Cheng Shae Nee 7D6B4294 / 13869870Geology 108 Assignment Report
Anthropogenic climate change has been in the spotlight of concern in the recent years.Many climatologists and meteorologists are uncertain about future climate change, and thecalamities that may befall us when humans disrupt the natural balance of the climate.The global temperature is one of the key factors that induce climate change. The Earth’stemperature is always changing. However, humans can only sustain their lives on Earth if theglobal temperature stays within our comfortable range. Any variations of the global meantemperature can disrupt the equilibrium of human life.The global mean temperature can be divided into two parts based on data measurementmethods. ‘Instrumental temperature records’ are temperature data obtained from modern methods,such as through weather stations, weather buoys, weather balloons, or through GeographicInformation System (GIS) via satellites. The oldest known data obtained by this method dates back to only 1861, which dwarfs compared to the Earth’s climate history of 4.6 billion years(Soon andBaliunas). The second method is using ‘climate proxies’, where the global mean temperature of thepast is measured by indirect methods such as oxygen isotopes, tree rings, ice bubbles etc. Thesecond type of measurement can provide the global mean temperature for up to millions of yearsago, but contains more uncertainties since other existing factors can manipulate the results of thefindings.‘Instrumental temperature record’ can be subdivided again into two parts, surfacetemperature and lower atmosphere temperature (troposphere). Many climate models tell that whenthere is a change of mean surface temperature, the mean troposphere temperature will risesimultaneously but on an amplified scale. To calculate mean surface temperature, data from land(via weather stations) and sea (via weather buoys or satellites) are obtained. To calculate meantroposphere temperature, weather balloons and satellites are used.
Figure 1A weather station situated in theNorth PoleA weather station is a facility where atmosphericobservations are made with modern technology in order tomake weather predictions as well as record data for furtherclimate studies. The maximum, minimum, mean, and modetemperatures are determined by using thermometers situatedin highly ventilated gauges.