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...

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...

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...

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...

Atmospheric Emission of Infrared Radiation

The earth's climate system is characterized by the energy balance of the Earth, the distribution of energy in space (or Earth's atmosphere), and temporal energy variation. The Earth's radiative energy balance is governed by the balance between the solar radiation and absorption by the Earth, and subsequent radiation from the Earth to outer space. The absorbed solar shortwave radiation by Earth is emitted back to outer space in thermal infrared or longwave radiation to maintain the Earth's heat...

Aurora

AN AURORA IS a colored display of light usually seen at night. They are natural, and occur more commonly in the polar regions than in temperate southern regions in the Northern Hemisphere or more temperate northern regions in the Southern Hemisphere. Auroras occur most frequently in the Northern Hemisphere around the time of the autumn equinox in September and October and at the spring equinox in March and April. Auroras are sometimes called polar auroras (aurorae polaris), or in the Northern...

Feedback Processes

The second category of the attribution of the warming is the various feedback processes caused by the forcing agents on the climate. Evaporation of water might be the most evident feedback effect that contributes to global warming. The initial warming generated by CO2 will cause more water to be evaporated into the atmosphere. Then, water vapor acts as a greenhouse gas and causes more global warming. As a result, the global warming causes still more water vapor to be evaporated until the...

Threats To Coastal Communities

Rising sea level poses a problem for people and development along the ocean. With over 60,000 mi. (100,000 km.) of coastline, rising water on the Atlantic Coast has the potential to be very costly in human and eco nomic terms. It also poses an ecological problem by altering the hydrology of coastal land and the salinity of freshwater bodies and wetlands entering the ocean near the coast. Extreme high tides and storm surges could bring water to places that historically have only uncommonly or...

Tata energy Research institute TERI

The energy And Resources Institute (TERI) began in 1974 as the Tata Energy Research Institute. Motivated by concerns about finite, nonrenewable energy resources and pollution, Darbari Seth, a chemical engineer working for Tata Chemicals, proposed a research institute dedicated to the collection and dissemination of information regarding energy production and utilization. R.J.D. Tata, then chairman of the Tata Group, actively supported the institute, and TERI was formally established in Delhi in...

Water Density

The majority of the movement and circulation of water and energy throughout the ocean is driven by differences in density between adjacent water masses. Density is dependent on the salinity and temperature of the water. The thermohaline circulation, or Global Conveyor Belt, is initiated by density differences and distributes heat energy between tropical and polar regions. Rainfall is higher in the tropics, and this addition of freshwater into the ocean decreases the salinity, and, therefore,...

Trade Winds

The Trade WINDs are a large-scale component of Earth circulation, occupying most of the tropics straddling the equator between approximately latitude 30 degrees N and latitude 30 degrees S, with a seasonal shift of the entire trade wind belt system about 5 degrees of latitude northward during summer (July) and southward during winter (December). In the Northern Hemisphere, warm equatorial air rises and flows north toward the pole, the Coriolis Effect (caused by the Earth's rotation) deflects...

Heat latent

Latent Heat is energy in the form of heat released or absorbed by a substance during a phase change of the substance. The amount of latent heat involved with condensation evaporation and freezing melting are different under different temperatures and pressures. As temperature increases, latent heat of vaporization decreases, but that of fusion increases. Water is not the only substance that has three different phases at a normal temperature range in the universe, but it is the most abundant...

Armenia

THE LANDSCAPE OF Armenia is mountainous and varied, with rivers, waterfalls, forests, hot springs, natural caves, cliffs, and lakes such as Lake Sevan, one of the largest high altitude lakes in the world surrounded by non-active volcanoes. It is said that Mount Ararat, once geographically a part of Armenia, is where the biblical Noah's Ark landed after the great flood. The peaks of Mount Ararat can be seen from Yerevan, the capital of Armenia. This landscape is threatened by global warming and...

Algeria

ALGERIA IS A North African country that was occupied by France until 1962. It experienced a major insurgency from 1992 until 2002, resulting in the deaths of up to 160,000 people. It covers a land area of 919,595 sq. mi. (2,381,741 sq. km.) and has a population of 33,333,216 (2007 est.), of which 96 percent live in the north of the country, which covers only 17 percent of the overall area. Approximately 45 percent of the population live in urban areas. Thus, although the population density for...

Paleozoic era

The paleozoic era is the earliest of three geologic eras of the Phanerozoic eon. This era spanned from roughly 542 million years ago to roughly 251 million years ago. The Paleozoic era is subdivided into six geologic periods the Cambrian, Ordovician, Silurian, Devonian, Carboniferous, and Permian. The Paleozoic covers the time from the first appearance of abundant, hard-shelled fossils to the time when the continents were beginning to be dominated by large reptiles and modern plants. The oldest...

Azerbaijan

Azerbaijan is situated on the western coast of the Caspian Sea and has boundaries with Iran, Armenia, Georgia, and Russia. The area of Azerbaijan is 53,813 sq. mi. (139,375 sq. km.), with a variety of geographic regions including mountains, steppe, desert, and subtropical rainforest. Pastureland, broad leaf forests, farms, and orchards lie in the fertile lower slopes. The range of climate zones include dry subtropical regions with mild winters and hot dry summers forest zones with more...

Missouri

Missouri has A land area of 69,709 sq. mi. (180,693 sq. km.), a population of 5,817,211 (2000 est.), and a population density of 80.3 people per sq. mi. (31 people per sq. km.). Although it has historically been a southern state, it is located in the Midwest. As accurate statistics for the weather in Missouri exist from 1893, it has been possible to study changes during the early 20th century, and during the period from the 1970s when climate change was recognized. The climate in Missouri...

Maximum sustainable Yield

Maximum sustainable yield is a term population ecologists and economists use to define the theoretical top catch or yield of a species that can be taken indefinitely without depleting the population. The maximum sustainable yield is assumed to be half of the carrying capacity of a species. Commonly, the maximum sustainable yield is more than the optimum sustainable yield, which ends when yield is no longer economical. Maximum sustainable yield is a long-term management approach, not a crisis...

University of Florida

ORIGINALLY FOUNDED IN 1853 as the East Florida Seminary, the institution later renamed the University of Florida (UF) moved to its current location in Gainesville in 1906. The largest and oldest university in the state, UF resides on 2,000 acres and provides educational opportunities for over 46,000 students. As the flagship institution of higher learning in the state, UF has acted as a steward in addressing global warming and climate change issues through its sus-tainability initiatives. In...

Climate Change Knowledge Network

THE CLIMATE Change Knowledge Network (CCKN) was established in 1998, to enhance cooperation between developed and developing countries on research related to climate change. The network aims to make knowledge about climate change available to all countries of the world. The collaborative efforts encouraged by the network strive to disseminate knowledge on climate change and to make such knowledge relevant for the international policy process. The network includes 12 core member institutions in...

Ways To Minimize Waste

The best way to avoid the environmental problems of solid waste disposal is to desist from generating wastes in the first instance. Pollution prevention programs aimed at this objective have become widespread. Recycling and reuse of materials are ways to avoid waste generation. At the residential level, recycling programs for newspapers, glass, and metal containers have been implemented. However, some municipal programs have been criticized for increasing environmental emissions of air...

Indirect Effects Of Global Warming

Apart from the direct effects of global warming on the global climate, there is the issue of the indirect effects of it on the sociological, political, and economic climate of nations. It is reported that the social, economic, and physical infrastructural indices of a geographical region has evolved from the adaptation of all that region's society to the prevailing climate and to the hydrological conditions brought about by that climate over a finite time period. In cases, therefore, when the...

Conservation

CONSERVATION IS A line of environmental thought and action that emerged in the United States during the last half of the 1800s. Conservationists are often seen as opposing growth, but this universal judgment is problematic. The underlying premise of the predominant branch of conservation's philosophy is wise use, that is, the preservation of the land's natural resources through efficient management based on science, strategic planning, and carefully-monitored extraction. This approach is...

Deforestation

The effects of global warming are not limited to metropolitan areas. Reforestation began in Connecticut in the early part of the 20th century as farmland was abandoned and reverted to forests the change leveled off in the early 1970s. In the early 21st century, about 85 percent of Connecticut's forests are privately owned. Many believe private ownership makes the forests more likely to be sold to developers. Researchers at the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Forest Service predict that by...

Bahrain

Located IN the Persian Gulf, the kingdom of Bahrain extends over three islands in the gulf, covers 253 sq. mi. (665 sq. km.), and has a population of 698,585 (2005 est.), with a population density of 2,556 people per sq. mi. (987 per sq. km.). About one percent of the land is arable, with 6 percent used for pasture. The largest agricultural products are fruits and vegetables. The soil has been heavily affected by salinity and the country has suffered from extensive soil erosion. As with the...

Physical Water Pollution

A common form of physical water pollution is thermal pollution. This includes warm water from cooling towers, floating debris, foam, and garbage. In highly industrialized areas of the world, power plants are used in generating electricity, where warmer water generated in the process is generally released back to the environment. In nuclear plants, water is used in large quantity to cool reactors. The discharge of high-temperature water into a natural body of water can affect the downstream...

Atmospheric Component of Models

Scientists have BEEN creating models of the climate and atmosphere on a systematic basis for more than a century. However, only with the development of powerful computational devices has a sophisticated simulation of the atmosphere started to become possible. The accurate modeling of turbulent liquids and gases, of which the atmosphere is of course composed, remains one of the most difficult tasks facing scientists studying the Earth. The problem is made more difficult by the lack of accurate...

Rossby Carl Gustav 18981957

CARL-GUSTAV ROSSBY WAS a Swedish-American meteorologist whose innovations in the study of large-scale air movement and introduction of the equations describing atmospheric motion were largely responsible for the rapid development of meteorology as a science. Rossby explained the large-scale motions of the atmosphere in terms of fluid mechanics and was one of the first scientists to notice the problem of global warming. Rossby was born on December 28, 1898, in Stockholm, Sweden. When he was 20,...

Seafloor Sediments And Ice Cores

As with lake sediments, the layers or stratigraphy of oceanic deposits and corals can give important clues to paleoclimates. Sea-floor sediments are primarily an accumulation of calcium carbonate- (CaCO3) based shells from organisms that once lived near the ocean surface. These organisms are often sensitive to changes in temperature and salinity, proliferating under optimal conditions and declining in unfavorable conditions. Because the ocean surface is closely connected to sea-level climate...

Tertiary climate

THE TERTIARY PERioD (ca. 66.4 to 1.8 million years ago Ma ) was an interval of enormous geologic, climatic, oceanographic, and biologic change. It spans the transition from a globally warm world of relatively high sea levels to a world of lower sea levels, polar glaciation, and sharply differentiated climate zones. Over the past decade, however, it has become increasingly clear that Tertiary climatic history was not a simple unidirectional cooling driven by a single cause but a much more...

Climate Hardship

Arizona's climate has changed over the centuries. The ancient native peoples began farming the area in approximately 1500 B.c.E., and optimum rainfall increased arable farmland and drew a larger population. A Medieval climate anomaly in the southwest during the 8th and 12th centuries caused hardship. While climate models vary on the amount of temperature increase possible with unmitigated global warming, Arizona's temperature could increase as much as 6.75 degrees F (3.75 degrees C) by the end...

Orbital parameters Eccentricity

THE suN showers the Earth in solar energy with varying intensity over time, while the Earth's orbital motion about the Sun affects how that energy is received. Eccentricity is the degree that the orbit deviates from a perfect circle. Seasons on Earth are modulated by the eccentricity of the orbital path around the sun, the precession effect, and the position of the solstices in the yearly revolution. Eccentricity plays not only a role in the diversity of the seasons, but also in the degree of...

The Emergence Of Life And Oxygen

The emergence of life elegantly illustrates the intimacy of the connection between atmospheric evolution and biological evolution. The pre-biotic atmosphere, with its low concentration of free oxygen, not only provides favorable conditions for the development of biologically important molecules the atmosphere also contains the chemicals from which life's precursor molecules themselves can be synthesized. The famous Miller-Urey experiment in the 1950s demonstrated that a gas mixture containing...

Hadley Circulation

HADLEY CIRCULATION IS a type of atmospheric circulation following a stereotypical pattern in the para-equatorial region. Atmospheric circulation and ocean circulation together are the major mechanisms for global heat distribution. As ocean circulation refers to movement of waters, atmospheric circulation defines large-scale air movements around the globe. The principle tropical current known as Hadley Circulation affects jet streams, subtropical deserts, trade winds, and tropical rainbelts....

Albania

ALBANIA IS A small and relatively underdeveloped country in southeast Europe. Since the collapse of the Communist government there in 1991, Albania has transformed itself from an isolated country to one whose government has sought to take an active part in European affairs. The country has a population of 3.6 million (2007), and covers 11,100 sq. mi. (28,748 sq. km.), with a population density of 318.6 per sq. mi. (134 per sq. km.). Some 21 percent of the land is arable, with 5 percent under...

Resource Guide

The Challenge of Global Warming (Island Press, 1989) Adger, N., et al. Climate Change 2007 Impacts, Adaptation and Vulnerability Working Group II (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, 2007) Aguado, E., and Burt, James E. Understanding Weather and Climate (Prentice Hall, 2006) Ahrens, C. Donald. Meteorology Today (Thomson Brooks Cole, 2007) Archer, David. Global Warming Understanding the Forecast (Blackwell Publishing, 2007) Attfield, Robin. Environmental Ethics An...

Cantor Fitzgerald EBS

Cantor fitzgerald ebs (cf ebs) was a division of Cantor Fitzgerald, a leading investment and brokerage services company in the United States. While Cantor Fitzgerald is based in New York City, CF EBS was based in Los Angeles, California. It is now CantorCO2e, based in both Great Britain and California. As emissions caps are set for companies and enforcement is strengthening, a novel business has emerged emissions trading. If a company cannot reach emissions levels at or below the cap, it can...

University of Maryland

THE UNivERsiTY OF Maryland in College Park was founded in 1856 as the Maryland Agricultural College and renamed in 1920 as the University of Maryland. The College Park main campus operates within a group of state-supported institutions of higher education in Maryland. The system's research and service components include the University of Maryland Biotechnology Institute in College Park and the Center for Environmental and Estuarine Studies, with laboratories at Horn Point, Solomons, and...

Center for Ocean Atmospheric prediction Studies

THE CENTER FOR Ocean-Atmospheric Prediction Studies (COAPS) at Florida State University (FSU) carries out research in air-sea interaction, ocean and coupled air-sea modeling, climate prediction, statistical studies, and predictions of social economic consequences of ocean-atmospheric variations. Students in COAPS come from a wide variety of departments including meteorology, mathematics, computer science, and physical oceanography. COAPS is funded by several federal agencies, producing original...

The Annales School

The most influential contribution to environmental history came from the field of history. The Annales school, which flourished at the University of Strasbourg, France, agglutinating a first generation of scholars around the journal Annales d'histoire conomique et sociale, founded in 1929 by the medievalist historian Marc Bloch, and modern historian Lucien Feb-vre. This approach, a reaction to the dominant history of political events and the function of leaders, minimized the role of...

World Systems Theory

And the Green Power Market Development Group, a partnership of Fortune 500 companies devoted to establishing corporate markets for renewable energy. WRI has also been responsible, in partnership with Mexico City, for the creation of the Bus Rapid Transit Corridor, a system of transport designed to reduce environmental damages. The institute is collaborating with metropolises such as Shanghai, Hanoi, and Istanbul for the creation of similar systems. sEE ALso Carbon Dioxide Carbon Emissions...

Syria

Located IN the Middle East, the Syrian Arab Republic has a land area of 71,479 sq. mi. (185,180 sq. km.), with a population of 19,929,000 (2006 est.) and a population density of 267 people per sq. mi. (103 people per sq. km.). Some 28 percent of Syria is arable land, with a further 43 percent used as meadows or pasture, much of it for low-intensity grazing of sheep. Only a very small part of the country is woodland. In terms of its per capita carbon dioxide emissions, Syria ranks 93rd in the...

Geospatial Technology

Geospatial technology includes three different technologies that are all related to mapping features on the surface of the Earth for environmental management. They are geographical information systems (GIS), global-positioning systems (GPS), and remote sensing (RS). This is also synonymous with spatial information technology. Together, the three components of geospatial technology can track, map, analyze, and disseminate environmental management information. RS technology helps survey the...

The Nimble Atmosphere

Forecasters take into account that the interactions between the ocean and atmosphere are not symmetrical the nimble atmosphere swiftly responds to changes in sea surface temperature, but the sluggish ocean adjusts slowly to changes in the winds. The ocean has the memory of the system and needs to be monitored to anticipate El Ni o. The large array of instruments that oceanographers have deployed across the equatorial Pacific enabled them to anticipate the intense El Ni o of 1997 several months...

Gaia Hypothesis

IN THE Early 1960s, scientist James Lovelock was invited by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) to participate in a scientific research project aimed at trying to find evidence of life on Mars. His job was to design instruments capable of detecting the presence of life that could be sent on a spacecraft to Mars. This led him to think about what constitutes life, and how it can be detected. This culminated, in 1979, in the publication of his book Gaia A New Look at Life on...

Burkina Faso

Burkina faso IS a landlocked country in West Africa with a population of about 14.3 million. The terrain is mostly savanna and relatively flat. Three major river systems cut through Burkina Faso the Mouhoun, the Nakembe, and Nazinon only the Mouhoun, along with the smaller Comoe, flows year-round. Access to clean water has been stressed in recent years, leading to tension between communities, especially in the north of the country. Only 18 percent of the land is arable, and recent decades have...

Subsidiary Bodies

The FCCC established two permanent subsidiary bodies the Subsidiary Body for Scientific and Tech nological Advice (SBSTA) and the Subsidiary Body for Implementation (SBI). These bodies give advice to the COP and each has a specific task. They are both open to participation by any Party. Governments often select their representatives among experts in the fields of the respective bodies. As its name suggests, the SBSTA's mission is to supply the COP with advice on scientific, technological, and...

Carbon emissions

Carbon IS A widely distributed element on the Earth. Pure carbon in one form is graphite. It can also take the form of diamonds after undergoing tremendous pressures and heat in volcanic pipes. Carbon is the basic atom in organic chemistry. Because carbon has four electrons, which can be joined to other atoms, it is able to form an enormous number of compounds. Some are simple and some are complex. The ones that matter the most to the issue of global warming are those that become involved in...

Anthropogenic Forcing

Anthropogenic forcing is one of two parts of radiative forcing in the classification used to describe disturbances in the Earth's energy budget when humans are considered as a factor to the Earth's climate system. The radiative forcing (in units of watts per m. squared) is the net downward radiative flux at the surface or at some level in the atmosphere, usually at the top of the atmosphere or at the tropopause. In atmospheric and climate sciences, the radiative forcing is used to predict...

Snowball earth

In the early 1960s, Brian Harland, a geologist at Cambridge University, observed that rocks on several continents, dating from the Neoproterozoic era (approximately 800-680 million years ago), contain glacial debris. Some of the glacial debris included carbonate rocks, which are known to form in the tropics (e.g., in the present-day Bahama Banks). This conclusion later gained additional support from paleo-magnetic data. One potential explanation is that the The Snowball Earth hypothesis...

Indian Ocean

The indian ocean has seen some dramatic changes owing to the effects of global warming and climate change. The major effects of global warming have been the rise of waters temperature, and also the rise in the water level. Researchers have shown not only a general warming of the surface of the Indian Ocean, but also warming of about 3.6 degrees F (2 degrees C) over the last 40 years, in the region of 40 degrees S and 50 degrees S, down to a depth of 262 ft. (800 m.). A study by the National...

Earthshine

THE WORLD BOOK defines albedo as the ratio of light reflected to light received by a planet or other heavenly body. Earthshine arises from sunlight reflected from the Earth to the dark of the moon and back to the nighttime Earth. The albedo is due to the Earth's cloud cover and the diversity of landscapes. Leonardo da Vinci (1452-1519) first explained Earthshine in the 15th century. A simple technique was developed to measure the amount of sunlight that bounces off the Earth's surface and is...

Walker Circulation

THE WALKER CIRCULATION is an atmospheric system of air flow in the equatorial Pacific Ocean. The trade winds across the tropical Pacific flow from east to west air rises above the warm waters of the western Pacific, flows eastward at high altitudes, and descends over the eastern Pacific. A weaker Walker circulation (in the reverse direction) occurs over the Indian Ocean. Sir Gilbert Walker assumed the post of director-general of the observatory in India following catastrophic famines in the...

Trexler and Associates

Trexler climate and Energy Services, Inc. (TC+ES) was founded as Trexler and Associates, Inc. (TAA) in the year 1991 by Dr. Mark C. Trexler, formerly of the World Resources Institute in Washington, D.C. TC+ES is based in Portland, Oregon. TC+ES was the company that wrote the first contracts for carbon offset, and designed the first methane carbon offset project for a coal mine. Until 1997, the company was the only one serving the private sector in climate change mitigation services. That same...

Pleistocene

THE Increasing FREQuENOY and intensity of glacial-interglacial cycles toward the end of the Pliocene (1.806-5.332 million years ago) set the stage for the Pleistocene epoch (11.8 thousand years ago-1.806 million years ago), which is the final phase of the Quaternary period. Some argue that the lower Pleistocene boundary may be set too late because the general trend toward significant cooling and glaciation had begun in the mid-late Pliocene (2.75 million years ago). Hence, the term...

Anticyclones

ANTICYCLonE is A term for a region of closed circulation of air in the troposphere (the lowest 6 mi. 10 km. or so of Earth's atmosphere) with descending air from aloft and high atmospheric pressure at the surface. Anti-cyclonic circulation is usually accompanied by relatively high atmospheric pressure at the surface, and so the term high is often used interchangeably with anticyclone. Anticyclones, as the name suggests, are the opposite of cyclones, which are regions of low pressure and...

Technology

Technology is DEFINED as applying science to manipulate or change the human environment. Although it is usually thought to involve some form of machinery or physical equipment, technology can just as effectively be intangible in form, such as with management technology, which provides different ways of understanding how resources, including people, may be organized for more efficient production or operation. Historically, technology changed and developed very slowly around the world. However in...

Orbital parameters precession

The ORBIT And rotational behavior of the Earth moving about the Sun affects the amount of solar energy received. Precession is the phenomenon where the Earth wobbles about on its axis, just like a spinning top. Consequently, the solstices and equinoxes occur earlier each year. The winter solstice occurs a few weeks before perihelion, the closest approach Earth makes to the Sun. Over time, the summer solstice will occur closer to perihelion and the summer heat will become even greater. This...

Emissions Baseline

THE emission BAsELINE represents the starting point or reference level from which increases and decreases in emissions are measured. The intergovernmental action through which national governments have coordinated their response to the threat of human-induced climate change is based on the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), adopted in 1992, and its Kyoto Protocol, negotiated since December 1997. In 2001, the so-called Marrakech Accords marked the shift from...

Atmospheric Research and Information Centre

The atmospheric research and Information Centre (ARIC) is an institution that works to educate citizens of Great Britain about environmental and geographical sciences. Established in 1984, staff at the Centre perform research and provide consulting in the field of atmospheric sciences. The ARIC also maintained the Atmosphere, Climate & Environment (ACE) Information Programme, to educate people in Great Britain about the environment, specifically addressing pollution and air quality. The...

Precautionary Principle

The upshot OF precaution is that it is better to be safe than sorry when there are severe or irreversible consequences. It has been a very important notion in environmental and public health policy. It has been advocated in several issues ranging from climate change to genetic engineering to phase-out of persistent organic pollutants. The invocation of precaution has been particularly controversial when there are significant business interests at stake. The problem with simply asserting...

Natural Resources Defense council NRDc

THE NATuRAL RESouRcES Defense Council (NRDC) describes itself as the nation's most effective environmental action organization, and indicates that the world's foremost environmental problem is global warming. In 2007, the NRDC was a founder and organizer of the U.S. Climate Action Partnership, a coalition of environmental organizations and corporations advocating legislative action to address global warming. Incorporated in New York in 1970, the NRDC also has offices in Los Angeles, San...

Younger Dryas

MARKING THE bouNDARY between the Holocene and Pleistocene epochs, the Younger Dryas, a period of glacial conditions between 12,900 and 11,500 years ago, is named for Dryas octopetala, a flower that is adapted to the cold. Dryas pollen is found in abundance in strata of this age. Dryas pollen is also found in older strata, necessitating the term Younger Dryas to distinguish this time from older periods in which Dryas pollen is abundant. Locked in an ice age, earth had finally warmed and the...

Western Regional Climate Center

THE WEstERN REGIonAL Climate Center (WRCC), based in Reno, Nevada, and inaugurated in 1986, is one of six regional climate centers in the United States. The regional climate center program is administered by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Specific supervision is provided by the National Climatic Data Center of the National Environmental Satellite, Data, and Information Service. The mission of the Western Regional Climate Center is to disseminate climate data and...

Renewable energy Policy Project Repp

Founded in 1995, the Renewable Energy Policy Project (REPP) is based in Washington, D.C. The organization researches strategies to make renewable sources competitive in energy markets and to stabilize carbon emissions. REPP supports reindus-trialization through the use of renewable technologies. It demonstrates that solar, wind, biomass, and other renewable sources can provide energy services at or below the cost of nonrenewables when structural barriers are removed. REPP works directly with...

Species Extinction

Changing climates increase the uncertainties of life for all organisms. A long-term warming trend would alter the distribution of life on the planet as colder habitats shrink and warmer ones expand. Some species would become more common, and others would become rarer. We cannot predict with any precision which species will become extinct or when. Plants and animals that are highly adapted to already extreme (hot, cold, or dry) climates are most likely to be the first and most drastically...

Historical Examples Of Drought

Short-term drought occurred in many places in the world during the 20th century. western Europe, including England, experienced years of drought on a number of occasions, as did parts of the United States. South America, Africa, and Asia have also known years in which drought conditions occurred. In the 1960s, drought appeared in the northeastern United States. Winter snows failed in the western United States 1975-77. In 1976, western Europe suffered a summertime drought. In the late 1960s and...

Radiation Long Wave

Long WAvE (or longwave) radiation is the part of the electromagnetic spectrum emitted at spectral wavelengths generally greater than one micrometer ( im). Types of long wave radiation include infrared, microwave, and radio waves. Emittance of radiation is a function of temperature, and objects giving off long wave radiation are colder than those radiating at short wavelengths. For example, the sun (approximately 5800 K) radiates primarily in the short wave part of the spectrum (especially...

Meeting Criteria

Only a few records come close to meeting these criteria, and most of them suffer from multiple deficiencies, usually because the instruments were shifted to nearby, but different sites. Thus, most records are, in fact, composite series, containing data from a number of sites in one area. One notable exception is the record of the Armagh Observatory in Northern Ireland 1796-2002. The resulting historical climate record is the longest for any single site in the United Kingdom and Ireland...