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Explain how the accumulation of carbon dioxide (CO 2 ) and other gases, in the atmosphere increases Earth’s “greenhouse” effect and may cause climate.

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Presentation on theme: "Explain how the accumulation of carbon dioxide (CO 2 ) and other gases, in the atmosphere increases Earth’s “greenhouse” effect and may cause climate."— Presentation transcript:


2 Explain how the accumulation of carbon dioxide (CO 2 ) and other gases, in the atmosphere increases Earth’s “greenhouse” effect and may cause climate changes.

3  Global warming is an average increase in the temperature of the atmosphere near the Earth's surface.  Global warming can occur from a variety of causes, both natural and human-caused.  Generally when people say "global warming," they are referring to the warming which results from increased emissions of greenhouse gases from human activities.

4 Burning of Fossil fuels (coal, oil, natural gas) and other human activities Carbon Dioxide (CO 2 ), Methane (CH 4 ) and Nitrous Oxide

5  Carbon dioxide – CO 2 ◦ This is the major problem, but it is not the only one!  Water vapor (H 2 O)  Methane – CH 4 (this is a hydrocarbon)  Nitrous oxide

6 Global Atmospheric Concentration of CO 2

7 The Sun’s energy passes through the car’s windshield. This energy (heat) is trapped inside the car and cannot pass back through the windshield, causing the inside of the car to warm up. Global Warming is similar to this …

8 Weather is the condition of the atmosphere at a particular place and time. This is measured in terms of such things as wind, temperature, humidity, and precipitation. In most places, weather can change from hour-to-hour, day-to-day, and season-to-season. Climate is the average pattern of weather in a place. For example, we New Englanders experience four seasons each year, have warm and humid summers, and cold snowy winters.

9  Spring arrives earlier and the number of extremely hot summer days has been increasing.  Northeast Climate Impacts Assessment (NECIA) team reports that the Northeast has been warming at a rate of nearly 0.5 ° F per decade.  Winter temperatures are rising faster, at a rate of 1.3 ° F per decade from 1970 to 2000.  2010 was the warmest year on record.  Despite recent harsh winters, snowfall in northern New England has overall decreased since 1953.

10  Temperature increases could affect New England’s brilliant fall colors as trees migrate north or die out. This affects the tourism industry.  Maple syrup production may be jeopardized because sap flow depends on freezing nights and warm days.  The skiing industry will face the threat of less natural snowfall and the inability to produce artificial snow, which requires temperatures of 28 degrees or less.

11 GLOBAL WARMING is the increase of the Earth’s average surface temperature due to a build-up of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. CLIMATE CHANGE is a broader term that refers to long-term changes in climate, including average temperature and precipitation.

12 The MAJOR SOURCES are the burning of coal, oil, and natural gas, when burned release carbon dioxide, the most important greenhouse gas.

13 Burning of Fossil Fuels Pollution from coal, natural gas, and oil

14  Deforestation ◦ when wood is burned, the carbon contained in the trees is released as carbon dioxide. ◦ Rotting wood can produce methane  Rice paddies, cattle, coal mines, gas pipelines, and landfills ◦ produce methane which causes about 30% as much warming as carbon dioxide.  Fertilizers and other chemicals ◦ release nitrous oxide, causes about 10% as much warming as carbon dioxide.

15 Increased Temperature Habitat Damage and Species Affected Changes in Water Supply Rising Sea Level

16  In the past, the natural environment has adapted to gradual climate changes  However, they also find instances in which changes have occurred rapidly, brought about by events such as sudden shifts in ocean currents.  These rapid changes have often caused widespread species extinctions and the collapse of natural ecosystems.

17  Global warming could mean that those plants currently growing in Georgia might be better suited to New England.  If climate changes gradually, many plants may be able to "migrate" by spreading seeds into new areas where they can now grow.  But if climate changes rapidly, many plants may not be able to spread their seeds far enough to reach the new area. If they die out, so may many of the animals that depend upon them.




21  There is debate about whether the ice caps would completely melt.  But, sea level would rise because water expands when it is heated.  An increase in the earth's average temperature of about 3.5°F, would result in an increase in sea level of between 8 and 30 inches.  Higher sea level would mean that hurricanes and similar large storms could do more damage than in the past.  Some experts argue that such storms would become more frequent and intense in a warmer climate. This could have large impacts.


23  Alaska 19142004 Photos: NOAA Photo Collection and Gary Braasch –

24  Arizona June 2002Dec 2003

25 Temperature (Northern Hemisphere) CO 2 Concentrations Degree Celsius Increase Parts Per Million Year 100012001400160018002000 100012001400160018002000

26  The amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere has increased in recent years.  Environmentalists suggest this change is a direct result of the overcutting of forests and the increased use of fossil fuels.  There have been changes in the overall temperature of the planet and the effects of this are beginning to be seen by humans.  So … what can be done about this?

27 2007 Goal: Reductions in CO 2 Per Year Billions of Metric Tons Carbon

28 2007 Reductions in CO 2 Per Year Gigaton Carbon Produce electricity efficiently Use electricity efficiently Vehicle efficiency Solar and Wind Power Biofuels Carbon capture and storage Billions of Metric Tons Carbon Our Goal

29 Solar PowerWind PowerFuel-Efficiency


31  Reduce energy use!  When you buy a car, choose one that gets good mileage.  Insulate and weatherize your home or apartment.  Carpool or drive less.

32  Replace old, worn-out appliances with the most efficient new models.  Turn off lights and appliances when not needed.  Plant trees.  Set the thermostat lower in winter and higher in summer.  Recycle.  If the average citizen undertakes all of these actions, they can reduce their carbon dioxide emissions by about 3%, which equals just over half a ton of carbon dioxide per year.

33 Incandescent Compact Fluorescent 500 lbs. of coal What’s the difference? 1,430 lbs. CO 2 pollution avoided $30 saved

34  National Wildlife Foundation  Carnegie Mellon University  New England Aquarium rch/climate_change/climate_change_in_new_ england.php rch/climate_change/climate_change_in_new_ england.php

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