Global Climate Change HJ-A

Global Climate Change HJ-A - Ecosystems Global Climate...

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Unformatted text preview: Ecosystems Global Climate Change Solar radiation powers Earths climate system. Solar energy gives rise to atmospheric currents (see Solar energy gives rise to atmospheric currents (see http://rst.gsfc.nasa.gov/Sect14/Sect14_1c.html http://rst.gsfc.nasa.gov/Sect14/Sect14_1c.html ) Atmospheric currents give rise to broad climatic patterns and thus are key determinants of the distribution of life on earth. It is fair to say that the distribution of life on earth is ultimately dependent on solar energy. Solar energy gives rise to the hydrologic cycle Solar energy gives rise to the hydrologic cycle ( http:// http:// ga.water.usgs.gov/edu/watercycle.html ga.water.usgs.gov/edu/watercycle.html ) Climate encompasses the statistics of temperature , humidity , atmospheric pressure , wind , rainfall , atmospheric particle count and other meteorological elemental measurements in a given region over long periods of time. Climate can be contrasted to weather , which is the present condition of these same elements and their variations over shorter time periods. Solar radiation powers Earth Solar radiation powers Earth s climate system. s climate system. Evidence of rapid global climate change Global Temperature Rise The three major global surface temperature reconstructions show that Earth has warmed since 1880. Most of this warming has occurred since the 1970s, with the 20 warmest years having occurred since 1981 and with all 10 of the warmest years occurring in the past 12 years. Even though the 2000s witnessed a solar output decline resulting in an unusually deep solar minimum in 2007-2009, surface temperatures continue to increase. Difference ( C) from 1961-1990 nnual global mean temperatures are increasing, and the rate nnual global mean temperatures are increasing, and the rate of increase is itself increasing. (Source: IPCC) of increase is itself increasing. (Source: IPCC) Evidence of rapid climate change is abundant. Evidence of rapid climate change is abundant. (http:// (http:// climate.nasa.gov climate.nasa.gov /evidence/) /evidence/) Sea Level Rise Global sea level rose about 17 cm (6.7 in) in the last century. The rate in the last decade is nearly 2X that of the last century. Republic of Maldives Declining Arctic Sea Ice Both the extent and thickness of Arctic sea ice has declined rapidly over the last several decades. Extreme Events Since 1950, the numbers of record high temperature events, low temperature events, and intense rainfall events has been increasing in the U.S. Ocean Acidification The CO 2 content of the Earths oceans has been increasing since 1750, and is currently increasing about 2 billion tons per year. This has increased ocean acidity by about 30 %. Causes of rapid global climate change A layer of greenhouse gases A layer of greenhouse gases mainly H mainly H 2 O vapor and O vapor and including much smaller amounts of CO including much smaller amounts of CO 2 , CH , CH 4 & N & N 2 O O act as a act as a thermal blanket for the Earth, absorbing heat and warming...
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This note was uploaded on 08/18/2011 for the course ECOLOGY 351 taught by Professor Staff during the Spring '11 term at Rutgers.

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Global Climate Change HJ-A - Ecosystems Global Climate...

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