Global warming,--often used interchangeably with climate change--is and will continue to be a prevalent topic in the news and in scientific research. Students presented with a task of writing a research topic on the subject might feel overwhelmed, both by the amount of information available and by the feeling that “everything has been done already.” However, the topic of global warming is a complex one with many unsolved issues. A research paper on global warming can focus on one of the many aspects of the subject, pinning down a particular issue and attempting to answer relevant yet unanswered questions.
As the National Science Foundation points out, human activity is likely one of the key causes of global warming. But because no single human activity is directly attributed as the main source of global warming, there are still many topics in this area to address. A research paper focusing on global warming can take the angle of how humans have been or might be contributing to the problem of global warming. For example, humans put extra pressure on the environment through population growth, resource consumption, and resource disposal, all topics relevant to better understanding global warming.
Much of the discussion on television regarding global warming tends to focus on where to place blame: Are humans causing global warming or is global warming a natural process? While most scientists agree that Earth is becoming warmer, those who agree are still conflicted on the root causes. Investigating certain aspects of this discussion can make for a suitable research paper on global warming. Some contradictory ideas remain unsolved and can be the focus of your paper. For example, according to The Right Climate Stuff Research Team, while carbon dioxide seems to have warming effects on the atmosphere, only three to four percent of carbon dioxide emissions come from human activity. In addition, the role carbon dioxide plays in global warming is still under debate. Any issue still being debated is suitable for a paper topic.
Many of the discussions on global warming focus on the consequences. But this does not mean scientists know all of the outcomes; the future is still uncertain. This makes the consequences of global warming an interesting and appropriate topic for a research paper. The consequences of global warming are far-reaching. While many papers and discussions on this topic tend to focus on the environmental impacts, such as:
- even psychology
Finding a topic that interests you and asking yourself the question, “How could global warming possibly impact this topic?” is the start of a noteworthy research paper.
Regardless of the causes of global warming, most scientists agree that it presents a problem that humans must solve. But how humankind will stop, lessen, or reverse global warming is still mostly unknown. Many scientific and governmental organizations have offered intervention options. A research paper using this angle can either suggest a solution to the problem of global warming or evaluate a proposed solution. Such a paper should focus on the pros and cons of the method and compare it to similar methods.
- National Science Foundation: Sociological Perspectives on Global Climate Change
- The Right Climate Stuff Research Team: Anthropogenic Global Warming Science Assessment Report
- Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations: Environmental Education Programme and Environmental Kit About Climate Change
- NASA: What's in a Name? Global Warming vs. Climate Change
About the Author
Having obtained a Master of Science in psychology in East Asia, Damon Verial has been applying his knowledge to related topics since 2010. Having written professionally since 2001, he has been featured in financial publications such as SafeHaven and the McMillian Portfolio. He also runs a financial newsletter at Stock Barometer.