Global warming is the increase in the average temperature of the near-surface air and oceans of the Earth. This phenomena has been occurring since the mid-20th century and it is projected to continue.
What is the cause of global warming? Scientists have determined that a number of human activities are contributing to global warming by adding excessive amounts of greenhouse gases to the atmosphere. Greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide accumulate in the atmosphere and trap heat that normally would exit into outer space.
Why should we be concerned about Global Warming?
Global Warming is the greatest environmental threat of the 21 st Century by many scientists, researchers and environmentalists. In the late 1990s scientists reached a consensus that global warming was a cause for concern. So, why should you be concerned about global warming? “ Why Should I Care?”
What is the evidence of global warming?
Global surface temperature increased 0.74 ± 0.18 °C (1.33 ± 0.32 °F) during the 100 years ending in 2005
The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) concludes that most of the temperature increase since the mid-twentieth century is "very likely" due to the increase in anthropogenic greenhouse gas concentrations.
More frequent extreme weather is happening all over the globe.
Sea ice is melting in the Arctic and Antarctic Oceans.
The atmospheric levels of the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide, have been increasing since pre-industrial times from 280 part per million (ppm) to 377.5 ppm (2004 Carbon Dioxide Information Analysis Center), a 34% increase. Carbon dioxide concentrations in the atmosphere are the highest in 650,000 years.
Levels of atmospheric methane, a powerful greenhouse gas, have risen 145% in the last 100 years
Major greenhouse gas emitters
Most greenhouse emissions come from developed countries
US and Australia are leaders
The US, with 6% of the world’s population, contributes 25% of the total emissions
Sources of emissions
Industry (primarily electric power generation and cement production) is the leader
Transportation is second
Still more evidence…
Ice is melting all over the planet. Glaciers are melting on six continents!
Alaska's glaciers are receding at twice the rate previously thought, according to a new study published in the July 19, 2002 Science. Note how the ice has pulled nearly out of sight from 1914 to 2004.
Predicted precipitation changes
Overall increase in precipitation
Some areas (Arctic, Sahara, Antarctic) become wetter
Other areas become drier
Annual mean precipitation change: 2071 to 2100 Relative to 1990 Source: IPCC, 2001
Sea level rise
Global sea level will rise between 0.3 and 0.9 meters, depending on scenario
Causes: melting polar ice, thermal expansion of water
Source: IPCC, 2001
Sea ice trends
Sea ice will continue to decline dramatically
Cold nights and days are decreasing, warm nights and days increasing
Decreases in cold nights, increases in warm nights are much greater than corresponding changes during daytime
Consistent with warming caused by enhanced greenhouse effect
Predicted effects of global warming
Drier conditions reduce grain harvest.
Reduced rainfall in rainforests as a result of deforestation
Flooding due to rising sea levels
Damage to habitats due to changes in the ecosystem
Changes in water supply – water shortages and contamination
Spreading of tropical diseases - directly related to global warming
Increased air pollution
Stunted coral growth as a result of the doubling of atmospheric CO 2 . According to researchers from Chapel Hill University (North Carolina) the coral reef is disappearing at an alarming rate and it seems it can’t be stopped.
Changing ecosystem Global warming is causing a change in habitat requiring species to adapt and change!
Science, December 3, 2004 Vol. 306, Issue 5702,1686 Is Global Warming A Valid Concern? Number disagreeing with the global consensus that greenhouse gas pollution has caused most of the warming of the last 50 years: Number of scientific studies dealing with “climate change” published in scientific journals between 1993 and 2003:
What Can WE Do?
Every Individual Can Make a Difference
We Need Leadership!
We Need: Leaders P olitical… Credit: John Decker Nevada Senator Harry Reid Senate Majority Leader Representative Shelley Berkley Representative Dina Titus Senator John Ensign Representative Dean Heller
Pass Federal Legislation Monitor Your Elected Officials Records on Environmental Concerns
What Do We Need for Federal Legislation!
We need our elected leaders to pass strong, comprehensive legislation regarding energy and global warming .
Increased Fuel Efficiency Standards
Energy Standards for Buildings
Renewable Electricity Standards
We Want: Emissions Reduction
80% total reduction below 1990 levels
Limits emissions from a designated group of polluters, such as power plants.
Sets the limit (cap) for greenhouse gas pollution.
Polluters that exceed the cap need to reduce pollution.
Polluters that fall below the cap can sell pollution credits to other users.
Cap is lowered over time
We want to set emission standards!
How Can I Help With Federal Legislation?
Write letters to your elected officials
Write letters to the editor of your local newspaper or television station
Start or participate in a global warming blog
Educate your peers
Is Federal Legislation the Only Answer?
Individuals, Businesses, and Communities can all work together to reduce emissions immediately.
You can Take Action at Home.
Buy a hybrid or alternative fuel vehicle
Install solar or geothermal power
Vacation closer to home
More Action At Home The Easy Stuff...
Stop Water Leaks
Fix Weather Stripping
Replace Incandescent Bulbs
And a little more effort….
Buy ENERGY STAR appliances
Dry clothes on a line
III. Reduce outside irrigation
Take Action: Reduce, Reuse, Recycle Reducing half your household waste = 2,400 lbs CO2 per year
Take Action In Your Community
Work with others in your area to:
Help schools, businesses, and local governments cut their energy use.
Encourage local, state and federal government to protect open spaces, farmland, and forests
The Las Vegas Strip will soon be going dark, and the reason is to help Mother Nature. In just two months, Las Vegas will participate in a global movement known as "Earth Hour," all in an effort to raise awareness regarding climate change and global warming.
Educate Others to Take Action
What Do We Gain by Participating in Global Warming Activities?
Energy independence - Freedom from fossil fuels and pollution
Cleaner, Better air and water quality
Clean energy/technology jobs
More forests, farmland, wetlands, wildlife
Take Action and Vote Inform your elected representatives how important global warming solutions are to you.
The Most Important Crossroads Of Our Lives…
Turning up the heat on the future: Global Warming and its Consequences. Dr. John Heinrichs. Department of Geoscience.
Chemistry in Context. Applying Chemistry to Society