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What are Some Strategies for Slowing Global Warming?

Some scientists say global warming must be stopped to prevent ice sheets in Greenland from melting.
Solar panels can capture the energy of the sun to create an alternative form of energy and decrease the use of fossil fuels.
People can reduce their contribution to global warming by using sustainable energy, like wind power, instead of fossil fuels.
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Since the 1960s, scientists have observed a gradual increase in the global temperature. This is believed to be caused by the mass release of a greenhouse gas, carbon dioxide, produced by burning fossil fuels (coal, oil, natural gas). If strategies for slowing global warming are not found, some scientists believe that it could accelerate at a runaway pace, melting the ice sheets in Antarctica and Greenland, causing the world's sea levels to rise 18 to 59 cm (7.08 to 23.22 in) by 2100. Other negative effects, including more intense hurricanes, is thought to be resulting from human-caused global warming.

Numerous strategies have been offered for slowing global warming. These include quotas on fossil fuel production, energy efficiency and conservation, alternative energy sources, using fossil fuels that produce the least greenhouse gases (natural gas), carbon capture-and-storage (from the exhaust pipes of power plants), carbon sequestration (from the atmosphere itself), solar shades, societal controls, international treaties, legal action, and personal choice.

The most popular strategies for slowing global warming seems to be a combination of energy efficiency/conservation, or "going green," and the development of alternative energy sources, such nuclear, wind, hydro, and solar power. Billions of dollars have been invested in alternative energy expressly for the purpose of slowing global warming. However, fossil fuels still remain the primary power source for generating electricity worldwide.

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There are more exotic methods that have been proposed for slowing global warming. Paul J. Crutzen, a Dutch Nobel Prize-winning atmospheric chemist, has proposed releasing sulfur aerosols into the upper atmosphere to decrease the incident solar flux on Earth by a small percentage, reversing the effects of greenhouse gases. In this same vein, plans have been proposed to increase the density of the low-level cloud layer, creating a Saturn-like ring of small particles around the Earth, and putting a thin wire mesh between the Earth and the Sun. Most of these proposed strategies would cost in the range of $10 - $100 billion US Dollars. This is quite a price tag, but it might be worth paying if the most dire predictions of climate scientists prove true.

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Discuss this Article

anon33144
Post 8

True, climate change has occurred before, but never with the impact that it has now. It can't be avoided and shrugged off if you merely believe that it's a natural cycle. Putting it simply, when you look back all of those hundreds of thousands of years, yes, there was change, but now we've got cars and coal and everything else that's spewing out CO2. The impact of the change will be so much greater.

anon13392
Post 7

If global warming has been happening in the past...Well, we are "splitting hairs" here...Everybody agrees that the world is finite, right? There is a middle ground between the eco-fascists and those who want to maintain the current order...That is reduce, recycle, reuse...any one with an IQ of 80 can learn that ;)

ChuckRG
Post 6

Global warming IS happening. And it will be followed by global cooling. Been happening for millions of years. It is just a shame to see the well-intentioned masses being victimized by the power-hungry politicians and the greedy corporate interests who see a way to gain both power and money on an issue that is based on faith and propaganda, not scientific fact, during the current period of global warming. (Come to think of it, anecdotal data from the last few years does not seem to support the global warming phenomenon, anyway. Oh well...)

anon12828
Post 5

What a relief. It just wouldn't be a discussion about global warming if someone didn't try to argue that it's not happening. Did Fox News give you those talking points? Or perhaps they came straight from the Oval Office of Oil?

ChuckRG
Post 4

I strongly support conserving resources, but am *very* concerned about the great emphasis on CO2 as the cause of global warming. It is not scientifically proven, and there is a *lot* of money to be made by those promoting carbon credits programs and alternate energy sources. Do a Google search on "Global Warming Scam" and you will get a list of many scientists who are officially skeptics about CO2 being the cause of global warming, but they tend to stay officially silent because they are afraid of losing funding.

anon12806
Post 3

Question: Are scientists in agreement that global warming is in fact occurring? Answer: No

Question: Was there some global warming from sixties to somewhere in near past? Answer: Yes, there was apparently some measurable global warming.

Question: Have there been periods of global warming in the past in human history? Answer: Plenty, none of them related to greenhouse gases produced by man.

Question: So you mean global warming and cooling is normal in earth history? Answer: Yes.

Question: If melting polar icecaps were due to greenhouse gases, how does this explain the melting polar ice caps on Mars? Answer: It would appear to be due to another phenomenon... maybe solar flares? We do not know for sure.

Question: Then why do scientists want to mess with the atmosphere the way they have been messing with turning food crops into fuel crops (ethanol)? Could it be due to lobbyists who work for companies who stand to profit from such an adventure? Answer: We do not know.

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