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Global Climate Change and You

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Presentation on theme: "Global Climate Change and You"— Presentation transcript:

1 Global Climate Change and You
By Fred Pollert Matt Hartman Bill Heslin Colleen Kozel

2 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

3 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

4 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.

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 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

6 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

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 decades Nitrous oxides force is 200 times greater than carbon dioxide

8 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

9 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)

10 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

11 Contributors to Greenhouse Gases

12 Greenhouse Effect The 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 situation The 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 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

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 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

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 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.

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 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.

23 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.

24 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.

25 Future of the Earth’s Climate
If the High Emission Scenario prevails Average 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 extinction Warmer 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 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.

29 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.

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 Walk Plant Trees Recycle By products that support a healthier environment


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