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Figure 1.0: effect of greenhouse gases emission into the atmosphere

Greenhouse gases, like carbon dioxide, act like a blanket, trapping heat near the surface
and raising the temperature which is the natural process. Solar radiation reaches the Earth's
atmosphere where some of this is reflected back into space. The rest of the sun's energy is
absorbed by the land and the oceans, heating the Earth. Heat radiates from Earth towards
space. Some of this heat is trapped by greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, keeping the
Earth warm enough to sustain life. Human activities such as burning fossil fuels, agriculture
and land clearing are increasing the amount of greenhouse gases released into the
atmosphere. This is trapping extra heat, and causing the Earth's temperature to rise.

The three most common types of greenhouse gases are:

 Carbon Dioxide (CO2): Carbon dioxide enters the atmosphere through the burning of
fossil fuels (oil, natural gas, and coal) which makes up 82 percent of U.S. greenhouse
 Methane (CH4): Methane is emitted during the production and transport of coal, natural
gas, and oil. It makes up 10 percent of U.S. greenhouse emissions.
 Nitrous Oxide (N2O): Nitrous oxide is emitted during agricultural and industrial
activities, as well as during combustion of fossil fuels and solid waste. It makes up 5
percent of U.S. greenhouse emissions


In 1958, Keeling began measuring atmospheric CO2 concentrations from Hawaii’s

Mauna Loa Observatory. Using rigorous analytical procedures, he revealed new
information about natural and man-caused carbon trends. Keeling began taking air and
water samples every few hours throughout the day and night at remote locations in the
Western states. He returned with his samples to Caltech for analysis, using a specially
constructed instrument to measure CO2 amounts.

Figure 1.1: The graph of Keeling's data from Mauna Loa obtained from Dec 2017 to
Nov 2018
The appearance of seasonal oscillations of CO2, with peaks in May and lows in November,
reflected the impact of vegetation cycles that prevail across the northern hemisphere. He
said that the land mass of the earth is smaller near south of the equator than at north of the
equator. Thus, most of the vegetation is north of the equator. When the northern hemisphere
is tilted toward the sun as it is in our spring and summer, the leaves come out and they
breathe in the carbon dioxide and the amount in the atmosphere goes down. When the
northern hemisphere is tilted away from the sun as it is in our fall and winter, the leave fall
down and exhale the carbon dioxide and the amount in the atmosphere goes up again. It’s
as if the entire earth once each year breathes in and out. Plants take in CO2 during the
growing period lasting from April through August in a process called photosynthesis, thus
reducing atmospheric CO2 levels during these months.


 Antartica cooling and gaining ice

The original study observed regional cooling in east Antarctica. The hole in the ozone
layer above the Pole causes increased circular winds around the continent preventing
warmer air from reaching eastern Antarctica and the Antarctic plateau. The flip side of this
is the Antarctic Peninsula has "experienced some of the fastest warming on Earth, nearly
3°C over the last half-century". While East Antartica is gaining ice, Antartica is overall
losing ice. This is mostly due to melting in West Antarctica which recently had the largest
melting observed by satellites in the last 30 years

 Greenland gaining ice

The Greenland summer was warmer during the 1930s-1940s. There were probably
more vertical water tunnels (“moulins”), greater glacier acceleration, and more rapid ice
loss which is about 101 Giga tones/year of ice during 2003-2005, contributing nearly to
0.28 mm/year of sea level rise.
 Mount Kilimanjaro

Al gore claims that deforestation seems to be causing Mount Kilimanjaro's

shrinking glacier and also CO2-induced warming for the disappearing Snows. But snows
have been disappearing since 1880 due to a sudden shift from moist to dry conditions.
(Molg et al. 2003)