By Hanna Nilson
has been a hot topic of debate for quite some time now - Bottom line is;
Global warming is
notorious for causing a stir among scientists, skeptics, politicians and
economists alike. A recent report by IDSnews.com, Sustainability Expert
Stresses Future, noted: "We tend to think the economy is over
here and the environment is over there
That's wrong." - Anthony
Cortese (co-director of the American College & University Presidents
Climate Commitment, president of Second Nature and co-founder of the Association
for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education).
Meteorology is a complicated thing in and of itself. But, to predict
and climate changes as significant as global warming is even more difficult.
National Geographic did a study to verify some of the facts about global
warming. First they asked whether or not this global warming climate change
is actually happening. Their answer was most defiantly, yes! - "Earth
is already showing many signs of worldwide climate change." Some
of their results are as follows:
- According to NASA's
Goddard Institute for Space Studies, the average temperatures have climbed
1.4 degrees Fahrenheit (0.8 degree Celsius) around the world since 1880.
- The rate of warming
is increasing. The 20th century's last two decades were the hottest
in 400 years and possibly the warmest for several millennia, according
to a number of climate studies.
- The United Nations'
Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) reports that 11 of
the past 12 years are among the dozen warmest since 1850.
- The Arctic is feeling
the effects the most. Average temperatures in Alaska, western Canada,
and eastern Russia have risen at twice the global average, according
to the multinational Arctic Climate Impact Assessment report compiled
between 2000 and 2004.
- Arctic ice is rapidly
disappearing, and the region may have its first completely ice-free
summer by 2040 or earlier. Polar bears and indigenous cultures are already
suffering from the sea-ice loss.
- Coral reefs, which
are highly sensitive to small changes in water temperature, suffered
the worst bleaching (die-off in response to stress) ever recorded in
1998, with some areas seeing bleach rates of 70 percent. Experts expect
these sorts of events to increase in frequency and intensity in the
next 50 years as sea temperatures rise.
deforestation, and pollution have greatly increased atmospheric concentrations
of water vapor, carbon dioxide, methane, and nitrous oxide, all greenhouse
gases that help trap heat near Earth's surface.
- Humans are pouring
carbon dioxide into the atmosphere much faster than plants and oceans
can absorb it.
- These gases stay
in the atmosphere for years, meaning that even if such emissions were
completely stopped and eliminated today, it would not immediately stop
global warming, much less reverse it.
So, what are some
of the most likely Global Warming Effects?
- A follow-up report
by the United Nations' Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC)
released in April warned that global warming could lead to large-scale
food and water shortages and have catastrophic effects on wildlife.
- Sea level could
rise between 7 and 23 inches (18 to 59 centimeters) by this century's
end. The IPCC report projects that a rise of just 4 inches (10 centimeters)
could flood many South Seas islands and swamp large parts of Southeast
Asia. In the U.S., Louisiana and Florida are especially at risk.
weather and Weather
Hazardssuch as strong hurricanes, droughts, heat waves, wildfires,
and other natural disasters may become commonplace in many parts of
the world. The growth of deserts may also cause food shortages in many
- The ocean's circulation
system, known as the ocean conveyor belt, could be permanently altered,
causing a mini-ice age in Western Europe and other rapid changes.
- More than a million
species face extinction! All from disappearing habitat, changing ecosystems,
and acidifying oceans.
Some of these facts may or
may not surprise you. Nevertheless, global warming is a environmental
phenomena which will effect us all. To learn more, you may want to research
some further Weather
Weather Forecasts via Cloud Reading
Modern Look at the Weather Almanac