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INTRODUCTION

Global warming is the increase in the average temperature of Earth's near-surface air and oceans
since the mid-20th century and its projected continuation. According to the 2007 Fourth
Assessment Report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), global surface
temperature increased 0.74 ± 0.18 °C (1.33 ± 0.32 °F) during the 20th century.[2][A] Most of the
observed temperature increase since the middle of the 20th century has been caused by
increasing concentrations of greenhouse gases, which result from human activity such as the
burning of fossil fuel and deforestation.[3] Global dimming, a result of increasing concentrations
of atmospheric aerosols that block sunlight from reaching the surface, has partially countered the
effects of warming induced by greenhouse gases.

Global warming harms all aspects of surface and underwater plant life. Plant life on earth is
altered by the elevated temperatures caused by global warming. So, how does global warming
affect plants? The answer is fairly simple. Higher temperatures and other climate changes
decrease the amount of rain and water plants receive, as well as elevating sea temperatures. This
can cause droughts and increases the risk for wild fires. The effect of global warming on plants is
caused by numerous factors.

Effect of global warming on plants

Plants can easily be affected by even a gradual increase in temperatures. Small shifts in climate
changes can harm a number of plant species. The plants of the mountain and Polar Regions are
especially at harm from global warming. As ice in these areas melt, the plants are endangered
because the ground becomes warmer than the usual temperature the plants are accustom to.
While some plants are able to adapt to the temperature changes, many are not able to do so.

Consequences for Plant Life

Over the past decade, global warming has increased the number of forest fires, affecting
numerous areas of the world. This is caused by record high temperatures and drought. In return,
these fires add to the greenhouse gases in the atmosphere.

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As temperatures in regions begin to rise, plants are beginning to grow in other areas they are
normally not found in. They are trying to adapt to the global warming changes. The growing
seasons for many plants are becoming altered as the temperatures change. As the temperature
changes, many plants and not capable of reproducing, causing many numbers of plant species to
become limited. The same thing occurs with underwater plant life. The higher water temperature
limits plants ability to thrive and reproduce.

Results of Global Warming

As a result of all the changes caused by global warming, the risk of wild fires increases. Larger
wild fires are being recorded, as well as more acres of land are burning. Droughts are beginning
to effect areas that normally do not see drought. This causes many plants to not receive the water
and nutrients they need to survive.

If global warming continues, many growing seasons can become permanently changed.
Precipitation patterns can begin to change, harming plant life. Heat waves can begin to last
longer causing many plants to die. Frost days can also begin to last longer, harming a wide
variety of plant species. Plants can begin to be threatened by a lager number of predatory insects.

If the effect of global warming on plants continues, the food supply for many humans and
animals can start to diminish from the harm done to plants. As the temperatures rise, more and
more plant species will begin to be threatened. This will cause a chain reaction for all aspects of
the planet.

Climate model projections summarized in the latest IPCC report indicate that the global surface
temperature is likely to rise a further 1.1 to 6.4 °C (2.0 to 11.5 °F) during the 21st century.[2] The
uncertainty in this estimate arises from the use of models with differing sensitivity to greenhouse
gas concentrations and the use of differing estimates of future greenhouse gas emissions. An
increase in global temperature will cause sea levels to rise and will change the amount and
pattern of precipitation, probably including expansion of subtropical deserts.[4] Warming is
expected to be strongest in the Arctic and would be associated with continuing retreat of glaciers,
permafrost and sea ice. Other likely effects include changes in the frequency and intensity of
extreme weather events, species extinctions, and changes in agricultural yields. Warming and

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[6][7] 1880-2009 global mean surface temperature difference relative to the 1961–1990 average Comparison of ground based (blue) and satellite based (red: UAH. political and public debate continues. Trends plotted since January 1982.[5] As a result of contemporary increases in atmospheric carbon dioxide. a result that is predicted to continue.related changes will vary from region to region around the globe. The Kyoto Protocol is aimed at stabilizing greenhouse gas 3|Page . the oceans have become more acidic. though the nature of these regional variations is uncertain.[8][9][10][B] Nevertheless. Mean surface temperature change for the period 2000 to 2009 relative to the average temperatures from 1951 to 1980. green: RSS) records of temperature variations since 1979.[1] The scientific consensus is that anthropogenic global warming is occurring.

4 °F) per decade since 1979. widespread melting of snow and ice. each smoothed on a decadal scale.22 °C (0.[12] • GLOBAL WARMING Temperature changes Two millennia of mean surface temperatures according to different reconstructions.18 °C over the period 1906–2005. [13][14][15][16][17] The most common measure of global warming is the trend in globally averaged temperature near the Earth's surface. 187 states had signed and ratified the protocol. versus 0. Evidence for warming of the climate system includes observed increases in global average air and ocean temperatures. Temperature is believed to have been relatively stable over the one or two thousand years before 1850.74 ± 0.002 °C of warming per decade since 1900.[18] Temperatures in the lower troposphere have increased between 0.02 °C per decade).concentration to prevent a "dangerous anthropogenic interference".22 and 0. The urban heat island effect is estimated to account for about 0. and rising global average sea level.13 and 0. this temperature rose by 0.03 °C per decade.13 ± 0. Expressed as a linear trend.[19] External forcings 4|Page .07 °C ± 0. The rate of warming over the last half of that period was almost double that for the period as a whole (0. with regionally varying fluctuations such as the Medieval Warm Period and the Little Ice Age. with the actual recorded temperatures overlaid in black.[11] As of November 2009. according to satellite temperature measurements.

the atmosphere. changes in solar luminosity. each year's maximum occurs during the Northern Hemisphere's late spring.[32] The question in terms of global warming is how the strength of the presumed greenhouse effect 5|Page .External forcing refers to processes external to the climate system (though not necessarily external to Earth) that influence climate. It was proposed by Joseph Fourier in 1824 and was first investigated quantitatively by Svante Arrhenius in 1896. The greenhouse effect is the process by which absorption and emission of infrared radiation by gases in the atmosphere warm a planet's lower atmosphere and surface. Recent atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2) increases. and declines during its growing season as plants remove some atmospheric CO2. Orbital cycles vary slowly over tens of thousands of years and thus are too gradual to have caused the temperature changes observed in the past century. and variations in Earth's orbit around the Sun. volcanic eruptions. Monthly CO2 measurements display seasonal oscillations in overall yearly uptrend. Greenhouse gases Greenhouse effect schematic showing energy flows between space. and earth's surface. Energy exchanges are expressed in watts per square meter (W/m2). such as radiative forcing due to changes in atmospheric composition (mainly greenhouse gas concentrations). Climate responds to several types of external forcing.[31] Attribution of recent climate change focuses on the first three types of forcing.

Global dimming. Carbon dioxide has a lifetime of a century or more.changes when human activity increases the concentrations of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. and as such. The effects of the products of fossil fuel combustion—CO2 and aerosols—have largely offset one another in recent decades. and ozone (O3).[34][35][36] Clouds also affect the radiation balance.[33][C] The major greenhouse gases are water vapor. a gradual reduction in the amount of global direct irradiance at the Earth's surface.[55] Radiative forcing due to aerosols is temporally limited due to wet deposition which causes aerosols to have an atmospheric lifetime of one week. so that net warming has been due to the increase in non-CO2 greenhouse gases such as methane. which causes 9–26 percent. These aerosols exert a cooling effect by increasing the reflection of incoming sunlight. methane (CH4). which causes 4–9 percent. but they are composed of liquid water or ice and so have different effects on radiation from water vapor. has partially counteracted global warming from 1960 to the present. Naturally occurring greenhouse gases have a mean warming effect of about 33 °C (59 °F).[56] 6|Page . Aerosols and soot Ship tracks over the Atlantic Ocean on the east coast of the United States. The climatic impacts from aerosol forcing could have a large effect on climate through the indirect effect. carbon dioxide (CO2). which causes 3–7 percent. [54] The main cause of this dimming is aerosols produced by volcanoes and pollutants. which causes about 36–70 percent of the greenhouse effect. changes in aerosol concentrations will only delay climate changes due to carbon dioxide.

[69] A related hypothesis. with some studies showing a slight cooling effect.[31][66][67][68] Greenhouse gases and solar forcing affect temperatures in different ways.[58] This effect also causes droplets to be of more uniform size.[31] Observations show that temperatures in the stratosphere have been cooling since 1979. particularly their indirect effects. when satellite measurements became available.[65] while others studies suggest a slight warming effect. proposed by Henrik Svensmark. Radiosonde (weather balloon) data from the pre-satellite era show cooling since 1958. While both increased solar activity and increased greenhouse gases are expected to warm the troposphere. aerosols have indirect effects on the radiation budget.[60] Solar variation Solar variation over thirty years.[59] Indirect effects are most noticeable in marine stratiform clouds. but small.In addition to their direct effect by scattering and absorbing solar radiation. Aerosols. represent the largest uncertainty in radiative forcing. though there is greater uncertainty in the early radiosonde record. is that magnetic activity of the sun deflects cosmic rays that may influence the generation of cloud condensation nuclei and thereby affect 7|Page . and have very little radiative effect on convective clouds.[57] Sulfate aerosols act as cloud condensation nuclei and thus lead to clouds that have more and smaller cloud droplets. an increase in solar activity should warm the stratosphere while an increase in greenhouse gases should cool the stratosphere.[64] The effect of changes in solar forcing in recent decades is uncertain. These clouds reflect solar radiation more efficiently than clouds with fewer and larger droplets. Variations in solar output have been the cause of past climate changes. which reduces growth of raindrops and makes the cloud more reflective to incoming sunlight.

8|Page .the climate. and the change in the second quantity in turn changes the first. which assumes no action is taken to reduce emissions and regionally divided economic development.[71][72] The influence of cosmic rays on cloud cover is about a factor of 100 lower than needed to explain the observed changes in clouds or to be a significant contributor to present-day climate change. The geographic distribution of surface warming during the 21st century calculated by the HadCM3 climate model if a business as usual scenario is assumed for economic growth and greenhouse gas emissions.[70] Other research has found no relation between warming in recent decades and cosmic rays.0 °C (5. Positive feedback amplifies the change in the first quantity while negative feedback reduces it.4 °F). the globally averaged warming corresponds to 3. Climate models Calculations of global warming prepared in or before 2001 from a range of climate models under the SRES A2 emissions scenario. In this figure.[73] Feedback Feedback is a process in which changing one quantity changes a second quantity.

clouds. rather. ecological or social systems as a change having statistical significance.. All modern climate models are in fact combinations of models for different parts of the Earth.[75] Although much of the variation in model outcomes depends on the greenhouse gas emissions used as inputs. and a model of heat and moisture transfer from soil and vegetation to the atmosphere. Although they attempt to include as many processes as possible. is the next step following detection. it is an end result from the interaction of greenhouse gases with radiative transfer and other physical processes. models for ice cover on land and sea. These include an atmospheric model for air movement. and other atmospheric properties. thermodynamics and radiative transfer.[85] Natural systems 9|Page . to natural or human activities.[76] Attributed and expected effects Global warming may be detected in natural. The representation of clouds is one of the main sources of uncertainty in present-generation models.[74] Warming due to increasing levels of greenhouse gases is not an assumption of the models.The main tools for projecting future climate changes are mathematical models based on physical principles including fluid dynamics.[84] Attribution of these changes e. salt content. temperature. the temperature effect of a specific greenhouse gas concentration (climate sensitivity) varies depending on the model used. Some models also include treatments of chemical and biological processes.g. an ocean model that predicts temperature. and circulation of ocean waters. simplifications of the actual climate system are inevitable because of the constraints of available computer power and limitations in knowledge of the climate system.

[86] Even with current policies to reduce emissions. e. including agricultural and forestry management activities at higher latitudes in the Northern Hemisphere. increases in emissions at or above their current rate would very likely induce changes in the climate system larger than those observed in the 20th century. have been described in the section on temperature changes. combined with higher global temperatures.[89] Overall. including tundra. In the 1950s measurements began that allow the monitoring of glacial mass balance.. [90] Social systems There is some evidence of regional climate change affecting systems related to human activities. mangroves. and poleward and upward shifts in plant and animal ranges. Ecological systems In terrestrial ecosystems. Human health will be at increased risk in populations with limited capacity to adapt to climate change.[17] Future climate change is expected to particularly affect certain ecosystems.[D] atttributable to human-induced changes in greenhouse gas concentrations. It is expected that some regions will be particularly affected by climate 10 | P a g e . Rising sea levels and observed decreases in snow and ice extent are consistent with warming. with high probability.[87] It is expected that most ecosystems will be affected by higher atmospheric CO2 levels.g. based on the instrumental temperature record. and coral reefs.[87] Over the course of the 21st century. Some of these changes. the earlier timing of spring events. Global warming has been detected in a number of systems. global emissions are still expected to continue to grow over the coming decades.[17] Future climate change is expected to particularly affect some sectors and systems related to human activities. it is expected that climate change will result in the extinction of many species and reduced diversity of ecosystems. reported to the WGMS and the NSIDC. [17] Most of the increase in global average temperature since the mid-20th century is.[87] Low-lying coastal systems are vulnerable to sea level rise and storm surge.Sparse records indicate that glaciers have been retreating since the early 1800s. have been linked with high confidence to recent warming.

small islands. or removed during processing in hydrogen production. Studies indicate substantial potential for future reductions in emissions. increased use of renewable energy.[91] Responses to global warming Carbon capture and storage (CCS) is an approach to mitigation. usually underground. it is known as bio-energy with carbon capture and storage. less polluting. Policies include targets for emissions reductions. technologies.[92] Many countries. and increased energy efficiency. are aiming to use cleaner.change. or enhance the capacity of carbon sinks to absorb GHGs from the atmosphere. including the Arctic. or even beneficial in certain respects.[93] Since even in the most optimistic scenario. In some areas the effects on agriculture. both developing and developed. When used on plants.[45]:192 Use of these technologies aids mitigation and could result in substantial reductions in CO2 emissions. mitigation may also involve carbon capture and storage. but overall it is expected that these benefits will be outweighed by negative effects.[94] Adaptation 11 | P a g e . The IPCC defines mitigation as activities that reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. industry and health could be mixed. fossil fuels are going to be used for years to come. a process that traps CO2 produced by factories and gas or coal power stations and then stores it. Emissions may be sequestered from fossil fuel power plants. Mitigation Reducing the amount of future climate change is called mitigation of climate change. Africa. and Asian and African megadeltas.

food production is not threatened.[93] Even societies with high capacities to adapt are still vulnerable to climate change.e. Views on global warming Per capita greenhouse gas emissions in 2000.[97] UNFCCC Most countries are Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). Adaptation to climate change may be planned. by local or national government.Other policy responses include adaptation to climate change. i. limits. or spontaneous.g. 12 | P a g e . including land- use change.[99] As is stated in the Convention. The barriers. and reliable cost estimates for it have not yet been published. Total greenhouse gas emissions in 2000. and costs of future adaptation are not fully understood. Planned adaptation is already occurring on a limited basis. this requires that GHGs are stabilized in the atmosphere at a level where ecosystems can adapt naturally to climate change.. done privately without government intervention.. and economic development can proceed in a sustainable fashion. including land-use change.[95] The ability to adapt is closely linked to social and economic development.[98] The ultimate objective of the Convention is to prevent "dangerous" human interference of the climate system. e.[96] Geoengineering is largely unproven. This policy response is sometimes grouped together with mitigation. Another policy response is engineering of the climate (geoengineering).

[121][122] Etymology The term global warming was probably first used in its modern sense on 8 August 1975 in a science paper by Wally Broecker in the journal Science called "Are we on the brink of a pronounced global warming?". Of those aware.[109] Per capita emissions in the industrialized countries are typically as much as ten times the average in developing countries. In general. Developing countries often concentrate on per capita emissions. and those in Africa the least aware. previously the phrasing used by scientists was "inadvertent climate modification.[116] Other views Most scientists accept that humans are contributing to observed climate change.[120] However. that is. Latin America leads in belief that temperature changes are a result of human activities while Africa. the total emissions of a country divided by its population. [106][107] These competing views weigh the benefits of limiting emissions of greenhouse gases against the costs.There are different views over what the appropriate policy response to climate change should be.[108] Politics Developing and developed countries have made different arguments over who should bear the burden of costs for cutting emissions. some scientists and non-scientists question aspects of climate-change science.[110] Public opinion In 2007–2008 Gallup Polls surveyed 127 countries. and a few countries from the Former Soviet Union lead in the opposite belief." because while it was recognized humans could change 13 | P a g e . it seems likely that climate change will impose greater damages and risks in poorer regions. with people in developing countries less aware than those in developed.[133][134][135] Broecker's choice of words was new and represented a significant recognition that the climate was warming. parts of Asia and the Middle East. Over a third of the world's population was unaware of global warming. [44][119] National science academies have called on world leaders for policies to cut global emissions.

[136] This distinction is still often used in science reports."[137] The report made a distinction between referring to surface temperature changes as global warming.)[136] 14 | P a g e . while referring to other changes caused by increased CO2 as climate change. no one was sure which direction it was going. it said: "if carbon dioxide continues to increase..the climate. with global warming meaning surface temperatures. etc. [we find] no reason to doubt that climate changes will result and no reason to believe that these changes will be negligible. [136] The National Academy of Sciences first used global warming in a 1979 paper called the Charney Report. and climate change meaning other changes (increased storms.

EFFECT ON PLANTS You may think that global warming is caused by carbon dioxide emissions from burning fossil fuels.second to carbon dioxide? The world's annual methane production at present is around 600 million tonnes. industry and the like. In the last few years. What has recently been found from this research goes against what has been previously assumed. which normal global conservationist would consider totally harmless.organic gases released by plants contain methane. tripling the concentration of methane in the atmosphere over the last 150 years. Researchers have recently discovered that plants release 10 to 30 percent of the world's methane and the recent increase in methane concentrations in the atmosphere results mainly from human activities and agricultural activities. but did you know that methane is a potent greenhouse gas. Methane is best known as an imported energy source but only part of 15 | P a g e . much research has been focused on the biosphere and how gases released from the biosphere exchange with the atmosphere and influence climate.

Therefore the methane was thought to come from dead plant material. This increased further when the plants were exposed to sunlight.mainly rice cultivation and large areas of plant coverage such as the Amazon. the research concluded that plants themselves produce methane in a normal oxygen-rich environment. acetate or hydrogen and carbon dioxide are turned to methane.all sources of information said that biogenic methane could only be produced anaerobically so there was no reason why anyone should look any further! 16 | P a g e . it was also discovered that the formation of the methane is not hindered by the presence of oxygen. It is still unclear what processes are involved in the production of the methane but scientists believe the reaction mechanism cannot be explained with current plant knowledge. It turned out living plants let out 100-1000 times more methane than dead material. This would therefore suggest that the main reason for this high increase in methane concentration is from 'biogenic' sources.this takes place during the anaerobic decomposition of organic material.the methane uptake in the atmosphere. is due to industrial activities connected with energy production and use. In this way. It was previously assumed that biogenic methane is formed anaerobically via micro-organisms.20 years after the methane cycle was investigated. Its obvious why really. If this discovery wasn't surprising enough. However. It seems odd that such a basic discovery should come only now.

But at the heart of this is a vicious cycle. So what is next to come? A related question is what role the biosphere has played in methane production over the history of the Earth and what kind of influence the rise in global temperatures and carbon dioxide emissions have on the production of methane from plants. the percentage of methane produced by plants is nearing 30% . Reducing the amount of livestock and degree of agriculture is no easy task with the demand for food as high as it is.rainforests act as a major carbon dioxide sink and oxygen source as well as major areas of biodiversity and habitats. But is there anyway of controlling these emissions? There is no way in which we can catch the methane released to burn so could we just chop down all the trees in the rainforest? This would mean more paper and would act as a biogenic fuel source. these new findings may have important implications for how policymakers address climate control. There may be no answer to this rather new but surprisingly serious problem but it is definitely something for climate control agencies to take note of.With the total amounts of methane produced a year approaching 240 million tonnes. There is also the great degree of production of methane from cattle ranching. two thirds of which comes from tropical areas where the most amount of biomass is located (this is immediate evidence for why there appear to be high methane concentrations over rainforests as shown by satellite imaging). The answer to these questions will provide better understandings in the feedback mechanisms between climate change and greenhouse gas production. this wouldn't be a wise decision. Seeing as carbon dioxide is even worse for the atmosphere in global warming terms.all of which is released into the environment. 17 | P a g e . These cows produce thousands of tonnes a year of methane. and set to rise. These figures are set to rise if current rates of intensification in farming increase as with the global population on the rise and the need for more farming.

"Plants have a very complex and diverse influence on the climate system. such as changing the amount of evaporation from the land surface. a tree can release tens of 18 | P a g e . the study underscores the importance of including plants in their climate models. It's impossible to make good climate predictions without taking all of these factors into account.his warming is in addition to carbon dioxide's better-known effect as a heat-trapping greenhouse gas. "Plants take carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere." says study co-author Ken Caldeira of Carnegie's Department of Global Ecology. just as perspiration cools our bodies. On a hot day. For scientists trying to predict global climate change in the coming century." Plants give off water through tiny pores in their leaves. a process called evapotranspiration that cools the plant. but they also have other effects.

gallons of water into the air. but the new research predicts that changes in evapotranspiration due to high carbon dioxide could have an even stronger impact on water resources than those models predict. "This effect would cause significant warming even if carbon dioxide were not a greenhouse gas. But in some regions. Earlier models based on greenhouse effects of carbon dioxide had also predicted higher runoff. the evapotranspiration effects of plants account for 16% of warming of the land surface. averaged over the entire globe. such as parts of North America and eastern Asia. it 19 | P a g e . the researchers doubled the concentration of atmospheric carbon dioxide and recorded the magnitude and geographic pattern of warming from different factors. Previous work by Carnegie's Chris Field and Joe Berry had indicated that the effects were important. diminishing the tree's cooling power. "If we think of a doubling of carbon dioxide as causing about four degrees of warming. But when carbon dioxide levels are high. says Caldeira. because more water from precipitation bypasses the plant cooling system and flows directly to rivers and streams. it can be more than 25% of the total warming." In their model. "These results really show that how plants respond to carbon dioxide is very important for making good climate predictions. The plants absorb carbon dioxide for photosynthesis through the same pores (called stomata). and one is coming from the direct effect of carbon dioxide on plants. the leaf pores shrink. They found that. in many places three of those degrees are coming from the effect of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. acting as a natural air conditioner for its surroundings." says Caldeira. This causes less water to be released. with greenhouse effects accounting for the rest. "There is no longer any doubt that carbon dioxide decreases evaporative cooling by plants and that this decreased cooling adds to global warming. But he and fellow Carnegie scientist Long Cao were concerned that it is not as widely recognized that carbon dioxide also warms our planet by its direct effects on plants." says Cao." The researchers also found that their model predicted that high carbon dioxide will increase the runoff from the land surface in most areas. "So if we want to improve climate predictions. More broadly. we need to improve the representation of land plants in the climate models. The warming effects of carbon dioxide as a greenhouse gas have been known for a long time.

We need to take great care in considering what kind of changes we make to forests and other ecosystems." 20 | P a g e .shows that the kind of vegetation that's on the surface of our planet and what that vegetation is doing is very important in determining our climate. because they are likely to have important climate consequences.

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