Beyond Polar Bears And Penguins

Simplified presentations on polar bears and penguins that do not account for spatial and temporal processes can never engage the types of ecosystem complexities that these two ecosystem examples reveal. In other words, the iconification of globalization through images of single species precludes a deeper understanding of global warming from an ecological perspective. Moreover, the focus on specific species of animals deemed more worthy of protecting and saving from extinction reflects the...

Thunderstorms

A THUNDERSTORM IS a localized storm that is produced by a cumulonimbus cloud and always contains thunder and lightning. Thunderstorms form in conditionally unstable environments, meaning there is cold, dry air aloft over warm, moist surface air. This causes the air to become buoyant and allows for rising air motion. A lifting mechanism is also needed to start the air moving. Such lifting mechanisms include surface heating, surface convergence, lifting caused by mountains, or lifting along...

Foundation for International Environmental Law and Development

THE foundation for International Environmental Law and Development (FIELD) was established in London in 1989 by a small group of international lawyers interested in the protection of the environ ment and the promotion of sustainable development. The organization provides advice and assistance to governments, inter-governmental and non-governmental groups worldwide. FIELD works for the development of international legislation that defends the environment and encourages fair and sustainable...

Boundary conditions

Some consider changes in solar radiation pattern and timing associated with Milankovitch cycles an important factor in maintaining a glacial climate. These changes are routinely included in GCM simulations of the LGM, however, they have minimal impact, as they were actually very similar to today. The continental configuration was also very similar to today, and changes need not be considered. The conditions at the LGM were the culmination of 100,000 years of cooling, thus models of the LGM must...

Winds Easterlies

This explains why prevailing winds in the mid-latitude northern hemisphere come from the west. An understanding of wind generation helps to explain the operation of ocean currents. There are two general types of ocean circulation and both result from solar heating (1) WDC, and (2) thermohaline circulation (THC). Differential solar heating generates wind. Wind blowing across the surface of the ocean causes the water to move. The direction of the ocean current is determined in part by...

University of Delaware

THE university OF Delaware (UD) is the largest university in Delaware. The main campus is located in Newark, with satellite campuses in Dover, Wilmington, Lewes, and Georgetown. Approximately 16,000 undergraduate and 3,000 graduate students attend this university annually. Although UD receives public funding for being a land-grant, sea-grant, space-grant, and urban-grant state-supported research institution, it is also privately chartered. The university's endowment is currently valued at about...

Villach Conference

The conference held in Villach, Austria, from October 9 to 15, 1985, was the result of the continuing work of several international entities. In some views, the background to the conference and the starting point for internationally cohesive attempts to understand the issues related to the stratospheric ozone layer depletion and climate change have been traced to the UN Conference on Human Development in Stockholm in 1972. The technical, scientific understanding of the possibility of...

Antigua and Barbuda

ANTIGuA AND BARBuDA, located in the Caribbean, are part of the chain of islands known as the Leeward Islands. The two main islands of Antigua and Barbuda have, respectively, land areas of about 100 sq. mi. (281 sq. km.) and 57 sq. mi. (161 sq. km.), with a total population of 82,786 (2005 est.), the vast majority of whom live on the island of Antigua, with the island of Redonda, which is currently uninhabited, having dependency status. Antigua and Barbuda have a population density of 394 per...

Congo

THE REpuBLIC OF the Congo, a former French colony, has a land area of 132,047 sq. mi. (342,000 sq. km.), with a population of 3,999,000 (2006 est.), and a population density of 31 people per sq. mi. (12 people per sq. km.). Forests cover 62 percent of the country, with less than one percent of arable land, and 29 percent used for meadows and pasture, mainly for low-intensity grazing. The substantial cattle industry contributes to the country's methane emissions. The carbon dioxide emissions...

Global Warming

The effects of global warming on the ITCZ could be significant. Given that surface winds over the ocean tend to follow ocean currents, changes in the circulation of ocean currents brought about by global warming will also have a direct influence on the ITCZ, resulting in an intensification of precipitation in the ITCZ, according to S. Nawrath and A. Lever-mann. A simulation model of global warming (using a general circulation model, or GCM, with enhanced carbon dioxide, or CO2), indicates an...

Types Of Waste

Litter is waste material dumped in public places such as streets, parks, picnic areas, bus stops, and near shops. The accumulation of waste threatens the health of people in residential areas. Waste decays, encourages household pests, and turns urban areas into unsightly, dirty, and unhealthy places to live in. The following measures can be used to control land pollution. Anti-litter campaigns can educate people against littering, organic waste can be dumped in places far from residential...

Luxembourg

The impact of climatic changes on the lithosphere and ocean has also been the subject of recent research at LSU, in the tradition of R.J. Russell, James P. Morgan, and J.M. Coleman. For example, Mike Blum has investigated responses of large river systems to climate and sea-level change. Patrick Hesp's research on changes to barrier-island ecosystems under climatic forcing mechanisms also falls within this realm. Likewise, Gregory Stone has analyzed the effects of tropical cyclones and winter...

The Diminution Of Natural Resources

The history of cod fishing in the Atlantic Ocean is a graphic example of the abundance of resources available in past centuries and the way in which those resources have been enormously diminished within the last century. For hundreds and in some cases thou sands of years, the ability of man to harvest resources, renewable resources in any case, was exceeded by the fertility of nature in replacing them. The development of industrialized harvesting techniques succeeded not only in depleting the...

Global warming and politicizing science

The NAS's reputation in research and the dissemination of information about global warming and climate change precedes its accolades for its museum exhibits about climate change. In 1991, the NAS released a report, Policy Implications of Greenhouse Warming, calling for a decrease in the dependence on fossil fuel, the advancement of nuclear and solar energy technologies, and the promotion of energy conservation, all aimed at a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions. The NAS asserted that the...

Bolin Bert 19252007

BERT BOLIN MADE numerous contributions to the field of meteorology and its impact on the science of global warming and climate change. He was a Swedish meteorologist who worked globally and served on many international committees. Bolin was born in Nykoping, Sweden, on March 15, 1925, to two schoolteachers. He obtained his B.Sc. from the University of Uppsala in 1946, followed by an M.Sc. in 1950. Bolin continued to study meteorology, receiving a Ph.D. from Stockholm University in 1956, at the...

World Climate Research Program

THE world CLIMATE Research Program (WCRP) is sponsored by the International Council for Science (ICSU), the World Meteorological Organization (WMO), and the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC) of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). The program brings together the intellectual and structural potentialities related to climate and climate change of more than 185 countries. The program thus aims to work as an international forum to share...

Phanerozoic Climate Change

Phanerozoic Glaciation

542 500 450 400 350 300 250 200 150 100 50 This figure shows the long-term evolution of oxygen isotope ratios during the Phanerozoic eon as measured in fossils, reported by Veizer et al. (1999), and updated online in 2004 1 . Such ratios reflect both the local temperature at the site of deposition and global changes associated with the extent of continental glaciation. As such, relative changes in oxygen isotope ratios can be interpreted as rough changes in climate. Quantitative conversion...

Ice Albedo Feedback

ALBEDo Is AN estimate of the reflectivity of a surface. The sun produces solar radiation in wavelengths that can be reflected off of many of the Earth's surfaces, some more so than others. The albedo of Earth is estimated as the ratio of the outgoing solar radiation (250-2500 nm.), and the incoming solar radiation. A surface that is perfectly reflective (all incoming light is reflected back again) would have an albedo of 100 percent reflection, or, as a ratio, 1.00. A surface that has no...

Cretaceous

THE CRETACEOuS Era spanned the time period from 144 to 65 million years ago. It was the final epoch of the dinosaurs. It ended when the dinosaurs became extinct. At its height, the Cretaceous was a period of great warmth. The poles were ice-free, and warm ocean currents spread from the equator to the poles. The concentration of carbon dioxide was higher than it is today, causing a greenhouse effect. The abundance of plants was not enough to lower the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere....

Charney Jule Gregory 191781

JULE GREGORY CHARNEY was an American meteorologist who contributed to the advance of numerical weather prediction and to increased understanding of the general circulation of the atmosphere by devising a series of increasingly sophisticated mathematical models of the atmosphere. Charney was one of the dominant figures in the field of atmospheric science in the decades following World War II. Jule Gregory Charney was born in San Francisco, California, on January 1, 1917, to Ely Charney and...

Milankovitch Cycles

The Earth's orbit around the sun is slightly elliptical. Over time the gravitational pull of the moon and other planets causes the Earth's orbit to change following a predictable pattern of natural rhythms, known as Milankovitch cycles. Over a 100,000 year cycle the Earth migrates from an orbit with near-zero eccentricity (a perfect circle) to one with approximately 6 percent eccentricity (a slight ellipse). In addition, the tilt of the Earth axis, known as its obliquity, varies from 21.5 to...

Tsunamis

Tsunamis (sometimes called seismic sea waves) are large sea waves that are created by underwater earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, or even nonseis-mic events such as landslides and meteorite impacts. Tsunamis are also known as tidal waves, even though this is a misnomer because the waves have nothing to do with tides. The word tsunami is a Japanese word meaning harbor wave. Tsunamis are not easily seen on the open water, as they have extremely long wavelengths on the order of tens of kilometers....

Cooperative Institute for Arctic Research

THE COOpERATIVE INSTITuTE for Arctic Research (CIFAR) was created in 1994, at the University of Alaska following several years of teamwork between the university and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's (NOAA) Environmental Research Laboratories (ERL). Among the 13 NOAA-university joint institutes established to promote greater collaboration between researchers from NOAA laboratories and U.S. universities, CIFAR is the only one solely concerned with the study of the Arctic....

Portugal

As reported IN a major collaborative international research project, named SIAM II, Portugal is one of the European countries that are expected to suffer from the most extreme consequences of global warming and climatic change. These consequences are expected to entail three major geological effects in Portugal. First, due to the rise in sea levels, studies predict an increase in the erosion of Portugal's coastal areas. Second, scientists anticipate increased levels of rain precipitation and...

Food Miles

REcENT Years Have seen increasing concern about the long-term sustainability of food systems and their unintended side effects that can be imposed on the global environment and human wellness. Food miles are an appraisal of the distance a food or beverage travels from field to plate. While the cost of making things has never been cheaper, the cost of moving them around has never been as high, and it is getting higher. This is partly a consequence of outsourcing practices involving industries...

France

The LARGEST among the nations of Western Europe, France boasts a long history of world leadership in the arts, sciences, and industrialization. As the first decade of the 21st century nears its end, France remains an influential nation with a Gross Domestic Product of 2,124 billion, and the sixth largest economy in the world. The nation's moderate climate and its ample agricultural land have made it the European Union's largest agricultural producer, ranking second only to the United States in...

Doris Duke Charitable Foundation

The mission OF the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation (DDC) is to improve the quality of people's lives through grants supporting the performing arts, environmental conservation, medical research, and the prevention of child maltreatment, and through preservation of the cultural and environmental legacy of Doris Duke's properties. Established in 1996, the foundation supports four national grantmaking programs. It also oversees three properties that were owned by Doris Duke in Hillsborough, New...

ADDREssiNG HuMANINDuCed ContribuTIONs to climate change

Based on energy consumption data from Energy Information Agency released June 1, 2007, Ohio's total carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from fossil fuel combustion in million metric tons for 2004 were 261.96, made up of contributions by source from commercial, 11.43 industrial, 38.08 residential, 20.30 transportation, 71.16 and electric power, 120.98. Ohio joined the Climate Registry, a voluntary national initiative to track, verify, and report greenhouse gas emissions, with acceptance of data from...

Oil Consumption of

IN 1970, THE United States became unable to meet its total oil energy needs, and became an oil-importing nation. Until then, American oil fields in Texas, Louisiana, and California had been able to meet the national need. By 2012, it is likely that the world as a whole will consume around 100 million barrels of oil per day. Humans have known about oil and some of its uses for millennia, but it only became identified as a consumable unit, in terms of extraction, refining, and then commercial...

Renewable Energy Sources As An Alternative To Nuclear Power

New Nuclear Construction Global Picture

Building and commissioning massive, complex nuclear plants requires huge government subsidies. Contrast this with wind or solar energy that are distributed and less dense supplies of energy. The amount of solar panels produced on an annual basis is equivalent to the construction of two nuclear facilities. The renewable solar approach seems simpler and safer, and not one requiring subsidies. Such sound Approximately 30 new nuclear power plants are under construction and another 200 are in the...

Ohio state university

OHIO state university (OSU), founded in 1870, is one of the United States' premier academic institutions for the study of global warming and climate change. Researchers and students strive to slow the climate change process, seeking alternative forms of energy, and affecting policy decisions in Ohio and beyond. The university has many well-known climate scientists, including Dr. Ellen Mosley-Thompson and Dr. Lonnie Thompson. OSU is also home to the Byrd Polar Research Center, a collaborative...

Impact of climate change

Ohio experienced the effects of higher temperatures in 1993. While other states flooded, Ohio had the driest August on record since 1895. While climate models vary on the amount of temperature increase possible, potential risks include having decreased water supplies, increased risk for wildfires, population (both human and animal) displacement, changes in food production (with agriculture improving in cooler climates and suffering in warmer climates), and changes in rain patterns to downpours,...

Nuclear power and the environment

As a stand-alone device, nuclear reactors do not emit greenhouse gases. The nuclear reaction is contained and the heat generated is used to boil water to turn turbines and produce electricity. Instead of a chemical reaction, an atomic reaction is required, produced by a process of fission using uranium fuel. Due to the splitting of atoms and the radioactive movement of neutrons, no carbon dioxide, methane, or other greenhouse gases are produced. However, the byproducts are toxic, radioactive...

Oceanic Changes

Oceans ARE CONNECTED bodies of saline water that cover about three-quarters of the Earth and comprise more than 97 percent of the world's total water resources. Although continuous, the global ocean is divided into five oceans based on geographic location, geological barriers, and other criteria, into the Arctic, Atlantic, Indian, Pacific, and Southern oceans. Oceans have great influence on global weather patterns and climate. This influence stems from variations in ocean temperature caused...

Current and ongoing aixg efforts

Ongoing Annex 1 Group projects deal with developing policies on technology and climate change, gauging institutional capacity for dealing with climate change issues, keeping an eye on international emissions trading and the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) and Joint Implementation, assessing specific roles in mitigating the effects of climate change, devising both short- and long-term strategies for meeting goals, and conducting seminars that bring experts from developed and developing...

Oecd Documents And Policy

OECD's documents on climate change include both international policy issues, as well as national and sectoral policies. Guidelines on international policy issues emphasize the importance of identifying and analyzing policy frameworks that can facilitate adaptation to climate change impacts. In this area, OECD devotes particular attention to developing countries, and to particularly crucial sectors of intervention, such as water. The organization claims that climate change does not yet feature...

Oceanography

The Ocean is arguably the largest habitat on the planet, and it houses an astounding array of life, from microbes to whales. Oceanography is the branch of Earth science that studies the Earth's oceans. It is the systematic sci entific study of the oceans and deep sea with the goal of understanding their processes and phenomena. The relationship of oceans with other aspects of the Earth's environment is also highlighted in oceanographic studies. Biology, chemistry, geology and physics together...

Carbon Cycling

The past two centuries have witnessed a significant rise in the amount of global carbon emissions and subsequent absorption by oceans around the Earth. The global ocean plays a vital role in the Earth's carbon cycle, about 50 times greater than that of the atmosphere. The oceans absorb from the air about half of carbon deposits from fossil-fuel burning sources. The ocean contains the largest pool of carbon on the Earth's surface however, these carbon concentrations are not distributed equally....

THE FuTuRE oF NucLear Interests

Safety concerns aside, the perceived atmospheric-friendly power produced by nuclear means that the next few decades for nuclear power generation and production of uranium are solid. Approximately 30 new nuclear plants are under construction and another 200 are in the planning phase around the world. Even the nuclear reticent United States has 49 such facilities in the planning stages, the last one was approved almost 30 years ago in 1979. The resurgence of nuclear power, owing directly to...

Ocean Ecology

Oceans are home to the majority of plant and animal life on the planet. Climate change is expected to alter marine ecology both directly, through lower pH and elevated temperatures on the organismal level, and indirectly, via changes in community dynamics and food and habitat alteration on the aggregate level. A major concern is the possible effect climate change may have on ocean productivity. Phytoplankton, small plants found near the ocean's surface that comprise the basis for the marine...

OECD Climate Change Documents

The organisation FOR Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) was established in 1960 and is based in Paris, France, with a membership of 30 countries. The organization continued the activities of the Organization for European Economic Cooperation (OEEC), which had administered the American and Canadian funds of the Marshall Plan for the reconstruction of Europe after World War II. OECD's main commitment is to foster cooperation among countries that adhere to the principles of democracy and...

Ohio

Ohio has an area of44,825 sq. mi. (116,096 sq. km.), with inland water making up 378 sq. mi. (979 sq. km.), and Great Lakes Coast water of 3,499 sq. mi. (9,062 sq. km.). Ohio's average elevation is 850 ft. (259 m.) above sea level, with a range in elevation from 455 ft. (139 m.) above sea level on the Ohio River, to 1,549 ft. (472 m.) at Campbell Hill. Most of Ohio is flat or gently rolling, with some rougher terrain between the major rivers and in the divide between the Great Lakes and Ohio...

OECD Annex 1 Expert Group on the uNFCCC

The annex 1 Expert Group (AIXG) of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) was created in 1994, as an ad hoc cadre of government officials from the departments of environment, energy, and foreign affairs of countries that have committed to Annex 1 of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). Annex 1 acknowledges the impact of human behavior on global warming and climate change. The UNFCCC treaty of 1992 attempted to develop well-articulated...

Wisconsin

Wisconsin is 65,498 sq. mi. (169,639 sq. km.) in size, with inland water making up 1,830 sq. mi., (4,740 sq. km.), and Great Lakes Coast water of 9,358 sq. mi., (24,237 sq. km.). Wisconsin's average elevation is 1,050 ft., (320 m.) above sea level, with a range in elevation from 579 ft., (176 m.) above sea level on Lake Michigan to 1,951 ft., (595 m.) at Timms Hill. Wisconsin is customarily divided into two major natural regions the Central Lowland (low-lying area and swings in a broad belt...

University of Reading

THE university OF Reading is located in Reading, England. With a foundation made by joining the School of Art begun in 1860 and the School of Science begun in 1870, Christ Church of Oxford established an extension college in 1892. Funding and expansion ensured success and led to the University of Reading being given a royal charter in 1926. The University of Reading has several educational centers conducting research in a variety of disciplines in the arts, humanities, sciences, and social...

Thermocline

THE THERMoclINE is the region of the ocean where temperature decreases most rapidly with increasing depth. It separates the warm, well-mixed upper layer from the colder, deep water below. A thermo-cline is present throughout the year in the tropics and middle latitudes. It is more difficult to discern in high latitudes, where temperature is more uniform with depth. The presence of a very shallow thermocline in the eastern equatorial Pacific Ocean has important implications for global climate....

The Humanenvironment Relationship

Two major paradigms have animated theories of the conceptualization of the relationships between humans and the natural environment environmental determinism and possibilism, even though other debates in the social sciences should not be dismissed. Environmental determinism holds that the physical environment is a factor that shapes human occupation of the land and the use of resources, determining the course of history, the culture of an area, the settlement pattern, and human behavior. The...

Temperature Increase wC

This figure shows the predicted distribution of temperature change due to global warming from the Hadley Centre HadCM3 climate model. These changes are based on the IS92a (business as usual) projections of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gas emissions during the next century, and essentially assume normal levels of economic growth and no significant steps are taken to combat global greenhouse gas emissions. The plotted gray tints show predicted surface temperature changes expressed as the...

Singapore

THE REPUBLIC OF Singapore covers the main island of Singapore and 57 outlying islands, most of which are uninhabited. It covers a land area of 270 sq. mi. (704 sq. km.) and has a total population of 4,680,600 (July 2003 est.). This means that Singapore has one of the highest population densities in the world more than 17,335 people per sq. mi. (6425 people per sq. km.). Combined with a high standard of living, Singapore has a high per capita emission level of carbon dioxide, with 15 metric tons...

Resource Allocation

Given that resources are, by definition, finite and scarce in nature, then there must be some mechanism to allocate different shares to different sets of people. Allowing everyone who has an interest in resource exploitation to do so as freely as desired will lead to disastrous depletion of the resource. Consequently, the basis of allocation must be determined. In mature, democratic societies, coalitions of interests will help to set the agenda by which resources are allocated. This can be...

Programs

In 2006, the governor of Minnesota proposed the Next Generation Energy Initiativem designed as a means of developing strategies for focusing public attention on renewable energy, energy conservation, and the need to lower carbon emissions. The following spring, the state created the Minnesota Climate Change Advisory Group (MCCAG), composed of 51 individuals representing business, utilities, environment, academics, religious organizations, the private Although Minnesota is known as the Land of...

Precipitation Patterns

Changes in precipitation patterns foreshadow potentially substantial effects on ecosystems and human communities, including wetlands, lakes, rivers, agriculture, and domestic use. Measures to improve efficient water use, manage water demand, reuse water, and expand water resources can all improve resilience. Such measures include differential pricing structures, permitting, and requirements for water-conserving techniques. Adaptive water management, though still a developing field, is equally...

Pew center on global climate change

In 1998, with a grant from the Pew Charitable Trusts, and within the context of increasing concern over the impact of climate change, the Pew Center on Global Climate Change was established. It is a nonprofit, nonpartisan, independent organization. The role of the Pew Center is to build a bank of credible information about climate change and its impacts, and to try to provide solutions to the problems created by climate change. The Pew Center aims to provide an objective forum for research, and...

Nuclear power

Bush, in a June 2005 speech delivered to a group of nuclear power plant workers intoned, The 103 nuclear power plants in America produce twenty percent of the nation's electricity without producing a single pound of air pollution or greenhouse gases. Experts in the nuclear energy field, both for and against nuclear energy, find this statement lacking credibility. Nuclear energy critics cite the significant amount of greenhouse gases produced by the nuclear fuel cycle in...

Nitrous Oxide

NITROUS OXIDE (N2O) is a compound of two very abundant elements on Earth, which also compose most of the gases in the Earth's atmosphere oxygen and nitrogen. It is a colorless gas with a sweetish odor. It is known by the common name of laughing gas. It occurs naturally, and has been implicated as a potentially significant agent in global warming. Joseph Priestly first synthesized it in the 1770s. Dentists and physicians have used it as a mild anesthetic for decades. It was first used in...

Needs and Wants

THE CONCEPT OF needs and wants and the ability to distinguish one from the other plays an important role in society. The issue is explored in philosophy, psychology, ethics, and modern social thought. To assert that something is a need is to argue that it is an essential element that is required for the body or society to exist. Some philosophers call needs real goods, and wants apparent goods. In Western political thought, the goods of having, doing, and being are seen as needs. The good of...

Nauru

THE Republic of Nauru, located in the Pacific, has a land area of 8.1 sq. mi. (21.2 sq. km.), a population of 10,000 (2006 est.), and a population density of 1,608 people per sq. mi. (621 people per sq. km.). With very little arable land, Nauru is completely dependent on imported food and water. Nauru makes its money from the sale of phosphate, which has led to the destruction of much of the country, and during the 1970s and 1980s, incredible wealth. Electricity production in Nauru comes from...

Monsoons

A MONsOON Is any wind that reverses direction seasonally. These occur in many parts of the globe, but the most famous is the Indian monsoon wind. The name monsoon is an adoption of the Arabic word mausim, which means season. For centuries, Arab sailors took the seasonal mausim as a wind that would carry them to India and beyond. The term was originally applied to the Indian monsoon. However, as the phenomenon came to be studied more thoroughly, the term monsoon has been applied to other annual...

Moldova

Located IN eastern Europe, the Republic of Moldova, formerly a constituent republic of the Soviet Union, has a land area of 13,067 sq. mi. (33,843 sq. km.), with a population of 3,794,000 (2006 est.), and a population density of 339 people per sq. mi. (111 people per sq. km.). Approximately 46.7 percent of the population lives in urban areas. Fifty-three percent of the land is arable, a further 13 percent is used as meadows and pasture, and 8 percent is forested. In 1990, Moldova had a per...

Ukraine

UKRAINE IS A republic in east Europe, part of the former Soviet Union. Its capital and largest city is Kiev (50 degrees 27 minutes N, 30 degrees 30 minutes E, population of 2.6 million in 2007, estimation by the Department of Ukrainian State Statistics). The total area of Ukraine is 233,090 sq. mi. (or 603,700 sq. km., the 44th country in size and second in Europe after European Russia). The total population is around 46.6 billion (in 2007, estimation by the Department of Ukrainian State...

From Hothouse To Icehouse

Abrupt cooling at the Eocene Oligocene transition (35 million years ago) marked the appearance of the first continent-spanning ice sheet on Antarctica, potentially the first Cenozoic Northern Hemisphere ice sheets, and the transition from hothouse to icehouse climate in the Cenozoic. However, much of the planet continued to experience climatic conditions warmer than the present, with cool temperate Research on the early Cenozoic era, when tropical forests grew in Wyoming, is revealing new...

Western Boundary Currents

WESTERN BOUNDARY CURRENTS are intense jet currents at the western periphery of large-scale oceanic gyres in the World Ocean. As was shown in the pioneer paper of Henry Stommel in 1948, they are the result of two causes the so-called p-effect (this term has arisen from traditional representation of Corio-lis force, f, in the following form f f + py, where f is a Coriolis parameter at a definite latitude in other words, the p-effect is to the result of the spherical form of the Earth turning...

University of Illinois

The university OF Illinois is a system of public universities. It consists of three campuses Urbana-Champaign, Chicago, and Springfield. The governing body of the three campuses is the board of trustees. The campus at Urbana-Champaign is known as the U of I and UIUC, whereas the Chicago campus is known as UIC, and the Springfield campus UIS. The largest university in the Chicago area, UIC has 25,000 students, 15 colleges, including the nation's largest medical school, and annual research...

World Wildlife Fund

Although the world Wildlife Fund around the world has changed its name to the World Wide Fund for Nature, the original name remains the official one in the United States and Canada. As an international nongovernmental organization, it was founded in 1961 in Switzerland to help with the conservation, research, and restoration of the natural environment, changing its name in 1986, although still keeping its initials (WWF) around the world. Although over many years the WWF became famous for its...

Adaptation

Adaptation in social, cultural, and economic contexts is also an important component of thinking about societal response to climate change. As such, adaptation is defined in many ways. It can be defined as a process that enables people to minimize the adverse effects of climate on their health and well-being. It also refers to the capacity of people or societies to take advantage of the changes that the climate might provide. Adaptation can also mean the adjustments in behavior and economic...

Atmospheric Vertical Structure

THE ATMOSPHERE COMPRISES the thin envelope of gases held by the Earth's gravitational force. Extending for several hundred miles above the Earth's surface with no clear boundary, the atmosphere is often sub divided into vertical layers according to a distinctive physical properties. These properties include thermal characteristics, chemical composition, electrical attributes, or density. The vertical structure of the atmosphere is defined by changes in these physical properties, with each...

Criticisms Of Ngos

The NGO movement, however, is not without its critics. Many question the accountability of NGOs. For example, the work undertaken by World Vision, in coordinating the relief effort resulting from the Tsunami in South East Asia in 2005, has sustained attacks that the donated monies, millions of dollars in this case, were not reaching the intended victims. Many NGOs working in developing countries are partly funded by their own governments, and have been criticized as being a front for foreign...

Agricultural Solutions To Climate Change

There are many strategies that farmers, businesses, and consumers can adopt to reduce greenhouse gases related to agriculture. First, farmers can replace fossil fuels such as gasoline and diesel with biofuels such as ethanol or biodiesel. Ethanol is a fuel alcohol that is produced by a fermentation process that uses yeast to convert the sugars found in plants into a combustible alcohol fuel. Ethanol can offset varying amounts of fossil fuel-generated carbon dioxide depending on the material...

Atmospheric Absorption of solar Radiation

Solar radiation is radiant energy emitted by the Sun. The process begins at the Sun's core, where hydrogen atoms are fused to helium atoms via nuclear fusion. For each second of nuclear fusion, the Sun converts 700 million tons of hydrogen into 695 million tons of helium, with 5 million tons of electromagnetic energy radiating out into space. Some of this energy travels the approximately 92.89 million mi. (149.5 million km.) across the solar system to Earth. The importance of the Sun to Earth...

Afforestation

Afforestation involves taking action to plant trees in an area that has never been a forest area or to restore a deforested area. The trees may be planted from seeds or from seedlings. Legally, afforestation includes the setting aside of forest land, or land to be reforested by law. Many national forests have been created in the last century. These forest On some land, such as this farm in Israel, afforestation will not occur naturally and requires mass planting programs. On some land, such as...

Climate Extremes

This panoply of proxy climate indicators records a startling array of paleoclimates in Earth's history. Climatic conditions on Earth have ranged from extreme icehouse conditions with, potentially, the entire planet covered in glaciers (a paleoclimate known as Snowball Earth) to extreme hothouse conditions, with atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations as much as 20 times higher than those at present, and tropical forests extending nearly pole to pole. Earth's climate has also apparently...

Gulf Stream Origins

The origin of the Gulf Stream is debatable. One group of scientists believes that the Gulf Stream is driven both by the rotation of the Earth and by a deep-water current called the thermohaline circulation. Another group of scientists accept the theory propounded by Henry Stomme in 1948, that the Gulf Stream is a wind-driven phenomenon. Heating and cooling affect its temperature and other properties, but not its basic existence or structure. Stomme theorized that as long A NASA satellite image...

Emission Trading Systems

The European Union Emission Trading Scheme (ETS) is an example of a carbon permits trading system. The test phase of ETS operated from 2005-07, and is slated for operation in the European Union (EU) during the Kyoto commitment period 2008-12. In the system, the aggregate cap on emissions is set by each EU government agency, and the total number of emissions allowances is defined to provide the owner the right to emit units of emissions. The amount of emissions is capped, whereas the permit...

Center for International Climate and environment Research

The center FOR International Climate and Environment Research (CICERO) is a nonprofit, independent research institution established in association with the University of Oslo by the Norwegian government in 1990. CICERO conducts experiments and performs research regarding issues, such as climate change and greenhouse gas emissions. Additionally, it offers recommendations to alleviate the detrimental effects of climate change. CICERO has published an array of articles and continues to undertake...

Carbon Sinks

A CARBON SINK is defined as a pool or reservoir that absorbs carbon released from another part of the carbon cycle (the net exchange between the biosphere and the atmosphere). If the net exchange is toward the atmosphere, the biosphere is the source, and the atmosphere is the sink. Carbon sources usually release more carbon than they absorb, while sinks soak up more carbon than they emit. Another definition of carbon sink is any natural or anthropogenic system that absorbs CO2 from the...

Carbon Sequestration

MANY countries THAT attended the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change in Kyoto promised to learn how to mitigate the problem of climate change by managing the global carbon cycle. This resolve shows the significance of carbon sequestration for alleviating the global warming problem. Carbon sequestration refers to the provision of long-term storage of carbon in the terrestrial biosphere, underground, or in the oceans, so that the carbon dioxide (CO2) buildup in the atmosphere...

Center for International Environmental

ACCORDING TO ITS website, the Center for International Environmental Law (CIEL) is a nonprofit organization working to use international law and institutions to protect the environment, promote human health, and ensure a just and sustainable society. It aims to use law to contribute to solve environmental problems and promote sustainable societies, introduce principles of ecology and justice into international law, strengthen national environmental law systems and support public interest...

Carbon permits

CARBON pERMITS MAY be issued to companies through governmental agencies, and allow companies to emit up to a specified level of CO2. The total number of issued permits from governmental agencies equals the national limit on emissions. CO2-generating companies may reduce emissions by using lower-carbon coals, or increasing the use of cleaner-generating plants. Generators that reduce emissions below their allotted levels can sell excess emissions permits to other generators. Other generators who...

Cenozoic

THE CENOZOIC ERA is the most recent of the nine eras in geological time, and extends from 65 million years ago to the present. The Cenozoic Era catalogues extensive climate changes, ranging from hothouse climates with warm-temperate to sub-tropical forests near both the north and south poles, to icehouse climates with ice sheets kilometers thick covering much of the high latitudes in both hemispheres. The first 30 million years of the Cenozoic were the warmest of the era and were characterized...

Carbon Cycle

THE CARBON CYCLE describes the biogeochemical cycle, or routes by which carbon atoms are exchanged through nested networks of environmental systems from the atmosphere into the biosphere, through photosynthesis and back again with respiration, decomposition, and biomass burning. Elemental carbon is a traditional component of the hydrosphere, the atmosphere, the geosphere (rocks, such as limestone coal and soils), as well as the biosphere (all living things). The carbon cycle also involves the...

Chaos Theory

NONLINEAR DYNAMICAL systems that have sensitive dependence on initial conditions may exhibit chaotic behavior. In other words, if initial conditions are available only with some finite precision, two solutions starting from undistinguishable initial conditions (i.e., whose difference is smaller than the precision) can exhibit completely different future evolutions after time. Thus, the system behavior is unpredictable. Sensitive dependence on initial conditions can occur even in deterministic...

Stratosphere

THE STRAToSPHERE IS a layer in the atmosphere that extends between about 9 to 31 mi. (15 and 50 km.) in altitude. It is characterized by a vertical temperature structure that is nearly isothermal (no temperature change with altitude) in the lowermost stratosphere and a pronounced inversion (increase of temperature with altitude) above. The stratosphere owes its name to the strong stratification, which is a consequence of this thermal structure. The stratosphere plays an important role in the...

Princeton university

Princeton university is a private coeducational research university located in Princeton, New Jersey. It is one of eight colleges and universities that belong to the Ivy League. Originally founded at Elizabeth, New Jersey, in 1746 as the College of New Jersey, it relocated to Princeton in 1756 and was renamed Princeton University in 1896. Princeton was the fourth institution of higher education in the United States to conduct classes. Princeton has never had any official religious affiliation,...

Climate

CLIMATE AND wEATHER are not synonymous. Weather is the condition that prevails at a given moment and may change within days or even hours. At moments of meteorological fluidity, weather can change in minutes. Weather is variable, whereas climate is constant under ordinary circumstances. This is so because climate is the average of weather over long durations. Climate may change rapidly, as it did at the end of the Cretaceous era, but the circumstances that change climate rapidly are unusual....

Methane cycle

Methane has many sources, both natural and human-related, but just two major sinks its destruction in the atmosphere, and its use by certain soil bacteria. Methane is a powerful greenhouse gas, each kg. emitted to the atmosphere having a global warming potential (GWP) 23 times greater than that of a kg. of carbon dioxide over a 100-year time horizon. Since the pre-industrial era, the concentration of methane in the atmosphere has more than doubled, rising from around 715 parts per billion (ppb)...

Kyoto Protocol

As of June 2007, 172 countries have ratified the protocol and the treaty expires in 2012. But some of the major countries such as the United States and Australia have not ratified the Kyoto Protocol. Big, developing countries such as India and China are part of the protocol, but are not required to cut back any emissions under this treaty (based on the rationale that developing countries should be given a chance for development). This has made the treaty...

Thermosphere

THE EARTH is surrounded by a blanket of air, called the atmosphere. The atmosphere is a thin layer of gases that envelope the Earth. The gases are held close to the earth by gravity and the thermal movement of air molecules. Life on Earth is supported by the atmosphere, solar energy, and the magnetic fields. Five layers have been identified in the atmosphere, using thermal characteristics, chemical composition, movement, and density. The atmosphere is divided into the troposphere, the...

Sudan

Sudan IS a sub-Saharan African (SSA) country that has been combating global warming for many decades. Similar to other SSA countries, Sudan can expect an increase in temperature of 0.4-0.9 degrees F (0.2-0.5 degrees C) per decade, which may lead to the climate becoming drier. In Sudan, rainfall is predicted to decrease by 25 percent over 30 years, leading to desertification in a country that is already 50 percent desert. Since the 1930s, the desert in Sudan expanded between 31 and 124 mi. (50...

Current Economic Models

The median projection based on the 2001 IPCC data is that inaction will reduce global Gross Domestic Product (GDP) by 5 percent annually, resulting in an annual global loss of 3.341 quadrillion using a rounded World Bank 2006 global GDP projection of 67 quadrillion (in 2006 values). Assuming that emissions can be stabilized by 2025, the projected annual reduction in the global GDP due to climate change will be one percent annually, resulting in an annual global loss of 670 trillion (in 2006...

Processes Affecting Salinity

Since the Challenger expedition in 1877, when the chemical composition of seawater was first reported, no changes in the composition of seawater have been observed. Thus, it can be supposed that for the time-scales pertinent to climate change, viz., decadal to centennial, salinity behaves as a conservative tracer. Thus, its time evolution is given by the three-dimensional transport of salinity by advection (as water parcels carry properties) or diffusion (tendency to smooth salinity gradients...

Rejecting The Protocol

Bush gave several reasons for choosing not to support the Protocol. First, that it would have been traumatically expensive for the nation's economy to follow the Protocol, because only one fifth of the world's population was to be held accountable for it. Second, he nations of China and India had not yet signed the Protocol. Third, Bush didn't feel there was enough scientific evidence for human-caused global warming. In the year 2005, Department of State documents that were revealed that showed...

Human Effects On Polar Bears

Humans kill polar bears for aboriginal subsistence, sport, and defense of human life and property. In some areas, monitoring of polar bear kills is effective (in Norway and the United States), but in other areas there is little reliable information (Russia and Greenland). Concerns have recently been expressed about the threat posed by trophy hunting (currently allowed only in Canada and Greenland). Quotas are often based on poor population data. Approximately 80 trophies are imported into the...

Automobiles

TEN BILLioN METRIC tons of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases are spewed into the atmosphere each year by the fossil fuel-hungry transportation sector. Over the typical 124,000-mile lifespan of an automobile, the Toyota Prius will emit 32 tons of carbon dioxide from its tailpipe versus a Ford Excursion spewing 134 tons. The type of transportation employed has a major impact on the amount of carbon dioxide and pollutants produced. People can choose their mode of transportation and whether...

Atmospheric Boundary Layer

THE ATMOSPHERIC BOUNDARY LAYER (ABL) is the bottom layer of the atmosphere. Its defining characteristic is that it interacts with the Earth's surface on a time scale of a few hours or less. Therefore, all constituents emitted at or near the surface rapidly diffuse throughout the ABL. This rapid interaction is a direct result of turbulence, which is an essential feature of the ABL. Over land, its depth can vary from a few miles in the daytime to a few dekameters at night. The atmosphere near the...

Australia

AUSTRALIA IS A developed country in the Southern Hemisphere. With a landmass of 2,941,299 mi. (7,617,930 sq. km.), it is the sixth largest country in the world, but is sparsely inhabited, with a population of approximately 21 million. Prior to federation in 1901, the continent of Australia was comprised of separate colonies and territories. The Commonwealth of Australia is now divided politically into six states and two major territories. Australia is also responsible for a number of minor...

Improvements

The level of complexity of these issues meant that it was not until the development of digital computers in the 1950s that any serious attempt could be made to model the atmosphere as a whole. Early attempts treated the atmosphere and, indeed, the Earth's surface, as homogeneous composites of all possible values of the variables employed. Hence, there was little or no differentiation between land and sea or among the various layers of the atmosphere. Clearly, no model based on these initial...

Shift In Support

After 2005, DEFRA shifted its support from ACE to the Digital Library for Earth System Education (DLESE), in which the government joined with educators, students, and scientists to generate knowledge about global warming and climate change. Funded in large part by the National Science Foundation, DLESE provides students of higher education with information on such topics as ecology, environmental science, forestry, hydrology, natural hazards, space science, atmospheric science, and biological...

Austria

Located in central Europe, Austria covers 32,383 sq. mi. (83,872 sq. km.) and has a population of 8,316,487 (2007 est.), with a population density of 257 people per sq. mi. (99 per sq. km.). Some 17 percent of the land in the country is arable, with a further 23 percent used for meadows and pasture. In addition, 41-47 percent of the country is forested, making it the most extensively wooded country in Europe. As a wealthy country, Austria's population uses electricity and private cars...

Attribution of Global Warming

ATTRIBUTION OF GLOBAL warming refers to the recent effort to scientifically prove the cause of the warming effect. Many factors can cause changes in the Earth's heat balance, and changes large enough to cause major episodes of warming and cooling have taken place many times in the Earth's past. One cause of change of great concern to scientists is the amount of heat-absorbing gas in the atmosphere. Carbon dioxide, water vapor, and several secondary gases absorb thermal infrared radiation...

Atmospheric General Circulation Models

GENERAL CIRCULATION MODELS of the atmosphere are computer-driven mathematical models that aim to represent the numerous actions within the atmosphere of the entire world and its interactions with the surface of the Earth. Initially intended to improve understanding of the movements of the atmosphere, with a view to predicting weather phenomena and preparing for adverse weather, circulation models have since provided further understanding of the impact of atmospheric warming and its implications...