It's Gettin' Hot in Here!Presented by : ECOSCI The Academy of Mt. St. Ursula
Global Warming – What is it?Rise in earth’s temperatureResults from changes in the natural environment Caused by too much carbon dioxide
The Greenhouse EffectSolar radiation from the Sun reaches the Earth’s atmosphereThe surface of the Earth absorbs most of the short-rayed insolation and later releases this heat in the form of infrared radiation into the atmosphere.Some of the heat is absorbed by particles known as “greenhouse gases.”The heat retained by the gases acts as a “heat blanket.”
The Greenhouse EffectWithout With
Burning of fossil fuelsThe burning of fossil fuels releases Carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. In the past 150 years, burning fossil fuels has caused a 25 % increase in Carbon dioxide emissions.
Burning of fossil fuelsIn the last 200 years:Nitrous oxide has increased 17%.Methane has increased 150%!!
CO2 | NH4 | N20
The Ties Between Sardines & Global WarmingThe over-hunting of sardines has caused higher levels of phytoplankton in the ocean.While living, phytoplankton release oxygen into the atmosphere and use Carbon for photosynthesis When they die, their decay releases large amounts of methane and the poisonous gas, hydrogen sulfide. It also uses large amounts of oxygen.
Sardines & Global Warming (Cont.)Methane is 21 times more effective than carbon dioxide in maintaining heat in the atmosphere. This results in the deaths of numerous marine animals.
Effects of global warmingMore carbon dioxide -> increase in plant growth.The increase in temperature -> rise in sea level from melting glaciers and polar ice caps (adds 0.2 mm annually)Rising temperatures will also cause drier conditions in many important agricultural regions.
GLOBAL WARMING:Sea LifeGLOBAL WARMING’S NEGATIVE IMPACT ON SEA LIFE—Coral Reef Bleaching— Change in temperature and elevated sea level cause loss of algae in the coral. Coral appears white, or “bleached.” Result is mass death of sea animals, which are dependent on the coral reef. The penguin population near Antarctica has been declining as the distance between them and their food has increased.
Rising Sea levelsThe rise of temperature, even to a few degrees, could lead to the melting of ice shelves that hold back glaciers. This results in rising sea levelsThe Larsen area of North Antarctic, South of Chili and Argentina have lost more than 5,200 sq miles of area.
The Effects of Global Warming on Land animalsGlobal warming can disrupt the migration, hibernation and reproductive cycles of certain types of animals. Plants and animals will find it hard to escape or adjust to the effects of warming because humans occupy so much land.Farmland or cities interrupt the movement of species between habitats.
Health & Global WarmingExtreme temperatures can directly cause the loss of life (ex: 35,000 people died during heat wave in Europe, Aug‘03.)Warmer weather provides an ideal breeding environment for mosquitoes. Diseases such as West Nile will be more common.
Health & Global Warming (cont.)High temperature can increase pollution of water and air, which harms the human body.
Tropical DiseasesGlobal Warming increases drought which lessens the supply of clean drinking water.Cholera It increases temperature providing an ideal breeding environment for mosquitoes. Dengue feverMalariaYellow fever
IMPACT ON AIRThe atmosphere’s ultimate fate is unclear. More evaporation increase in cloud coverHow High Will the Clouds Be? It makes a difference!Clouds close to the earth reflect sunlight cooling effect. Clouds high in the atmosphere trap heat warmingeffect. Generally:Cloud cover increases Levels of the greenhouse gas methane may increase Hurricanes range farther north, south on warmer water
El Niño Effect Severe oceanic/atmospheric disturbance, every 7-14 yrs (“the child”)Warm surface waters suppress cold, nutrient-rich upwelling of the Humboldt Current Fall in the number of planktonWreaks havoc upon the entire ocean food chainDevastates the fishing industry
El Niño Effect Complete reversal of the trade winds: torrential rain, flooding, and mudslides to the usually dry coastal areas of Peru and Ecuador.
El Niño Effect Collapse of the monsoons in Asia severe drought to Indonesia and northern Australia. Severe weather disturbances in other parts of the world, such as droughts in areas of Africa and central North America.
Kyoto ProtocolIt’s Getting Warmer!
UN Framework On Climate Change
The Climate Stewardship ActFirst introduced in the senate in 2003 and reintroduced in February 2005It would reduce carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide, hydroflurocarbon and perfuorocarbons which are released by power plants to 2000 levels by 2010.The bill reduces the risk of global warming without hurting the economy.
How To Prevent Global Warming:Plant treesConserve energy:(examples: 1. use low-energy, low-water-use washing machines, 2. use a solar heated system for hot water, 3. use an electric or push mower for gasoline powered mower) Buy energy efficient productsBuy products that have reusable or recyclable packagingReduce use of car (walk instead)