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....

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...

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...

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...

Radiation

Sun Energy Systems

Radiation is the direct transfer of heat energy. Energy travels by electromagnetic waves from the Sun to the Earth. The shorter the wavelength, the higher the energy associated with it, such as UV radiation. Con- Energy coming from the Sun can be scattered, absorbed, and reflected. versely, the longer the wavelength, the lower the energy associated with it, such as radio waves and microwaves. The majority of radiation from the Sun is in the visible and near-visible portion of the...

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...

Articles

Climate Scientists Issue Dire Warning. Guardian, February 28, 2006. Presents new evidence concerning the ramifications of global warming. Alley, Richard B. Abrupt Climate Change. Scientific American 291, no. 5 November 2004 62-69. Discusses the great ocean conveyor belt and how global warming could shut it down and trigger another ice age. Appenzeller, Tim. The Big Thaw National Geographic June 2007 58-71. An overview of global melting and what that means for the future. Applebome,...

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...

THE THEoRY oF CoNtinental Drift

Continental Drift 135 Million Years Ago

At one point in geologic time, the world was made up of a single continent called Pangaea. Over time, this supercontinent separated and drifted apart, forming the different continents that exist today. The process is always in motion the plates always moving, as they will continue to do far into the geologic future. In fact, the configuration of the Earth's landmasses may change drastically from the way they are today. The Earth's plates have shifted over geologic time. In 1912, Alfred Wegener,...

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 GRoWTH of ENVIRoNmental Awareness

Valley The Drums Toxic Waste

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...

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...

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...

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...

Regional wind systems

How Does Wind System Affects Climate

Differences in atmospheric pressure are what cause the wind to blow. Pressure differences also called pressure gradients can happen at many scales. They can be global or local, but no matter what size, they develop because of differences in heating and cooling of the Earth's surface. It is the heating cooling cycles that happen on a daily basis that cause many of the local wind systems. Air flows from high pressure to low pressure. This pressure gradient is set up when an area of land receives...

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...

Axial Tilt

Axial tilt, or the tilt of the Earth's axis, is the second of the Milanko-vitch cycles. This is the inclination of the Earth's axis in relation to its plane of orbit around the Sun. If the Earth were not tilted, there would be no seasons. The seasons are created by the change in length of daylight hours. As the seasons progress, the daylight hours get shorter in winter or longer in summer and the noon Sun changes its altitude in the sky high altitude in the summer, low in the winter . Because...

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...

Lake Effect

Mountain Barriers Affecting The Climate

Another local weather phenomenon is called the lake effect. Lake effect is an episode of heavy winter snowfall that can occur when a mass of cold Arctic air moves over a body of warmer water. This creates an unstable system. The storm pulls moisture from the body of water, which freezes The windward side of a slope in an orographic wind flow pattern receives the greater share of the moisture from an air mass being pushed up and over a mountain barrier. Vegetation on this side is lusher....

El

Effects Nino Marine Life

The El Ni o-Southern Oscillation ENSO phenomenon is a global mechanism that is caused by the large-scale interaction between the ocean and the atmosphere. The Southern Oscillation a more recent discovery refers to an oscillation in the surface pressure atmospheric mass between the southeastern tropical Pacific and the Australian-Indonesian regions. When the waters in the eastern Pacific are abnormally warm referred to as an El Ni o event sea level pressure drops in the eastern Pacific and rises...