Climate Change

Welcome to the Geography Climate Change Forum. We hope this forum encourages critical thinking and questioning of climate change causes, effects and issues. Is climate change definitely caused by humans or is it a natural event that has happened before? Is Greenland warmer today than in the Middle Ages? Were sea levels higher in the past, if so, why? Do cows really contribute to global warming or do they simply act as carbon recyclers? Does Al Gore’s film ‘An Inconvenient Truth’ set out to scare using scientific untruths? Should we, or can we stop climate change?
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5 thoughts on “Climate Change

  1. What do you think is the world’s top destroyer of the environment? Emissions from cars or aircraft? However, these all have something to do with the great problem of destroying the environment but meet the new one … it is the cow.

    A United Nations report has identified the world’s rapidly growing herds of cattle as the greatest threat to the climate, forests and wildlife. And they are blamed for many other environmental crimes, from acid rain to the introduction of alien species, from producing deserts to creating dead zones in the oceans, from poisoning rivers and drinking water to destroying coral reefs. The world’s 1.5 billion cattle are the ones to blame. Livestock are responsible for 18% of the greenhouse gases that cause global warming, more than cars, planes and all other forms of transport put together.

    Unfortunately, the environmental community has focused its efforts on avoiding carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions. This is a serious miscalculation. CO2 emissions are not the main cause of observed atmospheric warming. It’s true that human activity produces vastly more CO2 than all other greenhouse gases put together. However, this does not mean it’s responsible for most of the earth’s warming. Many other greenhouse gases trap heat far more powerfully than CO2, some of them tens of thousands of times more powerfully. Methane is another gas that warms the world 20 times faster than carbon dioxide. By far the most important non-CO2 greenhouse gas is methane, and the major source of methane worldwide is animal agriculture. Cattle wind and manure emit more than one third of emissions of methane.

    So … does this mean we have to slaughter a big bunch of our livestock or not?

  2. Do cows cause global warming?

    The United Nations claims that the world’s 1.5 billion cows are worse then all the cars, planes, and all other types of transportation put TOGETHER. Apparently, cows are dangerous because their “emissions” contain methane gas – a substance thought to heat the atmosphere twenty times more than the carbon dioxide that usually gets all of the press?Wanted Cow Poster

    So, Cows are believed to account for one third of all the world’s methane emissions, and therefore the tasty beef-supplying critters are responsible for all or most of the crimes against the environment: acid rain like that…….

    I guess we can all look for livestock to be appearing on Interpol’s most wanted list sometime soon – or at the very least, expect cow-flatulence to be subject to the strictest governmental regulations and cow’s excreta will be outlawed entirely. Surprisingly, the cows themselves have nothing to say in their defense, which makes me feel sorry for them.

    Disgusting isn’t it?

  3. In my opinion, Mr. Al Gore is using a bit of emotional blackmail and junk science in his movie, (An Inconvenient Truth). If it is us, Humans, that cause global warming, (with the great help of carbon dioxide) then my brother is Mickey Mouse… For Goodness sake! CO2 is less than 0.04% of the Earth’s atmosphere! There is way more water vapour then CO2.

    A question is: Has this ever happened before? Of course! Things happen over and over and over again. It’s just like a cycle… A cycle of life and death… When there is life, death is sure to appear sooner or later as well. The temperature goes up, it must go down as well….the earth is heating up a little bit, and its going to cool down in a while…

    There have been way warmer periods of time in the past than there are now… Greenland was green in the medieval times! People were living there, farming there, and lots of other stuff. The ruins of houses, etc can prove this.
    And as for blaming the cows for global warming…. INSANE!! There were way more cows and cattle in the past, way more animals in general… and, there are five times more people now than cows.

    Should we try to stop it or just let it be? Well, I think there is nothing we can do, because whatever we try to accomplish, there are a lot of people that will just say : “ I can’t be bothered. Full stop.”

  4. I think that the problem of Global Warming is not a very big problem compared to the past. A lot of wild animals have been pushed to the point of extinction and so the problem of Global Warming should be decreasing because less methane is produced. In the future, as oil becomes more expensive and other technologies are used to produce elecricity, CO2 in the atmosphere will decrease. Our problem then will be global cooling – far worse!

  5. Having watched the movie ‘An Inconvenient Truth’ a number of questions are raised for me. If the data shown is accurate, there seems to be a correlation between global temperature and the level of Carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. One question is which is the cause and which is the effect? Are CO2 levels rising because of the increase in temperature or causing the temperature increase?

    If we accept that CO2 levels are causing the temperature increases, then looking back over several million years using the ice cores, seems to show that the planet moves from one ice age to the next in cycles and therefore inevitably warms up moving away from an ice age and cools down going into one.

    Two further questions are: firstly are the ice cores providing accurate data, and secondly, if these cycles have always been occuring, are we humans making a significant difference to the temperature of the planet or the CO2 levels in this cycle we are currently in? If for example we overlay all the previous cycles how do they compare and how does this cycle we are currently in compare?

    Another issue is that when CO2 levels and temperatures rise on the Earth, is there another factor that we have not yet observed, or are there other factors not yet observed that could be affecting the temperature, and/or the CO2 levels?

    The issue of cows is an interesting one. Is it true that since we have domesticated cattle there is so much more livestock on the planet than in previous times, that this is having a significant effect?

    It is easy to criticise other people’s points of view. If indeed Al Gore is misguided or incorrect, the question to be answered is which facts were incorrect, and what are the correct facts in the data he presented?

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