Global Warming











Global warming and climate change are terms for the observed century-scale rise in the average temperature of the Earth's climate system and its related effects. Multiple lines of scientific evidence show that the climate system is warming. Although the increase of near-surface atmospheric temperature is the measure of global warming often reported in the popular press, most of the additional energy stored in the climate system since 1970 has gone into ocean warming. The remainder has melted ice and warmed the continents and atmosphere.Many of the observed changes since the 1950s are unprecedented over tens to thousands of years. On November 12, 2015, NASA scientists reported that human-made carbon dioxide (CO2) continues to increase above levels not seen in hundreds of thousands of years: currently, about half of the carbon dioxide released from the burning of fossil fuels is not absorbed by vegetation and the oceans and remains in the atmosphere. Read more




In the News ...





Wind, Rain, Heat: Health Risks Grow with Extreme Weather   Live Science - February 17, 2017

As climate change proceeds, there will be more extreme weather events, and these events pose a threat to people's health, experts say. The annual number of natural disasters appears to be increasing around the world. These include, for example, not only weather- and water-related disasters, but also geological disasters, such as earthquakes, and biological disasters, such as pandemics. Data from the past 50 years show that 41 percent of all global disasters are related to extreme weather or water events.




This January Was the Third Warmest on Record Globally   Live Science - February 17, 2017
While a powerful El Nio has faded, the globe's heat continues to be an enduring phenomenon due largely to carbon pollution. This January was the third-warmest January on record, according to data released this week from both NASA and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. The agencies use different baselines and techniques to measure the Earth's temperature. NASA's data shows the planet was 1.7 degrees Fahrenheit above the 1951-1980 average while NOAA's data indicates the planet was 1.6 degrees Fahrenheit above the 20th century average.




Wind, Rain, Heat: Health Risks Grow with Extreme Weather   Live Science - February 17, 2017
As climate change proceeds, there will be more extreme weather events, and these events pose a threat to people's health, experts say. The annual number of natural disasters appears to be increasing around the world. These include, for example, not only weather- and water-related disasters, but also geological disasters, such as earthquakes, and biological disasters, such as pandemics. Data from the past 50 years show that 41 percent of all global disasters are related to extreme weather or water events.




  2016 to be hottest year yet as April smashes records   CNN - May 16, 2016
The Earth is heating up like an oven and is showing no signs of slowing. This year recorded the highest land and ocean April temperatures on record, keeping 2016 on track to be the hottest year yet and by the biggest margin ever.




April breaks global temperature record   BBC - May 16, 2016

April was the seventh month in a row that broke global temperature records, Nasa figures show. Last month smashed the previous record for April by the largest margin ever, the data show. That makes it three months in a row that the monthly record was broken by the largest margin ever. But in terms of its departure from the 1951-1980 temperature average used by Nasa, April was equal with January 2016.




Global Warming "Marches On"; Past Decade Hottest Known   National Geographic - December 8, 2009
The past decade has been the hottest on record, according to new global warming data released today at the Copenhagen climate conference by the World Meteorological Organization. What's more, 2009 is shaping up to be the fifth warmest year since coordinated record keeping began in 1850, according to preliminary figures released by the Geneva-based UN organization. The final report, including December climate data, will be released in March 2010.




Global Increase In Atmospheric Methane Likely Caused By Unusual Arctic Warmth, Tropical Wetness   Science Daily - September 28, 2009
Unusually high temperatures in the Arctic and heavy rains in the tropics likely drove a global increase in atmospheric methane in 2007 and 2008 after a decade of near-zero growth, according to a new study. Methane is the second most abundant greenhouse gas after carbon dioxide, albeit a distant second.




Heavier Rainstorms Ahead Due To Global Climate Change, Study Predicts   Science Daily - September 28, 2009
Heavier rainstorms lie in our future. That's the clear conclusion of a new MIT and Caltech study on the impact that global climate change will have on precipitation patterns. But the increase in extreme downpours is not uniformly spread around the world, the analysis shows. While the pattern is clear and consistent outside of the tropics, climate models give conflicting results within the tropics and more research will be needed to determine the likely outcomes in tropical regions. Overall, previous studies have shown that average annual precipitation will increase in both the deep tropics and in temperate zones, but will decrease in the subtropics. However, it's important to know how the frequency and magnitude of extreme precipitation events will be affected, as these heavy downpours can lead to increased flooding and soil erosion.




Mystery mechanism drove global warming 55 million years ago   PhysOrg - July 14, 2009

A runaway spurt of global warming 55 million years ago turned Earth into a hothouse but how this happened remains worryingly unclear. Previous research into this period, called the Palaeocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum, or PETM, estimates the planet's surface temperature blasted upwards by between five and nine degrees Celsius (nine and 16.2 degrees Fahrenheit) in just a few thousand years. The Arctic Ocean warmed to 23 C (73 F), or about the temperature of a lukewarm bath. How PETM happened is unclear but climatologists are eager to find out, as this could shed light on aspects of global warming today. What seems clear is that a huge amount of heat-trapping "greenhouse" gases -- natural, as opposed to man-made -- were disgorged in a very short time. The theorised sources include volcanic activity and the sudden release of methane hydrates in the ocean.




Greenland Snow Melting Hit Record High In High Places, NASA Finds Science Daily - September 26, 2007

A new NASA-supported study reports that 2007 marked an overall rise in the melting trend over the entire Greenland ice sheet and, remarkably, melting in high-altitude areas was greater than ever at 150 percent more than average. In fact, the amount of snow that has melted this year over Greenland could cover the surface size of the U.S. more than twice.




"Global Cooling" Wiped Out North America's Reptiles, Amphibians National Geographic - February 7, 2007
Today the world faces global warming, but 34 million years ago a distinctly chillier menace was sweeping our planet. Average temperatures around the world plunged nearly 15 degrees Fahrenheit (8.2 degrees Celsius) during a span of hundreds of thousands of years, according to a new study. The cooling was so severe that it likely led to the extinction of many of North America's reptiles and amphibians. The cause of the temperature shift was a change in the level of greenhouse gases - specifically carbon dioxide - the study shows. Researchers believe an increase in carbon dioxide is mainly responsible for the global warming occurring today




Hibernating Animals Suffer Dangerous Wakeup Calls Due to Warming National Geographic - February 2, 2007
Punxsutawney Phil - the groundhog of Groundhog Day fame - emerged from his stump-shaped shelter this morning and didn't see his shadow, traditionally signaling an early spring. Sun-worshipping humans might welcome the news, but for groundhogs and other hibernating animals, a longer winter could be a blessing.




Warming Atmosphere Expands Tropics Scientific American - May 26, 2006

The earth's four jet streams mark the boundaries of regional climates. In the Northern and Southern Hemispheres, these rivers of high-speed wind persist at the border of warm, tropical air and its cooler counterpart toward the poles. The jet streams push weather across the globe, blessing some areas with abundant rain and desertifying less fortunate regions. Now, new satellite data reveals that the atmosphere is warming most strongly in such boundary regions and potentially shifting regions of wet and dry.





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