Climate change, global warming and greenhouse gases | NIWA
An introduction to how climate change is related to greenhouse gases. of some of the other gases which contribute to the greenhouse effect and a description. How is the relationship between greenhouse gases and global warming best described? Still have How do greenhouse gases contribute to global warming?. Climate data and common terms explaining the causes and effects of climate change. FAQs on climate change and global warming; FAQs on greenhouse gases . Ensure maximum energy efficiency at home;; Support where possible the.
Carbon dioxide is released when we use fossil fuels, such as coal, oil and natural gas. We burn these fuels, made from the ancient remains of plants and animals, to run electricity-generating plants that power factories, homes and schools.
Products of these fossil fuels, such as gasoline and diesel fuel, power most of the engines that drive cars, airplanes and ships. By examining air bubbles in ice cores taken from Antarctica, scientists can go back and calculate what the concentrations of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere have been throughout the lastyears. The amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere has been climbing to where today it is 30 percent greater thanyears ago.
Humans have further increased the levels of greenhouse gases in the air by changing the landscape. Plants take up carbon dioxide to make food in a process called photosynthesis.
Explainer: Global warming and the greenhouse effect
The net effect is the gradual heating of Earth's atmosphere and surface, a process known as global warming. Since the dawn of the Industrial Revolution in the early s, the burning of fossil fuels like coal, oil and gasoline have greatly increased the concentration of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, especially CO2, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration NOAA. Atmospheric CO2 levels have increased by more than 40 percent since the beginning of the Industrial Revolution, from about parts per million ppm in the s to ppm today.
The last time Earth's atmospheric levels of CO2 reached ppm was during the Pliocene Epoch, between 5 million and 3 million years ago, according to the University of California, San Diego's Scripps Institution of Oceanography. The greenhouse effect, combined with increasing levels of greenhouse gases and the resulting global warming, is expected to have profound implications, according to the near-universal consensus of scientists.
If global warming continues unchecked, it will cause significant climate change, a rise in sea levels, increasing ocean acidification, extreme weather events and other severe natural and societal impacts, according to NASA, the EPA and other scientific and governmental bodies.
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There are those that say that gases are not the cause of global warming, though that goes against the opinion of the global scientific community. Many scientists agree that the damage to the Earth's atmosphere and climate is past the point of no return or that the damage is near the point of no return.
In Werne's opinion, there are three options from this point forward: Do nothing and live with the consequences. Adapt to the changing climate which includes things like rising sea level and related flooding.
Mitigate the impact of climate change by aggressively enacting policies that actually reduce the concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere.
Keith Peterman, a professor of chemistry at York College of Pennsylvania, and Gregory Foy, an associate professor of chemistry at York College of Pennsylvania, think that the damage isn't to that point yet, and that international agreements and action can save the planet's atmosphere.
Currently, some scientists are investigating how to re-engineer the atmosphere to reverse global warming. Pollen in the sediments can indicate the type of vegetation present, and plankton biota indicate physical and chemical conditions in the lake water.
Analyzing the Relation Between Greenhouse Effect and Global Warming
Its accumulation at a particular location can provide information on past windiness and dryness. Variations in the past size of glaciers can be inferred from the location of moraines rocks and debris deposited by glaciers and buried soils, and in the presence of glacial features in the landscape. In New Zealand, cool summer temperatures are only one factor in promoting ice accumulation on glaciers, and snow accumulation rates also respond to changes in the strength and direction of the westerly wind flow and sea level pressure in summer.
Glacial deposits embedded within speleothems stalactites and stalagmites can be used to indicate periods of glacial advance the speleothems can be dated using uranium isotope techniques.
A cave in Fiordland New Zealand, which has been repeatedly overrun by glaciers, provides information going backyears. Annual rings of trees in temperate forests can be used to reconstruct past climates.
It is sometimes possible to deduce past surface temperatures going back several hundred years by measuring the way temperature varies with depth in a borehole several hundred metres deep at a suitable site not disturbed by groundwater flow.
This is because fluctuations in ground surface temperatures propagate slowly downwards into the earth as a "temperature wave". In New Zealand, quantitative records of temperature and other meteorological records are available only for the past years. Such records must be analysed carefully, to identify the influence of any non-climate factors such as changes in observing site or method, or encroaching urban development.
How is the climate expected to change in the future? Some models suggest a possibility of more extreme i. It is not yet possible to predict whether changes are likely in the occurrence or geographical distribution of severe storms, such as tropical cyclones.
Model projections for increases in global sea level byfor the same scenarios, range from about 18 to 59 cm. Due to limited understanding of some important drivers of sea level rise, these projections likely underestimate future sea level rise.