The heat is on

By Tanner Lecumberry Posted February 19, 2014

Since “An Inconvenient Truth” was written by Al Gore in 2006, an international hubbub has been raised about the warming of the Earth. The fact that the Earth has been increasing in average temperature is a fact, and is as easily measured as the temperature outside your home. NASA’s (National Aeronautics and Space Administration) official website shows both a rise in carbon dioxide levels and temperature. There is a difference, however, between the two distinct ideas of Climate Change and Global Warming.

According to their definitions, the difference between the two is that Global Warming is more specific, and refers only to the rise in global temperatures due to greenhouse gas emissions. Climate Change refers to the change in all weather patterns, including precipitation and ocean currents.

The earth is warming, and the facts support it. Both the NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) and NASA show a clear rise in temperature over the last few decades and show that the ten hottest years were after 2000, with the exception of 1998, which ranked third. 2013 ranked number four on the list, while 2010 is the hottest on record, according to the NOAA. 2010 was slightly over one degree hotter than the mid-twentieth century average, which makes a large difference to the earth. Though a one-degree difference doesn’t sound significant, it can wreak havoc in very important factors within the most delicate ecosystems.

The argument lies in how the Earth’s temperature is changing, since the fact that it is cannot be refuted. Some say humanity is to blame, and some claim the Earth’s natural cycles are the culprit. Either way, the Earth is changing, and a solution must be found.

The Earth is tailored to human life, to a point where anything humanity needs to sustain its own life grows naturally around it. To live on a planet that caters to a species so much should not be taken for granted, and humanity has contributed somewhat to global warming. The Earth’s average temperature has fluctuated greatly many times in its history, however, and humanity cannot be wholly responsible for the Earth’s changing temperatures. Still, humanity has an obligation to protect the earth, which has sheltered it so generously for so long.