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And don’t choose old, outdated articles written before you were born (unless you have a really good reason for using them, such as you’re using them in a historical discussion of the topic).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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What is Global Warming?
Global warming refers to extreme changes in the Earth’s climate. The term illustrates dramatic increases in atmospheric and water temperatures experienced as a result of growing amounts of greenhouse gas emissions. Humans are responsible for producing these gases via cars, electricity, and factories. The main products of these activities that are to blame for global warming are methane and carbon dioxide; as carbon dioxide, methane, and chlorofluorocarbon compounds go farther and farther into the Earth’s atmosphere, they deplete the ozone layer.
Holes in the ozone are allowing harmful ultra violet rays (that are usually deflected by the ozone layer) to make their way to lower levels of the atmosphere. Greenhouse gases absorb and give off radiation from the UV rays, contributing to extreme temperature conditions.
For greater understanding of global warming and the greenhouse effect, check out:
Effects of Global Climate Change
Global warming has had extreme effects on the planet. Earth’s average surface temperature has been increasing; since the 1880s, temperature has increased by between 1 and 1.5 degrees Fahrenheit. While this may sound like a small number, it has heavily impacted other aspects of our global ecosystem, and it is continuing to rise at a faster rate. Arctic ice is vanishing and glaciers are melting; as a result, polar bears, penguins, and other animals have begun to suffer.
The recent frequency of heat waves, intense tropical storms, and natural disasters has also been partially attributed to trends in global climate change. Extreme weather will most likely have a negative impact on crops and agriculture. As staple crops become scarcer, they will become more expensive. Such products include rice, wheat, corn, and soy, which are also utilized in animal feed; the result: prices of many other types of food will increase as well, making all food relatively more expensive.
To read more about the effects of global warming, visit:
The Kyoto Protocol is an international effort to combat global climate change. Developed at the United Nations’ Convention on Climate Change in 1997, this treaty is aimed at capping the number of greenhouse gases emitted into the atmosphere and it intends to hold nations accountable to their environmental commitments. 191 countries have signed and ratified the treaty. The only country that has not ratified is the United States.
Perhaps the most well-known piece of legislation in the US is the Clean Air Act. The Clean Air Act was created to decrease the number of air pollutants being released into the atmosphere, subsequently having a positive impact on air quality and contributing to the general health of the population. Amendments have been made to the Clean Air Act over time to account for ozone depletion and acid rain. The US also utilizes regulations on fuel, energy, and water in order to help the environment.
For more information on these pieces of legislation:
Combating Global Warming—Being Green
In today’s society, the color green has become synonymous with environmental friendliness. Governments, businesses, and individuals can all contribute towards mitigating climate change, and in many cases, all of these groups have been working hard to become greener. Some towns use monetary incentives in order to motivate their citizens to become more environmentally conscious and friendly. The Federal Government also has incentives in place for businesses to encourage them to reduce their carbon footprints. On the other end of the environmental responsibility spectrum, the government uses taxes to discourage and penalize businesses that are particularly harmful to the environment.
Switching to renewable energy sources can help to protect the environment from damage that results from burning fossil fuels for energy. Scientific developments and the spread of wind, solar, and geothermal power are helping to make the world less carbon-dependent; they also help by producing less methane in the process of providing energy. On the whole, these sources of energy are more sustainable and less harmful to the planet. However, there are some sources of greenhouse gases that are harder for mankind to combat. Many animals emit methane from their bodies during food consumption and digestion-related processes.
To learn more about sustainable energy, you may want to read these sources:
“Carbon footprints” are used to measure the impact that certain individuals, products, and activities have on global warming. This metric attempts to quantify the amount of greenhouse gases that are being produced. Greenhouse gases are comprised of many elements and compounds, but Carbon Dioxide is often used as a proxy for these elements in calculations and discussions related to carbon footprints.
Almost every activity that occurs in the course of a single day has some impact on the environment. Transportation, electricity, and manufacturing are often highly detrimental and are major areas where people, businesses, and countries can cut down on their carbon footprints. Understanding the size of carbon footprints and what contributes to them allows each participant in the global environment to take action to reduce it.
More information about carbon footprints can be found by reading: