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“Global cooling is both more likely and more likely to have more disastrous effects than global warming”. Discuss.

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Introduction

"Global cooling is both more likely and more likely to have more disastrous effects than global warming". Discuss. Scientists for a long time have been predicting vast and rapid global warming, many of these predictions have not materialised, at least not on the same scale as was first predicted. When considered on a time scale of many thousands of years, the earth should be going into a cold period in its natural cycle of climatic change. The question is what effect is the global warming having on this? Moreover, is it actually detrimental at all? Global warming has been predicted on the basis that throughout history temperature and carbon dioxide in the atmosphere have been directly linked. It is not known which causes which, but, carbon dioxide emissions have increased rapidly in the last century or so. Could this increase cause a rise in temperature? The theory behind global warming is that CO2 (carbon dioxide) is a greenhouse gas, letting in short wave heat radiation into the earth's atmosphere and preventing long wave radiation from escaping, thus acting as an insulator around the earth. When the theory was first produced massive temperature rises were predicted (several degrees), enough to have massive detrimental effects on the earths natural cycles. ...read more.

Middle

Underground aquifers Also effects on irrigation, hydroelectric power, navigation. Water companies have to improve engineering to cope with imbalance of supply and demand. Maritime Changes in sea temperature and position of ocean currents Changes in location of wildlife, implications for fish stocks and shoal location. Fishing industry disrupted. Meteorological Increased storms and strength of hurricanes Damage to areas not used to storms eg. UK Regional weather Interior locations- drier summers, reduction in soil moisture, colder winters. Maritime locations eg. UK- higher temperatures, longer summers, wetter winters Effects not predictable until more observations and records can be gathered Vegetation Distribution of flora and fauna will shift to different latitudes. Species vulnerable to change may become extinct, eg great raft spider (Great Britain) Spread of pests. New varieties growth abled in new countries. Human health Increase in a range of tropical diseases e.g malaria and cholera As temperatures rise Increased death rate in some parts of the world. Incr4ased pressure on medical services. Through climatic research such as ice core data and Varves, it has been possible to build up an accurate record of the earth's climate over thousands of years. The natural cycle is over an approximate period of 10,000 years, with alternate warm and cool periods. ...read more.

Conclusion

It would seem that, with our limited knowledge of global warming, global cooling might indeed be more likely. Considering the severity of the effects of each of our scenarios, I feel it would also be, potentially more disastrous if global cooling were to take place. Indeed, if the scale of global warming were as predicted in early scientific research, then maybe the effects of each of the scenarios would be on similar scales, and global warming could yet turn out to be much bigger than we realise. Certainly, the levels of CO2 have increased sufficiently, as illustrated by my graph. However, I feel that without more knowledge of global warming it is near impossible to predict the outcomes. It is also near impossible to predict how people will react to such event. For example if the time period is long or short, will people be able to adapt? Maybe they could and maybe our levels of technology could help us achieve such a feat. To make a decision relies on knowledge of both factors, and as long as we only have reliable knowledge of one of the factors then it is impossible to predict whether the effects would be more disastrous. If we go on current data and knowledge then global cooling looks like being more disastrous. ...read more.

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