Global warming is the increase in the average temperature of the Earth's nearsurface
air and oceans since the mid20th
century and its projected continuation.
Global surface temperature increased 0.74 ± 0.18 °C (1.33 ± 0.32 °F) during the
Causes of Global Warming
"The effects of global warming and climate change are of concern both for the
environment and human life. The major cause of which is the continuous
emission of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere."
Carbon Dioxide from Power Plants
Coal accounts for 93 percent of the emissions from the electric utility industry. It emits
around 1.7 times as much carbon per unit of energy when burned as does natural gas and
1.25 times as much as oil. Natural gas gives off 50% of the carbon dioxide, the principal
greenhouse gas, released by coal and 25% less carbon dioxide than oil, for the same amount
of energy produced. Coal contains about 80 percent more carbon per unit of energy than gas
does, and oil contains about 40 percent more.
While carbon dioxide is the principal greenhouse gas, methane is second most important.
According to the IPCC, Methane is more than 20 times as
effective as CO2 at trapping heat in the atmosphere. Levels of atmospheric methane have
risen 145% in the last 100 years. Methane is derived from sources such as rice paddies,
bovine flatulence, bacteria in bogs and fossil fuel production.
Variations in solar output have been the cause of past climate changes. Although solar
forcing is generally thought to be too small to account for a significant part of global
warming in recent decades, a few studies disagree, such as a recent phenomenological
analysis that indicates the contribution of solar forcing may be underestimated.
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Aerosols and soot
Global dimming, a gradual reduction in the amount of
global direct irradiance at the Earth's surface, has
partially counteracted global warming from 1960 to the
present. The main cause of this dimming is aerosols
produced by volcanoes and pollutants. These aerosols
exert a cooling effect by increasing the reflection of
James Hansen and colleagues have proposed that the
effects of the products of fossil fuel combustion, CO2 and
aerosols, have largely offset one another in recent
decades, so that net warming has been driven mainly by
Water Vapor in the Atmosphere Increasing
Water vapor is the most prevalent and most powerful greenhouse gas on the planet, and its
increasing presence is the result of warming caused by carbon dioxide, methane and other
greenhouse gases. Water vapor holds onto twothirds
of the heat trapped by all the
greenhouse gases. As the Earth heats up relative humidity is able to increase, allowing the
planet's atmosphere to hold more water vapor, causing even more warming, thus a positive
Another greenhouse gas is Nitrous oxide (N2O), a colourless, nonflammable
gas with a
sweetish odour, commonly known as "laughing gas", and sometimes used as an anesthetic.
Nitrous oxide is naturally produced by oceans and rainforests.
After carbon emissions caused by humans, deforestation is the second principle cause of
atmospheric carbon dioxide. Deforestation is responsible for 2025%
of all carbon emissions
entering the atmosphere, by the burning and cutting of about 34 million acres of trees each
year. We are losing millions of acres of rainforests each year, the equivalent in area to the
size of Italy.
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Evidences and Effects
"If the voices of future generations could be heard, they would plead for
action on climate change. The unborn children of tomorrow will bear the
heavy burden of our indifference."
Rise in Global
The figure shows the difference in
instrumentally determined surface
temperatures between the period January
1999 through December 2008 and "normal"
temperatures at the same locations, defined
to be the average over the interval January
1940 to December 1980. The average
increase on this graph is 0.48 °C, and the
widespread temperature increases are
considered to be an aspect of global
Ice is melting all over the planet. Glaciers are melting on six
continents. If present warming trends continue, all glaciers in
Glacier National Park could be gone by 2030.
park's Grinnell Glacier is already 90% gone. Pictured here is
the glacier just prior to its meltdown.
of global warming, the glaciers of the Ruwenzori range
in Uganda are in massive retreat.
Bering Glacier, North America's largest glacier, has lost 7
of its length, while losing 2025%
of parts of the glacier.
cores taken from the Dunde Ice Cap in the Qilian Mountains on the northeastern margin
of the QinghaiTibetan
Plateau indicate that the years since 1938 have been the warmest in
the last 12,000 years
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melting is accelerating. The Lewis Glacier on Mt. Kenya (In Kenya) has lost 40% of its
mass during the period 19631987
or at a much faster clip than during 18991963.
Melting Arctic Sea Ice
The Arctic, with an area about the size of the United States, is seeing average temperatures
similar to the Antarctic, almost 5 degrees Fahrenheit warmer than the planet as a whole.
Arctic sea ice has shrunk by 250 million acres an
area the size of California, Maryland and
Melting Antarctic Sea Ice
The Antarctic Peninsula has seen an increase in average temperatures of almost 5 degrees
Fahrenheit in the last 50 years. Heavy sea ice has been the norm in the Antarctic, but in the
1990's sea ice disintegration has begun, notes Robin Ross, a biological oceanographer with
the University of California at Santa Barbara. During the year 1998, the Antarctic displayed a
record low in winter sea ice.
Tropical Diseases Spreading
A recent study by New Zealand doctors, researchers at the Wellington School of Medicine's
public health department said outbreaks o f dengue fever in South Pacific islands are directly
related to global warming. Global warming is projected to significantly increase the range
conducive to the transmission of both dengue and yellow fevers.
Greenland's Ice Sheet Melting
In a recent study by researchers from NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center shows that
Greenland's ice sheet, about 8% of the Earth's grounded ice (Antarctica possessing 91% of
land ice), is losing ice mass. A NASA hightech
aerial survey shows that more than 11 cubic
miles of ice is melting along Greenland's coasts yearly, accounting for 7% of the annual
global sea level rise. Measurements over the last century suggest that sea level has risen 9
inches, enough to cause flooding in lowlying
areas, when a storm occurs. Sea level increase
could worsen, if the present trend continues.
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"So we'll wait. Not enough people dying yet and not enough property
destroyed. We'll keep our heads in the blazing hot sand until we
actually feel the flames of a fullfledged
March 25, 2008...Satellite
imagery from the University of
Colorado at Boulder's National
Snow and Ice Data Center
shows a portion of Antarctica's
massive Wilkins Ice Shelf has
begun to collapse because of
rapid climate change in a fastwarming
region of the
continent. According to Ted
Scambos, lead scientist at
NSIDC, "If there is a little bit
more retreat, this last 'ice
buttress' could collapse and
we'd likely lose about half the
total ice shelf area in the next
January 15, 2008...The year 2007 tied 1998 as the second warmest year on record; 2005
being the warmest year. An analysis by NASA's Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS)
showed that "the unusual warmth in 2007 is noteworthy because it occurs at a time when
solar irradiance is at a minimum and the equatorial Pacific Ocean is in the cool phase of its
natural El Nino – La Nina cycle."
August 30, 2007...NOAA recorded that last year came very close to being the warmest on
record, since 1998. Of the past 12 years 11 of them have been found to be the warmest on
record, since recordkeeping
began in 1895.
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What You Can Do:
· Use Compact fluorescent bulbs.
· When replacing home appliances, use energy efficient models. For example,
replacing an old refrigerator using 320 watts with a new one using 85 watts could
make a big difference. When buying appliances, look for the BEE labels.
· Use cars and light trucks that get good gas mileage. In fact tell your friends that
driving a sports utility vehicle adds to global warming and pollution. SUVs emit
43% more globalwarming
pollutants (28 pounds of carbon dioxide per gallon)
and 47% more air pollution than the average car. An SUV is 4 times as likely to
rollover in an accident.
· Help promote community carpooling.
· Promote the construction of bike lanes, especially bike lanes that have an outside
curb separating auto traffic and bikes.
· Place an insulating cover around water heater.
· Take public transit whenever possible.
· When shopping for groceries, bring your own cloth bag to the market. Not using
paper grocery bags help saves trees that absorb carbon dioxide.