Input: What is needed to stop Global Warming?
In the movie “Catch Me if You Can,” Tom Hanks plays a master magician who travels the globe using only his wits and his skills with illusion to save his family.
The same is true of the time we have left on this planet. Only by using our wits and our skills at illusion can we survive and prosper on a warming planet.
It is essential that anyone serious about preventing a planetary temperature rise begins by realizing that we have only a few decades left to avoid the worst effects of Global Warming.
In 2002, an International Panel of Climate Change Scientific Experts published a Special Report on “Mitigation of greenhouse gas emissions.” Its overriding conclusion was this:
“While a shift from high to low emissions is needed to avoid severe, pervasive and irreversible impacts of global warming, achieving and maintaining a high carbon storage level and slowing sea-level rise require rapid, large-scale greenhouse gas reductions.”
Greenland is an island of ice and snow in a sea of water 3.7 million square kilometres in area.
Scientist warn that the warming our climate is experiencing could lead to a decrease in the Arctic Ocean ice cover in summer, thus potentially cancelling out any global warming benefits.
Scientists have detected methane gas bubbles up to 2,000 metres below the surface of the Pacific Ocean. It was suggested that such discovery could give an insight as to where the most oil and gas could possibly be found in the ocean.
Humanity’s influence on the Earth’s thermostat is becoming more and more noticeable, according to an international team of researchers.
The scientists also said that their studies have led them to revise some of the values they used previously when estimating the balance of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere.
How the increased greenhouse effect is fuelling rising sea levels and more violent weather cycles has been revealed in a series of studies published in the last year.
By analysing ancient wood samples from Siberia and comparing them to samples taken from coastlines throughout the United States and from European cities like London and Paris, the researchers were able demonstrate that fires, which grew more explosive the cooler the weather was, were a factor of 10 more common in Russia more than 100 years ago than they are today.
The warming that these so-called trace gases caused is expected to increase as the planet continues to accumulate carbon dioxide and other heat-trapping gases from the air as we burn coal, oil and gas, according to the studies published in the journal Nature this year.
Trace gases are substances that have been previously identified, studied in depth but now less prevalent than they once were, according to Sara Chayes, a climate scientist at Ohio State University and the Wildlife Conservation Society.
“We know that ground-level ozone is under sharp attack from other chemicals; atmospheric carbon dioxide makes it easier for its precursor to form; and fine particulate matter pollution hits the respiratory system more directly than it does the mouth or eyes,” Chayes said. “So understanding their relative contributions will tell us something about how much the climate has changed at different scales over time.”
Trace gases are also changing the way scientists view carbon stored in ice, said Chayes, who was not involved in the new studies.
“This is where the mystery begins: there is more ice today than at any time in the last 1000 years, yet the total amount of accumulated carbon in the ice is down roughly 10% since the year 1000,” she said.
The majority of this downshift is believed to be due to a decrease in the volume of carbon locked up as ice in certain areas of Antarctica, but it has been difficult to tease out the reason for the change in total ice mass from other factors, Chayes said.
Scientists have now begun to unravel how changes in these ice chemicals are related to changes in annual average air temperatures on Earth.
“We now know that there are chemical transitions beneath the surface of snow and ice that only happen when the surface temperature is right – and that these changes drive the changes in mass that we see in the underlying snow – giving us a clearer picture of how a changing climate is affecting the ice sheets and their contribution to sea level rise,” Chayes said.
Chait said that scientists will also need to determine how changes in these gases affect seasonal changes in precipitation and how changes in the Greenland ice sheet and West Antarctic ice
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