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. We can see from satellite images and research that the ice caps are melting faster, our sea levels are rising, and weather patterns are changing. We are experiencing more water shortages and we will see hurricanes, typhoons and cyclones increasing in ferocity and frequency. The deserts will expand and the world will ultimately have difficulty growing enough food. Without doubt, we have to change the way we live. There are a few scientists who claim our earth is going about business as usual. In dealing with global warming, we should at least adopt an approach based on the precautionary principle. "The precautionary principle states that if the potential consequences of an action are severe or irreversible, in the absence of full scientific certainty the burden of proof falls on those who would advocate taking the action." Thousands of scientists from a hundred countries are working on the scientific aspects of climate change. They are not just proving this theory to be correct, but they are also advising on what action we must take. The earth has gone through many natural climatic cycles during its long history. The scary part is we are causing changes to happen at an unbelievable rate, much faster than normal. Burning fossil fuels pours out greenhouse gases at a life-threatening rate and causing global warming. Global Warming, Greenhouse Effect, Climate Change .... they are all happening right now! The rate of climate change is now so fast we are struggling to adapt our philosophies, economics, and lifestyle to slow it down. We must alter the way we live or we will suffer staggering consequences. There is a lot of information on this site and I trust it adds to your understanding about greenhouse issues. I also hope it leads you to discover more about global climate change and what you must do. This is a crisis of global proportion, but please don't despair! Come with me and understand what causes global warming and climate change, then act, do something.... You Can Make A Difference
Climate change refers to the variation at a global or regional level over time. It describes the variability or average state of the atmosphere or average weather over time scales ranging from decades to millions of years. These variations may come from processes internal to the Earth, be driven by external forces (e.g. variations in sunlight intensity) or, most recently, be caused by human activities.
If you are not sure of the difference between 'climate' and 'weather', click on the link to find out: Climate-Weather.
and over the period 1961 to 2003. The major technological and socioeconomic shift of the industrial era with reduced reliance on organic fuel. we have changed our climate. However not all changes are due to natural processes. and millions more are expected in the future. driven by internal and external factors. With Peter DeMenocal. The key areas for concern are those related to variability and extremes. This occurs naturally. . Why do you think we measure weather? Find out here Just as weather patterns change from day to day. the 1990s was the warmest decade in the last thousand years. as we humans have also exerted our influence. or listen to four scientists from Columbia University explain future climatic uncertainties. There are already people who have become climate refugees. use of fossil fuels and the building of cities.10°C (0. means we have contributed to the natural greenhouse effect.4-0. There is an accumulating body of evidence of observed impacts relating to regional changes. Sea surface temperatures have increased 0. Through widespread use of land. and that these are having fearful effects on the world around us. which is called anthropogenic climate change. Maxx Dilly and Klaus Lackner.7-1. Gavin Schmidt.4°F) since the late 19 Century. Temperatures across the globe are most certainly rising. not simply changed average conditions. and broad scale deforestation. the climate changes too.8°C (0. the accelerated uptake of fossil fuels.18°F) from the surface to a depth of 700 m.No time to read all this? Visit Facts and Impacts for a one page summary. global ocean temperature has risen by 0.
or seasonal variations in temperature.2°F) toward the end of the 21st century.The world has warmed 0. there has been an increase in heatwaves. Sea levels have risen 10±20 cm and there is increased heavy rainfall in some regions. permafrost is melting. and 6% of malaria in some middle-income countries. Warming of a few degrees seems inconsequential compared with day to day. Climatic changes over recent decades have already affected some health outcomes. There are fewer frosts. However.6 billion year history.000 years. and less in others. in global terms it is much larger than any of the climatic changes experienced during the past 10. the current changes are spurred by the human burning of fossil fuels. that climate change was estimated to be responsible in 2000 for approximately 2. glaciers are retreating and sea ice is decreasing. Global average temperature is forecast to rise 4°C (7. warming of the lower atmosphere and deep oceans. Epidemics of weather and climatesensitive infectious diseases such as malaria and meningitis will have a devastating effect .74°C in the past hundred years and scientists are clear that the world will get warmer this century due to further increases in greenhouse gas concentrations. The World Health Organisation estimated. since the rise of agriculture and civilisations.4% of worldwide diarrhoea. in its "World Health Report 2002". Although the Earth has seen many climatic changes during its 4. In addition to warming of the Earth¶s surface.
Cassowaries ).on human health and socio-economic development and severely overburden health systems in many parts of the world. Government's of the world are slowly responding. Changes in phenology (including earlier reproduction and migration). An international carbon price and developed carbon trading markets must be fast tracked. with current levels of carbon dioxide not exceeded for the past 420. change in phenology (including earlier flowering). increasing resource demands and unsustainable management practices.Poleward and elevational shifts in range. The previous Australian Government. change in growth. Some low-lying coastal areas and islands are already feeling the effect. Higher latitudes of the globe would receive more rainfall while middle latitudes. Davos in the Swiss Alps) with earlier snowmelt. Sea Ice . We must also move quickly to renewable energy as the source for our electricity and transport fuels. More wildfires and droughts are expected in some regions of the world with higher rainfalls and resultant flooding in other areas.g. including parts of Australia. As seen below.Glaciers are retreating.Declining sea-ice extent and thickness. Boyd's Forest Dragon. and will be more prone to inundation from storm surges.g. Animals . whilst not signing the Kyoto Protocol have acknowledged. diversity. The Fourth Assessment Report released in 2007. Sea Turtles ). but is the response quick enough? At this stage the answer is. For these areas the changes will pose significant problems for water resource management. The Report also shows why there is cause for deep concern: Hydrology and Glaciers . ³The projected global warming of a few degrees in the 21st century would occur at a time that is already one of the warmest for hundreds of thousands of years. Tropical hurricanes and cyclones may become stronger and sea levels will rise over the coming decades. A few degrees of global warming will lead to more heat waves and fewer frosts. and snow cover is decreasing (e.000 years. Over a million species are predicted to become extinct by 2050 (e. Plants Change in abundance. no.g. physiological and morphological adaptation. and not likely during the past 20 million years". . and changing snow ecology. by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) stated that ³there is new and stronger evidence that most of the warming observed over the last 50 years is attributable to human activities´. Human induced climate change is another major stress in a world where natural and social systems are already experiencing pollution. There is also reductions in the annual duration of lake and river ice. and range. are likely to receive less. and alteration in species abundance (e.
The number of such calamities has doubled over the last 10 years. the repercussions of climate change might be even worse because the entire climatic system will be thrown out of balance. and we have to face and evaluate it. In fact. Disastrous floods are getting more frequent in Russia and many other countries. however vague it might appear. . There is no way to hide from global warming. Some believe the general alarm is the result of a mere lack of knowledge. the danger posed by climate change is no smaller than the danger posed by nuclear war. Unprecedented heat. and so are annual deviations from it. Natural calamities go hand in hand with warming. The average surface temperature is going up.Impact Of Climate Change Equal To Nuclear War by Viktor Danilov-Danilyan Moscow (RIA Novosti) Jun 29. droughts and typhoons brought about by climate change cause tremendous damage. floods. But then. They account for more than half of weather-related dangers. according to the Russian Emergency Situations Ministry. Some experts think there is nothing to worry aboutperiodic alterations in the climate are normal. 2007 Global climate change defies forecasting.
The town was rebuilt on a new site. The spring inundation of the Lena. The environmental balance has already been upset. Heavy rains in spring and early summer cause floods. which have to undergo a very painful adaptation process. Permafrost thawing has not yet achieved a scale that poses a threat of infrastructural accidents-but we can never be too careful. The World Bank estimates Russia's weather damages. which is bad for both forest types-conifers suffer in the heat. Average warming in Russia due to anthropogenic factors is about one degree. the largest Eurasian river. Winter floods are typical of the Arctic Ocean basin. Many plants and animals will suffer. The Kuban and Stavropol regions. Economic disasters caused by natural calamities are becoming ever more frequent. The evacuation and ensuing housing and infrastructural reconstruction cost an exorbitant sum. it is four to six degrees-enough to shrink the permafrost area. brants and other birds will lose half of their nesting grounds in a matter of 20-40 years. Warming makes the climate unstable. after which there is not a single raindrop for three months. broadleaved woods ousting the coniferous taiga. are also frequent in the Russian Far East-the Primorye and Khabarovsk territories. . forest tundra and tundra itself receding northward-suffice it to compare space photographs from 30 years ago with the latest ones. for example. A three to four degree warming may interrupt the food chain of the tundra ecosystem. with bitter frosts and sultry summers. spurring the warming on in a vicious circle. So the biota will face many shocks before the climate stabilizes. The change endangers oil pipelines and the entire infrastructure of Siberia's west and northwest. usually caused by typhoons. Floods. In particular. roughly $1-$2 billion. washed away the town and port of Lensk in 2001. which will release accumulated methane and carbon dioxide gas. with the borders of the taiga. Warming is also a major problem for marshes and the permafrost. Kamchatka. while broadleaf trees do not survive frosty winters. In Siberia. lead to the extinction of many species. permanently face this danger. and millions of wild geese. Russia's breadbasket. largely caused by climate change. All that will drastically increase atmospheric greenhouse gas concentrations. Considerable warming will result in changes to ecosystems. at an annual 30-60 billion rubles. Sakhalin and the Kuril Islands. the polar bear's habitat is doomed to shrink. Pernicious effects are visible even now. Warming also poses a great danger to regional flora and fauna. Gas hydrates from the northern sea shelf will vaporize.Floods alternate with droughts in European Russia's south. destroying those crops that survive the floods. eiders.
Cleaner air will help reverse the trend of climate change BEGINNING WITH the Industrial revolution in the 19th century and accelerating since then.SF6. for example. The document determines the scope of the international partnership to deal with the issue. True. Intensive economic activities are surely bad for the climate. clean technologies for industry and everyday life. the United States uses more energy for air conditioning than Russia does for heating even now. the vegetation period is becoming longer-but this benefit is outweighed by the hazard of spring frosts destroying young crops.CH4. The World Meteorological Organization and the United Nations Environment Program established the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change in 1988. locusts are moving north.HFC & PFC) in the atmosphere causing an abnormal increase in the temperature of earth. The UN Framework Convention on Climate Change entered into force in 1994. the taiga and the forest tundra shifts. Due to the presence of these gases. One hundred and ninety countries have joined it since then. carbon dioxide and other gases. and have become frequent guests in the Samara Region on the Volga and certain other areas. Climate change thus brings epidemics in its wake. the heat that earth receives from the sun is not radiated back to the desired extent and the heat gets entrapped in this process. Scientists who welcome warming as a boon for Russian agriculture are entirely wrong. pests become gangster species. The mite habitat is rapidly expanding. The problem appeared on the political agenda in the 20th century.Invasions of ecosystems by alien species are one of the worst manifestations of global warming. It is introducing new. Pests migrate north far quicker than the border between. including Russians. Thus. But then. How can humankind fight climate change? It's no use opposing Nature-but we can reduce pollution and other adverse environmental effects brought about by humankind. Subtropical malarial mosquitoes now feel at home in the area around Moscow. thus raising the earth¶s average temperature. whose first achievement was the Kyoto Protocol of 1997. As the ability of the atmosphere to capture and recycle energy emitted by . That is why the protocol demands a reduction in air pollution caused by methane. and has been true to its pledge.N2O. too. there has been an increase in the emissions of various green house gases (CO2. which brought together several thousand scientists. Another argument in favor of warming is the energy that would be saved by a reduced need for heating. Russia ratified the protocol along with another 166 countries. crowding out the native biota with dynamic multiplication. Once they find themselves in a foreign ecosystem.
6 degree celsius in the earth¶s average temperature between 1990-2100.4-5. nitrates and ammonium compounds. The human consumption of fossil fuels has elevated the CO2 levels from a concentration of approximately 280 ppm in pre industrial times to 387 ppm today. irrigation and deforestation. an increase in disease levels and a change in ecosystems. By chemical reactions these gases form sulphates. Prior to widespread use of fossil fuels. North Atlantic Ocean current may change. which will have an economic impact to ski resorts. soil erosion and crop failure in sub Saharan region. Cement industry is the major contributor of CO2 constituting five per cent of the total Carbon dioxide produced. There is evidence to suggest that the climate of Mediterranean and Greece was completely changed to hot and dry because of widespread deforestation between 700 BC to 1 AD. and nonvolatile organics (secondary aerosol). 300 million people across nations will find themselves . As per WWF reports. then these increasing emissions are projected to be of the tune of 538-987 ppm by the end of the 21st century. humanity¶s biggest threat to climate change was from land use. storm surges risk to Florida. the pattern on absorption and redirection of sunlight changes causing local climate change . these are a few of them. Apart from these. The changes may lead to a rise in sea levels. The list is long. The possible effect of climate change may be sea level rise in Bangladesh and Pacific. a change in vegetation zones. which in turn will affect climate of Great Britain. Along with rising Methane levels it is suggested that due to all these factors there will be a rise of 1. are either emitted as primary aerosols (dust or particle emissions of diesel cars) or formed by the conversion of sulphur dioxide. nitrogen oxides. With the changin pattern of land use. small particles suspended in air with a lifetime of at least minutes. The concentration is increasing by 2-3 ppm/year. ammonia and organic compounds present in atmosphere. The increase of methane level is mainly due to livestock and paddy fields. These particulate matters also play an important role in Climate change. Aerosols. If the current rate of emissions continues. melting of the glaciers of the European alps. agriculture. risk of flooding of Maldives.the earth¶s surface is essential for a stable climate. this heightened temperature may introduce de-stabilising influence and potentially affect global weather patterns and eventually long term climate change.
Impact of climate change has already started to show in Sunderbans where agriculture productivity has declined putting a lot of people at risk of starvation.. New York Times. It further states that ice sheets and sea level rise will put around 100 million people at risk of coastal flooding. I think we ought to listen.org and http://www. Business Week. visit www. 2005 ³We accept that the science on global warming is overwhelming. ³There¶s no time to wait because tomorrow is now. We need to work in concert with the government and environmental groups to promote and reward leadership. There should be mandatory carbon constraints.undoit.´ ² The Rev. 2005 ³I think God is going to ask us what we did with the earth he created.at greater risk of malaria and other water borne diseases by 2020. March 10. Rowe. vice president of governmental affairs for the National Association of Evangelicals. Rich Cizik.. religious and political leaders who are warming to solutions ± and agreeing that it¶s time to find practical solutions to address the problem of global warming.. May 9. We are living in a carbon-constrained world where the amount of CO2 must be reduced. 2005 To find out more about the importance of the Climate Stewardship Act and the threat of global warming. 2004 ³When you have energy companies like Shell and British Petroleum«saying there is a problem with excess carbon dioxide emissions. Chairman and CEO of GE.climatecrisis. Print | Post comment The Climate Is Indeed Changing« But now it¶s a growing list of business.´ ² Jeffrey Immelt. Exelon Chairman and CEO.´ ² Former Secretary of State James Baker. But industry cannot get there alone.net/ .. March 3. Ecomagination Launch.´ ² John W. August 16.
The consequences will include rising seas. the report expresses more than 90 percent certainty that man-made emissions from the burning of fossil fuels have caused the steady rise in atmospheric temperatures. The report warns that if society keeps to its current course. and toward cleaner alternatives. A distillation of the best peer-reviewed science. That is the objective of the many global warming bills now circulating in Washington. President Bush has brandished those very real costs of moving to a new energy-delivery system again and again to argue against mandatory caps on emissions and to make the case for his own cost-free (and demonstrably inadequate) program of voluntary . more powerful hurricanes. This is the fourth in a series of studies that began in 1990. while meaningful action is almost certain to be expensive. that even though the world is committed to centuries of further warming. causing temperatures to rise 3. A later paper will address specific remedies. The report also offers hope. emissions will increase to twice their preindustrial levels by the end of this century. disappearing coral reefs and more intensive droughts in subtropical countries. 2007 Should Congress require any further reason to move aggressively to limit greenhouse gas emissions. and this one lays the whole problem at humanity¶s doorstep. suggesting that what humans have caused. it need only read Friday¶s report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. humans can mitigate." The second and third reports detected a bigger human role. As we have learned over the years. talk is cheap in Washington. The first left open the possibility that the warming that began with the onset of the Industrial Revolution and increased in the 1950s was "largely due to natural variability. The best of these would put a price on carbon through a mandatory cap on emissions from sources like power plants and cars.5 to 8 degrees. with the destruction of tropical rain forests playing a lesser but important role. the world¶s authoritative voice on global warming. the process can be slowed and the worst effects averted by swift and decisive action to limit and reverse emissions. But many climate experts believe the world must embark on a swift and sustained shift in the way energy is produced and used ² away from fuels like oil and coal. thus making coal and oil relatively more expensive while driving the market toward cleaner sources of energy.AT HUMANITY'S DOORSTEP New York Times editorial February 4.
we may have begun to trigger abrupt and extreme climate changes. Although still riddled with uncertainties. Mankind's release of greenhouse gasses has already warmed the arctic regions enough to thaw some of the massive amounts of frozen methane in the permafrost and on the ocean floor. ice-like compounds called methane hydrates trapped beneath the permafrost and on the Arctic ocean floor could thaw and start releasing enormous amounts of methane²more than ten times what is now in the atmosphere". It is a consensus document. . "If high-latitude tundras get much warmer. as the following information suggests. Has Mankind Begun Triggering Abrupt and Extreme Climate Changes? by Jon Traudt The National Academy of Sciences says that global warming could lead to "large. NOTE: The tundras have already begun melting. Could we possibly be in the process of triggering abrupt and extreme climate change that mankind cannot reverse and may not survive? Scientists have found evidence that rapid and catastrophic global warming occurred long ago due to massive releases of methane into the atmosphere. "Climate change is a legitimate worry. abrupt and unwelcome" changes in the climate. will be far greater than the price of acting now. Trenberth reported that the consensus on the accumulated global warming due to mankind's actions appears to be only about 1 degree F. However. the science of climate change is becoming firmer: put too much carbon in the atmosphere and you might end up cooking the earth. In chapter 12 of their book Natural Capitalism. so far. Climate science is an incredibly complex field. Will mankind be intelligent and caring enough to avoid triggering a chain reaction of positive feedback mechanisms that could quickly result in catastrophic global warming. Amory and Hunter Lovins said. In Global warming: It's happening.reductions. but think of human-induced atmospheric change hitting a critical mass point at which various chain reactions are triggered that cannot be undone by mankind. the opportunity to redress global warming may be lost. Yet what the panel is telling us is that the costs of doing nothing. And in its modesty. This is not a report compiled by a bunch of activists or alarmists. The Economist concluded. it is alarming enough. In the October 1998 issue. Kevin E. the inherently conservative product of three years of study and debate among mainstream scientists from 150 countries with often competing agendas. especially to future generations. The scientists of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change say that dramatic effort must begin with this generation and that if strong steps are not taken soon. with possibly catastrophic results".
The solubility of carbon dioxide in water decreases as temperature rises. Methane is more than 21 times as effective as carbon dioxide in trapping heat in our atmosphere. Open water in polar regions absorb more solar heat than ice or snow do. As arctic regions continue to get warmer. Eight Ways that "Mother Nature" is Helping Mankind to Accelerate Climate Change 1. Energy Information Administration). (For details. The Surface Heat Budget of the Arctic Ocean Project. 3.The United States emits more than 1. . a report published by the Goddard Institute for Space Studies). or SHEBA. 1998" from the U. which shows much of the ice is covered by dark melt ponds. as oceans warm. may. more than 6 tons per person (See "Emissions of Greenhouse Gases in the United States. The ship. 4. their ability to continue absorbing massive amounts of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere decreases. Greenhouse Gases. (See The Greenhouse Effect. The average temperature of the earth's oceans has increased about 1 degree C. release enough methane to rapidly accelerate global warming. and Global Warming. has documented changes in the ice pack consistent with changes expected as a result of global warming. 2.S. is located in the black area in the middle of the satellite image below. see page 76 of the November 1999 issue of Scientific American). huge areas of permafrost have been thawing. CCGS Des Groseilliers. an international expedition to the Arctic. allowing thick layers of long-frozen plant material to decay and release both methane and carbon dioxide. by warming the Earth. during the last 25 years. Thus. Methane is also released from gas hydrate deposits on the sea floor when the local water temperature rises a few degrees above freezing. The accumulation of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere as a result of such extravagant energy use.800 million metric tons of carbon equivalent each year.
creating a vicious climatic feedback loop. The loss of vegetation caused by drought thus results in a net release of carbon from the biosphere into the atmosphere 8. that settles on the ice and increases absorption of heat from the sun. Arctic and Antarctic regions have warmed about four time more than regions near the equator. More of the warmth is staying in the mid-Atlantic ocean. they absorb less CO2. Scientists estimate that the recent 1° F. Preliminary findings from SHEBA show that the Arctic ice sheet is about five percent smaller. which sequesters a large portion of the earth's store of labile carbon. Global warming has increased the frequency and severity of drought in many regions. nutrient-rich waters on which the phytoplankton depend to fix atmospheric carbon dioxide. NOTE: Thawing in the arctic regions is partially due to the soot.5. than in the 1970s. But as their numbers decline. CO2 from the thawing peat bogs is being released into the atmosphere at an accelerating rate. released during the burning of coal and diesel fuel. Scientists believe that the on-going disappearance of the ice pack could accelerate global warming because ocean water absorbs more incoming solar radiation than does the ice. Global warming is causing stratification of the world's oceans. 7. Major Climate Shifts Global warming may be to blame for slowing currents in the Atlantic Ocean but the likely result will be a much colder Western Europe. 6. which is preventing the upwelling of colder. where hurricanes begin and grow. . and one meter thinner. Droughts reduce the accumulation of plant biomass. no longer warmed by north flowing tropical waters. increase in mid-Atlantic surface temperature has enabled the peak destructiveness of hurricanes to increase about 50%. Some melting of ice is due to dark dust from human activities that settles on the ice and increases absorption of heat from the sun.
" . "However. "Think about the situation where you are in a canoe on a river with a waterfall. analyze two potential threshold responses to anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions ± a widespread bleaching of corals and a collapse of oceanic circulation systems. Typical economic analysis applied to global warming may be biased because they neglect climate thresholds. some environmental effects are not smooth and show a threshold response. The situation for climate thresholds is similar." says Dr. Easterling. One may want to see early warning signals before it is too late to avoid the threshold response. "Economic analyses typically neglect that greenhouse gas emissions might trigger climate thresholds with potentially significant ecological and economic impacts. For a long time nothing or very little happens and then suddenly a large change occurs. Washington. These events could happen suddenly and predictions about whether and when they would happen are uncertain. One key question is whether the current observation system would deliver an actionable early warning signal about possible ocean circulation changes. according to Penn State researchers. Penn State. These potential climate thresholds call into question the results of previous economic analysis of climate change policies. 18) at the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. We need more realistic representations of the potential environmental threshold responses in economic analyses. Klaus Keller. "Analyses neglecting the potential fro negative impacts of greenhouse gas emissions are biased toward too high greenhouse gas emissions. "Economic models of climate change typically assume that changes occur gradually and reversibly. "You may want to know the location of the waterfall early enough to be able to avoid going over the waterfall. professor of geography and director of the Penn State Institutes of the Environment." says Keller." Keller and William E. assistant professor of geoscience. D." The uncertainty about the climate thresholds and the potential for an abrupt response pose special challenges to the design of climate policies. says Keller. Keller told attendees today (Feb.Climate Threshold May Alter Economic Picture Of Climate Change Source: Penn State Mar 04. 2005 Potential climate thresholds like collapse of ocean circulation system call into question the results of previous economic analysis of climate change policies.C.
February 23. In contrast. Karl said. already is generating much interest. Historical and geological records how that Earth warms and cools in fits and starts. though. Such a trend probably would be a continuation of the recent three-year string of steamy summers-mild winters seen by much of the nation and perhaps eventually would mean increased flooding of low-lying areas. The analysis. could be evidence for a "change point" ² a period during which Earth¶s climate begins warming at a faster rate. by Jonathan Overpeck Director of the University of Arizona¶s Institute for the Study of Planet Earth. "The next few years are going to be interesting". During the 1900s. "It could the beginning of a new increase in temperatures". Implementing such observation systems could very well be a highly profitable investment for future generations. The current debate is not over whether the climate is warming. published in the March 1st. and some disagreement." Climate Warming at Steep Rate "There is no known precedent of natural forces that could have given rise to the temperatures of the last decade". 2000 A new analysis by government scientists indicates that the Earth¶s climate is warming at an unprecedented rate. Karl said. and how to design and implement an observation system that could deliver an actionable warning signal. Most scientists agree that Earth has warmed significantly since the 1880s. The increase in warming. 2000 issue of the journal Geophysical Research Letters. On average. . among climatologists. said Tom Karl. suggesting that the future impact of global warming may be more severe and sudden than predicted. most warming occurred between 1910 and 1940 and then after 1970. when temperatures were first routinely recorded. warming throughout the century occurred at a rate of just over onedegree per century.Key questions are how confident we have to be in an early warning signal before we consider it sufficient to take action. warming since 1976 occurred at a rate of nearly four degrees per century. not at a constant rate. Such a steep warming rate was not expected to occur until well into the 21st century. "Observation systems that would yield actionable early warning signal about climate thresholds have the potential to improve climate policies considerably. the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration climatologist who led the study.
The hot spell continued into 1999. despite being a cool La Nina year. each month we were breaking the previous year¶s all-time global high temperature record". The global warming issue began receiving renewed attention in 1997. Questions now center on how quickly the Earth is warming. saying that temperatures were far higher than could be explained by an El Nino event. "That rate is not only unprecedented in the instrumental records (since 1880) but unprecedented in the last 1. Tom Wigley. Karl said.Earlier this year. CLIMATE CHANGE ACTIVITIES IN THE UNITED STATES At a side event June 11. Colorado. The answers are crucial. Karl disagreed. which was the fifth-warmest year on record despite the occurrence of a cooling La Nina event. a senior scientist at the National Center for Atmospheric Research in Boulder. "but they weren¶t unusual due to human influences". "Those months were unusual". included El Nino events known to cause warming. what the effects of that warming might be and whether the warming is caused largely by human or natural causes. "In 1998. He said 1999 was the fifth hottest year on record. The two-year string of warm months prompted Karl and colleagues Richard Knight and Bruce Baker to analyze the Earth¶s warming rate. "There is no known precedent of natural forces that could have given rise to the temperatures of the last decade". the Pew Center on Global Climate Change released . Karl said he could not be certain that the warm years of 1997. director of the University of Arizona¶s Institute for the Study of Planet Earth and an expert in paleoclimatic records. But a statistical analysis suggests that there was only a 5 percent ² or one in 20 ² chance that such temperatures would not be part of a warming trends he said. said Jonathan Overpeck. The period between May 1997 and August 1998. 2002 at the Sixteenth Session of the Subsidiary Bodies to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change. he said. A number of other climatologists agree that the extreme warming of the late 1990s is an ominous sign.000 years at least". he said. 1998 and 1999 were evidence of an increased warming trend. which was the hottest year on record² until 1998. said he found the new analysis interesting but questioned whether recent warm years should be attributed to a large shift in human-induced global warming. for developing effective environmental policies. scientists said. a blue-ribbon panel of climate experts commissioned by the National Academy of Sciences quashed most lingering doubts by calling global warming over the past 100 years "undoubtedly real".
S.pewclimate. that we realized how small and how helpless this planet is something that we must hold in our arms and care for. fossil fuel burning. from the moon. where a growing number of corporations are setting greenhouse gas targets and achieving significant emission reductions.pewclimate. ³Climate Change Activities in the United States.org/projects/us_activities2.org/policy/index_dom. By 1958. An overview of the kinds of measures that could help launch such an effort is provided in another Pew publication. The oceans and land biosphere have taken up the excess CO2. like the present one that began around 10. and In the business community. has released roughly twice as much CO2 as would be required to account for the observed increase. Tropical deforestation also has contributed to CO2 releases during the past few decades. The publication. The full report is now available online: http://www. comprehensive effort needed to significantly reduce U.S.000 years ago. when systematic atmospheric measurements began.a publication summarizing climate change efforts in the United States. Human activities are responsible for the increase. The U. http://www.´ focuses in particular on efforts: In Congress. . At the state level. emissions. Concentrations did not rise much above 280 ppmv until the Industrial Revolution. they had reached 315 ppmv." Margaret Mead Concentrations of carbon dioxide (CO2) extracted from ice cores drilled in Greenland and Antarctica have typically ranged from near 190 parts per million by volume (ppmv) during the ice ages to near 280 ppmv during the warmer ³interglacial´ periods. Domestic Response to Climate Change: Key Elements of a Prospective Program. the report notes they represent only a start toward the sustained. The primary source.CFM "It was not until we saw the picture of the earth. where governments are enacting mandatory carbon controls and other programs to reduce emissions. They are currently ~370 ppmv and rising at a rate of 1.CFM While these activities reflect growing support for stronger climate change action in the United States. where twice as many climate change proposals were introduced in the past year as in the previous four years combined.5 ppmv per year (slightly higher than the rate during the early years of the 43-year record).
which dates back over a number of glacial/interglacial cycles. Are you willing to help prevent further climate changes? If so.gov and Energy Efficient Homes .S. For assistance in making your home more efficient. you can lead by setting a good example for others to follow. About two-thirds of the current CH4 emissions are released by human activities. the raising of cattle. comfortable and safe. economy. Concentrations increased rather smoothly by about 1 percent per year from 1978 until about 1990. methane (CH4) is more abundant in Earth¶s atmosphere now than at any time during the 400. ensuring better health for Americans as well as creating millions of new jobs and a competitive edge for the U. all of which have increased over the past 50 years. such as rice growing.Like CO2. coal mining.000-year ice core record. Greater use of renewable energy systems and energy efficiency could help to minimize global warming. go to: www. The rate of increase slowed and became more erratic during the 1990s. and natural gas handling.energystar. Using energy efficient methods and products that are already available can make a big difference in stopping this threat. Suggested Actions: Global warming is already reducing our quality of life. use of land-fills.
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