Causes of Climate Change

Greenhouse Gas Concentrations

Installation Chantier Humour

Time horizon 100 years The amount of warming the same mass of gas will contribute compared to C02 over a 100-year time span. Concentrations ppm is parts per million, ppb is parts per billion, and ppt is parts per trillion. For comparison, percent can be thought of as parts per hundred. Source International Panel on Climate Change, Fourth Assessment Report, 2007 from fires or pollutants are common aerosols. Incoming sunlight is blocked by aerosols blown high into the atmosphere by large volcanic...

Human Causes of Climate Change

Human activities increase greenhouse gas levels in the atmosphere. Adding greenhouse gases to the atmosphere is like throwing another blanket on the Earth. The dominant man-made source of greenhouse gases is the burning of fossil fuels and biomass (living matter). This chapter also discusses other human activities that alter Earth's climate, including deforestation (the removal of trees), urbanization (the replacement of natural surfaces with impermeable man-made surfaces), and air pollution....

Climate Change In Human History

In the past 10,000 years, since the end of the Pleistocene Ice Ages, average global temperature has risen 7 F 4 C . Glaciers have been in retreat since then and are now found only in high mountains and at high latitudes. Despite ups and downs, climate over the past 10 millennia has been milder and more stable than at any time since the Emiam interglacial of 130,000 years ago. Perhaps not surprisingly, this favorable climate period is the one during which human civilization developed. In his...

Effects On Organisms

Organisms are adapted to live in particular environmental conditions. Polar bears Ursus maritimus need to walk across sea ice to hunt and corals need water that is warm, with just the right salinity. When condi--tions change, organisms need to change, or they may die out locally or even go extinct. Scientists who study the effects of global warming on the biosphere have discovered that the processes of evolution do not work fast enough for organisms to adapt to rapidly changing climate. At...

Concentrations of Some Important Atmospheric Gases i

Donald, Meteorology Today, Pacific Grove, Calif Brooks Cole, 2000. Radiation is the emission and transmission of energy through space or material. This includes sound waves passing through water, heat spreading out in a sheet of metal, or light traveling through air. Every object for example, a human body, this book, or the Sun has energy because it contains billions of rapidly vibrating electrons tiny, negatively charged particles . The energy travels outward, or radiates,...

Extreme Weather

Warmer temperatures have increased extreme weather events in their frequency, severity, and longevity. Warmer air holds more water and circulates more vigorously than cooler air, both of which factors are conducive to creating storms. There is evidence that the past few decades have seen an increase in extreme weather. For example, insurance companies now pay 15 times more money to the victims of extreme weather than they did three decades ago. The total economic losses, including those that...

The Kyoto Protocol

The world's first coordinated response to the climate change problem was the Kyoto Protocol, an international treaty seeking stabilization of greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere at a level that would prevent dangerous anthropogenic interference with the climate system. The treaty was negotiated in Kyoto, Japan, in December 1997. After ratification by nearly every nation on Earth, it took effect in February 2005. Kyoto regulates the greenhouse gases CO2, methane, nitrous oxide,...

Step One Improve Energy Efficiency

The easiest and quickest way to reduce greenhouse gas emissions is to radically improve energy efficiency. Encouraging conservation, sup -porting the use of more energy efficient technologies, and developing better technologies are some of the ways to reduce emissions of CO2 and other greenhouse gases. Money is often an effective motivator, and economists agree that a good way to encourage energy conservation is with taxes. A carbon tax is a surcharge that is placed on the use of energy sources...

Water Cycle And Water Resources

Less water trapped in ice means that more water winds up in the other reservoirs, such as the atmosphere, streams and lakes, and the oceans. Generally, the water cycle is becoming more extreme Wet regions are becoming wetter, and dry regions are becoming drier. Europe is wetter and is experiencing increased runoff and stream flow. The United States has weathered a 20 increase in blizzards and heavy rainstorms since 1900 the total amount of winter precipitation is up 10 . By contrast, dry areas...