Greenhouse Effect on Global Warming

OK, so I have to write a paper on the Al Gore movie, “An Inconvenient Truth”. Now, I need to lay out my bias. I am not a big fan of Al Gore. I would have NEVER watched this movie voluntarily. I have now watched the movie twice. My immediate observations are: 1) Al Gore is a very good presenter, very polished, convincing and much more charismatic than I would imagine. 2) Taking the movie as a single point of information on Global Warming and I certainly would be concerned about the situation.

Now that my bias and confessions are out of the way, I wanted to run some ideas out on my blog. For me, to first understand global warming, I needed to understand the greenhouse effect.

I started my research looking at the UN and the Kyoto Protocol.   I ran across an IPCC report called Historical Overview of Climate Change Science.  Part of that report had this graphic representation of the greenhouse effect:

The Greenhouse Effect
The Greenhouse Effect

So, simplistically speaking, solar radiation come to the earth, hit the surface and bounce up.  Most of that radiation leaves the atmosphere in the form of infrared radiation, some is trapped within the atmosphere heating the climate.  Now, greenhouse gasses are what keep the infrared radiation in the atmosphere.  That is where the issue of Global Warming comes into play.

Alright than, now what are greenhouse gasses?  The main gasses are:

  • Carbon Dioxide
  • Methane
  • Nitrous Oxide
  • CFC-12 and CFC-11

Below is NOAA Annual Greenhouse Gas Index.  This shows the percentages of each greenhouse gasses in the atmosphere over time.


Now for the big question.  Is the increase percentage of Carbon Dioxide a human caused issue, a natural causes issue or a combination of both?

Mr. Gore in his presentation claims that it is because of human behavior that CO2 is rising to present high levels.  Note, there is no argument that carbon dioxide levels are rising in the atmosphere.  Let’s put that one in the books as fact.  The point here is what is the cause of the raise in CO2 levels and does it have an effect on global warming.

The opposite end of the “argument” comes from a group that made the movie “The Great Global Warming Swindle”  see – for their response concerning CO2 levels effecting global warming.

So, I am looking for help.  What do you thing?  Let the discussion begin.

Here is what I think so far from my research:

  1. I believe we do have a global warming situation.
  2. I believe that there are both natural and human causes for the global warming situation.
  3. I believe that the apocalyptic alarms from Al Gore are a little overboard.
  4. I believe that we as a human race DO need to understand our actions and how they effect our global community and correct those actions that are harmful to the our community.
  5. I believe we need not only a strong energy policy, but also a strong environmental policy.
  6. I believe that politics and economic greed and control are playing a MAJOR part in this issue – for the bad.

What are your thoughts???

I am going to be writing about this all week (or at least until my paper is done!!)

Here are some videos: