The Instigator
Bricheze
Pro (for)
Winning
7 Points
The Contender
1mag1n3
Con (against)
Losing
0 Points

Anthropogenic Global Warming is Real

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 1 vote the winner is...
Bricheze
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 3/31/2009 Category: Science
Updated: 8 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,350 times Debate No: 7628
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (2)
Votes (1)

 

Bricheze

Pro

I wish to have a debate on whether or not global warming is real. My role will be to prove the con side wrong, so my opponent can start. I simply ask that my opponent either makes a response to my rebuttals or that he/she admits that she can not make a reasonable response and that they mutually agree with the said argument. So please let's have a clean, concise, and fun debate. My opponent please have the first argument.
1mag1n3

Con

First off I just want to say this is my first debate, so if i don't stick to conventions then I'm sorry and I will learn! seems like a good site and thank you for anyone who takes the time to read this :)

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Although climate change seems like it is fact, it is in the news all of the time, it is still just a theory. Climate change has been happening for millions and millions of years. Yes, it has been proven that the world is, on average, much hotter than it was, say, 100 or 200 years ago. However this is no proof that the world has never been this hot before. In fact it has certainly been hotter, even in the past 10,000 years (which isn't very long in the grand scheme of things, and certainly long before our carbon emissions started).

It could easily be the case that the temperature of the earth fluctuates naturally and our human influences are not doing anything to change that. There seems to be a widespread opinion that because low lying areas where many people live will be flooded (again an unproven but popular belief) then that means that it is somehow wrong. It can't be natural. But there is no reason for this. If the sea level was rising and no homes were to be damaged and destroyed people would be very happy to let it happen and not at all concerned about any damage we were doing to the planet. In fact, we are only concerned about the damage that could be done to ourselves through a changing planet. One that we will have to adapt too.

== Is it a human phenomenon ? ==

The fact that global warming is linked to human effects, basically our carbon emissions is also up for debate. Leading up to 1940 the temperature slowly rose, then in the post war boom when carbon emissions boomed the temperature fell. This is not consistent with the theory of human induced global warming.

Also carbon in the atmosphere isn't increasing at the alarming rates that you would expect given the news coverage. In fact it is leveling off. More CO2 in the air also increases growth rates of plants and their water use efficiency, not so alarming and therefore unreported.

The reason that CO2 levels aren't increasing so rapidly is the fact that very few of it is produced by humans. It is estimated that 3% of the carbon cycle is human emitted and so is only 1% of the atmospheric carbon cycle.

== A sound theory? ==

Now, if we look at the theory of global warming and look at its weaknesses.The accepted theory is; greenhouse gases trap heat from the sun within the earth's atmosphere. This is the greenhouse effect. Traditional models predict that increasing concentrations of greenhouse gases lead to runaway heating.

If greenhouse warming were happening, then scientists predict that the troposphere (the layer of the earth's atmosphere roughly 10-15km above us) should heat up faster than the surface of the planet, but data collected from satellites and weather balloons doesn't seem to support this.

This is not even looking at alternate theories. There is new evidence shows that as the radiation coming from the sun varies (and sun-spot activity is one way of monitoring this) the earth seems to heat up or cool down. Solar activity very precisely matches the plot of temperature change over the last 100 years. It correlates well with the (previously mentioned) anomalous post-war temperature dip, when global carbon dioxide levels were rising.

== Summary ==

So to summarise, climate change is not human induced, it is due to completely natural oscillations in the earth's temperature and there are other theories to explain it that are just as valid but just not as popular.

Thank you for reading.
Debate Round No. 1
Bricheze

Pro

"However this is no proof that the world has never been this hot before."

First off, even if global warming is real, it doesn't mean that global warming is the only cause of climate change. In the past the climate has been driven by the sun, atmosphere, etc. This theory just states that carbon is causing the current warming trend, and we are causing the carbon.

"In fact it has certainly been hotter, even in the past 10,000 years"

It probably has, although you failed to prove that it has. We just know that within the past 6'000 or so year, this warming trend has been happening the fastest.

"There seems to be a widespread opinion that because low lying areas where many people live will be flooded (again an unproven but popular belief)"

Water levels will rise if the arctic ice melts.The ice on land will run off into the ocean, causing masses of water to be added to the sea level, and there is also something called 'thermal expansion' of seawater. Water expands as it is warmed. For every 1 degree rise in water temperature, there would be a 0.7m rise in sea levels.

"It can't be natural."

That's not the reason why it can't be natural. It can't be natural simply because there are no other plausible theories as to why this could be occurring naturally. The rise in co2 (That is correlating with the rise in temperature) is the only variable that has changed in the past 100 years.

"In fact, we are only concerned about the damage that could be done to ourselves through a changing planet."

Many people only care about protecting themselves, I am not one of them. I have seen the polar bears in the wild and I want to save them too. Of course I also care about my own future, but is caring for our world to make the future a better place a bad motive to stop global warming? It doesn't seem like a bad one to me. Also, sea level rise isn't the only problem we are facing, drought, dust bowls, more intense hurricanes, animal extinction, spread of disease, spread of bugs, exitinct frogs and bees (they have an important role in our lives too, one kills an excess of bugs to save our plants and crops while the other fertilizes most of our plants), political & economic collapse, and many many more problems will occur if the climate is to change.

"Leading up to 1940 the temperature slowly rose, then in the post war boom when carbon emissions boomed the temperature fell."

Actually it is consistent with our current global warming theory. It is called the 'leading and lagging' theory. This theory is what causes most natural climate changes (and it is why you see carbon increasing without humans around) first, something happens to cause the earth to warm, a change in the solar cycles, etc. then this warming in turn causes the release of CO2 (this is caused, among other things, by the permafrost melting, a large percentage of the carbon in the world is found in the permafrost), which in turn causes the earth to warm and so on. Normally the temperature changes first, but this time we have cause the CO2 to change first, but the leading and lagging theory still holds. Naturally, this phenomenon still isn't the leading factor in the climate, the sun is. But when the carbon levels are extremely high; CO2 in the atmosphere becomes the driving climate factor, not the sun. This rapidly causes the earth to warm and continue to warm without having a cooling cycle.

There is proof of this, because solar activity and temperatures used to have a tight correlation, until the 70's when the current warming trend began. This was the time that carbon switched into the driving factor in the climate instead of the sun.

"In fact it is leveling off. '

Where is your proof of this? A link, quote, explained theory??

'More CO2 in the air also increases growth rates of plants and their water use efficiency"

Yes but not by much as the co2 is greatly dilluted throughout our lower atmosphere where plants exist. The harm done to plants by climate change will easily be offset any positive aspects of an increase in carbon in the atmosphere. wide spread droughts, native species extinction, and the main problem destabilization. Plants in the south are used to warmer temperatures, while plants in the north are used to cooler temperatures. If the south suddenly became cold, the plans would all die out. Just as in just e north if it suddenly became warm, the plants would also all die out. We can't just suddenly switch to all new crops all around the globe, and this would cause a sudden decrease of food availability, and quickly famine would spread.

Nothing about global warming is good for us, the plants, nature, or animals.

"It is estimated that 3% of the carbon cycle is human emitted and so is only 1% of the atmospheric carbon cycle."

I'm sorry, but you are completely wrong here. It is true nature emits more carbon then us. The consumption of vegetation by animals & microbes accounts for about 220 gigatonnes of CO2 per year. Respiration by vegetation emits around 220 Gt. The ocean releases about 330 Gt. In contrast, human emissions are only around 26.4 Gt per year.

BUT Land plants absorb about 440 Gt of carbon per year and the ocean absorbs about 330 Gt. This keeps atmospheric CO2 levels in rough balance.

Let's do some math:

Nature releases (numbers above added up) about: 770 Gt carbon
Nature absorbs about: 770 Gt carbon
Humans release: 26.4 Gt carbon
Humans absorb: 0 Gt carbon

Nature Net Effect: 770-770= 0 Gt
Human Net Effect 26.4-0= 26.4 Gt

Which means that the NET release of carbon for nature is about 0 and the net release for humans is 26.4 Gt CO2. We are responsible for the large majority of carbon emissions.

== A sound theory? ==

Now, if we look at the theory of global warming and look at its weaknesses.The accepted theory is; greenhouse gases trap heat from the sun within the earth's atmosphere. This is the greenhouse effect. Traditional models predict that increasing concentrations of greenhouse gases lead to runaway heating.
"...troposphere should heat up faster than the surface of the planet, but data collected from satellites and weather balloons doesn't seem to support this."

The troposphere is a sensitive part of the atmosphere, one reason why scientists aren't seeing the correlations they were expecting was because of the eruptions of some major volcanoes, this caused a global dimming effect and lower temperatures in the troposphere.

"Solar activity very precisely matches the plot of temperature change over the last 100 years."

This is true as long as you exclude the past 40. As I said before the tight correlation between the sun and earth temperature stopped in the 1970's, when carbon took hold as the major forcing.

"It correlates well with the (previously mentioned) anomalous post-war temperature dip, when global carbon dioxide levels were rising."

This is simply the leading and lagging theory I explained early.

Back to you.
1mag1n3

Con

1mag1n3 forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 2
Bricheze

Pro

I hope my opponent didn't respond because he was busy. I will continue to hope!
1mag1n3

Con

1mag1n3 forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 3
Bricheze

Pro

Bricheze forfeited this round.
1mag1n3

Con

1mag1n3 forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 4
Bricheze

Pro

Bricheze forfeited this round.
1mag1n3

Con

1mag1n3 forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 5
2 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Posted by Silver_Falcon 6 years ago
Silver_Falcon
See more interesting debate: http://www.debate.org...
Posted by wjmelements 8 years ago
wjmelements
PRO debates this a lot.
Al Gore does not.
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by Lazy 8 years ago
Lazy
Bricheze1mag1n3Tied
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Total points awarded:70