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Global warming-Global Warming is not a fad.

It is not a story that somebody just made Human activity since the industrial revolution has increased the amount of greenhouse
up. Global Warming is a scientific reality that all humans face. Some of the things we do gases in the atmosphere, leading to increased radiative forcing from CO2, methane,
have a negative impact on our planet. We need to reverse this impact now. tropospheric ozone, CFCs and nitrous oxide. The concentrations of CO2 and methane
Global mean surface temperature anomaly relative to 1961–1990 have increased by 36% and 148% respectively since the mid-1700s. [21] These levels are
Global warming is the increase in the average temperature of the Earth's near-surface considerably higher than at any time during the last 650,000 years, the period for which
air and oceans since the mid-20th century and its projected continuation. Global surface reliable data has been extracted from ice cores.[22] Less direct geological evidence
temperature increased 0.74 ± 0.18 °C (1.33 ± 0.32 °F) during the last century. [1][A] The indicates that CO2 values this high were last seen approximately 20 million years ago.[23]
Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) concludes that increasing Fossil fuel burning has produced about three-quarters of the increase in CO 2 from human
greenhouse gas concentrations resulting from human activity such as fossil fuel burning activity over the past 20 years. Most of the rest is due to land-use change, in particular
and deforestation are responsible for most of the observed temperature increase since the deforestation.[24]
middle of the 20th century.[1] The IPCC also concludes that natural phenomena such as CO2 concentrations are continuing to rise due to burning of fossil fuels and land-use
solar variation and volcanoes produced most of the warming from pre-industrial times to change. The future rate of rise will depend on uncertain economic, sociological,
1950 and had a small cooling effect afterward. [2][3] These basic conclusions have been technological, and natural developments. Accordingly, the IPCC Special Report on
endorsed by more than 45 scientific societies and academies of science,[B] including all of Emissions Scenarios gives a wide range of future CO2 scenarios, ranging from 541 to 970
the national academies of science of the major industrialized countries.[4]Climate model ppm by the year 2100.[25] Fossil fuel reserves are sufficient to reach these levels and
projections summarized in the latest IPCC report indicate that the global surface continue emissions past 2100 if coal, tar sands or methane clathrates are extensively
temperature will probably rise a further 1.1 to 6.4 °C (2.0 to 11.5 °F) during the twenty-first exploited.[26]
century.[1] The uncertainty in this estimate arises from the use of models with differing The destruction of stratospheric ozone by chlorofluorocarbons is sometimes mentioned in
sensitivity to greenhouse gas concentrations and the use of differing estimates of future relation to global warming. Although there are a few areas of linkage, the relationship
greenhouse gas emissions. Some other uncertainties include how warming and related between the two is not strong. Reduction of stratospheric ozone has a cooling influence,
changes will vary from region to region around the globe. Most studies focus on the period but substantial ozone depletion did not occur until the late 1970s. [27] Tropospheric ozone is
up to the year 2100. However, warming is expected to continue beyond 2100 even if a positive forcing and contributes to surface warming.[28]
emissions stop, because of the large heat capacity of the oceans and the long lifetime of Aerosols and soot
carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.[5][6]Increasing global temperature will cause sea levels to Ship tracks over the Atlantic Ocean on the east coast of the United States. The climatic
rise and will change the amount and pattern of precipitation, probably including expansion impacts from aerosol forcing could have a large effect on climate through the indirect
of subtropical deserts.[7] The continuing retreat of glaciers, permafrost and sea ice is effect.
expected, with the Arctic region being particularly affected. Other likely effects include Global dimming, a gradual reduction in the amount of global direct irradiance at the Earth's
shrinkage of the Amazon rainforest and Boreal forests, increases in the intensity of surface, has partially counteracted global warming from 1960 to the present.[29] The main
extreme weather events, species extinctions, and changes in agricultural yields.Political cause of this dimming is aerosols produced by volcanic activity and emissions of pollutants
and public debate continues regarding what actions (if any) to take in response to global such as sulfur dioxide. These aerosols exert a cooling effect by increasing the reflection of
warming. The available options are mitigation to reduce further emissions; adaptation to incoming sunlight. James Hansen and colleagues have proposed that the effects of the
reduce the damage caused by warming; and, more speculatively, geoengineering to products of fossil fuel combustion—CO 2 and aerosols—have largely offset one another in
reverse global warming. Most national governments have signed and ratified the Kyoto recent decades, so that net warming has been driven mainly by non-CO 2 greenhouse
Protocol aimed at reducing greenhouse gas emissions. gases.[30]
Temperature changes In addition to their direct effect by scattering and absorbing solar radiation, aerosols have
Two millennia of mean surface temperatures according to different reconstructions, each indirect effects on the radiation budget.[31] Sulfate aerosols act as cloud condensation
smoothed on a decadal scale. The unsmoothed, annual value for 2004 is also plotted for nuclei and thus lead to clouds that have more and smaller cloud droplets. These clouds
reference. reflect solar radiation more efficiently than clouds with fewer and larger droplets. [32] This
The most commonly cited indication of global warming is the trend in globally averaged effect also causes droplets to be of more uniform size, which reduces growth of raindrops
temperature near the Earth's surface. Expressed as a linear trend, this temperature rose by collision-coalescence. Clouds modified by pollution have been shown to produce less
by 0.74°C ±0.18°C over the period 1906-2005. The rate of warming over the last 50 years drizzle, making the cloud brighter and more reflective to incoming sunlight, especially in
of that period was almost double that for the period as a whole (0.13°C ±0.03°C per the near-infrared part of the spectrum.[33]
decade, versus 0.07°C ± 0.02°C per decade). The urban heat island effect is estimated to Soot may cool or warm, depending on whether it is airborne or deposited. Atmospheric
account for about 0.002 °C of warming per decade since 1900.[8] Temperatures in the soot aerosols directly absorb solar radiation, which heats the atmosphere and cools the
lower troposphere have increased between 0.12 and 0.22 °C (0.22 and 0.4 °F) per decade surface. Regionally (but not globally), as much as 50% of surface warming due to
since 1979, according to satellite temperature measurements. Temperature is believed to greenhouse gases may be masked by atmospheric brown clouds.[34] When deposited,
have been relatively stable over the one or two thousand years before 1850, with especially on glaciers or on ice in arctic regions, the lower surface albedo can also directly
regionally-varying fluctuations such as the Medieval Warm Period or the Little Ice Age. heat the surface.[35] The influences of aerosols, including black carbon, are most
Based on estimates by NASA's Goddard Institute for Space Studies, 2005 was the pronounced in the tropics and sub-tropics, particularly in Asia, while the effects of
warmest year since reliable, widespread instrumental measurements became available in greenhouse gases are dominant in the extratropics and southern hemisphere.[36]
the late 1800s, exceeding the previous record set in 1998 by a few hundredths of a Solar variation
degree.[9] Estimates prepared by the World Meteorological Organization and the Climatic Solar variation over the last thirty years.
Research Unit concluded that 2005 was the second warmest year, behind 1998. [10][11] Variations in solar output have been the cause of past climate changes.[37] Although solar
Temperatures in 1998 were unusually warm because the strongest El Niño in the past forcing is generally thought to be too small to account for a significant part of global
century occurred during that year.[12] warming in recent decades,[38][39] a few studies disagree, such as a recent
Temperature changes vary over the globe. Since 1979, land temperatures have increased phenomenological analysis that indicates the contribution of solar forcing may be
about twice as fast as ocean temperatures (0.25 °C per decade against 0.13 °C per underestimated.[40]
decade).[13] Ocean temperatures increase more slowly than land temperatures because of Greenhouse gases and solar forcing affect temperatures in different ways. While both
the larger effective heat capacity of the oceans and because the ocean loses more heat by increased solar activity and increased greenhouse gases are expected to warm the
evaporation.[14] The Northern Hemisphere warms faster than the Southern Hemisphere troposphere, an increase in solar activity should warm the stratosphere while an increase
because it has more land and because it has extensive areas of seasonal snow and sea- in greenhouse gases should cool the stratosphere.[2] Observations show that temperatures
ice cover subject to the ice-albedo feedback. Although more greenhouse gases are in the stratosphere have been steady or cooling since 1979, when satellite measurements
emitted in the Northern than Southern Hemisphere this does not contribute to the became available. Radiosonde (weather balloon) data from the pre-satellite era show
difference in warming because the major greenhouse gases persist long enough to mix cooling since 1958, though there is greater uncertainty in the early radiosonde record. A
between hemispheres.[15] related hypothesis, proposed by Henrik Svensmark, is that magnetic activity of the sun
The thermal inertia of the oceans and slow responses of other indirect effects mean that deflects cosmic rays that may influence the generation of cloud condensation nuclei and
climate can take centuries or longer to adjust to changes in forcing. Climate commitment thereby affect the climate.[42] Other research has found no relation between warming in
studies indicate that even if greenhouse gases were stabilized at 2000 levels, a further recent decades and cosmic rays.[43][44] The influence of cosmic rays on cloud cover is about
warming of about 0.5 °C (0.9 °F) would still occur.[16] a factor of 100 lower than needed to explain the observed changes in clouds or to be a
Radiative forcing significant contributor to present-day climate change.[45]
External forcing is a term used in climate science for processes external to the climate Feedback
system (though not necessarily external to Earth). Climate responds to several types of A positive feedback is a process that amplifies some change. Thus, when a warming trend
external forcing, such as changes in greenhouse gas concentrations, changes in solar results in effects that induce further warming, the result is a positive feedback; when the
luminosity, volcanic eruptions, and variations in Earth's orbit around the Sun.[2] Attribution warming results in effects that reduce the original warming, the result is a negative
of recent climate change focuses on the first three types of forcing. Orbital cycles vary feedback. The main positive feedback in global warming involves the tendency of warming
slowly over tens of thousands of years and thus are too gradual to have caused the to increase the amount of water vapor in the atmosphere. The main negative feedback in
temperature changes observed in the past century. global warming is the effect of temperature on emission of infrared radiation: as the
Greenhouse gases temperature of a body increases, the emitted radiation increases with the fourth power of
Recent increases in atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2). Monthly CO2 measurements its absolute temperature.
display small seasonal oscillations in an overall yearly uptrend; each year's maximum is Water vapor feedback
reached during the Northern Hemisphere's late spring, and declines during the Northern If the atmosphere is warmed, the saturation vapour pressure increases, and
Hemisphere growing season as plants remove some CO2 from the atmosphere. the amount of water vapor in the atmosphere will tend to increase. Since water
The greenhouse effect is the process by which absorption and emission of infrared vapor is a greenhouse gas, the increase in water vapor content makes the
radiation by gases in the atmosphere warm a planet's lower atmosphere and surface. It atmosphere warm further; this warming causes the atmosphere to hold still
was discovered by Joseph Fourier in 1824 and was first investigated quantitatively by more water vapor (a positive feedback), and so on until other processes stop
Svante Arrhenius in 1896.[17] Existence of the greenhouse effect as such is not disputed, the feedback loop. The result is a much larger greenhouse effect than that due
even by those who do not agree that the recent temperature increase is attributable to to CO2 alone. Although this feedback process causes an increase in the
human activity. The question is instead how the strength of the greenhouse effect changes absolute moisture content of the air, the relative humidity stays nearly constant
when human activity increases the concentrations of greenhouse gases in the or even decreases slightly because the air is warmer.[46]
atmosphere. Cloud feedback
Naturally occurring greenhouse gases have a mean warming effect of about 33 °C Warming is expected to change the distribution and type of clouds. Seen from
(59 °F).[18][C] The major greenhouse gases are water vapor (not including clouds), which below, clouds emit infrared radiation back to the surface, and so exert a
causes about 36–70 percent of the greenhouse effect; carbon dioxide (CO2), which causes warming effect; seen from above, clouds reflect sunlight and emit infrared
9–26 percent; methane (CH4), which causes 4–9 percent[not in citation given]; and ozone (O3), radiation to space, and so exert a cooling effect. Whether the net effect is
which causes 3–7 percent.[19][20] warming or cooling depends on details such as the type and altitude of the
cloud, details that are difficult to represent in climate models.[46]
Lapse rate Social and economic effects of global warming may be exacerbated by growing population
The atmosphere's temperature decreases with height in the troposphere. densities in affected areas. Temperate regions are projected to experience some benefits,
Since emission of infrared radiation varies with the fourth power of such as fewer cold-related deaths.[66] A summary of probable effects and recent
temperature, longwave radiation escaping to space from the relatively cold understanding can be found in the report made for the IPCC Third Assessment Report by
upper atmosphere is less than that emitted toward the ground from the lower Working Group II.[64] The newer IPCC Fourth Assessment Report summary reports that
atmosphere. Thus, the strength of the greenhouse effect depends on the there is observational evidence for an increase in intense tropical cyclone activity in the
atmosphere's rate of temperature decrease with height. Both theory and North Atlantic Ocean since about 1970, in correlation with the increase in sea surface
climate models indicate that global warming will reduce the rate of temperature temperature (see Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation), but that the detection of long-term
decrease with height, producing a negative lapse rate feedback that weakens trends is complicated by the quality of records prior to routine satellite observations. The
the greenhouse effect. Measurements of the rate of temperature change with summary also states that there is no clear trend in the annual worldwide number of tropical
height are very sensitive to small errors in observations, making it difficult to cyclones.[1]
establish whether the models agree with observations.[47] Additional anticipated effects include sea level rise of 0.18 to 0.59 meters (0.59 to 1.9 ft) in
Ice-albedo feedback 2090-2100 relative to 1980-1999, [1] repercussions to agriculture, possible slowing of the
Aerial photograph showing a section of sea ice. The lighter blue areas are melt thermohaline circulation, reductions in the ozone layer, increasingly intense (but less
ponds and the darkest areas are open water, both have a lower albedo than frequent)[67] hurricanes and extreme weather events, lowering of ocean pH, oxygen
the white sea ice. The melting ice contributes to the ice-albedo feedback. depletion in the oceans,[68] and the spread of diseases such as malaria and dengue
When ice melts, land or open water takes its place. Both land and open water fever,[69][70] as well as Lyme disease, hantavirus infections, bubonic plague, and cholera.[71]
are on average less reflective than ice and thus absorb more solar radiation. One study predicts 18% to 35% of a sample of 1,103 animal and plant species would be
This causes more warming, which in turn causes more melting, and this cycle extinct by 2050, based on future climate projections.[72] However, few mechanistic studies
continues.[48] have documented extinctions due to recent climate change[73] and one study suggests that
Arctic methane release projected rates of extinction are uncertain.[74]
Warming is also the triggering variable for the release of methane from Increased atmospheric CO2 increases the amount of CO2 dissolved in the oceans.[75] CO2
sources both on land and on the deep ocean floor, making both of these dissolved in the ocean reacts with water to form carbonic acid, resulting in ocean
possible feedback effects. Thawing permafrost, such as the frozen peat bogs acidification. Ocean surface pH is estimated to have decreased from 8.25 near the
in Siberia, creates a positive feedback due to the release of CO2 and CH4.[49] beginning of the industrial era to 8.14 by 2004,[76] and is projected to decrease by a further
Reduced absorption of CO2 by the oceans 0.14 to 0.5 units by 2100 as the ocean absorbs more CO 2.[1][77] Since organisms and
Ocean ecosystems' ability to sequester carbon is expected to decline as the ecosystems are adapted to a narrow range of pH, this raises extinction concerns, directly
oceans warm. This is because warming reduces the nutrient levels of the driven by increased atmospheric CO2, that could disrupt food webs and impact human
mesopelagic zone (about 200 to 1000 m deep), which limits the growth of societies that depend on marine ecosystem services.[78] Heat and carbon dioxide trapped
diatoms in favor of smaller phytoplankton that are poorer biological pumps of in the oceans may still take hundreds years to be re-emitted, even after greenhouse gas
carbon.[50] emissions are eventually reduced.[6]
Climate models Economic
Calculations of global warming prepared in or before 2001 from a range of climate models The projected temperature increase for a range of stabilization scenarios (the colored
under the SRES A2 emissions scenario, which assumes no action is taken to reduce bands). The black line in middle of the shaded area indicates 'best estimates'; the red and
emissions and regionally divided economic development. the blue lines the likely limits. From the work of IPCC AR4.
The geographic distribution of surface warming during the 21 st century calculated by the Some economists have tried to estimate the aggregate net economic costs of damages
HadCM3 climate model if a business as usual scenario is assumed for economic growth from climate change across the globe. Such estimates have so far yielded no conclusive
and greenhouse gas emissions. In this figure, the globally averaged warming corresponds findings; in a survey of 100 estimates, the values ran from US$-10 per tonne of carbon
to 3.0 °C (5.4 °F). (tC) (US$-3 per tonne of carbon dioxide) up to US$350/tC (US$95 per tonne of carbon
The main tools for projecting future climate changes are computer models of the climate. dioxide), with a mean of US$43 per tonne of carbon (US$12 per tonne of carbon
These models are based on physical principles including fluid dynamics and radiative dioxide).[66]
transfer. Although they attempt to include as many processes as possible, simplifications One widely publicized report on potential economic impact is the Stern Review. It suggests
of the actual climate system are inevitable because of the constraints of available that extreme weather might reduce global gross domestic product by up to one percent,
computer power and limitations in knowledge of the climate system. All modern climate and that in a worst-case scenario global per capita consumption could fall 20 percent.[79]
models include an atmospheric model that is coupled to an ocean model and models for The report's methodology, advocacy and conclusions have been criticized by many
ice cover on land and sea. Some models also include treatments of chemical and economists, primarily around the Review's assumptions of discounting and its choices of
biological processes.[51] These models project a warmer climate due to increasing levels of scenarios.[80] Others have supported the general attempt to quantify economic risk, even if
greenhouse gases.[52] Although much of the variation in model outcomes depends on the not the specific numbers.[81][82]
greenhouse gas emissions used as inputs, the temperature effect of a specific greenhouse Preliminary studies suggest that costs and benefits of mitigating global warming are
gas concentration (climate sensitivity) varies depending on the model used. The broadly comparable in magnitude.[83]
representation of clouds is one of the main sources of uncertainty in present-generation According to United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), economic sectors likely to
models.[53] face difficulties related to climate change include banks, agriculture, transport and
Global climate model projections of future climate most often have used estimates of others.[84] Developing countries dependent upon agriculture will be particularly harmed by
greenhouse gas emissions from the IPCC Special Report on Emissions Scenarios global warming.[85]
(SRES). In addition to human-caused emissions, some models also include a simulation of Responses to global warming
the carbon cycle; this generally shows a positive feedback, though this response is The broad agreement among climate scientists that global temperatures will continue to
uncertain. Some observational studies also show a positive feedback.[54][55][56] increase has led some nations, states, corporations and individuals to implement
Including uncertainties in future greenhouse gas concentrations and climate sensitivity, the responses. These responses to global warming can be divided into mitigation of the
IPCC anticipates a warming of 1.1 °C to 6.4 °C (2.0 °F to 11.5 °F) by the end of the 21st causes and effects of global warming, adaptation to the changing global environment, and
century, relative to 1980–1999.[1] A 2008 paper predicts that the global temperature may geoengineering to reverse global warming.
not increase during the next decade because short-term natural fluctuations may Mitigation
temporarily outweigh greenhouse gas-induced warming.[57] The world's primary international agreement on reducing greenhouse gas emissions is the
Models are also used to help investigate the causes of recent climate change by Kyoto Protocol, an amendment to the UNFCCC negotiated in 1997. The Protocol now
comparing the observed changes to those that the models project from various natural and covers more than 160 countries and over 55 percent of global greenhouse gas
human-derived causes. Although these models do not unambiguously attribute the emissions.[86] As of June 2009, only the United States, historically the world's largest
warming that occurred from approximately 1910 to 1945 to either natural variation or emitter of greenhouse gases, has refused to ratify the treaty. The treaty expires in 2012.
human effects, they do indicate that the warming since 1975 is dominated by man-made International talks began in May 2007 on a future treaty to succeed the current one. [87] UN
greenhouse gas emissions. negotiations are now gathering pace in advance of a key meeting in Copenhagen in
Current climate models produce a good match to observations of global temperature December 2009.[88]
changes over the last century, but do not simulate all aspects of climate. [24] The physical Many environmental groups encourage individual action against global warming, as well
realism of models is tested by examining their ability to simulate current or past climates. [58] as community and regional actions. Others have suggested a quota on worldwide fossil
While a 2007 study by David Douglass and colleagues found that the models did not fuel production, citing a direct link between fossil fuel production and CO2 emissions.[89][90]
accurately predict observed changes in the tropical troposphere,[59] a 2008 paper published There has also been business action on climate change, including efforts to improve
by a 17-member team led by Ben Santer noted errors in the Douglass study, and found energy efficiency and limited moves towards use of alternative fuels. In January 2005 the
instead that the models and observations were not statistically different.[60] Not all effects of European Union introduced its European Union Emission Trading Scheme, through which
global warming are accurately predicted by the climate models used by the IPCC. For companies in conjunction with government agree to cap their emissions or to purchase
example, observed Arctic shrinkage has been faster than that predicted.[61] credits from those below their allowances. Australia announced its Carbon Pollution
Attributed and expected effects Reduction Scheme in 2008. United States President Barack Obama has announced plans
Environmental to introduce an economy wide cap and trade scheme.[91]
Sparse records indicate that glaciers have been retreating since the early 1800s. In the The IPCC's Working Group III is responsible for crafting reports on mitigation of global
1950s measurements began that allow the monitoring of glacial mass balance, reported to warming and the costs and benefits of different approaches. The 2007 IPCC Fourth
the WGMS and the NSIDC. Assessment Report concludes that no one technology or sector can be completely
It usually is impossible to connect specific weather events to global warming. Instead, responsible for mitigating future warming. They find there are key practices and
global warming is expected to cause changes in the overall distribution and intensity of technologies in various sectors, such as energy supply, transportation, industry, and
events, such as changes to the frequency and intensity of heavy precipitation. Broader agriculture, that should be implemented to reduced global emissions. They estimate that
effects are expected to include glacial retreat, Arctic shrinkage, and worldwide sea level stabilization of carbon dioxide equivalent between 445 and 710 ppm by 2030 will result in
rise. Other effects may include changes in crop yields, addition of new trade routes,[62] between a 0.6 percent increase and three percent decrease in global gross domestic
species extinctions,[63] and changes in the range of disease vectors. product.[92]
Some effects on both the natural environment and human life are, at least in part, already Adaptation
being attributed to global warming. A 2001 report by the IPCC suggests that glacier retreat, A wide variety of measures have been suggested for adaptation to global warming. These
ice shelf disruption such as that of the Larsen Ice Shelf, sea level rise, changes in rainfall range from the trivial, such as the installation of air-conditioning equipment, up to major
patterns, and increased intensity and frequency of extreme weather events are attributable infrastructure projects, such as abandonment of settlements threatened by sea level rise.
in part to global warming.[64] Other expected effects include water scarcity in some regions Measures including water conservation,[93], water rationing, adaptive agricultural
and increased precipitation in others, changes in mountain snowpack, and adverse health practices,[94] construction of flood defences,[95] changes to medical care,[96] and
effects from warmer temperatures.[65] interventions to protect threatened species[97] have all been suggested. A wide ranging
study of the possible opportunities for adaptation of infrastructure has been published by effect of global warming, diseases like malaria are returning into areas where they have
the Institute of Mechanical Engineers[98] been extinguished earlier.
Geoengineering Although global warming is affecting the number and magnitude of these events, it is
Geoengineering is the deliberate modification of Earth's natural environment on a large difficult to connect specific events to global warming. Although most studies focus on the
scale to suit human needs.[99] An example is greenhouse gas remediation, which removes period up to 2100, warming is expected to continue past then because carbon dioxide
greenhouse gases from the atmosphere, usually through carbon sequestration techniques (chemical symbol CO2) has an estimated atmospheric lifetime of 50 to 200 years. For a
such as carbon dioxide air capture.[100] Solar radiation management reduces insolation, summary of the predictions for the future increase in temperature up to 2100, see here .
such as by the addition of stratospheric sulfur aerosols.[101] No large-scale geoengineering The effects of global warming are of concern both for the environment and human life.
projects have yet been undertaken. Scenarios studied by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) predict that
Economic and political debate global warming will continue and get worse much faster than was expected even in their
Main articles: Global warming controversy, Politics of global warming, and Economics of last report. Research by NOAA indicate that the effects of global warming are already
global warming largely irreversible.[2] The IPCC reports attribute many specific natural phenomena to
See also: Scientific opinion on climate change, Climate change denial, List of countries by human causes. The expected long range effects of recent climate change may already be
greenhouse gas emissions per capita, List of countries by carbon dioxide emissions per observed. Rising sea levels, glacier retreat, Arctic shrinkage, and altered patterns of
capita, List of countries by carbon dioxide emissions, and List of countries by ratio of GDP agriculture are cited as direct consequences of human activities. Predictions for secondary
to carbon dioxide emissions and regional effects include extreme weather events, an expansion of tropical diseases,
Increased publicity of the scientific findings surrounding global warming has resulted in changes in the timing of seasonal patterns in ecosystems, and drastic economic impact.
political and economic debate.[102] Poor regions, particularly Africa, appear at greatest risk Concerns have led to political activism advocating proposals to mitigate, or adapt to it.
from the projected effects of global warming, while their emissions have been small Many of the effects of global warming are non-linear in nature, with potential for dramatic
compared to the developed world.[103] At the same time, developing country exemptions positive feedback effects. This means that the climate may enter a critical state where
from provisions of the Kyoto Protocol have been criticized by the United States and small changes can trigger runaway or abrupt climate change.[citation needed] One example of a
Australia, and used as part of a rationale for continued non-ratification by the U.S. [104] In 'runaway' effect is the release of methane from clathrates (known as the clathrate gun
the Western world, the idea of human influence on climate has gained wider public effect).[3] Geoengineering has been suggested as a means of interrupting or reversing
acceptance in Europe than in the United States.[105][106] these effects.[4][5]
The issue of climate change has sparked debate weighing the benefits of limiting industrial The 2007 Fourth Assessment Report by the IPCC includes a summary of the expected
emissions of greenhouse gases against the costs that such changes would entail. There effects.
has been discussion in several countries about the cost and benefits of adopting THE EFFECTS OF GLOBAL WARMING
alternative energy sources in order to reduce carbon emissions. [107] Business-centered "Global warming will be the greatest environmental challenge in the 21st century."
organizations, conservative commentators, and companies such as the Competitive - Vice President, Albert Gore.
Enterprise Institute and ExxonMobil have downplayed IPCC climate change scenarios, One of the most current and widely discussed factor which could lead to the ultimate end
funded scientists who disagree with the scientific consensus, and provided their own of existence of Earth and man is global warming and its devastating effects. Scientists
projections of the economic cost of stricter controls. [108][109][110][111] Environmental have asked how fast the Earth is heating up, and how the warming effects on Earth may
organizations and public figures have emphasized changes in the current climate and the effect crops and climatic conditions. Several current trends clearly demonstrate that global
risks they entail, while promote adapting infrastructural needs and emissions warming is directly impacting on; rising sea levels, the melting of icecaps, and significant
reductions.[112] Some fossil fuel companies have scaled back their efforts in recent worldwide climatic changes. This paper will discuss the degree of destruction caused by
years,[113] or called for policies to reduce global warming.[114] global warming, contributing factors to warming, and finally, discuss what we can do to
Another point of contention is the degree to which emerging economies such as India and decrease the current rate of global warming. I would also like to present opposing
China should be expected to constrain their emissions.[115] According to recent reports, viewpoints to the effects of the warming process. In my understanding, global warming
China's gross national CO2 emissions may now exceed those of the U.S.[116][117][118] China represents a fundamental threat to all living things on earth.
has contended that it has less of an obligation to reduce emissions since its per capita WHAT IS THE "GREENHOUSE EFFECT" ALL ABOUT?
emissions are roughly one-fifth that of the United States.[119] India, also exempt from Kyoto It is important to understand and discuss the significance of global warming. Global
restrictions and another source of emissions, has made similar assertions.[120] The U.S. warming is also known as the "Greenhouse effect". The "Greenhouse Earth" is surrounded
contends that if it must bear the cost of reducing emissions, then China should do the by a shield of atmospheric gases, rather than a glass or a plastic cover. The air that makes
same.[121][122] Such negotiations will be among the highlights of the 2009 Climate Change up our atmosphere consists primarily of nitrogen and oxygen molecules (N2 at 78% and
Conference[123] in Copenhagen, Denmark to take place this December. O2 at 21%). A large number of "trace gases" make up the remainder of air's composition.
Cause and effect for global warming Many of these, including carbon dioxide (CO2) and methane (CH4) are the so called
Cause of global warming "greenhouse" gases. If you have ever felt the piercing cold of the clear winter night sky and
Almost 100% of the observed temperature increase over the last 50 years has been due to wondered why you feel warmer on a cloudy winter night, you have experienced the
the increase in the atmosphere of greenhouse gas concentrations like water vapour, atmospheric greenhouse effect firsthand. Physics tell us that any object warmer than
carbon dioxide (CO2), methane and ozone. Greenhouse gases are those gases that absolute zero will radiate energy. Cooler objects emit longer waves (in the infrared region)
contribute to the greenhouse effect (see below). The largest contributing source of while hotter ones radiate shorter wavelengths. Our sun, powered by its hot, nuclear fusion
greenhouse gas is the burning of fossil fuels leading to the emission of carbon dioxide. reaction, produces radiant energy in the visible and ultraviolet regions with relatively short
The greenhouse effect wavelengths. Of the sunlight that strikes the earth, about 70% is absorbed by the planet
When sunlight reaches Earth's surface some is absorbed and warms the earth and most and its atmosphere, while the other 30% is immediately reflected. If the earth did not re-
of the rest is radiated back to the atmosphere at a longer wavelength than the sun light. radiate most of this newly absorbed energy back into space the world would continue to
Some of these longer wavelengths are absorbed by greenhouse gases in the atmosphere get warmer. Instead, an energy balance is maintained. The earth is about 60 degrees
before they are lost to space. The absorption of this longwave radiant energy warms the Fahrenheit (33 degrees Celsius) warmer than it would be if it did not have the atmospheric
atmosphere. These greenhouse gases act like a mirror and reflect back to the Earth some blanket of greenhouse gases and clouds around it. Clouds and greenhouse gases keep
of the heat energy which would otherwise be lost to space. The reflecting back of heat the earth warm. Once warmed, their molecules then radiate a portion of this heat energy
energy by the atmosphere is called the "greenhouse effect". back to earth, creating more warming on the surface of our planet. It is this radiation which
The major natural greenhouse gases are water vapor, which causes about 36-70% of the causes atmospheric gases to move back to earth that scientists call the "greenhouse
greenhouse effect on Earth (not including clouds); carbon dioxide CO2, which causes 9- effect".
26%; methane, which causes 4-9%, and ozone, which causes 3-7%. It is not possible to Carbon dioxide (CO2) gas generated by man's burning of fossil fuels and the forests is
state that a certain gas causes a certain percentage of the greenhouse effect, because the responsible for about half the greenhouse gas warming. Other gases (CFCs, methane,
influences of the various gases are not additive. Other greenhouse gases include, but are nitrous oxide, tropospheric ozone) are responsible for the rest. Increases in all these
not limited to, nitrous oxide, sulfur hexafluoride, hydrofluorocarbons, perfluorocarbons and gases are due to mankind's explosive population growth over the last century, and
chlorofluorocarbons. increased industrial expansion. Approximately 80% of atmospheric CO2 increases are due
Global warming causes by greenhouse effect to man's use of fossil fuels: oil, coal, and gas. These petroleum-based energy sources first
Greenhouse gases in the atmosphere (see above) act like a mirror and reflect back to the came into use with the burning of coal during Since 1945 petroleum consumption has
Earth a part of the heat radiation, which would otherwise be lost to space. The higher the increased dramatically, due in large part to increased usage of automobiles worldwide, and
concentration of green house gases like carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, the more heat the substitution of mechanized farm machinery for animal power. "Mankind is in the
energy is being reflected back to the Earth. The emission of carbon dioxide into the process of conducting a major, unintentional experiment, that of feeding back into the
environment mainly from burning of fossil fuels (oil, gas, petrol, kerosene, etc.) has been atmosphere in a short space of geological time the fossils fuels that have slowly
increased dramatically over the past 50 years, see graph below. accumulated over the past 500 million years." (Refer to graph #1)
The increase of greenhouse gas concentration (mainly carbon dioxide) led to a substantial Graph 1
warming of the earth and the sea, called global warming. In other words: The increase in Excluded
the man-made emission of greenhouse gases is the cause for global warming. For the In 1958, scientists began to measure carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere. The site
effects of global warming see below. selected for these measurements was on top of the volcanic mountain of Mauna Loa, in
Effects of global warming Hawaii. CO2 measurements at the Hawaiian site have continued. The instruments show
There are two major effects of global warming: the level of CO2 has been steadily increasing (about 0.4% per year) from a level of 315
• Increase of temperature on the earth by about 3° to 5° C (34° to 41° parts per million (ppm) in 1958 to 353 ppm in 1990. Clearly, Earth's natural mechanisms
Fahrenheit) by the year 2100. for absorbing CO2 from the atmosphere cannot handle the large quantities of CO2 being
• Rise of sea levels by at least 25 meters (82 feet) by the year 2100. added by modern man. Scientists believe nearly 1/2 of the CO2 being emitted each year
More details about the effects of global warming : remains in the atmosphere, while the rest is being absorbed by trees and the oceans. As a
Increasing global temperatures are causing a broad range of changes. Sea levels are result, CO2 measurements show a continuing build-up of CO2 greenhouse gases in the
rising due to thermal expansion of the ocean, in addition to melting of land ice. Amounts air, gases that will eventually lead to more global warming. (Refer to graph #2)
and patterns of precipitation are changing. The total annual power of hurricanes has HOW FAST IS THE EARTH HEATING UP?
already increased markedly since 1975 because their average intensity and average Much debate in the last five years about the greenhouse effect has centered on
duration have increased (in addition, there has been a high correlation of hurricane power interpreting temperature numbers generated at weather stations all over the world. The
with tropical sea-surface temperature). data from these thermometers are averaged and plotted in attempts to determine just how
Changes in temperature and precipitation patterns increase the frequency, duration, and fast the earth has heated up since the measurements began. There is now no doubt the
intensity of other extreme weather events, such as floods, droughts, heat waves, and world is getting warmer. The thermometers show that the world is warmer now than at any
tornadoes. Other effects of global warming include higher or lower agricultural yields, time since the measurements started. The year 1990 was the hottest year in the last
further glacial retreat, reduced summer stream flows, species extinctions. As a further century. Together with 1991, the years of 1983, 1987, 1988, and 1989, have been
measured to be the warmest 6 years in the last hundred years. 1991 was the second
warmest year of the past century, perhaps due to the eruption of Mt. Pinatubo during that
year. The ash from the volcano in the upper atmosphere blocks some sunlight to earth, are not fully understood, and that it is impossible to draw any conclusions whether the
and is expected to generate a temporary two or three year cooling effect. After that time, warming of the earth is a purely natural occurrence. These people, believe that the trend is
most ash particles will have settled back to earth, and most scientists expect to see the a false alarm and that it is not a sign of a fore coming global disaster. In addition, Industrial
global warming trend continue. forces argue that human beings can adapt to the changes caused by global warming, but
According to scientists, we can with "99% confidence conclude that current temperatures they refuse to mention anything about the environmental impact of climatic changes.
represent a real warming trend rather than a chance fluctuation over the 30-year period." Other opponents to the Global warming theory believes that most changes are due to the
Most scientists agree that the planet's temperature has risen 0.5 degrees Celsius since energy of the sun is fluctuating. Large sunspot activity is thought to be partially responsible
1900, and will continue to increase at an increasing rate. The environment is responding to for the "Little Ice Age" from 1450 to 1850. This climate change is well documented in
this warming. For instance, a study of mountain plants in the Alps (Europe), shows that history with many impacts on civilization in Europe, including famines. The temperature
some cold-loving plants are starting to move to higher and cooler altitudes. That is a fluctuation was only about 2 degrees Fahrenheit. Also, some researchers believe that
possible response to increasing temperatures. smoke from the burning of tropical forests and grasslands causes a strong cooling force
CURRENT TRENDS. on the climate. This cooling effect could nearly equal the warming power built by
The global effects of the greenhouse effect cannot be directly predicted simply because greenhouse gases created by the fires.
we do not have enough knowledge in the subject. However, we have been able to draw Furthermore, in the issue regarding rising sea levels, It is important to realize that the
direct connections between certain natural phenomenon that supports the idea that elevations of various coastal land areas are rising and sinking due to geological factors.
something is changing. Thus, the ocean levels may not rise as much as we think, as continents may be sinking.
Global warming has great effect on crops and weather conditions around the world. The In addition, some researchers believe that global warming is foreshadowing a coming ice-
northern hemisphere contains more land area than the southern hemisphere, and age. The last ice age occurred as the Earth's climate was warming. In the Arctic regions,
conversely, a lower percentage of the world's oceans. Since oceans absorb more heat more water would evaporate in summer, and fall onto the land as snow in winter. The
than land areas, it is not surprising that most climate models predict faster heating over the winters would not be so warm as to melt all of this snow, thus glaciers would grow. Also,
northern hemisphere than the global average. In addition, models predict faster some carbon compounds released in the atmosphere may help prevent global warming.
temperature increases at higher latitudes. If global warming trends continue, high These particles reflect sunshine, which is redirected into space.
temperatures everywhere in the US may reduce US agricultural productivity. Northern WHAT YOU CAN DO TO DECREASE GLOBAL WARMING.
continental areas are projected to have drier summer soils, due in part to earlier snow There are several things which you can do directly after reading this paper. However,
melts in the spring, and hotter, more cloudless summers, causing extensive evaporation of some of the actions which we all have to take will slightly decrease your present standards
ground moisture. In addition, if the inland areas of the northern hemisphere are expected of living.
to receive less moisture, then, lake and river levels will be lower. Some reports predict the First, since the largest portion of electricity in the US is produced by burning coal, we
level of the Great Lakes will drop between 2 and 8 feet. River flows in the western US may should try to cut-down on our demand for electricity. (Refer to graph #4) Coal combustion
be very vulnerable to increase temperatures expected as result of the greenhouse effect. creates the largest amount of CO2 per energy unit of any fossil fuel. Coal and oil together
When many people think of global warming, their first concern is the possible rise of sea represent 80% of the US fuel supply used to generate electricity. When we reduce electric
levels. With a large number of the world's cities in coastal areas, this is a significant power use, we save money, breathe cleaner air, and help to reduce the global warming
problem. There are two major causes of rising sea levels. First, extra water is produced problem. Every kilowatt-hour of electricity saved keeps 1.5 to 2 pounds of CO2 out of the
when ice melts. Secondly, the natural expansion of sea water as it becomes warmer. The atmosphere. Americans waste more energy than any other nation. I believe it is time to
range of sea ice around both poles continues to shrink, as it melts. Even with the level of make our lives, factories, and homes more efficient. Look around at home, and at your
greenhouse gases present today, the earth may warm enough in the next 50 years or so to work place, and you will find several ways in which you can decrease the use of electricity.
completely melt the sea ice located on the poles. For instance, plant several trees on the south side of your house where they can give
Damage from rising seas is very diverse. Buildings and roads close to the water could be shade during the hot summer months. Also, install an energy efficient thermostat, with a
flooded and they could suffer damage from hurricanes and tropical storms. "There are day and night timer. Second, decrease the use of your car. If you can't afford to buy a new
good physical reasons to suggest that more intense storms (hurricanes) could result from fuel-efficient car in the next few years, consider selling or junking your gas demanding car
global warming." Warmer oceans cause more intense storms. Experts believe that global and buying a smaller, efficient used car. Besides saving money on gas, oil, tires, parts, and
warming could increase the intensity of hurricanes by over 50 percent. Hurricane Andrew's repairs, you can help reduce greenhouse gases. Furthermore, no matter what type of car
devastation in 1992 set new records. According to the National Hurricane Center in Miami, you drive, be sure to operate it efficiently, try to carpool to work or ride the bus, keep the
the 1990 season was the most active year on their records for combined Atlantic and car tuned up, walk or ride your bike for short distances, park and walk do not use "drive
Pacific hurricanes. Damage caused by future hurricanes to populated areas will be more thru" services.
severe since higher sea levels are predicted for the next century. In addition, as the sea Third, try to follow the following environmental policy of "Reduce....Reuse.....Recycle."
rises, beach erosion takes place, particularly on steep banks. Wetlands are lost as sea Reuse of anything is the easiest and best way to recycle. Save containers, bags,
levels rise. Another serious problem is the threat of salt water intruding into underground everything that you may be able to use in the future. Also, use cloth towels and napkins
fresh water reserves in coastal areas. instead of paper ones, and use rechargeable batteries instead of disposable ones.
In 1992, a report was published by the United Nations, which proposes that if CO2 and Furthermore, you can reduce the need to recycle paper by getting off the junk mail lists.
other greenhouse gas emissions continue with present trends (which is the case), the Why should trees be destroyed for mail you do not even want to receive? In addition,
coastal plains of Bangladesh and the Netherlands will flood by the year 2100. always remember that recycling is only effective when you buy products made from
Furthermore, the islands of the Maldives would completely disappear. This would happen if recycled materials. Otherwise, what is the point of recycling? Also, remember that each
only a two foot increase in sea level occured. time you make a purchase, you either reinforce a bad environmental product, or you
FOREST DESTRUCTION CREATES MORE HEAT: encourage a good one. I believe that people should try to buy quality products that can be
Trees play a unique role in the global carbon cycle. They are the largest land-based used for a long time, buy products with minimal packaging, and not buy disposable
natural mechanism for removing CO2 from the air. (CO2 is also removed by the oceans products. We certainly have to make-up our minds whether our success as an individual
and ocean organisms.) should not be based on the quantity of our consumption, or on the quality of our natural
Trees are able to store a large amount of CO2 in their structures. An acre of forest will environment. I believe that It is time to examine our moral values. Examine our attitudes
absorb about 10 times the CO2 amount absorbed by an acre of crop land or grassland. as they relate to our natural world. Each of us needs to ask ourselves: What makes us
One tree absorbs about 13 pounds of CO2 per year, and each one acre of forest absorbs really happy? What makes us feel secure? It is highly questionable if money and tangible
about 2.8 tons of CO2. However, when trees are burned, the carbon locked in the objects make us more happy, it is even possible that we tend to be less happy with our
structure is released into the air in the form of CO2. Today, the shrinking world forests are life's when we have a lot of tangible objects and money to care for. Has our striving for
not able to absorb all the CO2 created by human beings while burning fossil fuels. more and more materialistic consumption caused us to forget that we are living human
Everyday over 5500 acres of rain forest are destroyed, and over 50 million acres are beings? We have to realize that we have much more in common with the plants, animals,
destroyed every year. Global CO2 levels rise approximately 0.4 percent each year, to air and water than we have with the mechanical, chemical and electronic world we have
levels not experienced on this planet for millions of years. Planting more trees and created around us. Unfortunately, the disbalance which we have created between our life's
reducing timber cuts world-wide will help restore the imbalance, and perhaps buy time as and the Earth is already showing the signs of disaster. "Earth in the Balance" is moving to
ways are found to reduce world greenhouse gas emissions. the Earth in imbalance, which, in the long run will cease to exist. Remember, we are all in
POPULATION GROWTH CONTRIBUTES TO GLOBAL WARMING. the greenhouse together, nobody can stop the world and get off.
The intellectual powers that we enjoy has enabled us to make effective use of technology
and thereby changed the environment. Technology is partly responsible for explosive
population growth and responsible for the resulting damage to Earth's resources. The
industrial revolution caused a rapid increase in the Population growth, as oil and gas fuels
were exploited for our use. There is a clear link between the problems of global warming
and overpopulation, as increases in CO2 levels follows growth in population. Presently, we
have too many people on Earth, who are using technologies that are destructive for the
Earth. We cannot continue to grow, and make use of limited natural resources.
Global warming is big business. Some economists argue that a warmer climate could
benefit certain crops and the farming communities. However, property insurers are
predicting that worsening storms caused by global warming could eventually bankrupt the
insurance industry. Insurance companies are now trying to form strategic alliances, and
pool resources which could cover severe economic loss from climatic changes.
In addition, the costs to implement a worldwide plan to cut the production of CO2 and
other gases which contribute to global warming would cost approximately 3 percent of the
World's total GDP. However, there is a dispute whether the industrialized world should be
responsible for the main economic contributions to clean up this planet. It is important to
realize that many less industrialized nations are unable to afford actions to prevent an
increase in CO2, and the fact that they have no incentive to reduce the carbon emissions
that cause the "greenhouse" effect. Several less industrialized nations argue that the
developed world was allowed to use of the nature in creating welfare, and that it is now
morally right for them to do the same. I believe that funds dedicated to the former Cold war
should be used for world ecology.
Certain scientists believe that global warming is not a threat and the planet is essentially
cooling off. They argue that the factors causing the phenomenon and the measurements