Global warming is a term scientists use to refer to the increase of the Earth's average surface temperature, due largely to a buildup of greenhouse gases in the Earth's atmosphere. The term was first used in a paper, "On the Influence of Carbonic Acid in the Air upon the Temperature of the Ground" published in 1896 by Svante Arrhenius, a Swedish scientist and Nobel laureate. Often, scientists will refer to the problem as climate change to convey the concept that there is actually more going on than just rising temperatures. Climate change encompasses long-term changes in climate, which include temperature, precipitation amounts, and types of precipitation, humidity, and other factors.
Today, global warming is one of the most controversial issues in the public eye. It is discussed frequently in print and on televised news reports, in documentaries, scientific and political debates, classrooms,
There are several myths circulating about global warming. A few of them are listed below, followed by their corresponding facts.
Myth: Global warming is too uncertain. We do not really know if, or why, the atmosphere is changing.
Fact: There is now overwhelming scientific evidence that global warming is occurring. There are not only many physical indicators that scientists can measure today, but also indicators exist in records from ancient times that show us how the environment has changed. Thousands of scientists overwhelmingly support this evidence and believe that the warming trend will worsen and that current human activity is largely to blame.
Myth: Even if the Earth is warming, maybe that will be a good thing.
Fact: In the short term, there may be some areas that benefit from global warming. For instance, some areas may now be able to be farmed at some latitudes that were previously too cold, but most likely will not be very productive. In the long term, any possible benefits from global warming will be very small compared to the extreme negative effects worldwide.
Myth: Even if global warming is real, doing something about it will hurt the U.S. economy.
Fact: Companies worldwide that are already reducing their carbon emissions are finding that cutting pollution can be economically beneficial. For example, utility companies switching to wind power are creating new jobs, boosting their economies. Using skills and ingenuity can start new industries geared toward carbon-free technology and production. Even the world's major oil companies are currently getting involved in developing renewable energy resources.
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