Posts Tagged ‘glaciers’

People Cause Global Warming

And your opinion?

It’s middle of August and if i look few months back, it’s been a summer of climatic havoc across the planet, with flash floods in Europe and Asia, droughts, wildfires in Russia.

And now an island of ice more than four times the size of Manhattan is drifting across the Arctic Ocean after breaking off from the Petermann glacier in Greenland last week. It is the biggest Arctic ice island in half a century. A 100-square- mile (260-sqare-kilometer) chunk of ice breaking off Greenland’s vast ice sheet, a reservoir of freshwater that if it collapsed would raise global sea levels by a devastating 20 feet (6 meters).

Potentially in the path of this unstoppable giant are oil platforms and shipping lanes — and any collision could do catastrophic damage. In a worst case scenario, large chunks could reach the heavily trafficked waters where another Greenland iceberg meet the Titanic in 1912.

Since 1970, temperatures have risen more than 4.5 degrees (2.5 degrees C) in much of the Arctic — much faster than the global average. In June the Arctic sea ice cover was at the lowest level for that month since records began in 1979, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

All what is happening this year, symbolize a warming to this world like no other.

..and by the way, some facts:

Global warming is the increase in the average temperature of Earth’s near-surface air and oceans since the mid-20th century and its projected continuation. According to the 2007 Fourth Assessment Report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), global surface temperature increased 0.74 ± 0.18 °C (1.33 ± 0.32 °F) during the 20th century.

Most of the observed temperature increase since the middle of the 20th century was caused by increasing concentrations of greenhouse gases, which results from human activity such as the burning of fossil fuel and deforestation. Global dimming, a result of increasing concentrations of atmospheric aerosols that block sunlight from reaching the surface, has partially countered the effects of greenhouse gas induced warming.

Global surface temperature is likely to rise a further 1.1 to 6.4 °C (2.0 to 11.5 °F) during the 21st century. An increase in global temperature will cause sea levels to rise and will change the amount and pattern of precipitation, probably including 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 include changes in the frequency and intensity of extreme weather events, species extinctions, and changes in agricultural yields. Warming and related changes will vary from region to region around the globe, though the nature of these regional variations is uncertain.


Scientists projected an increase in intensity and frequency of extreme weather events

The occurrence of all these events at almost the same time raises questions about their possible linkages to the predicted increase in intensity and frequency of extreme events, for example, as stipulated in the IPCC Fourth Assessment Report published in 2007. The Report stated that “…the type, frequency and intensity of extreme events are expected to change as Earth’s climate changes, and these changes could occur even with relatively small mean climate changes.

More links:
Climate by World Meteorological Organization

Oceans by World Meteorological Organization

Coral Disease Mapping

The Importance Of Rainforest Ecosystems

Forest for Climate

United Nations Environment Programme

The future of planet Earth

If the world remains as it is, with our destructive environmental trends, then the quality of everybody’s life will rapidly deteriorates.

The most important negative trends nowadays are overpopulation; deforestation; desertification; air, water and land pollution; and subsequently climate change. Global warming is now widely accepted as a reality not only by scientists and those who are a little smart, but even by governments and industry leaders.

But is not a bit too late?

It’s later than we think!

Everybody have to accept, that our planet’s prospects for environmental stability are even worse than before. People cause global warming. It is no matter how much civilization slows or reduces its greenhouse gas emissions – global warming and sea-level rise will continue for centuries. This is not something we can just stop. We’re just going to have to live with it.

”The point here is to highlight what will happen if we don’t do something and what will happen if we do something,” said another author, Jonathan Overpeck of the University of Arizona. I agree with Mr. Overpeck. “I can tell you if you decide not to do something the impacts will be much larger than if we do something.”

Scientists predicts the global average temperature could increase by 2 to 11 degrees by “2100” and that sea levels could rise by up to 3 feet. They even speculated that a slight increase in Earth’s rotation rate could result, along with other changes, in glaciers to disappear. Longlasting floods will hit some areas, while intense drought will hit other areas. Humans will face water shortages, while famine and disease will also be everywhere. Earth’s landscape will radically transform and a quarter of plants and animals will face the risk of extinction.

It is not happening already?

Slowly but surely, this becomes a reality, because these changes can be seen today.

More of the world’s population now lives in cities than in rural areas, changing patterns of land use. The world population surpasses 6.8 billion todays. In developing countries, the urban population will soon more than double  and the urban populations of developed countries may also increase and world population can easy reach 7 billion people by 2012 or even 8 bilion by 2020.

Global oil production can reach the top soon and once this peak (Hubbert’s Peak) is reached, the global oil production will begin irreversible decline, possibly triggering a global recession, food shortages and conflicts between nations over dwindling oil supplies.

Flash floods will very likely increase across all parts of Europe. Less rainfall could reduce agriculture yields by up to 50 percent in some parts of the world. Heat-related nad and cold-related deaths, Diarrhea-related diseases and HIV will likely increase everywhere and not only in low-income parts of the world.

World coral reefs will likely be lost as a result of climate change and other environmental stresses. Warming temperatures will cause temperate glaciers to disappear. The Arctic Sea could be ice-free in the summer, and in winter the ice depth may shrink drastically. Small alpine glaciers will very likely disappear completely, and large glaciers will shrink or could be gone as well.

As glaciers disappear and areas affected by drought increase, electricity production for the world’s existing hydropower stations will decrease. Hardest hit will be Europe, where hydropower potential is big. Warmer, drier conditions will lead to more frequent and longer droughts, as well as longer fire seasons, increased fire risks, and more frequent heat waves. While some parts of the world dry out, others will be inundated. A combination of global warming and other factors will push many ecosystems to the limit, forcing them to exceed their natural ability to adapt to climate change.

Interesting links:

Debra Costner’s article celebrating “40 years after the start of Earth Day”