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Global Climate Change and You

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					Global Climate Change and
           You
        By Fred Pollert
        Matt Hartman
          Bill Heslin
        Colleen Kozel
                   Climate
 Climate is the long term average of a
  regions weather events, it describes
  temperature and precipitation.
  – Ex. New England’s climate is cold and wet
    Factors Influencing the Earth’s
                Climate
 Solar Radiation
  – UV rays, Infrared rays, visible light
 Greenhouse Gases
  – Carbon Dioxide, Methane, Nitrous Oxide, CFCs
 Sulfate Aerosols and Global Cooling
 Changes in Ocean Temperature
  – Interruptions in ocean currents: El Nino and La Nina
 Milankovitch Cycles
         Greenhouse Gases
 Greenhouse gases are particles in the
  atmosphere that actually act like the glass
  that makes up a greenhouse. They allow
  the light to pass through and not radiate
  back out, allowing the atmosphere to heat
  up without that much heat lost.
     Greenhouse Gases Cont.
 Carbon Dioxide
  – This most common greenhouse gas, which has
    increased about 30% since the Industrial Revolution,
    indicates that humans have a significant role in the
    globally increased temperature
  – Its believed that the main source of carbon dioxide
    emissions are through the burning of fossil fuels
  – Photosynthesis, a natural process called a sink,
    removes gases like this one from the atmosphere
     Greenhouse Gases Cont.
 Methane
  – Formed when organic compounds decompose
    under anaerobic conditions
     Methane levels have more then doubled since pre-
      industrial times due mainly to the worldwide
      expansion of wet-rice agriculture and cattle ranching
  – Even though less present in the atmosphere it’s
   radiative forcing effect is around 20 times more
   potent than that of carbon dioxide
     Greenhouse Gases Cont.
 Nitrous Oxide
  – Formed by bacterial decomposition of organic
    matter (fertilizers, forest fires, etc..)
  – Levels of this gas have stayed relatively
    constant through recent decades
  – Nitrous oxides force is 200 times greater than
    carbon dioxide
     Greenhouse Gases Cont.
 Chlorofluorocarbons (CFC’s)
  – Once widely used in refrigerators, freezers and
    air conditioners
  – The most common known CFC used in
    Freezers was Freon.
  – CFC’s were banned by the Montreal Protocol in
    1996
  – This is because CFC’s are 10,000 times more
    potent than carbon dioxide
     Greenhouse Gases Cont.
 Ozone
  – Most commonly overlooked greenhouse gas
  – Naturally occurs in the stratosphere
  – Forms ozone shield around the Earth, and
    blocks out harmful UV radiation
  – When present in troposphere, it causes
    temperature inversions (ex. Smog over LA)
     Greenhouse Gases Cont.
 Water Vapor can act as a greenhouse gas
  or heat reflector
  – While in the upper atmosphere the high-
    elevation cirrus clouds act as greenhouse gases
    while the more lower-level cloud (cumulus
    clouds) reflect solar radiation
  – With increased global warming, comes
    increased precipitation, leading to more water
    vapor in the atmosphere
Contributors to Greenhouse Gases
          Greenhouse Effect
 The Greenhouse Effect is the natural
  warming process that results from the
  emission of greenhouse gases
      Greenhouse Effect cont.
 Greenhouse gases are not completely bad.
  Without them our planet would be seemingly
  lifeless, something close to that of Mars.
 The problem is there are high amounts in
  our atmosphere today, creating a warming
  situation
 The EPA, under the Clean Air Act, is
  regulating U.S. emissions since 1970
        Environmental Impacts
 15 – 30% of all species could be driven to
  extinction by 2050 due to climate change
  – Penguin populations have shrunk by 33% in parts of
    Antarctica due to a lack of an ice habitat
 279 species of plants and animals are already
  responding to the dire effects of global warming
 Species are migrating at a rate of 4 miles a
  decade away from the equator to escape an
  increase in global temperature
   Environmental Impacts Cont.
 The Arctic ice pack has lost about 40
  percent of its thickness over the past four
  decades.
 Global sea level is rising about three times
  faster over the past 100 years compared
  with the previous 3,000 years.
              Global Cooling
 Sulfate aerosols that are both naturally
  occurring in volcanoes and human influence
 Instead of greenhouse gases these particles
  have the opposite effect, actually reflecting
  solar radiation (heat) back into space
 Aside from volcanic eruptions Sulfate
  aerosols originate from sulfur containing
  fossil fuels, coal fired industrial boilers, and
  coal smelting of metal ores
     How climate is changing.
 The temperature has risen on average
  about 1ºF over the past 100 years.
 Sea level has risen 4-8 inches.
 The 10 warmest years all occurred in the
  last 15 years and 1998 was the warmest
  year on record.
            Global Warming
 Global Warming is an average increase in
  Earth’s temperature, which in turn causes
  changes in climate.
  – Leads to high impacts on plant, animal and
    human life.
  Global Warming in the Arctic:
               A Case Study
 The Arctic is receiving some of the most
  severe climate change on Earth.
 Over the next 100 years, climate change is
  expected to accelerate, contributing to
  major, physical, ecological, social and
  economic changes, many of which have
  already begun.
   Global Warming in the Arctic:
                A Case Study
 Greenhouse effect is already devastating
  the polar bear and arctic bird populations.
   Global Warming in the Arctic:
                 A Case Study
 In some places the ice is starting to thaw as
  much as 3 months early.
  – In 2001 12 hunters had to be rescued when a
    piece of ice broke off and floated out to sea.
 Permafrost stabilizes the ground which
  supports the shorelines against fierce Arctic
  storms. As the permafrost warms and
  thaws, that buffer dissolves, and shorelines
  are retreating by several feet each year.
   Future of the Earth’s Climate
 High Emission Scenario
  – Assumes that the world population growth will
    continue at current rates and energy demand
    will continue to be met by fossil fuels. In this
    scenario, atmospheric carbon dioxide levels will
    more than double in the next hundred years.
   Future of the Earth’s Climate
 Mid-Range Emission Scenario
  – Assumes that population growth will slow to
    about 1 percent per year and energy will
    depend largely on fossil fuels. In this scenario
    by 2100, carbon dioxide levels will be around
    1.5 times the current level.
   Future of the Earth’s Climate
 Low Emission Scenario
  – Assumes that the global population will stabilize
    around 6 billion and the use of fossil fuels will
    decline to their 1995 levels. In this scenario
    carbon dioxide levels will decrease slightly.
   Future of the Earth’s Climate
 If the High Emission Scenario prevails
  – Average global temperature will rise 2.7-8.1º F.
  – Mountain snow cover, glaciers, and a significant
    fraction of continental ice caps and sea ice will
    diminish.
  – Average sea level will rise 4-16 inches.
  – Flooding in some areas and drought in others.
  – A greater potential for heat- related illnesses
    and deaths, as well as wider spread infectious
    diseases carried by insects and rodents.
   Future of the Earth’s Climate
 If the High Emission Scenario prevails cont.
  – Agriculture, fishing, and wildlife will be affected
    in unpredictable ways.
  – Climate change may also increase rates of
    species extinction
  – Warmer seas are likely to spawn more frequent,
    more intense, and more destructive storm
    events such as tornadoes and hurricanes.
      Current Efforts to Minimize
           Global Warming
 Limiting dependence on fossil fuels.
  – Shifting industries and utilities from coal to
    natural gas is one way energy efficiency can be
    enhanced. Natural gas is rich in hydrogen and
    yields more energy per unit of fuel than coal,
    thereby lessening carbon dioxide emissions.
  – Converting conventional coal and oil furnaces to
    natural gas would increase efficiency from 50-
    90 percent.
      Current Efforts to Minimize
           Global Warming
 Shifting to alternate forms of energy
  – Wind Power Installations are reliable and cost
    effective
  – Photovoltaic solar powered projects such as the
    U.S. “million solar roofs” program
  – Solar Photovoltaic installations in Canada to
    power coastguard telecommunication devices
    and meet residential electricity requirements
  – Hydrogen Gas, Fuel cell powered concept cars.
      Current Efforts to Minimize
           Global Warming
 Kyoto Protocol 1997
  – More than 160 countries drafted a strong global
    warming treaty, which established reductions in
    carbon dioxide emissions that would be met by
    2010.
            What You Can Do
 Save Electricity
    – Remember to turn off lights when you leave a
      room.
   Bike, Bus, and Walk
   Plant Trees
   Recycle
   By products that support a healthier
    environment

				
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posted:8/18/2012
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