Global Warming : What is it?


Alan D. Wilson

Polar Bear (Sow), Near Kaktovik, Barter Island, Alaska

Caroline Dew, Reporter, Columnist, and Social Media Manager

With the lack of snow and cold weather this winter, many are speculating that Western Kentucky may not see much more of winter this year. With temperatures reaching as high as 70 these past few weeks, many people are wearing shorts and t-shirts, and enjoying their time outdoors. For people who love spring and hate winter, this sudden influx of temperature is great – but to people who hate spring and love winter, this is an unpleasant surprise. But there’s no doubt that many are wondering why the weather is so warm this time of year. Is it just an odd weather phenomenon, or could it be global warming?


What is global warming? Global warming is the theory that the average temperature of earth is gradually rising. This has become somewhat of a political issue – but the issue is not whether or not global warming is a myth. The debate is typically over what causes global warming. Some people think that global warming is caused by human activity and pollution, while some think it’s simply a weather cycle that Earth is following, that at the moment, is causing Earth’s temperatures to rise. According to Climate.Nasa, since 1880, the 10 warmest of the years since 1880, have been between 2000 and now.


According to NASA, the amount of ice is dramatically decreasing each year. This means danger to arctic wildlife. According to, over the past 100 years, average arctic temperatures have increased at almost twice the global average rate. This causes an earlier break-up and melting of the Arctic Sea. This has begun to endanger arctic animal species such as the arctic fox, polar bear, and walrus. The arctic fox needs ice to hunt, the walrus needs ice to rest on, and polar bears need ice to survive.


The debate regarding global warming is not usually about whether or not global warming is occurring. The debate is typically over what causes global warming. Some think that global warming is caused by  human activity, such as pollution, while some think that it’s just a naturally occurring phenomenon. The facts of the matter, are that the earth’s temperature is caused by how well heat and sunlight can pass through earth’s atmosphere. According to Climate.NASA, Most climate scientists agree the main cause of the current global warming trend is human expansion of the “greenhouse effect”1 — warming that results when the atmosphere traps heat radiating from Earth toward space.”


Whether or not global warming is a human caused phenomenon or simply something caused by patterns of earth’s climate, it is important to be educated on.  Global warming is affecting arctic wildlife and the way that we live – even us, in Western Kentucky, can feel it. We’d better get used to having a really really hot summer.