaster reigns.
Will the above scenario take place? Mostpeople think so. But is this belief justified, and would global warming actuallybe a bad thing? The support for global warming is actually weak, at best.
It is generally agreed among scientists that carbon dioxide levels haverisen in the past 135 years. But is this a bad thing? In a paper by Craig andKeith Idso, they ask "The more carbon dioxide there is in the air the biggerand better plants grow, but what about the rest of the biosphere? What about theherbivorous animals that feed on plants, the carnivorous animals that devourthem? And what about us humans, who eat about everything imaginable? Is foodgrown in carbon dioxide-enriched air as desirable as food grown in ambient air?We know the quantity of vegetable biomass tends to rise with increases inatmospheric carbon dioxide concentration, but what about quality?" Let'slook at some examples.
Published in the Journal of Apicultural Research,one study focused on a half-acre greenhouse in southern Israel. One half wasexposed to ambient air and the other was exposed to air that had decreasingconcentrations of CO2. Under these conditions they grew melons (Cucumis melo) andin the early flowering stage they collected and measured the volume of nectarproduced per flower, as well as its sugar concentration.
Average nectarvolumes per flower were significantly higher in the CO2-enriched part of thegreenhouse than in the control sector, sometimes by as much as a hundred percent;and since the sugar concentration was the same in both, sugar production perflower was stimulated by the same amount in the CO2-enriched air. The authorsnote that the only pollinator is the honeybee; and they say, "Improvement innectar reward can increase the attractiveness of the flowers to the bees,increase pollination activity and consequently increase the fruit set and theyield." Hence, as the air's CO2 concentration continues to rise, or asgreenhouse managers implement atmospheric CO2 enrichment techniques, we mayexpect to see these benefits realized routinely.
In a brief researchsynopsis published three years ago in Natural History, scientist William F.Laurance discusses the discovery that tropical forests throughout the Amazon andCentral America are growing much better than 30 years ago. "Not only arethese forests producing more trees per acre," he notes, "the existingtrees are growing larger faster." Indeed, the total mass of living trees oneach acre within the rain forests has risen by an average of 17 metric tons(37,000 pounds) since the beginning of these observations. And why are today'sforests producing more and bigger trees per acre? His answer is that theaccelerated growth is likely "a direct response to high levels of carbondioxide in the atmosphere."
"Okay," you say, so CO2 is goodfor plants, but what about the original question of whether or not it causesglobal warming? Frederick D. Palmer states in his article, "So What AboutThis Global Warming?" that CO2 does cause global warming, but the amount ofCO2 in our atmosphere is not large enough to cause significant warming. Therehave been times when it was either much warmer or cooler than today. When it'scooler it's called an ice age, when warmer it's called "the climateoptimum." In past climate optimums people enjoyed great prosperity due tobountiful harvests, which resulted from high CO2 levels.
One scare tacticthat some use is noting how much the temperatures have risen in the Northeastrecently, but temperatures naturally fluctuate, and in the West temperatures havebeen significantly lower. Also, there is the fact that this has been proven to becaused by El Niño and not by CO2 gases. Any real change because of CO2would not be noticeable by humans.
Michael D. Lemonick, in his articlesupporting global warming, claims that the earth's temperature has gone up by onedegree in one century. Temperature changes this insignificant would not affecthuman beings (or plants and animals) and even if this rate increases so that itwould affect living things, the living would adapt and evolve. In a studypublished in Creation magazine there were several instances noted of animalsevolving significantly in just 10 to 15 generations. One example was anolelizards in the Bahamas, when small numbers were transplanted from an island withtall trees to an island with only bushy shrubs. They rapidly changed insucceeding generations, in particular by losing length. Another example was aspecies of guppy in Trinidad. Researchers transplanted guppies from a waterfallpool with lots of natural predators to previously guppy-free pools above thefalls with only one known predator (which only ate small guppies.) The guppiesrapidly grew bigger (as a species), began maturating later and having feweroffspring.
In light of this, instead of panicking and trying to restrictthe use of fossil fuels (which hinders the individual as well as corporations andhurts our economy), perhaps we should encourage people to do things which lendCO2 to the air. It could be the best thing we have ever done for our planet!
Dag, A. and Eisikowitch, D. "The effect ofcarbon dioxide enrichment on nectar production in melons under greenhouseconditions." Journal of Apicultural Research Vol. 39, 2000 p.88-89
Catchpoole, David, Carl Wieland. "Speedy SpeciesSurprise." Creation Magazine, Vol. 23 No. 2 May 2001
Idso, Craig D.Keith E. Idso "Atmospheric CO2 Enrichment Increases Quantity of PlantBiomass Without Sacrificing Quality." CO2 Science Magazine Vol. 4 No. 13March 2001
Laurance, W.F. "Gaia's Lungs: Are Rain Forests InhalingEarth's Excess Carbon Dioxide?" Natural History 1999 p. 96.
Palmer,Fredrick D. "So, What About This Global Warming?" Population ResearchInstitute Review.
Vol. 9 No. 1 January 1999
Idso, Craig D, KeithE. Idso "There Has Been No Global Warming For The Past 70 Years" CO2Science Magazine Vol. 3 No. 13 July 2000
"The Global Surface AirTemperature Record Must Be Wrong" CO2 Science Magazine Vol. 3 No. 12 June2000