Global Warming an Inconvenient Truth?
Jesse E. Diaz Correa
RISE Program - Biol. 3009
July 4, 2009
Global warming, the increase in average temperature of Earth’s surface, has been causing
a great impact in the life of the human beings. An increasing global temperature will cause sea
levels to rise and change the pattern of precipitation, in crease the intensity of extreme weather
event, impact different types of ecosystem, etc. The current problem is finding out what is the
most significant cause of global warming, and is there a way to fix it. The current climate model
indicated by the IPCC is that increases in anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions have been
causing most of the impact in the global surface temperature.
Is global warming due to the observed increase in anthropogenic greenhouse gas
concentration? Global warming is an increase in the average temperature of Earth's surface. The
temperature of the Earth has increased about 0.7 to 1.4 degrees Fahrenheit. It is studied that in
the future the rate of global warming will increase. Some scientists think that there are different
causes for global warming, but it is speculated that the most significant cause is the increase in
anthropogenic (man-made) greenhouse gases.
Currently the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has concluded that the
increase in greenhouse gas concentration from anthropogenic causes like the burning of fossil
fuels and forestation is the cause of the increase in temperature this century. Although that has
been concluded there is not enough substantial information to point out the rightfulness of the
conclusion. Other scientists argue that the causes of global warming are natural processes. Those
processes include solar variability, which is the increase in the energy given off by the sun.
My objective is to identify if the increase in anthropogenic greenhouse gas concentration
has actually made a measurable difference in the temperature. And as a secondary objective I
would like to account for other measurable causes for global warming. Especially natural
processes, and out of those processes I would focus on the solar variability.
Greenhouse gases are found in the Earth’s atmosphere and their role is to absorb and emit
radiation within the thermal infrared range. These gases absorb infrared radiation from the sun
and trap the heat in the atmosphere. Greenhouse gases in the earth atmosphere are commonly
composed of water vapor, carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous, oxide, and ozone. The carbon
dioxide (CO2) is the anthropogenic (human-produced) greenhouse gas that contributes most of
the irradiative forcing from human activity. CO2 is produced by fossil fuel burning and other
In this proposal the main focus was to pinpoint the most significant cause of global
warming. I hypothesized that the most significant cause of global warming is the fluctuation in
the solar cycle. I have not proposed that CO2 emissions have not impacted the temperature, but
that they are not the main cause. It is my believe that global warming is not man-made, that it is
just a natural process of the Earth.
My methodology would be to obtain more data. First I would continue gathering Earth’s
temperature via satellite temperature measurement, which is calculated by radiance energy wave
length. Measure the emission of greenhouse gases, specially the emissions of carbon dioxide.
Lastly calculate the total solar irradiance done on the earth. After all this data or more is
gathered, proper analysis would take place to compare and contrast.
Most of my goals are long-term, since global warming is a slow and inconsistent process.
The main goal would be to identify the most significant cause of the temperature change.
Depending on the results, I would like to figure out a solution if necessary. In the mean while I
would support the Kyoto protocol in reducing the CO2 emission, since at the moment that is one
of the most significant things that the humans can do
1. National Aeronautics and Space Administration (2008, May 12). Solar Variability:
Striking A Balance With Climate Change. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 5, 2009, from
2. Hansen, J., R. Ruedy, J. Glascoe, and Mki. Sato, 1999: GISS analysis of surface
temperature change. J. Geophys. Res., 104, 30997-31022, doi:10.1029/1999JD900835.
3. Mastrandrea, Michael D., and Stephen H. Schneider. "Global warming." World Book
Online Reference Center. 2005. World Book, Inc. http://www.worldbookonline.com/wb/
4. NASA Study Acknowledges Solar Cycle, Not Man, Responsible for Past Warming.
Michael Andrews, Daily Tech, Retrieved July 4, 2009, from