More water vapor in the air will result in more precipitation during the

More water vapor in the air will result in more

This preview shows page 94 - 99 out of 177 pages.

More water vapor in the air will result in more precipitation during the heaviest precipitation events. It will also result in more thunderstorms, and thus more lightning, and more probability of tornadoes. In recent decades scientists have observed that the water vapor content of the atmosphere has increased . Water vapor is 60% of the natural greenhouse effect. So more water vapor in the atmosphere results in a strengthening of the greenhouse effect, and more heat being retained in the atmosphere . Water vapor is five times more effective as a greenhouse gas than is CO 2 . Consequently global temperatures will increase as a result of this positive feedback.
Image of page 94
2) Decreasing perennial sea ice in the Arctic Sea: In its early stages, as climate change advances, much of the excess heat produced is circulated to the polar regions by global winds and ocean currents. This warms the air and water in the Arctic Sea. Warmer air and water in the Arctic melts some perennial sea ice by the end of the summer (early September). Perennial sea ice is the ice that covers the surface of the Arctic Sea all year long. Less sea ice in the Arctic reduces planetary albedo, meaning that the blue water that replaces the ice absorbs more insolation. Arctic waters then radiate heat into the atmosphere, helping melt more ice . Warmer Arctic Sea waters also melt more ice over time. For example the Arctic Sea lost 30,000 square miles of sea ice per day in August 2012.
Image of page 95
By 2032 AD, the Arctic Sea could be ice free at the end of the summer . An ice free Arctic Sea could affect the polar jet stream, and thereby could make Europe colder than it is now. Already we have seen that significant, persistent drought in the Western USA, bought about by climate change, has resulted in numerous wild fires which have sent vast quantities of dust and soot to the Arctic Sea ice. This dust and soot darkens the polar ice, reducing its albedo and facilitating its faster melting.
Image of page 96
3) Deforestation of Tropical Rainforests Massive deforestation of the tropical rainforests results in: a) The trees being burned and adding the carbon that they have stored back into the atmosphere . b) The burned trees no longer being able to take carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere and store it in their trunks and branches. Thus when the forests are cut down, a “sink” for atmospheric carbon, that would otherwise exist, is eliminated . c) Warmer temperatures activating more pests that debilitate trees and hasten their deaths, especially under drought conditions. d) Warmer temperatures in some cases result in the deaths of trees, allowing release of more carbon into the atmosphere.
Image of page 97
e) Tropical rain forests covering vast areas also absorb massive quantities of solar radiation to carry out photosynthesis. This Sun’s energy (insolation) is thus not used to heat the Earth’s surface. So less energy is absorbed and reradiated, thereby reducing temperatures.
Image of page 98
Image of page 99

You've reached the end of your free preview.

Want to read all 177 pages?

What students are saying

  • Left Quote Icon

    As a current student on this bumpy collegiate pathway, I stumbled upon Course Hero, where I can find study resources for nearly all my courses, get online help from tutors 24/7, and even share my old projects, papers, and lecture notes with other students.

    Student Picture

    Kiran Temple University Fox School of Business ‘17, Course Hero Intern

  • Left Quote Icon

    I cannot even describe how much Course Hero helped me this summer. It’s truly become something I can always rely on and help me. In the end, I was not only able to survive summer classes, but I was able to thrive thanks to Course Hero.

    Student Picture

    Dana University of Pennsylvania ‘17, Course Hero Intern

  • Left Quote Icon

    The ability to access any university’s resources through Course Hero proved invaluable in my case. I was behind on Tulane coursework and actually used UCLA’s materials to help me move forward and get everything together on time.

    Student Picture

    Jill Tulane University ‘16, Course Hero Intern

Stuck? We have tutors online 24/7 who can help you get unstuck.
A+ icon
Ask Expert Tutors You can ask You can ask You can ask (will expire )
Answers in as fast as 15 minutes
A+ icon
Ask Expert Tutors