The Pacific Northwest

The Pacific Northwest encompasses extensive forests, topography that creates abrupt changes in climate and ecosystems over short distances, with mountain and marine environments in close proximity. The Northwest provides about one-fourth of the nation's softwood lumber and plywood. The fertile lowlands of eastern Washington produce 60 percent of the nation's apples and large fractions of its other tree fruit. Population and economic growth of this area has been twice the national rate since...

Adaptation Strategies

Even if they cost a little more initially, the savings involved usually pay for themselves via lower energy bills, and the environment benefits as well. Ken Ostrowski, leader of the project report team, says, What the report calls out is the fact that the potential is so substantial for energy efficiency. Not that we will do it, but the potential is just staggering here in the U.S. There is a lot of inertia, and a lot of barriers. The country can do the job with...

The Timing Of Seasonal Events

The loggerhead sea turtle is another species being documented as subjected to the negative effects of global warming. John Weishampel, an associate professor at the University of Central Florida, has analyzed long-term records of a 25-mile (40-km) length of Florida coast, which represents one of North America's key breeding grounds for the loggerheads and has discovered that the turtles today are coming ashore to lay their eggs about 10 days earlier than they were in 1989. Suspecting global...

Impacts Of Global Warming

According to a report in the New York Times in January 2008, an article appearing in the journal Nature Geoscience reported that warming water temperatures and wind patterns consistent with global warming have been discovered to be eroding the ice sheets of Antarctica faster than anyone had previously thought. Up until recently, Antarctica has been one of the inconsistencies that opponents of global warming have used to make a case against it saying that because notable melting is not occurring...

Modeling Carbon Emissions In The United States

A study conducted by Purdue University has recently shown that the CO2 emissions in the United States are not all located where they were expected to be. According to Kevin Gurney, assistant professor of earth and atmospheric science at Purdue University, We've been attributing too many emissions to the northeastern United States, and it's looking like the southeastern United States is a much larger source than we had estimated previously. Purdue's new CO2 modeling system, called Vulcan,...

Calculating Your Carbon Footprint

Carbon calculators can be easily accessed on the Internet, are easy to use, and provide quick results. The following is an example of how they work 1. Information Your geographic location. Reason your carbon footprint is partially determined by where you live. Some areas rely on energy (such as electricity) generated mainly from coal (a dirtier fuel), others from cleaner energy sources such as wind energy. 2. Information The size of your household. reason This helps differentiate you from other...

Types Of Carbon Sequestration

Carbon sequestration is the process through which CO2 from the atmosphere is absorbed by various carbon sinks. Principal carbon sinks include agricultural sinks, forests, geologic formations, and oceanic sinks. Carbon sequestration and storage (CSS) occurs when CO2 is absorbed by trees, plants, and crops through photosynthesis and stored as carbon in biomass, such as tree trunks, branches, foliage, and roots, as well as in the soil. For a more in-depth discussion of the specifics of actual...

Carbon Capture and Storage

According to the IPCC, CO2 capture and storage (CCS) is a process that involves capturing the CO2 arising from the combustion of fossil fuels (such as in power generation or refining fossil fuels), transport to a storage location, and long-term isolation from the atmosphere. Before CO2 gas can be sequestered from power plants and other point sources, it must be captured as a relatively pure gas. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, on a mass basis, CO2 is the 19th-largest commodity...

Solar Radiation

The spectrum of the Sun's solar radiation is similar to that of a black body with a temperature of 5,800 K. Roughly half of it lies within the range of the visible shortwave portion of the electromagnetic spectrum. The other half resides mostly in the near infrared portion, just beyond the visible wavelengths. A small amount lies in the ultraviolet range. Incoming solar radiation, also referred to as insolation, is a measure of the solar radiation energy that is received on a specific surface...

Global Warming Potential

Although there are several types of greenhouse gases, they are not the same they all have different properties associated with them. For example, they have different lifetimes in which they reside in the atmosphere, and they also differ in the amount of heat that they can trap. Many of the greenhouse gases are extremely potent some can continue to reside in the atmosphere for thousands of years after they have been emitted. For instance, according to the EPA, they can be 140 to 23,900 times...

Sinks And Sources

In terms of the global warming issue, storing CO2 in reservoirs or sinks is desirable in order to keep the CO2 out of the atmosphere so that it does not contribute to ever-increasing atmospheric temperatures. There are several mechanisms whereby carbon can be put into storage. During the process of photosynthesis, plants convert CO2 from the atmosphere into carbohydrates and release oxygen during the process. Trees in forests over a period of years are able to store large amounts of carbon,...

Landuse Change

Land use and land cover affect the global climate system through bio-geophysical, biogeochemical, and energy exchange processes. Variations in these processes due to land-use and land-cover change affect the climate. There are several natural processes that cause the exchange of greenhouse gasses such as CO2 from the Earth's surface to the atmosphere, such as photosynthesis, respiration, and vapotranspiration. Changing the land use of an area can also change the amount of heat transferred...

Global Dimming

Global dimming is an important concept that accompanies global warming. Little understood until recently, it is a phenomenon that plays a role in the overall environmental health of the Earth and has specific implications for global warming. Although global dimming has existed since as long as pollution has existed, it gained particular attention during the terrorist attacks on the United States on September 11, 2001, when all commercial airline traffic was grounded for three days. During this...

The Top 20 Carbon Dioxide Emitters

The world's countries contribute different amounts of heat-trapping gases to the atmosphere. Carbon emissions from all sources of fossil fuel burning for a maximum period from 1751 to 2004 (or as long as a record is available) are shown. The following table lists the 20 countries with the highest carbon emissions. PER CAPITAL EMISSIONS (TONS CAPITAL) PER CAPITAL EMISSIONS (TONS CAPITAL) Source Marland, G., T. A. Boden, R. J. Andres 2004. Global, Regional, and National CO2 Emissions. In Trends A...

Europe Russia And Asia

According to the World Resources Institute, because of historic land use and settlement, Europe's natural ecosystems are highly disturbed and fragmented. Therefore, they are especially vulnerable to the adverse effects of global warming. During this past century, for example, most of Europe experienced temperature increases that were larger than the global average. In addition, precipitation increased in the north but decreased in the south. The mountainous regions are providing documentable...

The Role Of Ozone

According to scientists at NASA, global warming and ozone depletion are two separate issues, but they do share some related aspects. Whereas global warming and the greenhouse effect refer to the lower portions of the atmosphere (the troposphere), enhanced by the continual addition of heat-trapping gases from human activity, ozone depletion refers to the upper portion of the atmosphere (the stratosphere). Disturbance of the ozone layer presents a serious health concern due to a lack of ability...

Impacts Of Deforestation

Deforestation is occurring today at alarming rates, as determined through the analysis of satellite imagery. It accounts for about 20 percent of the heat-trapping gas emissions worldwide. The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) estimates current tropical deforestation at 53,000 square miles per year (15,400,000 ha yr). This equates to an area roughly the size of North Carolina being deforested each year. Tropical forests hold enormous amounts of carbon. In fact, the plants and soil of...

Discovery Of The Greenhouse Effect

It was during the 19th century that scientists realized that gases such as CO2 found within the atmosphere cause a greenhouse effect that regulates the atmosphere's temperature. Ironically, the discovery of the greenhouse effect did not happen because scientists were trying to understand global warming it happened because they were searching for the mechanism that triggered ice ages. In an effort to understand the connection between CO2 and glacial periods, their interest was in studying the...

Agricultural Sequestration

Carbon sequestration occurs in soils and agricultural crops mainly through the natural process of photosynthesis. Half of the agriculture biomass is composed of carbon. When the vegetation decays, the litter and roots also contribute carbon to the soil. When agricultural fields are plowed, CO2 can be released to the atmosphere. The amount of carbon in cropland soils can vary depending on types of crops, types of fertilizers used, and type of management practice (such as conventional or...