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Thesis on Global Warming

Thesis on Global Warming

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Published by: leonelmartin on Aug 26, 2009
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Global WarmingIINTRODUCTIONGlobal Warming, increase in the average temperature of the atmosphere,oceans, and landmasses of Earth. The planet has warmed (and cooled) many times during the 4.65 billionyears of its history. Atpresent Earth appears to be facing a rapid warming, which most scientistsbelieve results, at least in part, from human activities. The chief cause of thiswarming is thought to be the burning of fossil fuels, such as coal, oil, andnatural gas, which releases into the atmosphere carbon dioxide and other substances known as greenhouse gases. As the atmosphere becomes richer in these gases, it becomes a better insulator, retaining more of the heatprovided to the planet by the Sun. The average surface temperature of Earth isabout 15°C (59°F). Over the last century, this average has risen by about 0.6Celsius degree (1 Fahrenheit degree). Scientists predict further warming of 1.4to 5.8 Celsius degrees (2.5 to 10.4 Fahrenheit degrees) by the year 2100. Thistemperature rise is expected to melt polar ice caps and glaciers as well aswarm the oceans, all of which will expand ocean volume and raise sea level byan estimated 9 to 100 cm (4 to 40 in), flooding some coastal regions and evenentire islands. Some regions in warmer climates will receive more rainfall thanbefore, but soils will dry out faster between storms. This soil desiccation maydamage food crops, disrupting food supplies in some parts of the world. Plantand animal species will shift their ranges toward the poles or to higher elevations seeking cooler temperatures, and species that cannot do so maybecome extinct. The potential consequences of global warming are so greatthat many of the world's leading scientists have called for internationalcooperation and immediate action to counteract the problem.IITHE GREENHOUSE EFFECTThe energy that lights and warms Earth comes from the Sun. Most of theenergy that floods onto our planet is short-wave radiation, including visiblelight. When this energy strikes the surface of Earth, the energy changes fromlight to heat and warms Earth. Earth’s surface, in turn, releases some of thisheat as long-wave infrared radiation.Much of this long-wave infrared radiation makes it all the way back out tospace, but a portion remains trapped in Earth’s atmosphere. Certain gases inthe atmosphere, including water vapor, carbon dioxide, and methane, providethe trap. Absorbing and reflecting infrared waves radiated by Earth, thesegases conserve heat as the glass in a greenhouse does and are thus known asgreenhouse gases. As the concentration of these greenhouse gases in theatmosphere increases, more heat energy remains trapped below. All life onEarth relies on this greenhouse effect—without it, the planet would be colder byabout 33 Celsius degrees (59 Fahrenheit degrees), and ice would cover Earthfrom pole to pole. However, a growing excess of greenhouse gases in Earth’satmosphere threatens to tip the balance in the other direction—towardcontinual warming.IIITYPES OF GREENHOUSE GASESGreenhouse gases occur naturally in the environment and also result fromhuman activities. By far the most abundant greenhouse gas is water vapor,which reaches the atmosphere through evaporation from oceans, lakes, andrivers.Carbon dioxide is the next most abundant greenhouse gas. It flows into theatmosphere from many natural processes, such as volcanic eruptions; therespiration of animals, which breathe in oxygen and exhale carbon dioxide; andthe burning or decay of organic matter, such as plants. Carbon dioxide leavesthe atmosphere when it is absorbed into ocean water and through thephotosynthesis of plants, especially trees. Photosynthesis breaks up carbondioxide, releasing oxygen into the atmosphere and incorporating the carboninto new plant tissue.Humans escalate the amount of carbon dioxide released to the atmospherewhen they burn fossil fuels, solid wastes, and wood and wood products to heatbuildings, drive vehicles, and generate electricity. At the same time, the number of trees available to absorb carbon dioxide through photosynthesis has beengreatly reduced by deforestation, the long-term destruction of forests byindiscriminate cutting of trees for lumber or to clear land for agriculturalactivities.Ultimately, the oceans and other natural processes absorb excess carbondioxide in the atmosphere.However, human activities have caused carbon dioxide to be released to theatmosphere at rates much faster than that at which Earth’s natural processescan cycle this gas. In 1750 there were about 281 molecules of carbon dioxideper million molecules of air (abbreviated as parts per million, or ppm). Todayatmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations are 368 ppm, which reflects a 31percent increase.Atmospheric carbon dioxide concentration increases by about 1.5 ppm per year. If current predictions prove accurate, by the year 2100 carbon dioxide willreach concentrations of more than 540 to 970 ppm.At the highest estimation, this concentration would be triple the levels prior tothe Industrial Revolution, the widespread replacement of human labor bymachines that began in Britain in the mid-18th century and soon spread toother parts of Europe and to the United States.Methane is an even more effective insulator, trapping over 20 times more heatthan does the same amount of carbon dioxide. Methane is emitted during theproduction and transport of coal, natural gas, and oil. Methane also comesfrom rotting organic waste in landfills, and it is released from certain animals,especially cows, as a byproduct of digestion. Since the beginning of theIndustrial Revolution in the mid- 1700s, the amount of methane in theatmosphere has more than doubled.Nitrous oxide is a powerful insulating gas released primarily by burning fossilfuels and by plowing farm soils. Nitrous oxide traps about 300 times more heatthan does the same amount of carbon dioxide. The concentration of nitrousoxide in the atmosphere has increased 17 percent over preindustrial levels. Inaddition, greenhouse gases are produced in many manufacturing processes.Perfluorinated compounds result from the smelting of aluminum.Hydrofluorocarbons form during the manufacture of many products, includingthe foams used in insulation, furniture, and car seats. Refrigerators built insome developing nations still use chlorofluorocarbons as coolants. In additionto their ability to retain atmospheric heat, some of these synthetic chemicalsalso destroy Earth’s high-altitude ozone layer, the protective layer of gases thatshields Earth from damaging ultraviolet radiation. For most of the 20th centurythese chemicals have been accumulating in the atmosphere at unprecedentedrates. But since 1995, in response to regulations enforced by the MontréalProtocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer and its amendments,the atmospheric concentrations of many of these gases are either increasingmore slowly or decreasing. Scientists are growing concerned about other gases produced from manufacturing processes that pose an environmentalrisk. In 2000 scientists identified a substantial rise in atmosphericconcentrations of a newly identified synthetic compound called trifluoromethylsulfur pentafluoride. Atmospheric concentrations of this gas are rising quickly,and although it still is extremely rare in the atmosphere, scientists areconcerned because the gas traps heat more effectively than all other knowngreenhouse gases. Perhaps more worrisome, scientists have been unable toconfirm the industrial source of the gas.IVMEASURING GLOBAL WARMINGAs early as 1896 scientists suggested that burning fossil fuels might changethe composition of the atmosphere and that an increase in global averagetemperature might result. The first part of this hypothesis was confirmed in1957, when researchers working in the global research program called theInternational Geophysical Year sampled the atmosphere from the top of theHawaiian volcano Mauna Loa. Their instruments indicated that carbon dioxideconcentration was indeed rising. Since then, the composition of theatmosphere has been carefully tracked. The data collected show undeniablythat the concentrations of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere are increasing.Scientists have long suspected that the global climate, the long-term averagepattern of temperature, was also growing warmer, but they were unable toprovide conclusive proof. Temperatures vary widely all the time and from placeto place. It takes many years of climate observations to establish a trend.Records going back to the late 1800s did seem to show a warming trend, butthese statistics were spotty and untrustworthy. Early weather stations oftenwere located near cities, where temperature measurements were affected bythe heat emitted from buildings and vehicles and stored by building materialsand pavements. Since 1957, however, data have been gathered from morereliable weather stations, located far away from cities, and from satellites.These data have provided new, more accurate measurements, especially for the 70 percent of the planetary surface that is ocean water (
Satellite,Artificial). These more accurate records indicate that a surface warming trendexists and that, moreover, it has become more pronounced. Looking back fromthe end of the 20th century, records show that the ten warmest years of thecentury all occurred after 1980, and the three hottest years occurred after 1990, with 1998 being the warmest year of all. Greenhouse gas concentrationsare increasing. Temperatures are rising. But does the gas increase necessarilycause the warming, and will these two phenomena continue to occur together?In 1988 the United Nations Environment Program and the WorldMeteorological Organization established a panel of 200 leading scientists toconsider the evidence. In its Third Assessment Report, released in 2001, thisIntergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) concluded that global air temperature had increased 0.6 Celsius degree (1 Fahrenheit degree) since1861. The panel agreed that the warming was caused primarily by humanactivities that add greenhouse gases to the atmosphere. The IPCC predicted in2001 that the average global temperature would rise by another 1.4 to 5.8Celsius degrees (2.5 to 10.4 Fahrenheit degrees) by the year 2100.The IPCC panel cautioned that even if greenhouse gas concentrations in theatmosphere ceased growing by the year 2100, the climate would continue towarm for a period after that as a result of past emissions. Carbon dioxideremains in the atmosphere for a century or more before nature can dispose of it. If greenhouse gas emissions continue to increase, experts predict thatcarbon dioxide concentrations in the atmosphere could rise to more than threetimes preindustrial levels early in the 22nd century, resulting in dramatic climatechanges. Large climate changes of the type predicted are not unprecedented;indeed, they have occurred many times in the history of Earth. However,human beings would face this latest climate swing with a huge population atrisk.VEFFECTS OF GLOBAL WARMINGScientists use elaborate computer models of temperature, precipitationpatterns, and atmosphere circulation to study global warming. Based on thesemodels, scientists have made several predictions about how global warming
will affect weather, sea levels, coastlines, agriculture, wildlife, and humanhealth.AWeather Scientists predict that during global warming, the northern regions of theNorthern Hemisphere will heat up more than other areas of the planet, northernand mountain glaciers will shrink, and less ice will float on northern oceans.Regions that now experience light winter snows may receive no snow at all. Intemperate mountains, snowlines will be higher and snowpacks will melt earlier.Growing seasons will be longer in some areas. Winter and nighttimetemperatures will tend to rise more than summer and daytime ones. Thewarmed world will be generally more humid as a result of more water evaporating from the oceans. Scientists are not sure whether a more humidatmosphere will encourage or discourage further warming. On the one hand,water vapor is a greenhouse gas, and its increased presence should add to theinsulating effect. On the other hand, more vapor in the atmosphere will producemore clouds, which reflect sunlight back into space, which should slow thewarming process. Greater humidity will increase rainfall, on average, about 1percent for each Fahrenheit degree of warming. (Rainfall over the continentshas already increased by about 1 percent in the last 100 years.) Storms areexpected to be more frequent and more intense. However, water will alsoevaporate more rapidly from soil, causing it to dry out faster between rains.Some regions might actually become drier than before. Winds will blow harder and perhaps in different patterns. Hurricanes, which gain their force from theevaporation of water, are likely to be more severe. Against the background of warming, some very cold periods will still occur. Weather patterns are expectedto be less predictable and more extreme.BSea LevelsAs the atmosphere warms, the surface layer of the ocean warms as well,expanding in volume and thus raising sea level. Warming will also melt muchglacier ice, especially around Greenland, further swelling the sea. Sea levelsworldwide rose 10 to 25 cm (4 to 10 in) during the 20th century, and IPCCscientists predict a further rise of 9 to 88 cm (4 to 35 in) in the 21st century.Sea-level changes will complicate life in many coastal regions. A 100-cm (40-in) rise could submerge 6 percent of The Netherlands, 17.5 percent of Bangladesh, and most or all of many islands. Erosion of cliffs, beaches, anddunes will increase. Storm surges, in which winds locally pile up water andraise the sea, will become more frequent and damaging. As the sea invadesthe mouths of rivers, flooding from runoff will also increase upstream. Wealthier countries will spend huge amounts of money to protect their shorelines, whilepoor countries may simply evacuate low-lying coastal regions. Even a modestrise in sea level will greatly change coastal ecosystems. A 50-cm (20-in) risewill submerge about half of the present coastal wetlands of the United States.New marshes will form in many places, but not where urban areas anddeveloped landscapes block the way. This sea-level rise will cover much of theFlorida Everglades.CAgricultureA warmed globe will probably produce as much food as before, but notnecessarily in the same places.Southern Canada, for example, may benefit from more rainfall and a longer growing season. At the same time, the semiarid tropical farmlands in someparts of Africa may become further impoverished. Desert farm regions thatbring in irrigation water from distant mountains may suffer if the winter snowpack, which functions as a natural reservoir, melts before the peakgrowing months. Crops and woodlands may also be afflicted by more insectsand plant diseases.DAnimals and PlantsAnimals and plants will find it difficult to escape from or adjust to the effects of warming because humans occupy so much land. Under global warming,animals will tend to migrate toward the poles and up mountainsides towardhigher elevations, and plants will shift their ranges, seeking new areas as oldhabitats grow too warm. In many places, however, human development willprevent this shift. Species that find cities or farmlands blocking their way northor south may die out. Some types of forests, unable to propagate toward thepoles fast enough, may disappear.EHuman HealthIn a warmer world, scientists predict that more people will get sick or die fromheat stress, due less to hotter days than to warmer nights (giving the sufferersless relief). Diseases now found in the tropics, transmitted by mosquitoes andother animal hosts, will widen their range as these animal hosts move intoregions formerly too cold for them. Today 45 percent of the world’s people livewhere they might get bitten by a mosquito carrying the parasite that causesmalaria; that percentage may increase to 60 percent if temperatures rise. Other tropical diseases may spread similarly, including dengue fever, yellow fever,and encephalitis. Scientists also predict rising incidence of allergies andrespiratory diseases as warmer air grows more charged with pollutants, moldspores, and pollens.VIDEBATES OVER GLOBAL WARMINGScientists do not all agreed about the nature and impact of global warming. Afew observers still question whether temperatures have actually been rising atall. Others acknowledge past change but argue that it is much too early to bemaking predictions for the future. Such critics may also deny that the evidencefor the human contribution to warming is conclusive, arguing that a purelynatural cycle may be driving temperatures upward. The same dissenters tendto emphasize the fact that continued warming could have benefits in someregions. Scientists who question the global warming trend point to threepuzzling differences between the predictions of the global warming models andthe actual behavior of the climate. First, the warming trend stopped for threedecades in the middle of the 20th century; there was even some cooling beforethe climb resumed in the 1970s. Second, the total amount of warming duringthe 20th century was only about half what computer models predicted. Third,the troposphere, the lower region of the atmosphere, did not warm as fast asthe models forecast. However, global warming proponents believe that two of the three discrepancies have now been explained.The lack of warming at midcentury is now attributed largely to air pollution thatspews particulate matter, especially sulfates, into the upper atmosphere. Theseparticulates, also known as aerosols, reflect some incoming sunlight out intospace. Continued warming has now overcome this effect, in part becausepollution control efforts have made the air cleaner. The unexpectedly smallamount of total warming since 1900 is now attributed to the oceans absorbingvast amounts of the extra heat. Scientists long suspected that this washappening but lacked the data to prove it. In 2000 the U.S. National Oceanicand Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) offered a new analysis of water temperature readings made by observers around the world over 50 years.Records showed a distinct warming trend: World ocean temperatures in 1998were higher than the 50-year average by 0.2 Celsius degree (0.3 Fahrenheitdegree), a small but very significant amount. The third discrepancy is the mostpuzzling. Satellites detect less warming in the troposphere than the computer models of global climate predict. According to some critics, the atmosphericreadings are right, and the higher temperatures recorded at Earth’s surface arenot to be trusted. In January 2000 a panel appointed by the National Academyof Sciences to weigh this argument reaffirmed that surface warming could notbe doubted. However, the lower-than-predicted troposphere measurementshave not been entirely explained.VIIEFFORTS TO CONTROL GLOBAL WARMINGThe total consumption of fossil fuels is increasing by about 1 percent per year.No steps currently being taken or under serious discussion will likely preventglobal warming in the near future. The challenge today is managing theprobable effects while taking steps to prevent detrimental climate changes inthe future. Damage can be curbed locally in various ways. Coastlines can bearmored with dikes and barriers to block encroachments of the sea.Alternatively, governments can assist coastal populations in moving to higher ground. Some countries, such as the United States, still have the chance tohelp plant and animal species survive by preserving habitat corridors, strips of relatively undeveloped land running north and south. Species can graduallyshift their ranges along these corridors, moving toward cooler habitats. Thereare two major approaches to slowing the buildup of greenhouse gases. Thefirst is to keep carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere by storing the gas or itscarbon component somewhere else, a strategy called carbon sequestration.The second major approach is to reduce the production of greenhouse gases.ACarbon SequestrationThe simplest way to sequester carbon is to preserve trees and to plant more.Trees, especially young and fast-growing ones, soak up a great deal of carbondioxide, break it down in photosynthesis, and store the carbon in new wood.Worldwide, forests are being cut down at an alarming rate, particularly in thetropics. In many areas, there is little regrowth as land loses fertility or ischanged to other uses, such as farming or building housing developments.Reforestation could offset these losses and counter part of the greenhousebuildup. Many companies and governments in the United States, Norway,Brazil, Malaysia, Russia, and Australia have initiated reforestation projects. InGuatemala, the AES Corporation, a U.S.-based electrical company, has joinedforces with the World Resources Institute and the relief agency CARE to createcommunity woodlots and to teach local residents about tree-farming practices.The trees planted are expected to absorb up to 58 million tons of carbondioxide over 40 years. Carbon dioxide gas can also be sequestered directly.Carbon dioxide has traditionally been injected into oil wells to force morepetroleum out of the ground or seafloor. Now it is being injected simply toisolate it underground in oil fields, coal beds, or aquifers. At one natural gasdrilling platform off the coast of Norway, carbon dioxide brought to the surfacewith the natural gas is captured and reinjected into an aquifer from which itcannot escape. The same process can be used to store carbon dioxidereleased by a power plant, factory, or any large stationary source. Deep oceanwaters could also absorb a great deal of carbon dioxide. The feasibility andenvironmental effects of both these options are now under study byinternational teams. In an encouraging trend, energy use around the world hasslowly shifted away from fuels that release a great deal of carbon dioxidetoward fuels that release somewhat less of this heat-trapping gas. Wood wasthe first major source of energy used by humans. With the dawn of theIndustrial Revolution in the 18
century, coal became the dominant energysource. By the mid-19th century oil had replaced coal in dominance, fueling theinternal combustion engines that were eventually used in automobiles. By the20
century, natural gas began to be used worldwide for heating and lighting.In this progression, combustion of natural gas releases less carbon dioxidethan oil, which in turn releases less of the gas than do either coal or wood.Nuclear energy, though controversial for reasons of safety and the high costsof nuclear waste disposal, releases no carbon dioxide at all. Solar power, windpower, and hydrogen fuel cells also emit no greenhouse gases. Someday
these alternative energy sources may prove to be practical, low-pollutionenergy sources, although progress today is slow.BNational and Local ProgramsThe developed countries are all working to reduce greenhouse emissions.Several European countries impose heavy taxes on energy usage, designedpartly to curb such emissions. Norway taxes industries according to the amountof carbon dioxide they emit. In The Netherlands, government and industry havenegotiated agreements aimed at increasing energy efficiency, promotingalternative energy sources, and cutting down greenhouse gas output. In theUnited States, the Department of Energy, the Environmental ProtectionAgency, product manufacturers, local utilities, and retailers have collaboratedto implement the Energy Star program. This voluntary program ratesappliances for energy use and gives some money back to consumers who buyefficient machines. The Canadian government has established the FleetWiseprogram to cut carbon dioxide emissions from federal vehicles by reducing thenumber of vehicles it owns and by training drivers to use them more efficiently.By 2004, 75 percent of Canadian federal vehicles are to run on alternativefuels, such as methanol and ethanol. Many local governments are also workingagainst greenhouse emissions by conserving energy in buildings, modernizingtheir vehicles, and advising the public. Individuals, too, can take steps. Thesame choices that reduce other kinds of pollution work against global warming.Every time a consumer buys an energy efficient appliance; adds insulation to ahouse; recycles paper, metal, and glass; chooses to live near work; or commutes by public transportation, he or she is fighting global warming.CInternational AgreementsInternational cooperation is required for the successful reduction of greenhousegases. In 1992 at the Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, 150 countriespledged to confront the problem of greenhouse gases and agreed to meetagain to translate these good intentions into a binding treaty. In 1997 in Japan,160 nations drafted a much stronger agreement known as the Kyōto Protocol.This treaty, which has not yet been implemented, calls for the 38 industrializedcountries that now release the most greenhouse gases to cut their emissions tolevels 5 percent below those of 1990. This reduction is to be achieved no later than 2012. Initially, the United States voluntarily accepted a more ambitioustarget, promising to reduce emissions to 7 percent below 1990 levels; theEuropean Union, which had wanted a much tougher treaty, committed to 8percent; and Japan, to 6 percent. The remaining 122 nations, mostlydeveloping nations, were not asked to commit to a reduction in gas emissions.But in 2001 newly elected U.S. president George W. Bush renounced the treatysaying that such carbon dioxide reductions in the United States would be toocostly. He also objected that developing nations would not be bound by similar carbon dioxide reducing obligations. The Kyōto Protocol could not go into effectunless industrial nations accounting for 55 percent of 1990 greenhouse gasemissions ratified it. That requirement was met in 2004 when the cabinet of Russian president Vladimir Putin approved the treaty, paving the way for it togo into effect in 2005.Some critics find the Kyōto Protocol too weak. Even if it were enforcedimmediately, it would only slightly slow the buildup of greenhouse gases in theatmosphere. Much stronger action would be required later, particularly becausethe developing nations exempted from the Kyōto rules are expected to producehalf the world’s greenhouse gases by 2035. The most influential opponents of the protocol, however, find it too strong. Opposition to the treaty in the UnitedStates is spurred by the oil industry, the coal industry, and other enterprisesthat manufacture or depend on fossil fuels. These opponents claim that theeconomic costs to carry out the Kyōto Protocol could be as much as $300billion, due mainly to higher energy prices. Proponents of the Kyōto sanctionsbelieve the costs will prove more modest—$88 billion or less—much of whichwill be recovered as Americans save money after switching to more efficientappliances, vehicles, and industrial processes. Behind the issue of cost lies alarger question: Can an economy grow without increasing its greenhouse gasemissions at the same time? In the past, prosperity and pollution have tendedto go together. Can they now be separated, or decoupled, as economists say?In nations with strong environmental policies, economies have continued togrow even as many types of pollution have been reduced. However, limiting theemission of carbon dioxide has proved especially difficult. For example, TheNetherlands, a heavily industrialized country that is also an environmentalleader, has done very well against most kinds of pollution but has failed to meetits goal of reducing carbon dioxide output. After 1997 representatives to theKyōto Protocol met regularly to negotiate a consensus about certainunresolved issues , such as the rules, methods, and penalties that should beenforced in each country to slow greenhouse emissions. The negotiatorsdesigned a system in which nations with successful cleanup programs couldprofit by selling unused pollution rights to other nations. For example, nationsthat find further improvement difficult, such as The Netherlands, could buypollution credits on the market, or perhaps earn them by helping reducegreenhouse gas emissions in less developed countries, where more can beachieved at less expense. Russia, in particular, stood to benefit from thissystem. In 1990 the Russian economy was in a shambles, and its greenhousegas emissions were huge. Since then Russia has already cut its emissions bymore than 5 percent below 1990 levels and is in a position to sell emissioncredits to other industrialized countries, particularly those in the EuropeanUnion (EU).Contributed By:John Hart
Microsoft ® Encarta ® Reference Library 2005.
© 1993-2004 MicrosoftCorporation. All rights reserved.
Disadvantages of Global Warming
Ocean circulation disrupted, disrupting and having unknowneffects on world climate.
Higher sea level leading to flooding of low-lying lands anddeaths and disease from flood and evacuation.
Deserts get drier leaving to increased desertification. 
Changes to agricultural
production that can lead to foodshortages.
Water shortages in already water-scarce areas.
Starvation, malnutrition, and increased deaths due to food andcrop shortages.
More extreme weather and an increased frequency of severeandcatastrophic storms. 
Increased disease in humans and animals.
Increased deaths from heat waves.
Extinction of additional species of animals and plants.
Loss of animal and plant habitats.
Increased emigration of those from poorer or low-lyingcountries to wealthier or higher countries seeking better (or non-deadly) conditions.
Additional use of energy resources for cooling needs.
Increased air pollution.
Increased allergy and asthma rates due to earlier blooming of plants.
Melt of permafrost leads to destruction of structures,landslides, and avalanches.
Permanent loss of glaciers and ice sheets.
Cultural or heritage sites destroyed faster due to increasedextremes.
Increased acidity of rainfall.
Earlier drying of forests leading to increased forest fires in sizeand intensity.
Increased cost of insurance as insurers pay out more claimsresulting from increasingly large disasters.Advantages of Global Warming
Arctic, Antarctic, Siberia, and other frozen regions of earth mayexperience more plant growth and milder climates.
The next ice age may be prevented from occurring.
Northwest Passage through Canada's formerly-icy north opensup to sea transportation.
Less need for energy consumption to warm cold places.
Fewer deaths or injuries due to cold weather.
Longer growing seasons could mean increased agriculturalproduction in some local areas.
Mountains increase in height due to melting glaciers, becominghigher as they rebound against the missing weight of the ice.
Global Warming in the Past
Earth has warmed and cooled many times since its formation about 4.6 billionyears ago. Global climatechanges were due to many factors, including massive volcanic eruptions, which increased carbon dioxide in the atmosphere;changes in the intensity of energy emitted by the Sun; and variations in Earth’sposition relative to the Sun, both in itsorbit and in the inclination of its spin axis. Variations in Earth’s position, known as Milankovitch cycles, combine toproduce cyclical changes in the global climate. These cycles are believed to beresponsible for the repeated advance and retreat of glaciers and ice sheets during the Pleistocene Epoch (1.8 million to 11,500 years before present), when Earth went through fairly regular cycles of colder “glacial” periods (alsoknown asice ages
)and warmer “interglacial” periods. Glacial periods occurredat roughly 100,000-year intervals. An interglacial period began about 10,000years ago, when the last ice age came to an end. Prior to that ice age, aninterglacial period occurred about 125,000 years ago.During interglacial periods, greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide andmethane naturally increase in the atmosphere from increased plant and animallife. But since 1750 greenhouse gases have increased dramatically to levelsnot seen in hundreds of thousands of years, due to the rapid growth of thehumanpopulation combined with developments in technologyandagriculture.  Human activities now are a powerful factor influencing Earth’s dynamic climate.The ice of the polar regions furnishes clues to the makeup of Earth’s ancientatmosphere. Ice cores that scientists have bored from the ice sheets of GreenlandandAntarctica provide natural records of both temperature and atmospheric greenhouse gases going back hundreds of thousands of years.Layers in these ice cores created by seasonal snowfall patterns allow scientists

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me gustaría tener una thesis para mi trabajo de investigacion about Global warming... si alguien me puede mandar uno. estaria muy agradesido. peterhf2230@hotmail.com. gracias.
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