Global Warm by VenkatFuriouz


									What is
Global Warming?!
By Hayanon
Translated by Y. Noda and Y. Kamide
Supervised by A. Mizuno
    Hi. I am a mammoth. My genus

existed from around 3 million years ago
to 10,000 years ago. Do you know that                                                                                                       6 °C
remains of a frozen mammoth excavated
in Siberia were displayed at the 2005

World Exposition in Aichi, Japan? To                                            15                  10                  5               0
my delight, as many as about 7 million                                                      Date (10,000 yr before the present)

                                                 Midlatitude air temperature
visitors came to see the display!

    Although we resemble modern
elephants, it is said that we were not
                                                                                                                                            6 °C
their immediate ancestors. Some of our
                                                                                                                       Younger Dryas
species were covered with long hair and
were able to survive throughout the Ice

Age.                                                                                  30                 20              10             0
    The mammoths‛ territory expanded to                                                      Date (1,000 yr before the present)
Europe, Asia, and North America, which
were connected together at that time.                                          Warm
                                                                                           Medieval Warm Period
Then we disappeared.
                                                                                                                                            1.5 °C
    Thousands of years after the                                                                                     Little Ice Age

extinction, people found our remains in

Siberia and came to understand us.                                              600               1000               1500              2000
    Do you ever wonder why we died out?                                                                       Date

There seem to be two possible reasons.           Climate Change (Adapted from “Webb, III, T. et al., in
One is that extinction is the result of          Global Change, Cambridge Univ. Press, 1985”)
global warming. Grasslands and ponds
were replaced by coniferous forests due          warming by emitting more carbon dioxide
to the temperature rise after the Ice            and methane. I really hope that you
Age. The plants we lived on were gone.           will not suffer from food shortages like
    I have heard that you, humans, are           we did. Luckily, though, global warming
responsible for the acceleration of global       can be minimized by your efforts and
                                                     The other theory for our extinction is
                                                 overhunting by humans. They sometimes
                                                 act, driven only by their own desires,
                                                 jumping over a line which should not be
                                                 crossed. Please remember the value of
                                                 all life on Earth and the preciousness of
                                                 the Earth‛s environment.
                                                     The whole world needs to tackle the
                                                 problem of global warming instead of
                                                 pursuing their own interests in order to
                                                 head off an irreversible crisis.
  People and mammoths coexisted in ancient           Also, if the globe keeps warming, my
  days. Paintings of the mammoths on the cave
  walls in Europe are believed to date back to   bed will be melted! That is really a
  the Paleolithic era.                           problem. Now, I have talked enough. I
                                                 am going back to sleep. Bye for now.
                                                 Zzz ...
  It is a rainy                   Our familiar friends, science
  day today.                      lover Mol and her robotic dog
                                  Mirubo, are stuck in the house,
                                  doing nothing but watching TV.

Mom said                               Now, we have
summer is                              a report on
coming soon                            global warming ...
              ... but why
              is it so                                What?
                  I really miss the
                  sunshine. Go away                         warming?!
                  rain, and hurry up

Is the Earth warming?                         Can I swim in
                                              the sea throughout
We will never                                 the year?
  have winter?
                                        Splash              That is

I don‛t think
                                        We should
so, Mol. Global      Why?               ask Sensei!
warming must be
something bad.          Everyone is
                        happy in the
                        warm weather.
           They say
           it is a

Hi kids!
Are you interested                Yes, what is
                                  it, Sensei?             Why is it
in global warming?
                                                          a problem?

                       t                              Let‛s begin with
                                 That is not an
                                                      thinking what
                                 easy question        will happen ...
                                 to answer.
                                                              ... following

  During the past 4.6 billion years,
  the Earth has gone through
  climate changes over and over.
  The Earth, a magma ocean at the
  beginning of its history, has
  alternately experienced ice
  ages and warm periods.                                                                   It is currently in the
                                                                                           slow-paced warming
                                                                                           period that started
                                                                                           20,000 years ago.

  This is a simulation
  result, calculated by a
  supercomputer, on how                                       It shows an               Is it only
  global temperature will
  change over the next
                                                              increase of               about 5 °C?
  century.                                                    about 1 to 5 °C.

    Global Temperature Change from 1990 to 2100,                                                       We can ignore
            according to the two scenarios
                               6                                                                       such a slight
     Temperature Change (°C)

                                          Scenario 1
                               5          Scenario 2

                                   2000      2020      2040    2060   2080    2100
     Modified from “Climate Change 2001: Contribution WG I to IPCC 3, J. T. Houghton
     et al. (eds.), Cambridge Univ. Press, 2001”

  Actually, we could                                                                            Move to ...
                                                                             Other animals
  find ways to adjust
                                                                             may migrate
  ourselves to either
                                                                             to comfortable
  extremely warm or                                                                                             ... a new
                                                                             places to live.
  cold weathers.                                                                                                world, folks.

  Bars on the right show the range in the temperature in 2100 produced by two different models.
Scenario 1: A future world of rapid economic growth with technological emphasis on fossil fuel-intensive energies.
Scenario 2: A world with the introduction of clean and resouce-efficient technologies emphasizing environmental sustainability.   3
Then what about plants?                      Bur zing            They are sensitive to
                                                   ning          temperature changes,
                                                                 and they cannot move
                                                                 to other places by
    It‛s too hot.
    I cannot stay                                                         First of all,
    standing anymore.                                                     global warming
                                                                          will have a great
                                                                          impact on plants.

    When there are                              It is anticipated
                                                that we will face
    not many plants,                                                 This will
                                                a serious shortage
    creatures that eat                                               impact livestock
                                                of agricultural
    plants will also be                         foods.               as well as
                                                                     crop harvests.

                        Insects, birds,
                        and plant-eating
                        animals will
                        disappear from         Even a few degree
                        their habitats.        increase in temperature
                                               has impacts on animal
                                               and plant distributions,
                                               leading to global              That is
Furthermore,                                   ecosystem changes.             terrible.
meat-eating animals
could no longer
survive as a result
of this ecological

The temperature rise
causes melting of ice
caps atop mountains and
glaciers in the north and
south polar regions.

If the sea level rises,
low-lying coastal areas
and small islands will
be submerged.
              That would
              severely affect
              people living there.

It is predicted that a 5 °C                   Not only that, it would raise sea level by
increase in temperature would                 about 7 meters if it melted completely.
melt the Greenland ice sheet,                 What would happen if all the ice on
resulting in 3-meter sea                        the Earth melted?
level rise over the next
millennium.                                                            My town would
                                                                       be gone?

What if my                           Well, it is not an
country           We must                                      Not many
                                     easy thing to escape      countries could
disappears?       move to            to another country.
                  somewhere                                    receive evacuees.
                                                                         A lot more
                                 I have
                                 to learn a
                                                       I would go        problems are
                                                       anywhere only
                                 foreign               if they have      to be expected.
                                 language.             roasted meat.

Climate change could
reduce the habitable                                       Then, people will start
areas of the world.                                        fighting over scarce
                                                           foods and lands.

    This is a horrible
    idea, but global
    warming could
    spark widespread
                                     Aargh!                     Even wars could
                                                                take place

 a- om
                                                                because of a few

k o
                                                                degree rise?

 b                       Hands off
                         my meat!!

The slightest                           It is not time
                                        for tears.                 Let‛s begin with
difference in the                                                  understanding
Earth‛s temperature                         We have to do          its mechanism.
                          Yes, it has       something to stop
would upset the                                                    Please explain it
                          serious             global warming.
whole world...                                                     to us, Sensei.


 Do you know               Sunlight heats
 how the Earth‛s
                           up the ground.
 rises?                                                      The heated
                                                             ground emits
                                                             infrared radiation.

                                   Solar                              Infrared
                                   Radiation                          Radiation


The ozone layer absorbs the                Carbon dioxide (CO2),
ultraviolet radiation from the             water vapor, methane,
Sun and warms the atmosphere.              nitrous oxide (N2O), and
            Meanwhile, the air             exist in the air.
            absorbs infrared                                 These molecules
            radiation, warming                               effectively absorb
            up the atmosphere.                               infrared heat radiation
                                                             and are called
        Ultraviolet                                           greenhouse gases.



        Infrared      Greenhouse                               Infrared
        Radiation     Gases                                    Radiation

                               Listen, kids.
They are                       Those gases play an   Without them,
                               important role in
our enemies!!                                        Earth would
                               keeping our planet
                Fight off      at comfortable        be a frozen,
                greenhouse     temperature.          ice planet.

                                Greenhouse gases
                                form a “blanket”      The problem is
                                around the Earth      an excessive
                                and keep it warm.     increase of those

Can you imagine how
warm it is to be        The Earth is acting
covered by many         just like that.
layers of blankets?     It is becoming         The Sun‛s heat keeps
                        warmer and warmer      coming, but the heat
                        inside the blankets.   is trapped by blankets
                                               and cannot escape.
    Oh, it is
    so hot!

                                                I feel like I am
                                                in a greenhouse!

The Earth is        Remove               What can I              Do you
getting warmer      the blanket,         possibly do?!
and warmer.         pleeease!
                                                                 know any


Many of                                                     We have to try to
greenhouse gases                                            reduce the human-
are emitted by                                              originated gas
human activities.                                           emissions with our
                                                            efforts and ingenuity.

 A large amount                    Burning rubbish in
 of CO2 is generated               an incinerator, using   There are many causes
 in the combustion                 fossil fuels to         of CO2 emissions
 process.                          drive cars, ...
                                                           around us.

By reducing                                   What exactly         Can we help
emissions, global                             can be done?         stop such a
warming can                                                        big problem?
be prevented.

One of the                                  Do not waste
immediate            We have to cut         resources.              Plastic bottles,
actions is waste                            Go on recycling!        cans, and used
                     the amount
reduction.                                                          paper are recycled
                     of rubbish to                                  through a resource
                     be burned.                                     recycling center.

 Give away                                       Bring your own bags for
 old clothes to          Do not throw            shopping to reduce waste
 someone or              away products only      from plastic bags.
 remake them.            to buy brand new
                         ones, one after
                         another.                                    Mom does
                                                                     the same thing!

Do not set your                               Use public
                       ... at a colder or     transportation.       When you stop
air conditioner‛s      warmer setting                               the car for a
thermostat ...                                Ride a bicycle or
                       than normal.           walk to avoid         certain time, turn
                       Save energy!           using your car.       off the engine to
                                                                    save the fuel.

                    click!   Turn off

Grow trees                                                        Trees absorb
and protect                                                       carbon dioxide and
forests!                                                          produce oxygen.

Protecting nature
and resources leads              Reduce rubbish,      Good !
to the prevention of             save resources!         That is
global warming.                                          something
               Slight efforts                            I can do.
               by each of us
               will make a big

                                 I just thought        So did I, but
                                 global warming        the truth is,
                                 would bring us        it should be
                                 everlasting           stopped!

     to save energy
     and to protect
     the Earth, turn                               But Mol,
     off the lights and                            you have not
     go to sleep early                             finished your
     today. Good night,                            homework yet.

         On TV and newspapers everyone            conditioners, are found to destroy the
     talks about global warming. They say         ozone layer.
     gasoline cars cause the problem and              In 1898, a Swedish chemist S.
     that the gasoline tax needs to be            Arrhenius suggested that CO2 could
     increased to stop it.                        cause global warming. The issue then
                                                  began to be discussed at the U.S.
         Gee, you are so smart, Mol!              Congress in the 1980s, and soon became
     Greenhouse gases such as CO2 and             of worldwide concern.
     methane emitted from burning fossil
     fuels contribute a lot to global warming.       What will happen if the Earth keeps
     Various measures are studied to cut          warming?
     those gases.     The introduction of
     “environmental tax” on oil and coal is           Scientists make predictions based
     one of them.                                 on various scenarios. They say that the
                                                  temperature will rise about 1 to 5 °C in
         When did the Earth start warming?        the next 100 years.

          The Earth has gone through warm            Is that all?? We can ignore that.
     and cold climates in cycles that last
     thousands of years or tens of thousands           No. Even though the rise would
     of years since its birth about 4.6 billion   not be severe enough to directly
     years ago. The Earth is currently            kill animals, it could cause ecological
     thought to be in a warm period, from         disorder. Global warming could reduce
     the viewpoint of long-term climate           crop yields as well as plants which
     changes.                                     animals depend on.
          However, greenhouse gas emissions            It would also cause sea levels to
     including CO2 have increased especially      rise by melting glaciers. Most parts of
     since the Industrial Revolution began        low-lying islands like Maldives will be
     around 1750. The recent warming trend        submerged. The occurrence of extreme
     reflects its impacts.                        weather events such as heat waves and
                                                  typhoons is estimated to increase.
         I know that the invention of the
     steam engine led to the rapid industrial         That is a big problem! What can we
     development. Coal provided the power         do to avoid that?
     to drive the steam engines!
         Thanks to inventions during this             The whole world needs to
     period, our life has become full of          tackle global warming together. An
     conveniences. Is that a cause of             international conference is annually
     global warming?! We did not need the         held to try to reduce greenhouse gas
     Industrial Revolution at all?!               emissions.
                                                      Every one of us is also able to
         Wait! I, and even TV, would not          contribute to stopping the problem
     exist without those inventions.              through energy saving. Setting your air
                                                  conditioner‛s thermostat to a moderate
         Our present life has been                temperature, or turning off the engine
     established     based   on   people‛s        while parking, for example. Many small
     achievements of that time. They,             things make a great difference.
     however, never imagined we would face
     the crucial problem resulting from               I have an idea!     I will use a
     their inventions.                            smokeless BBQ grill from now on. That
         Chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) are           could reduce CO2 emissions.
     another example of what had provided
     us with convenience but later turned            Well, I do not know whether that
     out to be harmful. CFCs, used in air         works, maybe so ...

    Do you know that the content of
greenhouse gases such as CO2 and methane
in the air is only a tiny bit? CO2 accounts
for 0.03% of the air, and the level of
methane is only 1.7 ppm (parts per million).
Because they have enormous impacts on
climate changes despite their low content,
an accurate measurement of those gases is
    In 1958, a U.S. scientist C. D. Keeling                    A compact FTIR measures atmospheric CO2 concentration.
and his colleagues started measurement
of CO2 as the major greenhouse gas at an                       some specific infrared wavelengths
observatory on the top of an about 4,000                       determined by the molecular structure of
meter-high mountain called Mauna Loa in                        CO2. Such a discrete absorption feature
Hawaii.                                                        is called an absorption line. In the FTIR
    A nondispersive infrared analyzer is                       measurements from the ground, the
used for the observation. This analyzer                        spectrometer directly looks at the Sun,
measures CO2 concentration by making use                       and the CO2 concentration is derived from
of the gas's nature of absorbing infrared                      the intensity of the absorption lines.
radiation.     In more detail, infrared                            There is an ongoing project to make
absorption intensities are measured                            observations of greenhouse gases in
alternately for two gas samples; one is the                    the Earth‛s atmosphere from space!
air sampled from the outside and the other                     Satellite-borne FTIR is to obtain two types
is a reference gas whose CO2 abundance is                      of infrared spectra. One is reflected by
known. The CO2 concentration is derived                        the Earth‛s surface after being radiated
from the difference of the absorption                          from the Sun, and the other is radiated
intensities.                                                   from Earth itself.
    While the above method provides                                With the aim of studying changes in
“in-situ” analysis of CO2 concentration,                       the Earth‛s CO2 concentration in a broader
“remote” data can be obtained using an                         perspective, the GOSAT satellite of Japan
instrument named Fourier Transform                             and the U.S. OCO satellite carrying a
Infra-Red Spectrophotometer (FTIR).                            diffraction-grating infrared spectrometer
CO2 in the atmosphere absorbs sunlight at                      are scheduled for launch in 2007.
             CO2 Concentration (ppm)

                 CO2 Concentration Observed at Mauna Loa, Hawaii (Source: C. D. Keeling et al., Scripps
                 Institution of Oceanography, University of California at San Diego)
 CAWSES: A SCOSTEP Program 2004-2008
           SCOSTEP         2004-2008                                                Climate and Weather of                  the
 Solar Influence on Climate
                                                                                    Sun-Earth System (CAWSES)
                                                           CAWSES is an international program sponsored by
                                                           SCOSTEP (Scientific Committee on Solar-Terrestrial Physics)
                                                           and has been established with the aim of significantly
                              Space Weather: Science and
                                                           enhancing our understanding of the space environment and
                                                           its impacts on life and society. The main functions of
                                                           CAWSES are to help coordinate international activities in
        Atmospheric Coupling Processes                     observations, modeling and theory crucial to achieving this
                                                           understanding, to involve scientists in both developed and
                                                           developing countries, and to provide educational opportunities
                                                           for students at all levels. The CAWSES office is located at
                               Space Climatology
                                                           Boston University, Boston, MA, USA. The four science
                                                           Themes of CAWSES are shown in the figure.

                                                                      Solar-Terrestrial Environment                  Laboratory
                                                                      (STEL), Nagoya University
                                                           STEL is operated under an inter-university cooperative
                                                           system in Japan. Its purpose is to promote “research on the
                                                           structure and dynamics of the solar-terrestrial system,” in
                                                           collaboration with a number of universities and institutions
                                                           both in Japan and abroad. The Laboratory consists of four
                                                           research Divisions: Atmospheric Environment, Ionospheric
                                                           and Magnetospheric Environment, Heliospheric Environment,
                                                           and Integrated Studies. The Geospace Research Center is
                                                           also affiliated to the Laboratory to coordinate and promote
                                                           joint research projects. At its seven Observatories/Stations,
                                                           ground-based observations of various physical and chemical
                                                           entities are conducted nationwide.

               Hayanon                                                                       Kodomo no Kagaku (Science
Graduated from the Department of Physics of                                                  for Kids)
Ryukyu University, Hayanon, a writer and                                     Kodomo no Kagaku, published by the
cartoonist, has contributed a number of serials                              Seibundo Shinkosha Publishing Co., Ltd. is a
in popular magazines on the basis of her strong                              monthly magazine for juniors.        Since the
background in science and computer games.                                    inaugural issue in 1924, the magazine has
Her consistent writing style, expressing a love                              continuously promoted science education by
for science, is well accepted.                                               providing various facets of science, from                                                       scientific phenomena in everyday life to cutting
                                                                             edge research topics.

                    “What is Global Warming?!” is published with cooperation of “Kodomo no Kagaku.”
                    Mol, Mirubo, and Sensei thank Lisa Kihn, Joe Allen, and T. Nagahama for their help
                    in preparing the English version of our story.

                      Produced by the Solar-Terrestrial Environment Laboratory, Nagoya University and the
                      Scientific Committee on Solar-Terrestrial Physics in conjunction with the CAWSES program.
                      July 2006                                                                   All rights reserved.

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