The Instigator
jackgilbert
Con (against)
The Contender
TouchtheSky
Pro (for)

is global warming real?

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 6/8/2018 Category: Science
Updated: 6 months ago Status: Debating Period
Viewed: 794 times Debate No: 115272
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (6)
Votes (0)

 

jackgilbert

Con

Hey Mercy, I am excited to debate you on this topic. I will let you start this one as most of the debate for me will be rebuttal.
TouchtheSky

Pro

Okay, let's get this started! Thank you so much for challenging me to this debate. This isn't a topic that I'm very familiar with, but I'm excited to find out more and hear your perspective.

To begin with, I'd like to start by finding a definition of global warming. If you agree on this definition, please say so, but if not, you are welcome to propose an alternate definition. Here is the definition I would like to set forward:

A gradual increase in the overall temperature of the earth's atmosphere generally attributed to the greenhouse effect caused by increased levels of carbon dioxide, chlorofluorocarbons, and other pollutants. [1]

Ninety-seven percent of scientists will agree that global warming is happening [2]. Observations throughout the world are taking place in an attempt to discover if the Earth's temperature is really rising, and among scientists, the results are practically unanimous [3]. Despite this, about fifty percent of America still refuses to believe that global warming will affect them [4]. The main opposition against global warming isn't among scientists- it's among everyday citizens. And in my mind, it makes far more sense to truth educated scientists and researchers then it does to trust people who have not studied or are familiar with the subject.

If global warming is a hoax, then that means that every single one of that 97 % has either been greatly deceived or is lying to the world. I agree that our scientists are less than perfect, but I think it's ridiculous to assert that out of thousands and thousands of people, they are all somehow mistaken or involved in some massive conspiracy. I see no evidence to support this idea, and I don't understand what would motivate several thousand people to lie about their scientific discoveries- it simply does not make logical sense.

Scientific studies have proven that global warming is real and is happening [5] [6]. The earth's average temperature has risen about 1 degree Fahrenheit over the last century, and twice that in parts of the artic. That might not seem like a lot right now, but as the years' pass, these numbers will continue to climb. Since 1969, the top 700 meters of the ocean has warmed by 0.302 degrees Fahrenheit. The ice sheets in Antartica and Greenland have been rapidly shrinking [7], and Greenland lost 53 cubic meters in 2005 alone. The sea level has risen about eight inches in the last century, and while the number of record high-temperature events have been increasing, the number of record low-temperature events has quickly been decreasing.

[1] https://www.google.com...
[2] https://www.skepticalscience.com...
[3] https://climate.nasa.gov...
[4] https://www.theverge.com...
[5] https://climate.nasa.gov...
[6] https://www.nationalgeographic.com...
[7] https://www.climatehotmap.org...
Debate Round No. 1
jackgilbert

Con

Hey, thanks for the quick response. Your arguments are interesting. I will do my best to go over them and defend my case.

The greenhouse effect is an effect that occurs when we burn large amounts of gases such as carbon dioxide, which trap heat that would otherwise radiate into space. Without the greenhouse effect, the earth would be so cold, life would not be able to exist anywhere on it. Thankfully, because of God's perfect design, he did create this world with the greenhouse effect and heat is trapped in the earth so it is warm enough for life to exist. However, the more fuel that is burned, the stronger the greenhouse effect, the less fuel burned, the weaker the greenhouse effect.
Because we burn a lot of fuel these days, the greenhouse effect becomes stronger and stronger. The stronger it becomes, the more warm the planet will be. If our planet gets too warm, disastrous things could happen. Ecosystems, for example are very sensitive to temperature and a great enough temperature change could wipe out all of the life contained in it.
Some people are worried that this very thing is occurring today. Because we have been burning large amounts of coal, oil, and wood we are adding a large amount of carbon dioxide to the air enhancing the greenhouse effect. Some people fear that the earth is getting so rich in carbon dioxide, that the earth will slowing over-heat itself. They call this phenomenon global warming and they are convinced that the earth will simply get too hot if something isn't done to stop the build-up of carbon dioxide.
Although the fear of global warming is based on sound scientific reasoning, reality is just a bit more complex than that. Take a look at the increase in the amount of carbon dioxide versus the change in the average global temperature.

increase in amount of carbon dioxide concentration:
https://e360.yale.edu...
change in average global temperature:
https://encrypted-tbn0.gstatic.com...

When you look at the first graph, you see a steady, consistent increase in the total amount of carbon dioxide in the planet. However, when you look at the second graph, you don't see the corresponding increase in the average global temperature. You see a very up and down shaky 0.5 degree increase in the average global temperature in the past century. It still tends to hover around zero which is the normal global temperature.
This data can be deceiving because it would seem to show that the amount of carbon dioxide does not effect the greenhouse effect. This would be false because we know the greenhouse effect is real or we would not exist. What it does show is that there is more to reality than just a theory. In this case, there are other factors that affect the global temperature. For example, a lot of gases released in every day activity tend to reflect light rather than absorb it. This actually causes a net cooling effect. It could be that this offsets the heat caused by carbon dioxide.
Although there are many unknown factors in the equation, the reliable data would indicate that the globe is not warming. At least not in a significant way. In addition, we know the globe was much warmer in the past, when humans did not create as much carbon dioxide. A team from Harvard university indicated that the globe was much warmer in the 14th and 15th century. In spite of this, it is hard to believe that fuel burning today would result in any kind of global warming given the fact that people did not burn nearly as much fuel in the middle ages as they do now!
Now to your arguments. You said that 97% of scientists believe in global warming, so if it were to be false, then every one of those scientists would have to have been greatly deceived. Just because everyone believes something to be true does not make it true. Take spontaneous generation for example. Almost every single scientist believed it to be true back in the day. But guess what, they were all proven wrong by a single experiment. This also happened with the theory that the earth was flat. Almost every scientist believed the earth to be flat, and again Gallileo proved them wrong. It just shows to prove that reality isn't always correlated with what people believe.
You also said that ice sheets in Antartica and Greenland have been melting so this would be evidence for Global warming. This of course neglects the fact the entire world is often quite different from one little corner of it. While this has been happening, the ice sheet in the west antartica has been thickening. When you talk about global warming, you must consider the entire world, not just one part of it.

So sorry for the late response.
TouchtheSky

Pro

Thank you for all of your interesting arguments and perspective. I've never heard a lot of what you had to say before, and I'm excited to dive deeper into this topic.

Let me start by discussing the amount of CO2 as compared to the rising heat. You made the argument that the Earth's higher temperature is not connected to the greater use of Carbon Dioxide, and used several charts in order to prove this. However, these charts only measure a small period of time, and it's natural that, in a period of only fifty or so years, the temperature of the earth would fluctuate for a number of reasons, and Carbon Dioxide is certainly not the only factor for this. However, when you look at the rising temperatures as they were through history, you get a very different answer. Take a look at this chart, from the National Climatic Data Center, which shows the rising and falling of the Earth's temperature in contrast to the rising and falling of CO2 levels: [1]. When you study this map, you see that, while the CO2 in the atmosphere and the Earth's temperature aren't always exactly the same, they are remarkably similar- far too similar to be coincidental [2].

But naturally, if this is the case, we need to examine where the heat is going in the graphs that you listed. Clearly, if there's a rise in temperature like the one you suggested, one would expect to see a clearer change, even if there were other factors involved in the heating and cooling of the earth. Well, science has an answer for this too.

Science has found evidence that much of the heat from the sun is not just going to the surface of the Earth (as measured on those graphs), but much of it is going into the deep oceans [3]. When we calculate in the heat in the oceans, the numbers all begin to add up, and they prove to be remarkably similar to the amount of Carbon Dioxide in the air [4].

I absolutely agree that just because the majority of people believes in something does not make it true. While I acknowledge this mistake, I do feel that, when given the choice between professionals giving hard-proven statistics, and individuals who are unfamiliar in this scientific area, it makes far more sense to trust the scientists and the ones who know what they are talking about. That doesn't mean to throw away the other ideas without a second thought, because I still want to evaluate your arguments and judge them for myself. But when I look at the overwhelming evidence supporting global warming, and all of the many scientists who have studied it, it seems highly probable that these people (most of whom have proven themselves to be extremely skilled) are correct.

I'd like to see your sources for your argument that Greenland is only one tiny corner of the world, and while it is shrinking, Antartica is getting thicker. I cannot find anything that suggests this, and everything that I can find suggests that the world as a whole is warming. Antartica is also rapidly melting at an alarming pace [5] [6], and it is predicted that unless we do something, Antartica will be melted entirely by 2040.

[1] https://www.ncdc.noaa.gov...
[2] https://www.nasa.gov...
[3] https://www.climate.gov...
[4] https://www.skepticalscience.com...
[5] http://www.dw.com...
[6] https://www.inverse.com...
Debate Round No. 2
jackgilbert

Con

Thank you for your response. So sorry for not citing sources in the last round. As for all you knew, I could be making it all up.
But let's jump right into it. Let me begin by providing a chart that does measure the amount of carbon dioxide compared to the global temperature in a longer period of time.

amount of carbon dioxide concentration: https://www.eea.europa.eu...

average global temperature: https://cdn.newsapi.com.au...

Even when you go back a 100 more years, you still don't see a correlation between the two graphs. You argued that in the past carbon dioxide levels have directly correlated with the global temperature. This could be because in the past, not as much fuel was burned which made carbon dioxide one of the only factors that caused change in global temperature. As a result carbon dioxide was more correlated with global temperature because it was one of the only things affecting it. But today, even in the 1800's we are burning more and more fuel making carbon dioxide less and less of a factor in global temperature change. This is evident in the charts I presented.
It is true that 97% percent of scientists believe in global temperature, but there have been times when every single scientist believed something which turned out to be false. Spontaneous generation and the idea that the earth is flat are both examples of this happening.
I didn't really mean that Greenland was small, what I meant to say is that it is only part of the world, and when you are talking about global warming, you need to refer to the world as a whole, not just one part of it.
Here is my source that Antartica ice sheets are thickening: https://www.nasa.gov...
Finally, let me add one more argument and it is from a biblical perspective. Normally I would not use the Bible in these kinds of debates but I feel like that because we are both Christians, it is okay. If it is true that Antartica would melt away by 2040, then this would cause world wide floods. The problem with this is that God promised to Noah in the Bible that he would never flood the earth with water again. God always keeps his promises. Another thing, would God allow his people to perish under global warming? God loves us and if the globe got too hot, then we would all perish. God would not allow that to happen to us. God does say he will destroy the world one day, but he says he will do it with fire, not global warming.
I apologize if I missed some of your arguments, I am just barely getting this argument on before I run out of time.
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Debate Round No. 3
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Debate Round No. 4
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Debate Round No. 5
6 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 6 records.
Posted by judaism 6 months ago
judaism
These things were known centuries ago, before the advances of modern science.
Posted by judaism 6 months ago
judaism
Creationist don't believe in global warming. I'm not. We believe that G-d created everything 15 billion years ago, as stated by the Kabbalists.
Posted by Im_Intelligent 6 months ago
Im_Intelligent
it could rise much more then that if the current trend continues, also it isn't economically fesable for every country to board their coastlines with a wall of such size.
Posted by asta 6 months ago
asta
They say sea levels will rise 1 to 3 meters. Can't cities build a wall on their coasts to keep the ocean water out?
Posted by asta 6 months ago
asta
Same.
Posted by 32doni32nido32 6 months ago
32doni32nido32
This should be interesting! I myself believe that Global Warming exists, but I'm interested in what Con has to say.
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