Scientists believe that there are only three possible causes of global warming: the sun, the Earth’s reflectivity and the emission of greenhouse gases. After careful consideration of the past, it is simple to see that the skyrocketing level of greenhouse gas emissions is where the majority of the problem lies.

Swedish scientist Svante Arrhenius, with knowledge that carbon dioxide traps heat, was the first person to introduce the idea of global warming in 1896. Just as Arrhenius expected they would, humans have been burning fossil fuels at escalating rates over the past century, adding to the inescapable future of a warmer planet.

The consumption of fossil fuels is not the sole reason for climate change, but combined with deforestation and other human-related acts, a life-altering combo has been met.

Despite the popularity of the theory of global warming, one must realize that recent temperature changes do not necessarily entail rising mercury in all instances. According to a 2011–12 National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration report, temperatures were predicted to be warmer for the east coast, whereas the west coast was expected to experience unprecedented lows.

Nevertheless, as each day goes by, we are learning that weather conditions can defy expectations and entirely accurate predictions are impossible.

According to William & Mary’s Virginia Institute of Marine Science, climate change is felt most acutely in coastal regions. Consequently, Virginia is experiencing climatic fluctuations that bear little resemblance to those seen in previous years. With the weather intermittently dunking below freezing and forcing snow to fall, which then melts away the following day with temperatures in the high 50s, people are left wondering what weather will be the norm in the months to come.

Every year, Americans count on the groundhog to determine how many more weeks of winter are in store. This year, the little fella apparently saw his shadow, dooming us to six more weeks of wintry weather. However, as I sit writing this, the sun is shining and it is nearly 60 degrees outside. So, how bad could six more weeks of winter really be, considering the 2012 season has been nothing short of unordinary?

Weather can be described as an array of temperature, precipitation, humidity and so on. One faint change among these characteristics can send thermometers through the roof and make wind socks blow fervently. Yet there are meteorologists scratching their heads in awe at the idea of global warming, along with politicians who dismiss the idea altogether.

Truth be told, climate is a relatively transparent subject to grasp. It is the average weather to dominate a region over a given span of time. The weather may be changing rapidly around us; however, the climate takes its sweet time to manifest itself as something greater than the weather conditions in our immediate surroundings.Ergo when climate change is the topic of discussion, it is not only the the 21st century that is to blame, but rather generations past as well. This isn’t a time to look back and cast blame, but a chance to become involved in living green in order to ensure a better future.

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