Greenhouse Gases

The Role Of Refuges

Northern Alaska is expected to experience the most extreme of the effects, particularly in the winter. The researchers also project that the ground will continue to thaw and that the upper 30-35 feet 9-11 m of permafrost will probably melt by 2100. In addition, precipitation will increase up to 25 percent in the north and northwest, but decrease by 10 percent along the southern coast. Soils will dry out due to increased evaporation, and wildfires will become more prevalent....

Ocean Sequestration

Ocean Sequestration Images

According to the IPCC, various technologies have been identified to enable and increase ocean CO2 storage. One suggested option is to store a relatively pure stream of CO2 that has been captured and compressed. The CO2 could be loaded onto a ship and injected directly into the ocean or deposited on the seafloor. CO2 loaded on ships could be either dispersed from a towed pipe or transported to fixed platforms feeding a CO2 lake on the seafloor. The CO2 must be deeper than 1.9 miles (3 km)...

Adaptation Strategies

Even if they cost a little more initially, the savings involved usually pay for themselves via lower energy bills, and the environment benefits as well. Ken Ostrowski, leader of the project report team, says, What the report calls out is the fact that the potential is so substantial for energy efficiency. Not that we will do it, but the potential is just staggering here in the U.S. There is a lot of inertia, and a lot of barriers. The country can do the job with...

The Top Carbon Dioxide Emitters

The world's countries contribute different amounts of heat-trapping gases to the atmosphere. Carbon emissions from all sources of fossil fuel burning for a maximum period from 1751 to 2004 (or as long as a record is available) are shown. The following table lists the 20 countries with the highest carbon emissions. PER CAPITAL EMISSIONS (TONS CAPITAL) PER CAPITAL EMISSIONS (TONS CAPITAL) Source Marland, G., T. A. Boden, R. J. Andres 2004. Global, Regional, and National CO2 Emissions. In Trends A...

Sinks And Sources

In terms of the global warming issue, storing CO2 in reservoirs or sinks is desirable in order to keep the CO2 out of the atmosphere so that it does not contribute to ever-increasing atmospheric temperatures. There are several mechanisms whereby carbon can be put into storage. During the process of photosynthesis, plants convert CO2 from the atmosphere into carbohydrates and release oxygen during the process. Trees in forests over a period of years are able to store large amounts of carbon,...

The Effects Of Global Warming On Agriculture

One of the most important resources society depends upon is agriculture. With so much irrefutable evidence demonstrating that global warming is indeed occurring and that ecosystems worldwide are already feeling the effects and having to adapt, the protection of agricultural resources is critical. Without the successful adaptation of agriculture and livestock to the long-term changes of climate due to global warming, future adaptation for anything would be difficult. Agricultural systems are...

The Southeast

The Southeast the Sunbelt is a rapidly growing area of the United States. A great majority of this growth has occurred on the coastal areas of the region. It is expected to grow another 40 percent between now and 2025. The Southeast is a very productive region of the country, supplying one-fourth of the United States's natural crops. Often referred to as the wood basket, the region produces half of the country's timber supplies. It also produces a large portion of the nation's fish, poultry,...

Radiation Transmission

The Earth reflects about 30 percent of the incoming solar radiation. The other 70 percent is absorbed and warms the atmosphere, the land, and the oceans. In order to maintain an energy balance, so the Earth does not get too hot or cold, the amount of incoming energy must roughly equal the amount of outgoing energy. The insolation occurs in the visible portion of the spectrum. The radiation that is emitted from objects that have been heated on Earth, however, peaks in the infrared portion of the...

Cold Drought Wetwildfires

This map represents significant U.S. weather and climate events for 2007. (NOAA) extremes. According to the U.S. Global Change Research Program, the warming projected by climate models over the next several decades suggests increases in rain episodes over frozen ground or rapid snow melting events that can increase flooding. Over the coming century, winter snowfalls and periods of extreme cold will probably decrease. Of major concern for this area are changes in the intensity and frequency of...

The Response Of Agriculture To Climate Change

According to the Pew Center on Global Climate Change, agricultural production will experience a mixture of positive or negative effects that will depend on the geography and specific conditions of the area. The Pew Center, established in 1998, is a nonpartisan, independent research organization. The center's mission is to provide credible information, straight answers, and innovative solutions in the effort to address global climate change. Future predictions from global warming models have...

Public Lands

In the United States, one-third of the land is owned by the public and administered by the federal government namely, the National Park Service, the U.S. Forest Service, and the Bureau of Land Management. The total area size of public land is roughly 700 million acres 283 million hectares . These areas are protected and managed for different purposes some, such as designated wilderness areas, are kept pristine and natural because of their inherent beauty, exceptional quality, or unique habitat....

Global Warming Potential

Although there are several types of greenhouse gases, they are not the same they all have different properties associated with them. For example, they have different lifetimes in which they reside in the atmosphere, and they also differ in the amount of heat that they can trap. Many of the greenhouse gases are extremely potent some can continue to reside in the atmosphere for thousands of years after they have been emitted. For instance, according to the EPA, they can be 140 to 23,900 times...

Geological Formation Sequestration

Sequestered Methane Gas

Many of the technologies required for large-scale geological storage of CO2 already exist. Because of extensive oil industry experience, the technologies for drilling, injection, stimulations, and completions for CO2 injection wells exist and are being patterned after current CO2 projects. In fact, the design of a CO2 injection well is very similar to that of a gas injection well in an oil field or natural gas storage project. Capture and storage of CO2 in geological formations provides a way...

Europe Russia And Asia

According to the World Resources Institute, because of historic land use and settlement, Europe's natural ecosystems are highly disturbed and fragmented. Therefore, they are especially vulnerable to the adverse effects of global warming. During this past century, for example, most of Europe experienced temperature increases that were larger than the global average. In addition, precipitation increased in the north but decreased in the south. The mountainous regions are providing documentable...

The Role Of Ozone

According to scientists at NASA, global warming and ozone depletion are two separate issues, but they do share some related aspects. Whereas global warming and the greenhouse effect refer to the lower portions of the atmosphere (the troposphere), enhanced by the continual addition of heat-trapping gases from human activity, ozone depletion refers to the upper portion of the atmosphere (the stratosphere). Disturbance of the ozone layer presents a serious health concern due to a lack of ability...

Rain Forest n FACTS

The world's rain forests are a precious natural resource, but as deforestation continues they are being destroyed at an alarming rate. The following lists some critical facts about the Earth's rapidly disappearing rain forests Almost 50 percent of the Earth's species of plants, animals, and microorganisms will be destroyed over the next 25 years because of rain forest destruction. One and one-half acres of rain forest are destroyed every second. Rain forests covered about 14 percent of the...

Rising Atmospheric Concentrations of C

It is expected that an initial increase in CO2 will actually behave like a fertilizer and enhance the growth of crops such as rice, wheat, and soybeans. The IPCC cautions, however, that even though it may initially increase production, there will be a slowing that occurs as temperature and precipitation changes may counteract the beneficial CO2 effects. When looking strictly at North America, research by the IPCC in their 2007 report concluded Moderate climate change will probably increase the...

Global Dimming

Global Dimming

Global dimming is an important concept that accompanies global warming. Little understood until recently, it is a phenomenon that plays a role in the overall environmental health of the Earth and has specific implications for global warming. Although global dimming has existed since as long as pollution has existed, it gained particular attention during the terrorist attacks on the United States on September 11, 2001, when all commercial airline traffic was grounded for three days. During this...

Economic Impacts

According to a report in LiveScience in November 2005, insurance companies are starting to take notice of the destructive effects of global warming. As property damage occurs from flooding, rising sea levels, hurricanes, severe weather, and other global warming-related events, insurance companies will be increasingly called upon to compensate property owners for destroyed property. Health insurance companies will be faced with the same issues as people are injured in violent weather events or...

Climate Change Impacts

There are several impacts expected to occur in forested areas due to global warming, including increased timber production in some areas regional variability changes in nontimber production impacts with fire, insects, and extreme events changes in forest health social and economic impacts and changes in biodiversity. According to the IPCC, current modeling efforts show that climate change will increase global timber production if there is an increase in forest growth as a result of higher CO2...

Discovery Of The Greenhouse Effect

It was during the 19th century that scientists realized that gases such as CO2 found within the atmosphere cause a greenhouse effect that regulates the atmosphere's temperature. Ironically, the discovery of the greenhouse effect did not happen because scientists were trying to understand global warming it happened because they were searching for the mechanism that triggered ice ages. In an effort to understand the connection between CO2 and glacial periods, their interest was in studying the...

Types Of Carbon Sequestration

Carbon sequestration is the process through which CO2 from the atmosphere is absorbed by various carbon sinks. Principal carbon sinks include agricultural sinks, forests, geologic formations, and oceanic sinks. Carbon sequestration and storage (CSS) occurs when CO2 is absorbed by trees, plants, and crops through photosynthesis and stored as carbon in biomass, such as tree trunks, branches, foliage, and roots, as well as in the soil. For a more in-depth discussion of the specifics of actual...

Agricultural Sequestration

Carbon sequestration occurs in soils and agricultural crops mainly through the natural process of photosynthesis. Half of the agriculture biomass is composed of carbon. When the vegetation decays, the litter and roots also contribute carbon to the soil. When agricultural fields are plowed, CO2 can be released to the atmosphere. The amount of carbon in cropland soils can vary depending on types of crops, types of fertilizers used, and type of management practice (such as conventional or...

Journal Articles

Abrupt Climate Change. Scientific American 291, no. 5 (November 2004) 62-69. This article discusses the Great Ocean Conveyor Belt current and how global warming could shut it down and trigger another ice age. Bagla, Pallava. Melting Himalayan Glaciers May Doom Towns. National Geographic News (May 7, 2002) Available online. URL himalaya.html. Accessed August 12, 2009. This article discusses the overflow of lakes from melting glaciers and the hazards they pose to nearby...

Forests Role In Climate Change

Forests represent a critical resource on Earth because they provide habitat to more than half of the Earth's living species, as well as help slow global warming through the storage and sequestration of carbon. Forests also affect the rainfall regime of an area and are critical sources of food, drinking water, and medicine. Through the sequestration of carbon, forests have a direct effect on the climate. The vegetation and soils in the forest help drive the global carbon cycle by sequestering...

The Pacific Northwest

The Pacific Northwest encompasses extensive forests, topography that creates abrupt changes in climate and ecosystems over short distances, with mountain and marine environments in close proximity. The Northwest provides about one-fourth of the nation's softwood lumber and plywood. The fertile lowlands of eastern Washington produce 60 percent of the nation's apples and large fractions of its other tree fruit. Population and economic growth of this area has been twice the national rate since...

Production of Biofuels

The Environmental Defense Fund has determined that a key factor in how effective biofuels are in fighting global warming is the energy efficiency of their production methods. These include everything from running plows and harvesters to manufacturing pesticides and fertilizer to converting the material into fuel and transporting it. Improving land use through sustainable practices such as no-till farming, and boosting energy efficiencies make biofuels more effective at reducing heat-trapping...

Mitigation and Sequestration

Farmlands are currently viewed as opportunistic areas of carbon storage if they are managed properly. It is known that the tillage method used is a critical factor in determining the amount of carbon left in the soil. The more the soil is disturbed, the more carbon is released into the atmosphere. Therefore, the goal is to reduce soil disturbance by using no-till or low-till methods instead of traditional till methods. Low-till methods are called carbon sequestration methods because they retain...

Solar Radiation

The spectrum of the Sun's solar radiation is similar to that of a black body with a temperature of 5,800 K. Roughly half of it lies within the range of the visible shortwave portion of the electromagnetic spectrum. The other half resides mostly in the near infrared portion, just beyond the visible wavelengths. A small amount lies in the ultraviolet range. Incoming solar radiation, also referred to as insolation, is a measure of the solar radiation energy that is received on a specific surface...

Acres Of Opportunitygreenhouse Gas Mitigation And Biofuels

Although the agricultural sector is a significant source of greenhouse gases and contributes to the problem, it does have the potential to play a significant role in the overall solution of the problem. The agricultural industry is in a unique position to sequester greenhouse gases, thereby offsetting not only its own emissions but also those of other industries. According to research done by the Environmental Defense Fund, because the agricultural industry has the ability to offset and...

Agriculture And Food Supply

Climate change plays an important role in farm productivity, and while some areas may benefit from having longer growing seasons, climate change will also bring an increased potential for heat waves, droughts, and floods. These conditions will pose challenges for farmers and the production of food, especially in regions where water supplies and soil moisture conditions become degraded. According to the IPCC in their most recent report released in 2007 Recent studies indicate that increased...