Global Warming: Conclude yourself

It’s really challenging or either quite confusing for those whose background is not related to global warming or air pollution. I am Environmental Engineer, but I am really not major on this. This begins when I watched A Unconvenient Truth, presented by Al-Gore, when at the movie he talked about global warming, and the problem is this movie was shown on the class which has nothing to do with global warming, Environmental Emerging Contaminants. Amazingly, I keep thinking about the impact that may occur because of global warming, from what he said.

Obviously, what the movie was telling that, we have been emitting such huge amount of CO2 annually, and that cause the increase of solar radiation trapped by this gas, thus results in an increased temperature, and rise the temperature. The effect, ice melting, just like what had happened in Canadian Arctic recently as a result of global warming.

However, although global warming is responsible for ice melting and crack off, still regarding who cause the global warming is arguable. I noted several confusing and somehow contraproductive.

The cause of ice crack off is as follows

The break up of the ice sheves appear because of warm temperatures on Ellesmere in the summer of 2005, which was three degrees Celsius above normal, and unusually brisk winds that blew the summer pack ice offshore, exposing the Ayles shelf to waves and open water.

It is clear in my point of view that for first reason, warm temperatures cause the Ice Ayles shelf to break off. But, another statement arise as global warming is not made by human.

The scientists say they can’t prove human-induced climate change caused the Ayles shelf to break off, but they suspect global warming may be responsible.

Now, what come up to my mind is, they consider that human-induced climate change is not relevant with global warming. I mean, climate change is not the cause of global warming, which is this makes me wondering, what makes they doubt, that we are major cause of global warming.

So, that is the reason I make this post. To convince me and… reader perhaps, that we are actually in a deep trouble. I’d rather believe the worst scenario rather than when it is happening you just simply scream and regret.

What cause global warming?

The ultimate cause, is the addition of greenhouse gases to the atmosphere. These gases absorb infrared radiation, which is the principal way by which earth radiates energy to space. By blocking energy from leaving earth, greenhouse gases raise earth’s temperature[7]. One of the greenhouse gases is carbon dioxide (CO2) and this gas concentration is increasing in atmosphere.

CO2 is one of the primary byproducts of fossil fuel burning, and the rise is CO2 coincides with the industrial revolution. In fact, if we take an inventory of CO2 emissions, and track the sources and sinks in the natural environment, the books balance — fossil fuel burning accounts for the CO2 increase precisely [7]. Another surprise is this activity is raising atmospheric carbon dioxide to levels not seen on Earth for more than 30 million years [2].

Is CO2 increasing?

And what do we find? Since measurements have been recorded at Mauna Loa, CO2 has shown a consistent increase. CO2 concentration is measured in units called “ppmv,” meaning “parts per million by volume.” This just means that of every million molecules in the atmosphere, that many are molecules of CO2. It’s abundantly clear that since 1958, CO2 concentration has risen a lot, from about 315 ppmv in 1958 to about 380 ppmv today. That’s a 21% increase in just 48 years! [7]

Why in an annual cycle, CO2 decrease and increase?
It’s also evident that in addition to this steady increase, CO2 concentration rises and falls in an annual cycle. The annual cycle is due to the respiration of land plants. Most of the land plants are in the northern hemisphere of our planet, because most of the land is in the northern hemisphere. During northern-hemisphere summer, plants grow, and one of the main building blocks of plant life (of all earthly life, for that matter) is carbon. Plants get their carbon from atmospheric CO2, so during northern-hemisphere summer land plants are extracting CO2 from the air, lowering its atmospheric concentration. During winter, plant matter decays, returning the carbon to the atmosphere as CO2. So, the annual rise and fall of atmospheric CO2 is a visible sign of the planet’s plant life “breathing.” [7]

What is global warming

Global warming is not a partisan issue[2]. Greenhouse gases inhibit infrared radiation from escaping earth’s surface and cooling the earth. Hence they inhibit nighttime cooling, raising nighttime temperatures more than daytime temperatures, overall. This also means that the diurnal temperature range (DTR) is getting smaller; there’s less difference between the daily high and the overnight low [3].

The effect of global warming

Several effects due to global warming are for example the break of giant arctic ice sheves, ice dams collapse. A prediction also comes up with the idea that if the global warming rate is maintained at this value, probably the grain belt of the U.S. (the breadbasket of the world) may just turn into a desert, that would raise disastrous effect for economy as well. [3]

Another example of global warming is the earlier ice-out 13 of 29 New England lakes. The investigation showed a statistically significant trend over the time span 1970 to 2005. All of the trends are negative, i.e., ice-out is occuring earlier rather than later. Average ice-out anomaly for all 29 New England lakes does show a statistically significant trend. [4]

For the entire time span, the trend is for ice-out to occur earlier by 8.8 days/century — but this isn’t really indicative of the impact of recent global warming. For the time span 1970 to 2005, the trend is also statistically significant and does indicate the impact of recent warming. What’s most impressive is that the rate of change of ice-out is a whopping 23 days/century! If this trend continues, then by the year 2100 ice-out on New England lakes will, on average, happen 22 days earlier than it’s happening today. It’s not inconceivable that by 2100, a large number of New England lakes simply won’t freeze over at all. [4]

Does this prove global warming? Of course not. New England is only one small region of the globe. But it’s evidence which doesn’t depend on super-high-tech instruments (like a thermometer) that this region has warmed significantly over the last 35 years. If you study regional temperature trends, we’ll discover that New England hasn’t been warming as fast as other areas of the U.S., or as fast as the entire planet[4].

Prediction of researchers of a Canada-U.S. team that the Arctic Ocean could be devoid of summer ice as early as 2040, and possibly sooner.

Based on these facts, I believe that we have take action immediately to reduce emissions, because the question is not whether this is going to occur, but when. This is simply going to happen!

What skeptics said about global warming

They described global warming as a “mass delusion” among the scientific community, showing confusion by misrepresenting the ice core data that connects carbon dioxide and temperature over glacial cycles, and claiming that “global warming stopped in 1998″ — an anomalously warm year. They even recommended burning as much fossil fuel as possible to prevent another ice age. [2] Even the officer of Homeland Security, somewhere in Europe, denies the fact, by saying that, global warming issue is just a propaganda to wash your brain! [5]

Consider that in the public debate over global warming, the denialists consistently use cherry-picking (and other subterfuges) to misrepresent the facts in order to make their case[6].

Another denial comes and stating there is no prove of global warming base of elephan seals indication.

The notion that this is going to happen soon has just been fatally harpooned by giant Elephant Seals (Mirounga leonine). [8]

Elephant seals established multiple rookeries on the continent. Temperatures had to be much warmer than they are today, for at least 1,200 years, and yet there was no disintegration of the large ice shelves. Hall et al. then noted another similar period, almost twice as long, from 4,000 to 6,000 years ago. [8]

Stories about an imminent collapse of Antarctic ice shelves can go back to the science fiction shelves, where they belonged all along. [8]

If Antarctic ice remained stable for thousands of years with temperatures considerably warmer than they are today, how in the world are we going to provoke a catastrophe? Among other things, we will still have to be powering our society on fossil fuels in the year 4,100. [8]

My Conclusion

Although I am on the global warming believer, I still present here some of the reasons of denials. The purpose is, simply I want you to judge by yourself, read the number on each statement there, I provide that to make you easier reading the original context and conclude yourself. The most important thing is judge by yourself, on which side you are!

Now, for those who believe of global warming, and believe that we are the major cause of this phenomena here is what to do.

What to do to reduce Global Warming

George Monbiot defines ‘effective action’ to curb global warming: reduce greenhouse gas emissions 90% by 2030[5]. We can fix the climate change problem by deploying the technologies to meet our energy needs while slashing carbon emissions: plug-in hybrids, windmills, carbon sequestration for coal plants, and even nuclear power. The importance thing is also how to make government concern regarding global warming.

Rather than waiting for this interesting ironic statement:

Do the Great Lakes have to run dry before the U.S. realizes global warming is real? [10]

1. http://www.canada.com/nationalpost/story.html?
id=5e511719-09ec-4c3a-9dd1-69aa37c3014e&k=39191&p=2

2. http://www.boston.com/news/globe/editorial_opinion/oped/
articles/2006/12/17/on_a_swift_boat_to_a_warmer_world/

3. http://tamino.wordpress.com/2006/12/26/temperature-records-of-the-week/

4. http://tamino.wordpress.com/2006/12/18/breaking-the-ice/

5. http://www.worldchanging.com/archives/005588.html

6. http://tamino.wordpress.com/2006/11/12/picking-cherries/

7. http://tamino.wordpress.com/2006/11/10/co2-they-call-it-life/

8. http://scullymccammon.wordpress.com/2006/12/30/global-warming/

9. http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/6218333.stm

10. http://trulyequal.wordpress.com/2006/12/30/ice-shelf-
collapse-sends-chills/

11. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carbon_dioxide

12. http://www.cbc.ca/canada/story/2006/12/28/
tech-ellesmereiceshelfcollapse-20061228.html?ref=rss

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