Global Warming “Not only is it real, it's here, and its effects are giving rise to a frighteningly new global phenomenon: the man-made natural disaster. – Barack Obama
Outline and Objectives • Global Warming • The scientific research • Effects of global warming • Examples of global warming • Helping the problem • Ways to contribute to solving the problem
Global Warming • Global warming refers to an average increase in the Earth's temperature • A warmer Earth may lead to changes in rainfall patterns, a rise in sea level, and a wide range of impacts on plants, wildlife, and humans. • The main cause of global warming is human activities.
Global Warming The earth is getting warmer. The average temperature has risen about 1 degree Fahrenheit in the last century and the rate at which the temperature is rising is accelerating.
The Green House Effect • Greenhouse gases: • prevent some heat from escaping the atmosphere • allow incoming radiation to pass through the Earth’s atmosphere. • This is a natural process and has kept the Earth's temperature about 60 F° warmer than it would otherwise be. • Current life on Earth could not be sustained without the natural greenhouse effect.
Lets think about it… • A green house is used to grow plants and help in the winter. • Greenhouses trap heat from the sun, and the glass panels keep heat from escaping. • Thus, the greenhouse can keep plants warm during the winter. • Greenhouse gases trapped in the Earth’s atmosphere have the same effect.
Greenhouse Gases Earth’s greenhouse gases: • Water vapor (most abundant) • Carbon dioxide • Methane • Nitrous oxide • Ozone • CFCs (chlorofluorocarbons) (least abundant)
Goldilocks Principle • It is used to state that a planet must neither be too far away nor too close to the sun to support life. Venus is too hot, Mars is too cold, but Earth is just right.
Climate Change • Climate change is the LONG term average of the weather patterns in a specific region. • Climate can either get warmer or cooler.
People’s Effect on the Climate People began altering the climate during the Industrial Revolution in the late 18th and early 19th century. Now through population growth, fossil fuel burning, and deforestation, we are affecting the mixture of gases in the atmosphere.
Carbon Dioxide • Carbon Dioxide is one of the most abundant greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. • The main source of CO2 is the burning of fossil fuels Deforestation in Brazil has earned it a spot as one of the leading carbon dioxide emitting countries.
Methane Gas Trash in landfills, animals, and deforestation all produce methane gas. 60% of global methane emissions are related to human-related activities
Nitrous Oxide Sources include: • Nitric acid in fertilizers • Animal manure management • Sewage treatment • Adipic acid for the production of nylon
Ozone Fuel combustion is the main source of Ozone
CFCs CFC’s were once widely used in aerosols and refrigerators The use of CFC’s as a coolant has been discontinued, but the effects of the damage done will persist for thousands of years
Effects of Global Warming Argentina's Upsala Glacier was once the biggest in South America, but it is now disappearing at a rate of 200 meters per year.
Effects of Global Warming The common lawn weed deadnettle, photographed at the National Arboretum, is blooming an average of 39 days earlier than in 1970.
Effects of Global Warming A study showed the egg laying date of North American tree swallows advanced by up to nine days during the period from 1959 to 1991. Tree swallows across North America are breeding earlier, the most likely cause is a long term increase in spring temperature.
Effects of Global Warming • Rising sea levels • An increase in extreme weather occurrences (hurricanes, tornadoes, flash floods, tsunamis etc.) • An increase in the occurrence of fires • An increase in droughts • Melting of the polar ice caps • Greater variation in the fluctuation of temperature • The list goes on and on…
Effects of Global Warming • Environmental changes can lead to • Appearance of new diseases • Old diseases in new places • Diseases carried by insects (or other vectors) are especially likely to be affected • Some affected diseases are: • Malaria • Plague • Dengue • Flu
Help Prevent Climate Change Be energy efficient. • Use fluorescent light bulbs. • Drive less: walk, carpool • Recycle and buy recycled products • Turn off electronic devices when not in use • Plant a tree
International Responsibility Climate change is a global problem. • The United Nations is taking an increasing role in its involvement in climate change. • The United Nations Environment Program provides governments with tools to promote climate change awareness.
National Responsibility Congress has passed: • Clean Air Act in 1963 • Air Quality Act in 1967 • Clean Air Act Extension of 1970 • Clean Air Act Amendments in 1977 and 1990. Numerous state and local governments have enacted similar legislation, either implementing federal programs or filling in locally important gaps in federal programs. President Bush signs the Clean Air Act Amendments - Nov. 15, 1990 (Source: White House, photo by Carol T. Powers)
References • http://www.epa.gov/climatechange/kids/cc.html • http://www.darlington.gov.uk/NR/rdonlyres/2091F156-0B6A-456B-B5FA-24579F372F36/0/greenhouseeffect.jpg • http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/shared/spl/hi/picture_gallery/05/sci_nat_how_the_world_is_changing/html/1.stm • http://www.koshland-science-museum.org/exhibitgcc/causes01.jsp • http://www.edugreen.teri.res.in/explore/climate/causes.htm • http://www.unfoundation.org/SEG/