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Global Warming

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Global warming is simply defined as an increase in the average global temperatures. Though, it is an environmental problem, it has serious implications on the global economics, geopolitics, society, humanity and all living beings. “Global warming is one of the most controversial science issues of the 21st century, challenging the very structure of our global society” (Mark). Though, there has been controversies between two schools of scientific thought, one calling it is a myth and the other considering it is a reality, there is sufficient evidence to support the later. Anthropogenic activities, causing increased emissions of green house gases, are behind the global warming. It has been established, that, if not addressed properly and immediately, it would have catastrophic impacts.

Global warming means earth is becoming warmer gradually. There is increase in average global temperatures of air and oceans, accompanied by widespread melting of glaciers and rising of sea level. The United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) in its ‘Synthesis Report on Climate Change’, states that there is clear evidence for a 0.6 0C rise in global temperatures and 20cm rise in sea level during the 20th century. It predicts that “global temperatures could rise by 1.4 to 5.8 0C and sea level could rise by 20 to 88cm by the year 2100.” Majority of the scientists and research organisations, including IPCC have reached on consensus that global warming is caused by massive increase of green house gases such as Carbon dioxide (Co2) in atmosphere resulting from burning of fossil fuels and deforestation.

The temperature of earth is maintained by the balance between the heat energy coming from the sun and the heat energy returned back to space. Some atmospheric gases: Carbon dioxide (CO2), Methane (CH4), Nitrous Oxide (N2OX), Chlorofluorocarbons (CFC) and water vapours are important to this temperature balance. They form the green house blanket in the atmosphere. This blanket absorbs some of the long wave radiation and re-radiate it back to surface, which causes the atmosphere to warm up to 350C. Without these gases the earth’s atmospheric temperature would be 15 to 200C. If more such gases are added to the atmosphere, the earth’s temperature would increase accordingly. And these are being added enormously.

This is why the global warming is taking place with greater pace due to the abundant increase in emissions. “The scientists community is largely persuaded that not only is earth’s climate warming, but rate of warming is accelerating due substantially to, human activity.” says Dr. Terrence M. Joyce, Senior Scientist and Director of Ocean & Climate Change Institute.

The main evidences of global warming are three basic indicators- temperature, precipitation and sea level. Firstly, the temperature of land surface, ocean waters and free atmosphere has been measured through fixed thermometers, balloons in the air and satellites. By these sources, scientists have produced record of last 130 years, which shows a global warming of 0.65(+ - 0.05degree C) over this period. We also know that 2010 was globally the warmest years on record.

Secondly, the recorded data of precipitation also reveals that there is upward trend in global precipitation. It shows that precipitation has increased over land at high latitudes in northern hemisphere, especially during cold seasons. As the cyclones, i.e. hurricanes, tornadoes, storms are closely related with the process of precipitation; the world has experienced more frequent and stronger hurricanes and storms during the recent past; Hurricane Katrina in the US in 2005 and 2010 Super Flood in Pakistan.

Thirdly, the global sea level has risen by about 20cm over the past 100 years. Initially, it was believed that the rise in sea level had occurred due to temperature increase as water expands on heating. But it has been revealed by relevant.

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The Great Global Warming Swindle

The Great Global Warming Swindle

The Great Global Warming Debate is a documentary bt Martin Durkin,which aired on British TV in February of this year.The makers of this program dispute prominent scientific views on global warming and claim that it is,"The greatest swindle of modern times".

At the core of this documentary is the belief that the idea that climate change is a direct result of carbon dioxide emissions,is a flawed one. One of the theories put forward is that the "Global Warming Industry",is the reason behind the current media attention and government concern over climate change.He poses the question,"How many jobs are dependant on global warming?".This Industry,he claims,is made up of scientists who are happy to go along with it as research funding is rolling in from the government,and environmentalists who promote the use of expensive solar power instead of cheap fossil fuels in third world countries such as Africa,which in turn hinders industrial development.
Some of the arguments to support his views are:

If you look at carbon dioxide levels in recent years and the correlation with an increase in global temperature,they do not match up.The temperature in the troposphere should be increasing faster if the global warming theory is to be believed,but sattelite and weather balloon data do not show this.

Carbon dioxide only makes up 0.038% of the atmosphere,and humans only contribute 1% of that a year,as opposed to volcanoes which emit more carbon dioxide than all the cars and factories in the world.

Carbon dioxide levels increase or decrease because of variations in temperatures.To put it another way,if temperature change is an egg and carbon dioxide is a chicken,then the egg came first!

The earths oceans absorb carbon dioxide when they cool and release it when warm,thus,changes in the level of atmospheric carbon dioxide follow changes in global temperature with a lag of about 800 years,as it takes hundreds of years for the changes in ocean temperature to occur.

Solar activity is more likely the cause of current climate change and is far more relevant than carbon dioxide emitted by humans.

The most important and perhaps less scientific piece of evidence is that the current warming trend is not a new phenomenon.The Medieval Warm Period or Medieval Climate Optimum,was a time of unusually warm climate in the North Atlantic Region from about 800-1300AD,during the European Medieval Period.This era proved to be prosperous and not the apocalyptic scenario that some scientists would have us believe.

After watching this documentary,you have to at least question the agendas and motives of the politicians and scientists who will not submit to the fact that their theories on global warming are flawed.Even if you do not agree with all that Martin Durkin proposes,it is nonetheless a very thought provoking documentary.

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Global Warming Essay Research Paper For years - рефераты

Global Warming Essay Research Paper For years

Global Warming Essay, Research Paper

For years, scientists have warned that pollution from burning fossil fuels would cause dangerous warming of the planet. The hottest 10 years on record have all occurred since 1980. 1998 was the hottest year ever recorded. With scientists predicting more violent weather, spread of infectious diseases, and rising sea levels.

According to Accu-Weather, the world?s leading commercial forecaster, Global air temperatures as measured by land-based weather stations show an increase of about 0.45 degrees Celsius over the past century. Satellite data indicate a slight cooling in the climate in the last 18 years.

98% of total global greenhouse gas emissions are natural, only 2% are from man-made sources. Man-made emissions have had no more than a little impact on the climate. Although the climate has warmed slightly in the last 100 years, 70% percent of that warming occurred prior to 1940, before the upsurge in greenhouse gas emissions from industrial processes.

The idea that global warming would melt the ice caps and flood coastal cities seems to be mere science fiction. A slight increase in temperature, whether natural or mankind induced, is not likely to lead to a massive melting of the earth ice caps, as sometimes claimed in the media. Also, sea-level rises over the centuries relate more to warmer and thus expanding oceans, not to melting ice caps.

Larger quantities of CO2 in the atmosphere and warmer climates would likely lead to an increase in vegetation. During warm periods in history vegetation flourished, at one point allowing the Vikings to farm in now frozen Greenland.

The hottest 10 years on record have all occurred since 1980. 1998 was the hottest year ever recorded. With scientists predicting more violent weather, spread of infectious diseases, and rising sea levels.

Scientists predict rising global temperatures and the melting of glaciers will directly impact ocean and coastal habitats. Ecosystems will be destroyed and species will die off, as sea levels rise, seasons shift, and glaciers and polar ice caps melt.

Some of the culprits of Global warming comes from burning fossil fuels like coal, oil and gas to produce electricity, to transport people and goods, and for use by industry. Burning fossil fuels causes carbon dioxide pollution to accumulate at alarmingly high levels and trap heat from the sun in our atmosphere. More than half of this pollution comes from power plants and cars.

The earth?s climate is predicted to change because human activities are altering the chemical composition of the atmosphere through the buildup of greenhouse gases?primarily carbon dioxide, methane, and nitrous oxide. The heat-trapping property of these gases is undisputed. Although uncertainty exists about exactly how earth?s climate responds to these gases, global temperatures are rising.

Some greenhouse gases occur naturally in the atmosphere, while others result from human activities. Naturally occurring greenhouse gases include water vapor, carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide, and ozone. Certain human activities, however, add to the levels of most of these naturally occurring gases. Carbon dioxide is released to the atmosphere when solid waste, fossil fuels, and wood and wood products are burned. Methane is emitted during the production and transport of coal, natural gas, and oil. Methane emissions also result from the decomposition of organic wastes in municipal solid waste landfills, and the raising of livestock. Nitrous oxide is emitted during agricultural and industrial activities, as well as during combustion of solid waste and fossil fuels. Greenhouse gases that are not naturally occurring include byproducts of foam production, refrigeration, and air conditioning called chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs), as well as hydro fluorocarbons (HFCs) and per fluorocarbons (PFCs) generated by industrial processes.

Energy from the sun drives the earth?s weather and climate, and heats the earth?s surface; in turn, the earth radiates energy back into space. Atmospheric greenhouse gases (water vapor, carbon dioxide, and other gases) trap some of the outgoing energy, retaining heat somewhat like the glass panels of a greenhouse.

Without this natural ?greenhouse effect. temperatures would be much lower than they are now, and life as known today would not be possible. Instead, thanks to greenhouse gases, the earth?s average temperature is a more hospitable 60?F. However, problems may arise when the atmospheric concentration of greenhouse gases increases.

Since the beginning of the industrial revolution, atmospheric concentrations of carbon dioxide have increased nearly 30%, methane concentrations have doubled, and nitrous oxide concentrations have risen by about 15%. These increases have enhanced the heat-trapping capability of the earth?s atmosphere. Sulfate aerosols, a common air pollutant, cool the atmosphere by reflecting light back into space, however, sulfates are short-lived in the atmosphere and vary regionally.

Scientists generally believe that the combustion of fossil fuels and other human activities are the primary reason for the increased concentration of carbon dioxide. Plant respiration and the decomposition of organic matter release more than 10 times the CO2 released by human activities; but these releases have always been in balance with the carbon dioxide absorbed by plant photosynthesis. Energy burned to run cars and trucks, heat homes and businesses, and power factories is responsible for about 80% of society’s carbon dioxide emissions, about 25% of U.S. methane emissions, and about 20% of global nitrous oxide emissions. Increased agriculture, deforestation, landfills, industrial production, and mining also contribute a significant share of emissions. In 1994, the United States emitted about one-fifth of total global greenhouse gases.

Global mean surface temperatures have increased 0.6-1.2?F since the late 19th century. The 20th century’s 10 warmest years all occurred within the last 15 years. Of these, 1998 was the warmest year on record. The snow cover in the Northern Hemisphere and floating ice in the Arctic Ocean have decreased. Globally, sea level has risen 4-10 inches over the past century. Worldwide precipitation over land has increased by about one percent. The frequency of extreme rainfall events has increased throughout much of the United States.

Throughout the world, the occurrence of particular diseases and other threats to human health depend largely on local climate. Extreme temperatures can directly cause the loss of life. Also, several serious diseases only appear in warm areas. Finally, warm temperatures can increase air and water pollution, which in turn harm human health.

The most direct effect of climate change would be the impacts of hotter temperatures themselves. Extremely hot temperatures increase the number of people who die on a given day for many reasons. People with heart problems are vulnerable because one?s cardiovascular system must work harder to keep the body cool during hot weather. Heat exhaustion and some respiratory problems increase.

Higher air temperatures also increase the concentration of ozone at ground level. The natural layer of ozone in the upper atmosphere blocks harmful ultraviolet radiation from reaching the earth?s surface; but in the lower atmosphere, ozone is a harmful pollutant. Ozone damages lung tissue, and causes particular problems for people with asthma and other lung diseases. Even modest exposure to ozone can cause healthy individuals to experience chest pains, nausea, and pulmonary congestion. In much of the nation, a warming of four degrees could increase ozone concentrations by about 5 percent.

Global warming may also increase the risk of some infectious diseases, particularly those diseases that only appear in warm areas. Diseases that are spread by mosquitoes and other insects could become more prevalent if warmer temperatures enabled those insects to become established farther north; such “vector-borne” diseases include malaria, dengue fever, yellow fever, and encephalitis. Some scientists believe that algal blooms could occur more frequently as temperatures warm–particularly in areas with polluted waters–in which case diseases such a cholera that tend to accompany algal blooms could become more frequent.

The projected 3.6?F warming could shift the ideal range for many North American forest species by about 200 mi. to the north. If the climate changes slowly enough, warmer temperatures may enable the trees to colonize north into areas that are currently too cold, at about the same rate as southern areas became too hot and dry for the species to survive. If the earth warms 3.6?F in 100 years, however, the species would have to migrate about 2 miles every year.

The potential impacts of climate change on forest wildlife are poorly understood. If habitats simply shift to cooler areas, many forms of wildlife could potentially adapt to global warming, just as they have adapted to the changes in climate that have occurred over the last several million years. Unlike previous climatic shifts, however, roads, development, and other modifications to the natural environment may block the migration routes. Nature reserves, often established to protect particular species, may no longer be located in a climate hospitable to that species.

Sea level is rising more rapidly along the U.S. coast than worldwide. Studies by EPA and others have estimated that along the Gulf and Atlantic coasts, a one foot (30 cm) rise in sea level is likely by 2050 and could occur as soon as 2025. In the next century, a two foot rise is most likely, but a four foot rise is possible, and sea level will probably continue to rise for several centuries, even if global temperatures were to stop rising a few decades from now.

Industry can take a leading role in focusing serious attention on global warming by developing a portfolio of actions that save money, improve productivity, and protect the environment. Companies pursuing energy efficiency and pollution prevention projects stand to gain a competitive edge over firms that fail to make these changes.

Transportation specifically contributes to global warming through the burning of gasoline and diesel fuel. Any process that burns fossil fuel releases carbon dioxide, a greenhouse gas, into the air. Based on global warming potential, carbon dioxide accounts for over 80 percent of total greenhouse gas emissions in the United States. In 1997, transportation sources emitted approximately 31 percent of carbon dioxide from fossil fuel combustion (or 460.4 million metric tons of carbon) in the United States.

Once, all climate changes occurred naturally. However, during the Industrial Revolution, we began altering our climate and environment through changing agricultural and industrial practices. Before the Industrial Revolution, human activity released very few gases into the atmosphere, but now through population growth, fossil fuel burning, and deforestation, we are affecting the mixture of gases in the atmosphere.

We track the gases that we release into the atmosphere in emission inventories. An emission inventory is an accounting of the amount of air pollutants discharged into the atmosphere. It is generally characterized by the following factors. The chemical or physical identity of the pollutants included, the geographic area covered, the institutional entities covered, the time period over which emissions are estimated, and the types of activities that cause emissions.

Projections of future climate changes are uncertain. Although some computer models predict warming in the next century, these models are very limited. The effects of cloud formations, precipitation, the role of the oceans, or the sun, are still not well known and often inadequately represented in the climate models — although all play a major role in determining our climate. Scientists who work on these models are quick to point out that they are far from perfect representations of reality, and are probably not advanced enough for direct use in policy implementation. Interestingly, as the computer climate models have become more sophisticated in recent years, the predicted increase in temperature has been lowered.

We chose this topic because we didn?t know much about global warming and it seemed to be the most interesting subject. We learned many new things about how global warming like how it effected are lives. Global warming is important to others because it could effect them in the future. The most important information that I have learned would be the how Global Warming can effect our health.