Presentation on theme: "Global Climate Change and You"— Presentation transcript:
1 Global Climate Change and You By Fred PollertMatt HartmanBill HeslinColleen Kozel
2 ClimateClimate is the long term average of a regions weather events, it describes temperature and precipitation.Ex. New England’s climate is cold and wet
3 Factors Influencing the Earth’s Climate Solar RadiationUV rays, Infrared rays, visible lightGreenhouse GasesCarbon Dioxide, Methane, Nitrous Oxide, CFCsSulfate Aerosols and Global CoolingChanges in Ocean TemperatureInterruptions in ocean currents: El Nino and La NinaMilankovitch Cycles
4 Greenhouse GasesGreenhouse 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.
5 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 temperatureIts believed that the main source of carbon dioxide emissions are through the burning of fossil fuelsPhotosynthesis, a natural process called a sink, removes gases like this one from the atmosphere
6 Greenhouse Gases Cont. Methane Formed when organic compounds decompose under anaerobic conditionsMethane levels have more then doubled since pre-industrial times due mainly to the worldwide expansion of wet-rice agriculture and cattle ranchingEven though less present in the atmosphere it’s radiative forcing effect is around 20 times more potent than that of carbon dioxide
7 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 decadesNitrous oxides force is 200 times greater than carbon dioxide
8 Greenhouse Gases Cont. Chlorofluorocarbons (CFC’s) Once widely used in refrigerators, freezers and air conditionersThe most common known CFC used in Freezers was Freon.CFC’s were banned by the Montreal Protocol in 1996This is because CFC’s are 10,000 times more potent than carbon dioxide
9 Greenhouse Gases Cont. Ozone Most commonly overlooked greenhouse gas Naturally occurs in the stratosphereForms ozone shield around the Earth, and blocks out harmful UV radiationWhen present in troposphere, it causes temperature inversions (ex. Smog over LA)
10 Greenhouse Gases Cont.Water Vapor can act as a greenhouse gas or heat reflectorWhile in the upper atmosphere the high-elevation cirrus clouds act as greenhouse gases while the more lower-level cloud (cumulus clouds) reflect solar radiationWith increased global warming, comes increased precipitation, leading to more water vapor in the atmosphere
12 Greenhouse EffectThe Greenhouse Effect is the natural warming process that results from the emission of greenhouse gases
13 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 situationThe EPA, under the Clean Air Act, is regulating U.S. emissions since 1970
14 Environmental Impacts 15 – 30% of all species could be driven to extinction by 2050 due to climate changePenguin populations have shrunk by 33% in parts of Antarctica due to a lack of an ice habitat279 species of plants and animals are already responding to the dire effects of global warmingSpecies are migrating at a rate of 4 miles a decade away from the equator to escape an increase in global temperature
15 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.
16 Global CoolingSulfate aerosols that are both naturally occurring in volcanoes and human influenceInstead of greenhouse gases these particles have the opposite effect, actually reflecting solar radiation (heat) back into spaceAside from volcanic eruptions Sulfate aerosols originate from sulfur containing fossil fuels, coal fired industrial boilers, and coal smelting of metal ores
17 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.
18 Global WarmingGlobal 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.
19 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.
20 Global Warming in the Arctic: A Case Study Greenhouse effect is already devastating the polar bear and arctic bird populations.
21 Global Warming in the Arctic: A Case Study In some places the ice is starting to thaw as much as 3 months early.In 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.
22 Future of the Earth’s Climate High Emission ScenarioAssumes 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.
23 Future of the Earth’s Climate Mid-Range Emission ScenarioAssumes 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.
24 Future of the Earth’s Climate Low Emission ScenarioAssumes 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.
25 Future of the Earth’s Climate If the High Emission Scenario prevailsAverage global temperature will rise º 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.
26 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 extinctionWarmer seas are likely to spawn more frequent, more intense, and more destructive storm events such as tornadoes and hurricanes.
27 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 percent.
28 Current Efforts to Minimize Global Warming Shifting to alternate forms of energyWind Power Installations are reliable and cost effectivePhotovoltaic solar powered projects such as the U.S. “million solar roofs” programSolar Photovoltaic installations in Canada to power coastguard telecommunication devices and meet residential electricity requirementsHydrogen Gas, Fuel cell powered concept cars.
29 Current Efforts to Minimize Global Warming Kyoto Protocol 1997More than 160 countries drafted a strong global warming treaty, which established reductions in carbon dioxide emissions that would be met by 2010.
30 What You Can Do Save Electricity Bike, Bus, and Walk Plant Trees Remember to turn off lights when you leave a room.Bike, Bus, and WalkPlant TreesRecycleBy products that support a healthier environment