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Research Proposal: Global warming, human cause or natural cycle?

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  • 1. ProposalMarch2011Audrey Novak, Geoscience Pd 7Global Warming research<br />Research Proposal: Global warming, human cause or natural cycle?<br />When we hear the words "global warming" many things popped up into our minds. The basic concept humans have about global warming is that temperature on earth's surface rises, and abnormal changes of the climate occur. Every day there are changes in the Earth’s atmosphere that affect the global climate. Climate change can include precipitation, oceanic movement or human inhabitation. Global warming falls under the umbrella of climate change. Many people believe global warming exists and many believe it is all hysterical hype. Arguments for and against the phenomena thrive in the media, governmental debates, and even in the workplace. To put the debate to rest it has been proposed that research on the Holocene epoch, dating back to approximately 11,000 years ago to today, be done to farther examine the possible impact humans have had on the earth.<br />During the Holocene epoch human life expanded worldwide, animals were being domesticated and farm production was rising, complex civilizations developed into the modern day nations. Climate during the Holocene epoch has been fairly stable. Research that has already been conducted on ice core samples show that before the Holocene there was global warming after the end of the last ice age. The global climate became warmer. However, the warming was probably not uniform across the world. This period of warmth ended with the descent into a cooling trend. At that time, the climate was not unlike today’s, but there was a slightly warmer period known as the Medieval Warm Period. This was followed by the little ice age, from about the 13th or 14th century to the mid-19th century, which was a period of significant cooling. The Holocene warming is an interglacial period, there is no reason to believe that it represents a permanent end to the current ice age, the period of the last few million years where permanent ice sheets were established in Antarctica and occurred elsewhere.<br />The form of research that will take place on this epoch is the use of ice cores. An ice core is a sample that is removed from an ice sheet, commonly from the ice caps of Antarctica, Greenland or from high mountain glaciers elsewhere. The ice forms from the buildup of annual layers of snow, the lower layers are older than upper, and an ice core contains ice formed over a range of years. The previous research on global warming was only focused on the last 100 years of earth’s long history, which is not a long enough time period to gain substantial evidence of global warming form. At least not when taking the other heating and cooling periods during the present epoch into account. This will compare the amount of CO2, carbon dioxide, in the atmosphere in the past 11,000 years. The comparison will focus on the medieval warming period as compared to the last 100 years when global warming is said to occur.<br />This research will aid in the understanding of where our planet has been and where it is heading in climate related changes. This will help to, hopefully, once and for all understand the origin of this warming period, if it has been the cause of a natural warming cycle or is related to the theory of global warm and is being caused by humans. Regardless if it is natural or human caused countries need to take action in aiding research of climate and the related changes. If global warming is proved as human caused the research will help in dictating how much each country will need to cut back on carbon admissions for the future. Since carbon is the main greenhouse gas, working to trap heat in our atmosphere, humans may not be causing global warming, it may be a natural cycle but humans certainly are not aiding in the levels of increasing carbon. The research will also open new doors for a deeper understanding of the natural cycles that have already taken place in the Holocene period and possibly help to gather data in predicting if there will be a future ice age.<br />It is hard to say whether or not the warming period that the earth is going through in the present years is cause by humans or if it is caused by a natural cycle earth has been going through for millions of years, far before the human race even stepped in the cycle of evolution. To understand where the earth is going one must first understand where it has been. This research will help to understand the natural cycle of the earth over the last 11000 years and dictate if humans truly are affecting the climate change and if so how much. If it is caused by humans something must be done to limit carbon being released into the atmosphere.<br />Greenland melting<br />(1992)(2002)<br />

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