Sunday, December 2, 2007

The Science of Global Warming

Global warming is the increase in global temperatures caused by the emission of gases that trap the sun's heat in the Earth's atmosphere. The sun emits the solar radiation to the earth. Earth, through its natural temperature control system, would emit 1/3 of that radiation back to space. 2/3 portion of the radiation is absorb by the earth surface and trap by the gases in the atmosphere. The gases in our atmosphere is a natural thing that makes our earth warm and suitable for living. These gases are called greenhouse gases and the process is called greenhouse effect.

However, build-up of pollutants such as carbon dioxide and methane, increase the greenhouse gases concentration in the atmosphere which result in more heat retained on the earth and less released back to space. In other words, the world becomes warmer. And the bad news, these pollutants keep on building up at an alarming rate and has resulted in the constant rise of average world’s temperature.

In the last 20 years alone, the average temperature has risen by over half a degree celcius. This rise, half a degree, 1,2,3 degrees may not look much, but this is a change in climate on the scale that brought the planet out of the most recent Ice Age – all within decades, rather than the thousands of years it took from Ice Age.

There are numerous impacts of global warming. The most obvious one is the melting of ice, which leads to the rise of sea level. These pictures show much artic ice has melted in just 24 years. There are 3 billion people living in low-lying coastal zone, a rise of tens cm would have major consequences on these people.

Next picture shows, almost all aspects of life will be affected in negative ways, health, food, water, habitat, us…

As shown, the impacts of global warming is fatal. Our earth and our future are the stake. Concrete actions must be taken now.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Lets not be so melodramatic. Global warming is a problem, but it's not just going to turn the planet into a burning ball or fire. At the rate the human population is growing, we need something "natural" to step in and regulate us.