Writing a research paper on global warming - Avoiding already discussed and well-known arguments

Global climate change has been a hotly debated topic since the early 1980’s, though the discussion has taken numerous forms. The evidence in favor of global warming has shifted, grown, and changed in its methods many times over the years, and the anti-global warming claims have similarly shifted and changed rhetorical styles to keep up with it.

What to Avoid

When writing about such a science-dense topic, and one that changes as frequently as global warming does, it is imperative that you discuss the newest evidence and utilize arguments that are current and have not become overplayed. When you write about the critiques of global warming research, you must also be up to date and well researched, and not present inaccurate claims that have long since been disproven. You should also avoid the contrivance of portraying the issue as equally “two sided”; the scientific consensus is overwhelmingly in favor of global climate change’s existence.

Look Up Current Studies

There have been many landmark studies on climate change over the past thirty years, but when writing your paper, you should spend most of your time reviewing the current evidence. Look to the science section of popular new magazines, and check the ‘climate change’ sections of popular science periodicals such as Scientific American, Nature, National Geographic, and Science. These sources only publish recent discoveries on the topic. Do not focus on the archives when conducting your research. If a climate model does not include the last five years in its calculations, you should not cite it in your paper.

Read Current Arguments

Many science bloggers devote a great deal of space to discussing the climate change “debate”, whether they are presenting and analyzing new evidence or simply debunking climate change deniers. These people are an excellent source of information on the current state of the climate change discussion. Science bloggers may link to recent studies on climate change, and will provide links to climate change deniers’ websites as well, which you should read to get a sense of their beliefs and arguments.

In addition, closely read the content of the blogs themselves. What are the arguments being made? How do science bloggers consolidate the current body of evidence on global warming? Note the word choices these writers make, and tailor your own writing accordingly. For example, most researchers now call the phenomenon “climate change”, not “global warming”, as it’s technically more accurate. Pay close attention to what you read on these sites and incorporate it into your own paper.