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PROJECT ON GLOBAL WARMING

TABLE OF CONTENTS
1. What is Global Warming?? 2. Causes of Global Warming 3. Effects of Global Warming 4. Risks and Impacts of Global Warming 5. Global Warming Predictions 6. Global Warming Solutions 7. Bibliography

WHAT IS GLOBAL WARMING ??

Global warming is the continuing rise in the average temperature of Earth's atmosphere and oceans. Global warming is caused by increased concentrations of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, resulting from human activities such as deforestation and burning of fossil fuels. This finding is recognized by the national science academies of all the major industrialized countries and is not disputed by any scientific body of national or international standing. The instrumental temperature record shows that the average global surface temperature increased by 0.74 C (1.33 F) during the 20th century.[6] Climate model projections are summarized in the Fourth Assessment Report (AR4) by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). They indicate that during the 21st century the global surface temperature is likely to rise a further 1.5 to 1.9 C (2.7 to 3.4 F) for their lowest emissions scenario and 3.4 to 6.1 C (6.1 to 11 F)

for their highest. The ranges of these estimates arise from the use of models with differing sensitivity to greenhouse gas concentrations. An increase in global temperature will cause sea levels to rise and will change the amount and pattern of precipitation, and a probable expansion of subtropical deserts. Warming is expected to be strongest in the Arctic and would be associated with continuing retreat of glaciers, permafrost and sea ice. Other likely effects of the warming include more frequent occurrence of extreme weather events including heatwaves, droughts and heavy rainfall events, species extinctions due to shifting temperature regimes, and changes in agricultural yields. Warming and related changes will vary from region to region around the globe, though the nature of these regional changes is uncertain. In a 4 C world, the limits for human adaptation are likely to be exceeded in many parts of the world, while the limits for adaptation for natural systems would largely be exceeded throughout the world. Hence, the ecosystem services upon which human livelihoods depend would not be preserved.

Causes of Global Warming

Scientists have spent decades figuring out what is causing global warming. Theyve looked at the natural cycles and events that are known to influence climate. But the amount and pattern of warming thats been measured cant be explained by these factors alone. The only way to explain the pattern is to include the effect of greenhouse gases (GHGs) emitted by humans. To bring all this information together, the United Nations formed a group of scientists called the International Panel on Climate Change, or IPCC. The IPCC meets every few years to review the latest scientific findings and write a report summarizing all that is known about global warming. Each report represents a consensus, or agreement, among hundreds of leading scientists.

One of the first things scientists learned is that there are several greenhouse gases responsible for warming, and humans emit them in a variety of ways. Most come from the combustion of fossil fuels in cars, factories and electricity production. The gas responsible for the most warming is carbon dioxide, also called CO2. Other contributors include methane released from landfills and agriculture (especially from the digestive systems of grazing animals), nitrous oxide from fertilizers, gases used for refrigeration and industrial processes, and the loss of forests that would otherwise store CO2. Different greenhouse gases have very different heat-trapping abilities. Some of them can even trap more heat than CO2. A molecule of methane produces more than 20 times the warming of a molecule of CO2. Nitrous oxide is 300 times more powerful than CO2. Other gases, such as chlorofluorocarbons (which have been banned in much of the world because they also degrade the ozone layer), have heat-trapping potential thousands of times greater than CO2. But because their concentrations are much lower than CO2, none of these gases adds as much warmth to the atmosphere as CO2 does. In order to understand the effects of all the gases together, scientists tend to talk about all greenhouse gases in terms of the equivalent amount of CO2. Since 1990, yearly emissions have gone up by about 6 billion metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent worldwide, more than a 20% increase.

Effects of Global Warming

The planet is warming, from North Pole to South Pole, and everywhere in between. Globally, the mercury is already up more than 1 degree Fahrenheit (0.8 degree Celsius), and even more in sensitive polar regions. And the effects of rising temperatures arent waiting for some far-flung future. Theyre happening right now. Signs are appearing all over, and some of them are surprising. The heat is not only melting glaciers and sea ice, its also shifting precipitation patterns and setting animals on the move. Some impacts from increasing temperatures are already happening. Ice is melting worldwide, especially at the Earths poles. This includes mountain glaciers, ice sheets covering West Antarctica and Greenland, and Arctic sea ice. Researcher Bill Fraser has tracked the decline of the Adlie penguins on Antarctica, where their numbers have fallen from 32,000 breeding pairs to 11,000 in 30 years. Sea level rise became faster over the last century. Some butterflies, foxes, and alpine plants have moved farther north or to higher, cooler areas.

Precipitation (rain and snowfall) has increased across the globe, on average. Spruce bark beetles have boomed in Alaska thanks to 20 years of warm summers. The insects have chewed up 4 million acres of spruce trees.
Global warming may be detected in natural, ecological or social systems as a change having statistical significance. Attribution of these changes e.g., to natural or human activities, is the next step following detection.

Natural systems

Global warming has been detected in a number of systems. Some of these changes, e.g., based on the instrumental temperature record, have been described in the section on temperature changes. Rising sea levels and observed decreases in snow and ice extent are consistent with warming. Most of the increase in global average temperature since the mid-20th century is, with high probability, attributable to human-induced changes in greenhouse gas concentrations. Even with current policies to reduce emissions, global emissions are still expected to continue to grow over the coming decades. Over the course of the 21st century, increases in emissions at or above their current rate would very likely induce changes in the climate system larger than those observed in the 20th century. In the IPCC Fourth Assessment Report, across a range of future emission scenarios, model-based estimates of sea level rise for the end of the 21st century (the year 2090-2099, relative to 1980-

1999) range from 0.18 to 0.59 m. These estimates, however, were not given a likelihood due to a lack of scientific understanding, nor was an upper bound given for sea level rise. Over the course of centuries to millennia, the melting of ice sheets could result in sea level rise of 46 m or more. Changes in regional climate are expected to include greater warming over land, with most warming at high northern latitudes, and least warming over the Southern Ocean and parts of the North Atlantic Ocean. Snow cover area and sea ice extent are expected to decrease, with the Arctic expected to be largely ice-free in September by 2037. The frequency of hot extremes, heat waves, and heavy precipitation will very likely increase.

Ecological systems
In terrestrial ecosystems, the earlier timing of spring events, and poleward and upward shifts in plant and animal ranges, have been linked with high confidence to recent warming. Future climate change is expected to particularly affect certain ecosystems, including tundra, mangroves, and coral reefs. It is expected that most ecosystems will be affected by higher atmospheric CO2 levels, combined with higher global temperatures. Overall, it is expected that climate change will result in the extinction of many species and reduced diversity of ecosystems.

Species migration
In 2010, a gray whale was found in the Mediterranean Sea, even though the species had not been seen in the North Atlantic Ocean since the 18th century. The whale is thought to have migrated from the Pacific Ocean via the Arctic. Climate Change & European Marine Ecosystem Research (CLAMER) has also reported that the Neodenticula seminae alga has been found in the North Atlantic, where it had gone extinct nearly 800,000 years ago. The alga has drifted from the Pacific Ocean through the Arctic, following the reduction in polar ice. In the Siberian sub-arctic, species migration is contributing to another warming albedo-feedback, as needle-shedding larch trees are being replaced with dark-foliage evergreen conifers which can absorb some of the solar radiation that previously reflected off the snowpack beneath the forest canopy.

Social systems

Vulnerability of human societies to climate change mainly lies in the effects of extreme weather events rather than gradual climate change.[ Impacts of climate change so far include adverse effects on small islands, adverse effects on indigenous populations in high-latitude areas, and small but discernable effects on human health. Over the 21st century, climate change is likely to adversely affect hundreds of millions of people through increased coastal flooding, reductions in water supplies, increased malnutrition and increased health impacts. Future warming of around 3 C (by 2100, relative to 1990-2000) could result in increased crop yields in mid- and high-latitude areas, but in low-latitude areas, yields could decline, increasing the risk of malnutrition. A similar regional pattern of net benefits and costs could occur for economic (market-sector) effects. Warming above 3 C could result in crop yields falling in temperate regions, leading to a reduction in global food production. Most economic studies suggest losses of world gross domestic product (GDP) for this magnitude of warming. Some areas of the world would start to surpass the wet-bulb temperature limit of human survivability with global warming of about 6.7C (12F) while a warming of 11.7C (21F) would put half of the world's population in an uninhabitable environment. In practice the survivable limit of global warming in these areas is probably lower and in practice some areas may experience lethal wet bulb tempatures even earlier, because this study conservatively projected the survival limit for persons who are out of the sun, in gale-force winds, doused with water, wearing no clothing, and not working.

Global Warming Solutions


The evidence that humans are causing global warming is strong, but the question of what to do about it remains controversial. Economics, sociology, and politics are all important factors in planning for the future. Even if we stopped emitting greenhouse gases (GHGs) today, the Earth would still warm by another degree Fahrenheit or so. But what we do from today forward makes a big difference. Depending on our choices, scientists predict that the Earth could eventually warm by as little as 2.5 degrees or as much as 10 degrees Fahrenheit. A commonly cited goal is to stabilize GHG concentrations around 450-550 parts per million (ppm), or about twice pre-industrial levels. This is the point at which many believe the most damaging impacts of climate change can be avoided. Current concentrations are about 380 ppm, which means there isnt much time to lose. According to the IPCC, wed have to reduce GHG emissions by 50% to 80% of what theyre on track to be in the next century to reach this level.

Boosting energy efficiency: The energy used to power, heat, and cool our homes, businesses, and industries is the single largest contributor to global warming. Energy efficiency technologies allow us to use less energy to get the sameor higherlevel of production, service, and comfort. This approach has vast potential to save both energy and money, and can be deployed quickly. Greening transportation: The transportation sector's emissions have increased at a faster rate than any other energy-using sector over the past decade. A variety of solutions are at hand, including improving efficiency (miles per gallon) in all modes of transport, switching to low-carbon fuels, and reducing vehicle miles traveled through smart growth and more efficient mass transportation systems. Revving up renewables: Renewable energy sources such as solar, wind, geothermal and bioenergy are available around the world. Multiple studies have shown that renewable energy has the technical potential to meet the vast majority of our energy needs. Renewable technologies can be deployed quickly, are increasingly cost-effective, and create jobs while reducing pollution. Phasing out fossil fuel electricity: Dramatically reducing our use of fossil fuels especially carbon-intensive coalis essential to tackle climate change. There are many ways to begin this process. Key action steps include: not building any new coal-burning power plants, initiating a phased shutdown of coal plants starting with the oldest and dirtiest, and capturing and storing carbon emissions from power plants. While it may sound like science fiction, the technology exists to store carbon emissions underground. The technology has not been deployed on a large scale or proven to be safe and permanent, but it has been demonstrated in other contexts such as oil and natural gas recovery. Demonstration projects to test the viability and costs of this technology for power plant emissions are worth pursuing. Managing forests and agriculture: Taken together, tropical deforestation and emissions from agriculture represent nearly 30 percent of the world's heat-trapping emissions. We can fight global warming by reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation and by making our food production practices more sustainable.

Exploring nuclear: Because nuclear power results in few global warming emissions, an increased share of nuclear power in the energy mix could help reduce global warming but nuclear technology poses serious threats to our security and, as the accident at the Fukushima Diaichi plant in Japan illustrates to our health and the environment as well. The question remains: can the safety, proliferation, waste disposal, and cost barriers of nuclear power be overcome? Developing and deploying new low-carbon and zero-carbon technologies: Research into and development of the next generation of low-carbon technologies will be critical to deep mid-century reductions in global emissions. Current research on battery technology, new materials for solar cells, harnessing energy from novel sources like bacteria and algae, and other innovative areas could provide important breakthroughs. Ensuring sustainable development: The countries of the worldfrom the most to the least developedvary dramatically in their contributions to the problem of climate change and in their responsibilities and capacities to confront it. A successful global compact on climate change must include financial assistance from richer countries to poorer countries to help make the transition to low-carbon development pathways and to help adapt to the impacts of climate change.

Adapting to changes already underway: As the Climate Hot Map demonstrates, the impacts of a warming world are already being felt by people around the globe. If climate change continues unchecked, these impacts are almost certain to get worse. From sea level rise to heat waves, from extreme weather to disease outbreaks, each unique challenge requires locally-suitable solutions to prepare for and respond to the impacts of global warming. Unfortunately, those who will be hit hardest and first by the impacts of a changing climate are likely to be the poor and vulnerable, especially those in the least developed countries. Developed countries must take a leadership role in providing financial and technical help for adaptation.

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