Most of us have heard the arguments about the devastating effects of global warming. We’ve also heard the arguments that the entire idea of global warming is a hoax.
While the topic continues to be debated, what’s not debatable is that you need to write an essay about global warming. (Yes, really, you do. Did you forget?)
So how do you even start writing an essay about global warming?
First, you’ll need to understand what type of essay you’re supposed to write.
- Do you need to write an expository essay in which you simply inform readers about some aspect of global warming?
- Are you supposed to write a problem/solution paper in which you explain a problem and its potential solutions?
Knowing what type of paper you need to write will shape the format, content, and of course, the type of sources you’ll need to support your claims. Not sure what type of paper you should be writing? Check your assignment guidelines!
Second, regardless of what type of paper you’re writing, you’ll need to choose credible sources.
Don’t choose blogs by some anonymous author. Don’t choose .com websites with sales pitches that only try to sell you something.
And don’t choose old, outdated articles written before you were born (unless you have a really good reason for using them, such as you’re using them in a historical discussion of the topic).
Remember: As you examine your sources, make sure they provide sufficient evidence to support your statements.
Third, start researching.
I know this step can be daunting, and right now you might be feeling a little unsure as to what kinds of sources to use for your paper. Don’t worry, I’m here to help.
Because you might be writing one of many types of papers about global warming, I can’t include a list of credible sources for every type of paper here, but I have included 12 global warming articles to help you get started on your next essay.
Along with a brief summary of each article, I’ve also included an MLA 8 and an APA citation to include on your Works Cited or References page, whichever is relevant.
(I haven’t included the date of access for the MLA citations. If your professor requires it, you’ll need to add the date you viewed the source.)
Remember, you’ll also need to cite each article with an in-text citation.
12 Global Warming Articles to Help Your Next Essay
Global warming article #1: Natural Resources Defense Council
Okay, so technically, this is an environmental action group website. The group’s mission is to protect the Earth. But the site’s information and articles focus on current environmental damage and how to help save and/or protect the planet.
The topic of global warming (sometimes called climate change) is pretty broad. So you might need to narrow your topic. This website touches on various global warming topics, including recycling, air quality, and sustainability.
You can use this website as inspiration to help you find a narrowed topic if you feel global warming is too broad for your paper.
Check out these sample essays to help generate ideas:
MLA 8 Citation
National Resources Defense Council. NRDC, www.nrdc.org.
National Resources Defense Council. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.nrdc.org
*Note: APA does not require a citation when citing the full website. If your instructor requires a Reference List entry, you could use the format above.
Global warming article #2: A Brief History of Climate Change
This article provides a historical timeline of global warming research and political action dating as far back as 1712.
It provides an overview of global warming and would be an excellent resource for background information or for added information regarding the political connection to climate change.
Looking for a good angle? Try reading this sample essay to generate some ideas: An Examination of the Literature on Environmental Politics.
MLA 8 Citation
“A Brief History of Climate Change.” BBC News, 20 Sep. 2013, www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-15874560.
“A brief history of climate change.” (2013, September 20). BBC News. Retrieved from http://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-15874560
Global warming article #3: A Sensitive Matter
This is an in-depth article that discusses the link between greenhouse gas emissions and rising temperatures. Though emissions have continued to rise, temperatures have not risen as much as expected.
This article is published in The Economist, a trusted print and online source.
For an idea of how an essay on this topic might look, read this sample essay: The Greenhouse Effect and the Global Warming as the Causes for the Rise of Temperature.
MLA 8 Citation
“A Sensitive Matter.” The Economist, 30 Mar. 2013, www.economist.com/news/science-and-technology/21574461-climate-may-be-heating-up-less-response-greenhouse-gas-emissions.
“A sensitive matter.” (2013, March 30). The Economist. Retrieved from http://www.economist.com/news/science-and-technology/21574461-climate-may-be-heating-up-less-response-greenhouse-gas-emissions
Global warming article #4: Climate Change: The Case of the Missing Heat
Published in Nature (an international weekly journal of science), this article discusses a stall in global warming and examines scientific theories as to what effects oceans, trade winds, and emissions may have on global warming.
Scientists believe that, if their theories are correct, temperatures will spike once again.
Need a starting off point to explore how oceans and trade winds affect the climate? Read this sample essay: An Analysis of the Characteristics of El Nino, a Weather Phenomenon.
MLA 8 Citation
Tollefson, Jeff. “Climate Change: The Case of the Missing Heat.” Nature, Macmillan Publishers Limited, 15 Jan. 2014, www.nature.com/news/climate-change-the-case-of-the-missing-heat-1.14525.
Tollefson, J. (2014, January 15).“Climate change: The case of the missing heat.” Nature, 505, 276–278. doi:10.1038/505276a
Global warming article #5: Global Warming Prediction for Next 200 Years
Published in conjunction with ABC News, this story printed by Yahoo summarizes a study published in Nature Communications. The study indicates that the pace of climate change is “highly unusual” and could result in a climate warmer than it has been in the past 420 million years.
For some inspiration on how temperature increases might work as a topic for your essay, check out this example essay: The Growing Concerns Over the Rapid Rate of Global Warming Today.
MLA 8 Citation
Goenka, Himanshu, and Dana Royer. “Global Warming Prediction For Next 200 Years.” Yahoo, 5 Apr. 2017, gma.yahoo.com/global-warming-prediction-next-200-093916939.html.
Goenka, H., & Royer, D. (2017, April 5). Global warming prediction for next 200 years. Yahoo. Retrieved from http://gma.yahoo.com/global-warming-prediction-next-200-093916939.html
Global warming article #6: Al Gore Explains Why He’s Optimistic About Stopping Global Warming
This source is an interview transcript with Al Gore (Vice President of the United States from 1993–2001). Although many still deny the existence of global warming, Gore believes that, because conversations continue, advancements will continue, and eventually “national laws will evolve into global cooperation.”
If you’re looking for more information about Al Gore’s opinions on global warming, read this sample essay: An Analysis of the Global Warming Threat by Al Gore in the Film Inconvenient Truth.
MLA 8 Citation
Klein, Ezra. “Al Gore Explains Why He’s Optimistic about Stopping Global Warming.” The Washington Post, 21 Aug. 2013, www.washingtonpost.com/news/wonk/wp/2013/08/21/al-gore-explains-why-hes-optimistic-about-stopping-global-warming/?utm_term=.490976a3d77b.
Klein, E. (2013, August 21). Al Gore explains why he’s optimistic about stopping global warming. The Washington Post. Retrieved from http://www.washingtonpost.com/news/wonk/wp/2013/08/21/al-gore-explains-why-hes-optimistic-about-stopping-global-warming/?utm_term=.490976a3d77b
Global warming article #7: NASA, NOAA Data Show 2016 Warmest Year on Record Globally
The content of this article can be summed up in its opening sentence: “Earth’s 2016 surface temperatures were the warmest since modern recordkeeping began in 1880, according to independent analyses by NASA and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).”
Published by NASA and NOAA, this article easily passes the CRAAP test and can be considered credible.
Need some insight on writing an essay about the surface temperature of Earth? Read this sample essay: An Examination of Increasement of Earth’s Surface Temperature.
MLA 8 Citation
“NASA, NOAA Data Show 2016 Warmest Year on Record Globally.” NASA, 18 Jan. 2017, www.giss.nasa.gov/research/news/20170118/.
NASA, NOAA data show 2016 warmest year on record globally. (2017, January 18). NASA. Retrieved from http://www.giss.nasa.gov/research/ news/20170118/
Global warming article #8: Global Warming Solutions
Published by National Geographic, this article asserts that, in order to slow global warming, the world needs to stop emitting greenhouse gasses. Greenhouse gasses can be reduced by improving fuel economy in vehicles and relying more on alternative energy sources.
This article also links to additional global warming articles published by NatGeo.
Want to see how another student tackled the topic of solutions to global warming? Check out this sample essay: An Analysis of the Possible Solutions to Global Warming.
MLA 8 Citation
“Global Warming Solutions.” National Geographic, 8 Apr. 2017, www.nationalgeographic.com/environment/global-warming/global-warming-solutions/.
Global warming solutions. (2017, April 8). National Geographic. Retrieved from http://www.nationalgeographic.com/environment/global-warming/global-warming-solutions/
Global warming article #9: Climate Change Is a Problem. But Our Attempts to Fix It Could Be Worse Than Useless
The Telegraph (a UK newspaper and website) argues that global warming is a real concern. However, media often misrepresents the truth about global warming for shock value.
This article emphasizes the need to carefully and realistically examine global warming in order to fix it. The article states that focusing on cutting emissions has not worked and “climate economics” should be examined in order to find more effective solutions.
Want to learn a little more about climate economics? Read this sample essay: A Review of the Economics of the Clean Air Act.
MLA 8 Citation
Lomborg, Bjorn. “Climate Change Is a Problem. But Our Attempts to Fix It Could Be Worse Than Useless.” The Telegraph, 3 Nov. 2014, www.telegraph.co.uk/news/earth/environment/climatechange/ 11205420/Climate-change-is-a-problem.-But-our-attempts-to-fix-it-could-be-worse-than-useless.html.
Lomborg, B. (2014, November 3). Climate change is a problem. But our attempts to fix it could be worse than useless. The Telegraph. Retrieved from http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/earth/environment/climatechange/ 11205420/Climate-change-is-a-problem.-But-our-attempts-to-fix-it-could-be-worse-than-useless.html
Global warming article #10: Trump’s Domestic War on Climate Action Has Propelled States into Battle
Originally published on Fusion’s Project Earth vertical (and reposted by Newsweek), this article highlights the fact that the Trump administration is repealing many Obama-era environmental regulations. However, states such as New York and California are pushing back by maintaining their own high standards of climate action plans.
Want to explore Trump’s views on climate change? This sample essay about his pre-election positions on environment-related topics is a good primer: Donald Trump’s Campaign and His Disregard Towards the Environment.
MLA 8 Citation
Harvey, Chelsea. “Trump’s Domestic War on Climate Action Has Propelled States into Battle.” Project Earth, Fusion, 7 Apr. 2017, projectearth.us/trumps- domestic-war-on-climate-action-has-propelled-sta-1796423123.
Harvey, C. (2017, April 7). Trump’s domestic war on climate action has propelled states into battle. Project Earth. Retrieved from http://projectearth.us/ trumps-domestic-war-on-climate-action-has-propelled-sta-1796423123
Global warming article #11: Tropical Lowland Frogs at Greater Risk From Climate Warming Than High-Elevation Species, Study Shows
This article focuses on how global warming affects one specific species of frogs.
The article (originally published in the Ecology and Evolution journal)explains that Peruvian frogs living at lower elevations are at greatest risk of climate change because “…the lowland creatures already live near the maximum temperatures they can tolerate.”
Not into frogs but want to discuss how global warming affects another animal? Get inspired by this sample essay: The Effects of Human Intervention on Climate Change and Disturbance of Animals.
MLA 8 Citation
University of Michigan. “Tropical Lowland Frogs at Greater Risk From Climate Warming Than High-Elevation Species, Study Shows.” ScienceDaily, 7 Apr. 2017, www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2017/04/170407103546.htm.
University of Michigan. (2017, April 7). Tropical lowland frogs at greater risk from climate warming than high-elevation species, study shows. ScienceDaily. Retrieved from http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/ 2017/04/170407103546.htm
Global warming article #12: Americans Finally Realize That We Cause Climate Change
Published by The Huffington Post, this article highlights a study that reports 65% of Americans now believe that climate change is caused by human activity. Gallup pollsters believe the recent years of unseasonably warm weather have likely affected people’s opinions.
For some extra ideas on how this could fit into a larger essay, check out this sample essay: Humans’ Responsibility for the Greenhouse Effect and Global Warming.
MLA 8 Citation
Visser, Nick. “Americans Finally Realize That We Cause Climate Change.” The Huffington Post, 18 Mar. 2016, www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/climate-change-caused-by-humans-poll_us_56ec27f9e4b09bf44a9d164c.
Visser, N. (2016, March 18). Americans finally realize that we cause climate change. The Huffington Post. Retrieved from http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/climate-change-caused-by-humans-poll_us_56ec27f9e4b09bf44a9d164c
Writing the Essay
Of course, these global warming articles aren’t the only available sources you might use in your paper. This post simply provides a select few articles to give you an idea of what types of sources you might use.
Looking for more information about global warming? Take a look at this list of articles about global warming compiled by Kings College.
Need even more help locating credible sources on global warming? Read 5 Best Resources to Help With Writing a Research Paper.
If you need assistance in putting it all together, check out these helpful articles about writing a research essay:
Need inspiration? Check out theseexample essays on global warming.
After you’ve finished writing, don’t forget to have our editors review your paper!
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Multiple studies published in peer-reviewed scientific journals1 show that 97 percent or more of actively publishing climate scientists agree*: Climate-warming trends over the past century are extremely likely due to human activities. In addition, most of the leading scientific organizations worldwide have issued public statements endorsing this position. The following is a partial list of these organizations, along with links to their published statements and a selection of related resources.
AMERICAN SCIENTIFIC SOCIETIES
Statement on climate change from 18 scientific associations
"Observations throughout the world make it clear that climate change is occurring, and rigorous scientific research demonstrates that the greenhouse gases emitted by human activities are the primary driver." (2009)2
American Association for the Advancement of Science
"The scientific evidence is clear: global climate change caused by human activities is occurring now, and it is a growing threat to society." (2006)3
American Chemical Society
"Comprehensive scientific assessments of our current and potential future climates clearly indicate that climate change is real, largely attributable to emissions from human activities, and potentially a very serious problem." (2004)4
American Geophysical Union
"Human‐induced climate change requires urgent action. Humanity is the major influence on the global climate change observed over the past 50 years. Rapid societal responses can significantly lessen negative outcomes." (Adopted 2003, revised and reaffirmed 2007, 2012, 2013)5
American Medical Association
"Our AMA ... supports the findings of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s fourth assessment report and concurs with the scientific consensus that the Earth is undergoing adverse global climate change and that anthropogenic contributions are significant." (2013)6
American Meteorological Society
"It is clear from extensive scientific evidence that the dominant cause of the rapid change in climate of the past half century is human-induced increases in the amount of atmospheric greenhouse gases, including carbon dioxide (CO2), chlorofluorocarbons, methane, and nitrous oxide." (2012)7
American Physical Society
"The evidence is incontrovertible: Global warming is occurring. If no mitigating actions are taken, significant disruptions in the Earth’s physical and ecological systems, social systems, security and human health are likely to occur. We must reduce emissions of greenhouse gases beginning now." (2007)8
The Geological Society of America
"The Geological Society of America (GSA) concurs with assessments by the National Academies of Science (2005), the National Research Council (2006), and the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC, 2007) that global climate has warmed and that human activities (mainly greenhouse‐gas emissions) account for most of the warming since the middle 1900s." (2006; revised 2010)9
International academies: Joint statement
"Climate change is real. There will always be uncertainty in understanding a system as complex as the world’s climate. However there is now strong evidence that significant global warming is occurring. The evidence comes from direct measurements of rising surface air temperatures and subsurface ocean temperatures and from phenomena such as increases in average global sea levels, retreating glaciers, and changes to many physical and biological systems. It is likely that most of the warming in recent decades can be attributed to human activities (IPCC 2001)." (2005, 11 international science academies)10
U.S. National Academy of Sciences
"The scientific understanding of climate change is now sufficiently clear to justify taking steps to reduce the amount of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere." (2005)11
U.S. GOVERNMENT AGENCIES
U.S. Global Change Research Program
"The global warming of the past 50 years is due primarily to human-induced increases in heat-trapping gases. Human 'fingerprints' also have been identified in many other aspects of the climate system, including changes in ocean heat content, precipitation, atmospheric moisture, and Arctic sea ice." (2009, 13 U.S. government departments and agencies)12
Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change
“Warming of the climate system is unequivocal, and since the 1950s, many of the observed changes are unprecedented over decades to millennia. The atmosphere and ocean have warmed, the amounts of snow and ice have diminished, and sea level has risen.”13
“Human influence on the climate system is clear, and recent anthropogenic emissions of greenhouse gases are the highest in history. Recent climate changes have had widespread impacts on human and natural systems.”14
List of worldwide scientific organizations
The following page lists the nearly 200 worldwide scientific organizations that hold the position that climate change has been caused by human action.
The following page contains information on what federal agencies are doing to adapt to climate change.
*Technically, a “consensus” is a general agreement of opinion, but the scientific method steers us away from this to an objective framework. In science, facts or observations are explained by a hypothesis (a statement of a possible explanation for some natural phenomenon), which can then be tested and retested until it is refuted (or disproved).
As scientists gather more observations, they will build off one explanation and add details to complete the picture. Eventually, a group of hypotheses might be integrated and generalized into a scientific theory, a scientifically acceptable general principle or body of principles offered to explain phenomena.