Climate Systems

The mauna loa

Temperate Cold Climates Plants

Scientists first began to suspect that fossil fuels were contributing to global warming in the mid-1950s. Roger Revelle, a scientist at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography, used the metaphor that humans were using the Earth's atmosphere to carry out a giant experiment one significant enough to potentially alter the Earth's climate. As scientists became interested in studying CO2 and the ways in which it interacts with the atmosphere, the biosphere, the lithosphere, and the oceans, a working...

THE GRoWTH of ENVIRoNmental Awareness

Green Systen Antropogenic Soil

Another factor that has helped focus attention on global warming in recent years is the growth of environmental awareness. Over the last few decades, there have been several notable anthropogenic environmental disasters. These have made the public more aware of environmental damage sometimes permanent. One of the worst anthropogenic disasters was the explosion at the nuclear power plant in Chernobyl, USSR, on April 26, 1986. A reactor exploded during a failed cooling system test and ignited a...

Amplification

Lithosphere Carbon Store

Thus, the carbon cycle is extremely important. It also plays a critical role in global warming. Carbon dioxide enters the air during the carbon cycle. Because of its abundance, it enters from several sources. Vast amounts of carbon are stored in the Earth's soils, oceans, and sediments at the bottoms of oceans. Carbon is stored in the Earth's rocks and released when they erode. It exists in all living matter. Every time animals and plants breathe, they exhale CO2. When examining the Earth's...

Global Warming and Future Droughts

Climate Systems

The scientists at GISS completed research in February 2007 linking future global warming with droughts in certain parts of the world, including the southwestern United States. They used records of the Sun's output in a model to illustrate how a climate dominated by greenhouse gases would ultimately change rainfall patterns. What they found was that the same areas that experienced droughts in ancient times would experience them again. One of the consequences of global warming is drought. This...

Control of Co by uplift and Weathering

Mid Ocean Ridge

This theory looks at natural uplift and weathering of the Earth's surface features as the determining factor of CO2 levels in the atmosphere and therefore potential global warming. When land is uplifted, geologic forces go to work on it to erode and wear the land down a process called weathering. The Earth's surface can be uplifted in several different ways. Earthquakes can fracture, fault, and uplift large sections of the Earth's crust. Plate tectonics can also create mountains and high...

The Hydrologic Cycle

How The Earth Works

The hydrologic water cycle, like other cycles, plays a direct role in the function of healthy ecosystems. The hydrologic cycle describes the movement of all the water on Earth. It has no starting point and involves the existence and movement of water on, in, and above the Earth. The Earth's water is always moving and changing states from liquid to vapor to ice and back again. This cycle has been in operation for billions of years, and all life depends on its existence. Many scientists are...

Gustavegaspard de coriolis

General Circulation Atmosphere

Born in Paris on May 21, 1792, Coriolis was a French engineer and mathematician who first described the force of motion on a rotating body, which has come to be called the Coriolis force. It is the apparent path of deflection of an object as it passes over the rotating Earth. If an object is launched, it will not land in a straight trajectory but be offset depending on the rate of movement of the object and the rate of movement of the Earth underneath. This concept was very important to the...

Global warming and atmospheric circulation

Negative Effects Global Warming

According to a study conducted in 2006 by Gabriel Vecchi of the University Corporation for Atmospheric Research, the trade winds in the Pacific Ocean are weakening as a result of global warming. This conclusion is based on the findings of a study that showed the biology in the area may be changing, which could be harmful to marine life and have the long-term effect of disrupting the marine food chain. Researchers predict that it could also reduce the biological productivity of the Pacific...

Control of Co by Seafloor Spreading

Active Volcanoes Utah

The seafloor spreading theory is one hypothesis introduced to suggest a mechanism of controlled CO2 levels in the atmosphere, causing the observed variations between warm CO2-rich greenhouse intervals and cold CO2-depleted global cooling intervals. This theory focuses the control of CO2 levels on plate tectonic processes. During plate tectonics, carbon is cycled endlessly between the Earth's interior and its surface. It is this cycling of carbon in different stages that defines whether global...

The Earths Rotation And The Coriolis Force

Rotating Earth Coriolis

When pressure differences alone are responsible for moving air, the air or wind will be pushed in a straight path. For example, if someone opens a door into an enclosed space containing a different air pressure, they will feel a rush of air when the door is opened and the air travels from higher pressure to lower pressure. It may seem odd when looking at satellite weather maps to see that large storm clouds move in circular patterns. Winds do follow curved paths across the Earth. Named after...

Climate FoRCINGpoSitive And Negative Feedback

Radiative Forcing Components

The Earth's heat budget is controlled by the amount of energy it receives from the Sun and subsequently returns to space. The Earth's global energy balance is maintained when the incoming energy from the Sun is balanced with the outgoing heat from the Earth. There are mechanisms that cause the Earth's energy budget to get out of balance. Then it can result in climate change. There are several mechanisms that can change the Earth's energy balance in either a positive or negative way. Some of...

Who Are The Major Contributors

Countries do not emit equal amounts of CO2. Although there are several ways that CO2 can enter the atmosphere, such as through the burning of wood for fuel and deforestation, most of the CO2 is added through the burning of fossil fuels. The most common activities that burn fossil fuels for energy are industrial processes, energy production, and transportation. Thus, it is the developed countries that contribute mainly to global warming. Another major source of CO2 is from changes in land use....

Public and media response

Public perception is critical to the future of global warming. Whether people understand that global warming is an important issue that must be dealt with will determine the future of the Earth. Many people's perceptions are shaped by the media. Information learned at school and conversations with adults are also important sources of information for students. It is important to become educated about the topic. Be aware of what scientists know, what they suspect, and of the controversy...

The Great Ocean Conveyor Belt

The ocean waters are constantly moving from winds that create waves and the pulling of gravity, which causes the tides. One of the most significant features in the ocean is the thermohaline circulation, commonly referred to as the great ocean conveyor belt. This massive, continuous loop of flow plays a critical role in determining the climate of the world. The two mechanisms that make this conveyor belt work are heat and salt. The great conveyor belt plays a major part in distributing the Sun's...

The polar position Hypothesis

This idea was suggested early on and said that ice sheets should appear on continents when they are located at polar, or near-polar, locations high latitudes . If there were not any continents near the North or South Poles, then no ice should exist anywhere on Earth. This theory only takes into effect movement of the continents through plate tectonics. While this theory has proven true for many demonstrated time intervals in the past, it has not always been true. Today is one example. There are...

The Global Warming Issue

Global warming is one of the most controversial issues society has ever had to deal with. Because it affects every person on Earth and must be dealt with on a global scale, it has captured the attention of not only scientists, but politicians, academicians, economists, merchants, farmers, planners, medical specialists, engineers, and every other person who has an interest in the environment, food supply, water supply, health, and future of life on Earth. This chapter takes a look at an early...

What lies ahead

Because the warmest recorded years on record have all occurred recently and scientists worldwide acknowledge that levels of atmospheric CO2 are continually rising, it has become evident that the problem of global warming is not just going to go away. It is going to take the involvement and commitment of the scientific community to study the issue and search for feasible solutions. Governments worldwide will need to work together to help the environment. Every person on Earth will have to do...

Extreme weather

Global warming raises serious concerns over its potential to cause damage to people, property, and the environment as a result of extreme weather events, such as severe drought and storms. Today, scientists, such as Dr. Christopher Landsea at NOAA, are trying to understand just how much impact global warming may have on the occurrence and frequency of drought, hurricanes, and tornadoes. It still remains difficult to assess because global warming will have different impacts on different areas of...

Mountain Valley Breezes

Orographic Barrier

Mountain-valley breezes are common in areas with significant topographic relief. During the day, as the Sun heats up the land and air at the valley bottom and sides, a valley breeze develops. When the air heats, it becomes less dense and more buoyant, allowing it to start flowing up the valley sides. The vertical rise of the air along the sides of the mountain is restricted by a temperature inversion layer, confining the airflow to the valley not letting the rising air escape into the...

Early studies of global warming and scientific response

Global warming was first discovered more than 100 years ago in 1896 by a Swedish chemist named Svante Arrhenius. He claimed that fossil fuel combustion enhanced the global warming effect. Sadly, the scientific community did not take his ideas seriously. The Industrial Revolution was just getting started and there was no overwhelming evidence of increasing atmospheric levels of carbon dioxide (CO2). The issue held svante arrhenius (18591927) swedish chemist Svante Arrhenius was the first...

The IntergoVernmental pANEL oN Climate Change Ipcc

Largest Contributor Global Warming

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change IPCC is a group of approximately 2,500 scientists working together to study the problem of global warming and focusing on a workable strategy to deal with the problem before it is too late. The IPCC was formed jointly in 1988 by the United Nations Environment Programme UNEP and the World Meteorological Organization WMO because of a growing worldwide concern over global warming. It is considered to be the most technical and authoritative group of...

Advances in technology and education

Even though the theory of global warming was first introduced in the late 1800s, it was not until the mid-1900s that the theory actually started to gain notice in the scientific community. This was largely due to advances in technology and education. The first major achievement was the development of infrared spectroscopy for measuring long-wave radiation in the 1940s. Through the ability to measure infrared radiation, scientists could determine that atmospheric CO2 was absorbing more infrared...