What is Global Warming?! By Hayanon Translated by Y. Noda and Y. Kamide Supervised by A. Mizuno Hi. I am a mammoth. My genus Warm 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 Cold 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! Warm 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 Cold 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 Cold 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 ingenuity. 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 http://www.grottederouffignac.fr/ 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? cold? Global I really miss the sunshine. Go away warming?! rain, and hurry up summer! 1 Is the Earth warming? Can I swim in the sea throughout We will never the year? have winter? Splash That is ! heaven!! 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 “problem.” Hi kids! Are you interested Yes, what is it, Sensei? Why is it in global warming? a problem? Pa t Let‛s begin with That is not an thinking what easy question will happen ... to answer. ... following global warming. 2 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 change. Temperature Change (°C) Scenario 1 5 Scenario 2 4 3 2 1 0 2000 2020 2040 2060 2080 2100 Year 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 Blaa aa Then what about plants? Bur zing They are sensitive to rrr ning temperature changes, and they cannot move to other places by themselves. 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 affected. 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 disorder. The temperature rise causes melting of ice caps atop mountains and glaciers in the north and south polar regions. 4 If the sea level rises, low-lying coastal areas and small islands will be submerged. Nooo That would severely affect people living there. o!! 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. else! 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. ? 5 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 wars. 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. effects. we ep ... 6 Do you know Sunlight heats how the Earth‛s temperature up the ground. rises? The heated ground emits infrared radiation. Solar Infrared Radiation Radiation Ground The ozone layer absorbs the Carbon dioxide (CO2), ultraviolet radiation from the water vapor, methane, Sun and warms the atmosphere. nitrous oxide (N2O), and chlorofluorocarbons 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. Radiation Greenhouse Gases Ozone Infrared Greenhouse Infrared Radiation Gases Radiation 7 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. gases! Greenhouse gases form a “blanket” The problem is around the Earth an excessive and keep it warm. increase of those gases. 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! 8 The Earth is Remove What can I Do you getting warmer the blanket, possibly do?! and warmer. pleeease! know any solution? puff puff 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. 9 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 unnecessary lights. Grow trees Trees absorb and protect carbon dioxide and forests! produce oxygen. 10 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 difference. I just thought So did I, but global warming the truth is, would bring us it should be everlasting stopped! summer. Now, 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. Mirubo. 11 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 ... 12 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 essential. 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) Year 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 COS 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 Applications 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. http://www.bu.edu/cawses/ http://www.ngdc.noaa.gov/stp/SCOSTEP/scostep.html 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. http://www.stelab.nagoya-u.ac.jp/ 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 http://www.hayanon.jp/ scientific phenomena in everyday life to cutting edge research topics. http://www.seibundo.net/ “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.