Natural versus Anthropogenic Climate Changes
It is difficult to determine whether the observed climate changes are caused by natural factors or human activity because climatic changes can be caused by human factors or take place naturally. Similarities between natural and anthropogenic climate changes include the release of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, an increase in global temperatures, and the rising of the sea level (Pittock, 2009). Regardless of the cause, climate changes have similar effects on the environment and the sustainability of living species in the universe. The two causes of climate change have differences too. Natural changes involve the effects of orbital changes and greenhouse gases. Variations of the sun cause warming that triggers the release of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere (Pittock, 2009).
Gases such as carbon dioxide and methane are released through natural processes that have been taking place for many years. In contrast, anthropogenic changes are caused by human activity such as the combustion of fossil fuels and deforestation (Dincer, Colpan, & Kadioglu, 2013). Natural climate changes cannot be prevented while anthropogenic climate changes can. Finally, natural changes occur gradually over long periods of time because of factors such as changes in solar energy, greenhouse concentrations in the atmosphere, and volcanic eruptions (Haldar, 2010). In contrast, anthropogenic changes occur rapidly because of the increased reliance on fossil fuels and high rates of pollution. Examples of natural climate changes include changes in sea level and rainfall patterns (Pittock, 2009). Examples of anthropogenic climate changes include the accumulation of chlorofluorocarbons and nitrous oxide gases in the atmosphere and rapid increases in global temperatures.
Existence of Global Warming
There is overwhelming scientific evidence that global warming is taking place. First, the global sea level has risen by a significant rate, nearly doubling the rate of rising in the last hundred years (Haldar, 2010). Second, there have been significant rises in global temperatures based on the analysis of the three major global surface temperature reconstructions, which have revealed that most of the warming occurred after the beginning of a new millennium in 2000 (Haldar, 2010). Third, the decline in the Arctic sea ice over the last few decades has been alarming and a clear sign of global warming, which is one of the climate changes that have been observed due to human activity (Pittock, 2009).
Two Current Mitigation Strategies for Global Warming
Two of the most significant strategies for global warming include carbon sequestration and the expansion of the use of renewable energy. Carbon sequestration comprises the use of a wide range of technologies to capture and store atmospheric carbon dioxide in order to mitigate global warming. Its main aim is to slow down the accumulation of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. Carbon sequestration is an effective mitigation strategy because it incorporates several biological, physical, and chemical processes and activities (Haldar, 2010).
It is expensive because of the costs of modern technologies. In addition, it has significant policy implications because of the need to consider the political, economic, and financial risks involved. Increasing the utilization of renewable energy is an effective mitigation strategy that has been in use for several decades (Dincer et al., 2013). Energy sources such as wind, water, and solar lower the dependency on coal and other fossil fuels that are major sources of greenhouse gases (Dincer et al., 2013). Historically, the switch from fossil-based energy sources to renewable energy as opposed to because of the high costs involved. However, the costs of renewable energy are plummeting, thus making the switch feasible and economical. This is primarily because of the great potential and abundance of renewable energy resources.
Speculation on Policy Changes
Policies that I would propose to help stabilize global climate change would include state and regional climate legislation, rules to stabilize emissions from industries and the transport sector and legislation to increase the exploration of nuclear power. It would be necessary to implement policies that address the issue of climate change at both the state and regional levels. In that regard, individual states would be required to monitor the activities of industries and develop technologies that would facilitate the development of clean alternatives to fossil-based energy. For instance, the development of hydrogen fuels and advanced batteries would go a long way toward stabilizing global climate change. Industrial emissions are one of the major causes of global climate change because of the release of greenhouse gases and toxic substances into the environment (Dincer et al., 2013).
I would propose policies to reduce industrial emissions and impose heavy fines on companies that fail to comply. Finally, I would propose policies that encourage the exploration of nuclear energy as an alternative energy source. These policies would aim to lower carbon emissions and reduce the dependency on fossil-based energy (Casper, 2010). If the aforementioned standards were to be implemented, the transportation and manufacturing industries would be held to more stringent standards because they are the major sources of greenhouse gases (Casper, 2010). Moreover, they are large economic sectors that rely heavily on fossil-based energy. In addition to using fossil fuels, both industries release greenhouse gases that contribute to global climate change.
Casper, J. K. (2010). Climate management: Solving the problem. New York, NY: Infobase Publishing.
Dincer, I., Colpan, C. O., & Kadioglu, F. (2013). Causes, impacts and solutions to global warming. New York, NY: Springer Science & Business Media.
Haldar, I. (2010). Global warming: The causes and consequences. New Delhi, India: Mind Melodies.
Pittock, A. B. (2009). Climate change: The science, impacts and solutions. New York, NY: Csiro Publishing.