Evidence of Global Warming By: Ana Lopez
Global Warming and Climate ChangeWhat do melting glaciers, eroding coastlines, worldwide crop damage, food shortages, absence of rainfall, shrinking aquifers, wildfires and lowered water tables all have in common? These are all possible results from the increased accumulation of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, commonly called global warming, or global climate change.
Greenhouse GassesA greenhouse gas (sometimes abbreviated GHG) is a gas in an atmosphere that absorbs and emits radiation within the thermal infrared range. This process is the fundamental cause of the greenhouse effect. The primary greenhouse gases in the Earth's atmosphere are water vapor, carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide, and ozone. In the Solar System, the atmospheres of Venus, Mars, and Titan also contain gases that cause greenhouse effects.
Greenhouse EffectThe greenhouse effect is a process by which thermal radiation from a planetary surface is absorbed by atmospheric greenhouse gases, and is re-radiated in all directions. Since part of this re-radiation is back towards the surface, energy is transferred to the surface and the lower atmosphere. As a result, the temperature there is higher than it would be if direct heating by solar radiation were the only warming mechanism.
World Climate HistoryYou know the story. Humans are burning fossil fuels and because of their actions, the world is now warming at an unprecedented pace. This warming is stressing ecosystems throughout the world with devastating consequences to vegetation from one end of the earth to the other. If we do not act fast, we will destroy the planet and have a tough time facing our grandchildren.
World Carbon Dioxide History The concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere has reached a record high, according to the latest figures, renewing fears that climate change could begin to slide out of control. Scientists at the Mauna Loa observatory in Hawaii say that CO2 levels in the atmosphere now stand at 387 parts per million (ppm), up almost 40% since the industrial revolution and the highest for at least the last 650,000 years.
Projected Climate Change due to Global Warming Although average annual precipitation may not change much, an overall drier climate is expected because rainfall cannot compensate for the increase in evaporation resulting from greater temperatures. Thus Ontario may see drier soils and more droughts. Seasonally, winter precipitation is expected to increase by 10-30% while summer precipitation is expected to remain the same.
North Pole ChangesThe summers observed by the North Pole Web Cams were very different. (see table below). The onset of melting is typically in early June, but occurred in late July in 2002, and late June in 2003 and 2004. The Web Cam images show very limited melt pond coverage in 2002, but widespread melt pond coverage in 2003 and 2004. In 2003, the melt ponds were widespread by July 4, but diminished in late July, and then reformed in mid-August. Freeze up began in late August in 2002, Sept 7 in 2003, and in mid-August in 2004. Summer sea ice transition information was not available for 2005 or 2007.
Glaciers of the WorldIn 1978, the USGS began the preparation of the 11-chapter USGS Professional Paper 1386, Satellite Image Atlas of Glaciers of the World. Between 1979 and 1981, optimum satellite images were distributed to a team of 70 scientists, representing 25 nations and 45 institutions, who agreed to author sections of the Professional Paper concerning either a geographic area (chapters BK) or a glaciological topic (included in Chapter A).
Greenland ChangesGlobal warming and Greenland Climate change and global warming are hot topics of discussion all over the world, and these discussions are particularly relevant in relation to Greenland as the ice sheet is often mentioned in connection with the debates on increases in global temperature. Frozen fresh water is bound in the form of millions of cubic meters of ice in Greenland, and overall the country contains 10 per cent of the world's total reserves of fresh water.
Ocean Level ChangesSea level change is a change in the level of the sea in relation to a particular land benchmark. Sea levels have always been changing and are influenced by a number of different factors. What is worrying climate scientists is that sea levels have been rising particularly quickly over the last 40 years. This recent rise has mostly been caused by an increase in the amount of water in the ocean and an increase in the oceans temperature, which causes the water to expand. Both of these factors have been attributed to the human cause of climate changes.
Animals facing extinction due to Climate Change
Biologists call it the sixth great extinction, bigger than the one that wiped out the dinosaurs. The loss of biological diversity on Earth is accelerating at an unprecedented rate, up to 1000 times that of past mass extinction events. Almost 900 species have gone extinct in the last 500 years, and another 16,000 remain endangered out of the 1.5 million known.
Can we stop global warming?
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