geology term paper- final draft

geology term paper- final draft - Global Warming and the...

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Global Warming and the Rising Oceans Ryan Boggan, David Cerutti, Alexander DeFrancesco, Marilyn Gould, Jeffrey Hauschild, Stacey Keefe, Danielle Liebig, Tom Poirier, Chelsie Raiola The consequences of humanity’s impact on climate change are evident through the numerous disruptions that have occurred in natural oceanic processes across the globe. The rising temperature of the Earth’s atmosphere, influenced greatly by emissions of greenhouse gases, has led to increases in hazardous weather conditions as well as the thermal expansion of ocean waters across the globe. Oceanic atmosphere cycles such as El Niño and La Niña are a major driving force behind such consequences. It is thought that a climate change of only a few degrees, in combination with the fresh water from ice sheets that is being added to ocean waters at increasing rates, could cause water levels to rise significantly and completely engulf many low lying coastal regions. In addition, dramatic changes in the acidity and normal levels of carbon dioxide in the water have occurred. Lower pH levels can be fatal to many marine organisms including algae and phytoplankton, which play a vital role in the oceanic food chain. Coral reefs, bleached and slowly deteriorating, serve as one of the most alarming examples of the effects that global warming has had on marine life as well the dramatic impacts humans are making through their contributions to global climate change. Global warming is a problem scientists have been watching carefully for several decades. However, it has only been within the last few years that people around the world have opened their eyes and recognized the impact global warming is having on the planet today and in the future. One of the most drastic changes the planet will face is the rise in ocean levels as glaciers continue to melt as the global temperature climbs. The problems do not only concern coastline communities and low altitude areas that are facing the possibility of their homes being under water in the future. Marine life around the globe has been greatly affected by the warming temperatures of the oceans. Ocean currents are slowly changing, affecting weather patterns that help stabilize the planet’s temperature. Hurricanes and tropical storms may also become more and more damaging due to changes in ocean currents. As the oceans of the planet rise due to anthropogenic activities, the world will face a variety of problems, some which may be irreversible. “The water level of the oceans is rising approximately 1.5 to 2 millimeters each year.” Scientists have measured the waters with tools as primitive as “sticks” and as advanced as satellites. All the measurements lead to the same answer: water levels are rising. The main cause of this is the warming of the atmosphere. By the atmosphere warming, the oceans waters will naturally rise due to the expansion of water molecules. Thermal expansion of a few degrees alone could cause the waters to rise as much as two meters according to University of
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This note was uploaded on 04/19/2008 for the course ENGL 110 taught by Professor Berenguel during the Spring '08 term at UConn.

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geology term paper- final draft - Global Warming and the...

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