Atlantic ocean

The Atlantic ocean is the second largest of the world's oceans, covering 31.7 million sq. mi. (82 million sq. km.) or a fifth of the Earth's surface. The Atlantic's role in global climate is well-studied, and although it is not entirely understood, it is profound. Understanding how the ocean both responds to, and affects, climate change is a challenge, given the Atlantic's expanse, mass, and both short and long term variability in its physical and chemical characteristics. Oceans, including the...

Colombia

COLOMBIA, LOCATED IN the northwest of South America, is a highly-diverse country in terms of environment and climate. Colombia is dominated by the Andes, where the tropical diurnal climate is characterized by small differences in monthly temperature (less than 3 degrees C), although daily fluctuations may be large (up to 20 degrees C), especially during dry seasons. Three Cordilleras of the northern Andes are described by approximately 22,966 ft. (7,000 m.) of altitudinal change this...

Mongolia

The landlocked country of Mongolia, bordered by China and Russia, has a land area of 603,909 sq. mi. (1,565,000 sq. km.). With a population of 2,629,000 (2006 est.), and a population density of 4.4 people per sq. mi. (1.7 people per sq. km.), the country has the lowest population density in the world. Six percent of the land is arable, 10 percent is forested, and 81 percent of the country is officially registered as meadows and pasture, mostly for low-intensity grazing for cattle, sheep, and...

Ocean Modeling

Ocean-modeling activities at COAPS include model development, research, and graduate instruction. COAPS uses models ofvarious complexity, architecture, and horizontal and vertical coordinate representation as the principal tools. Models employed at COAPS vary from very high-resolution regional models to basin-scale and global models. The models currently used at COAPS are Navy Coastal Ocean Model (NCOM) Finite Volume Community Ocean Model (FVCOM) Hybrid Coordinate Ocean Model (HYCOM) Regional...

United states of America

THE UNITED states of America is the world's largest industrialized country and emitter of carbon dioxide. It is therefore widely regarded as the most significant contributor to global warming and climate change. U.S. climate change policies have never remained consistent, as they have tended to shift in accordance with the presidential administration in office. The current administration, led by George W. Bush, has come under particular scrutiny from the media, the scientific community, the...

Cape Verde

A CHAIN OF islands in the mid-Atlantic, the Republic of Cape Verde was a Portuguese colony until it gained independence in 1975. It has a land area of 1,557 sq. mi. (4,033 sq. km.), with a population of 420,979 (July 2006 est.), and a population density of 326 people per sq. mi. (126 people per sq. km.). The country is very poor. Only 11 percent of the land arable, and a further 6 percent is used for meadows and pasture. The soil is largely volcanic. Owing to a large population, and compounded...

Florida State university

Located IN TALLAHASSEE, in the southern part of the state, Florida State University (FSU) has been involved in global warming and climate change research since the early 1960s. In conjunction with the geological sciences division of FSU, the Office of Polar Programs of the National Science Foundation established the Antarctic Marine Geology Research Facility (AMGRF) to serve as a curatorial and research center. The AMGRF was originally planned as a resource for analyzing deposits from the...

History of Meteorology

Meteorology is the subdiscipline of atmospheric science that studies weather and climate using physics, chemistry, and other sciences. The term meteorology is derived from Aristotle's Meteorologica (350 b.c.e.). The first official regular weather reports were seen in China (1060 b.c.e.) with the first regular European weather observations in 500 b.c.e. The Ancient Greeks were the first to divide the world into temperature zones, and Aristotle was the first to articulate the hydrologic cycle,...

Mauritius 627

Several undergraduate research opportunities for hands-on field studies and laboratory work are also available. All MIT undergraduate students are strongly encouraged to become involved in research through the Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program (UROP). sEE ALsO Harvard University Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution. bibliography. Massachusetts Institute of Technology, www.mit.edu (cited November 2007) Michael A. Toman and Brent Sohngen, Climate...

Programs and activities

Among the many activities of the National Academies and its member organizations is the Keck Futures Initiative, a 15-year undertaking to stimulate interdisciplinary research, particularly cutting-edge research, and to increase interaction among researchers, universities, funding institutions, and the general public. The National Academies Keck Futures Initiative incorporates the following annual activities Futures Conferences, Futures Grants, and National Academies Communication Awards. As of...

Vostok Core

Russia's vostok station is located in east Antarctica. Vostok Station holds the record for lowest temperature ever recorded at minus 129 degrees F (minus 89 degrees C). Soviet researchers began deep drilling at the Vostok Station in 1980. The ice cores brought to the surface in segments provide information (chemistry, structure, inclusions) about climate conditions similar to tree ring samples. The information from air bubbles allows for measurement of the atmospheric concentration of...

Earth 103 Earth In The Future

Predicting climate change AND its impacts over the next century. The United States is actively working on national assessment of the impacts of the climate change predicted to occur over the next century. The U.S. National Assessment has developed three major documents an overview written for Congress, a foundation document giving the sources of information and their interpretation, and a series of regional and sector (water, health, agriculture, forests, and coastlines) reports. These reports...

Modeling Difficulties

Even if the climate change model of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) World Meteorological Organization (WMO) Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) is the accepted model, the IPCC model itself is evolving at such a rapid rate that any economic projections based on it are outdated in no more than five years. The 2001 IPCC data used to create most current climate change models and to extrapolate economic projections was already out of date before the spring 2008 IPCC...

A pAradise Lost The Canadian Arctic

Since most Canadians have not visited the Arctic region, they only know the area from images seen on television and in the media. As climate appears to be warming up, the Canadian arctic region is becoming more attractive for neighbors like Russia, the United States, and Scandinavian countries, which see a possible road for transportation of commerce. The Canadian government reaffirmed its right to that region, but it is becoming more contested by countries that would like to change the...

Bulgaria

BULGARIA IS A country in southeastern Europe that lies between Romania and Turkey and has a population of about 7.3 million. Projections warn of its significant vulnerability to climate change. It participated in the U.S. Department of Energy's Country Studies Program Department, creating an inventory of greenhouse emissions and potential mitigation. A defining event took place in 1997 a global change conference integrated efforts of scholars across a wide range of disciplines and established...

S 180655 Cl

Defining salinity in terms of chlorinity alleviates the practical difficulties of measuring salinity through evaporating water samples to dryness. For calibration purposes, artificial water with salinity almost equal to 35 , known as Copenhagen water, is manufactured to serve as a reference. Copenhagen water has a chlorinity of 19.381 . This approach requires the chemical titration of water samples usually obtained by Nansen bottles, named after Fridtjof Bedel-Jarlsberg Nansen, a Norwegian...

Mitigation Of Coalbased pOLLuTION

Due to these significant environmental, human, and economic impacts, scientists are exploring potential solutions to coal-based pollution. Coal mining and electricity production are robust industries, which provide industrialized nations with inexpensive energy. Also, the supply of coal is large when compared with other fossil fuels. However, industry and scientists are exploring several new technologies that will lessen the impacts associated with coal-fired power plants. These include...

Advanced Climate Models

Climate models have now reached a third generation of variants. They have, in the more than one century of iterations that have taken place, added a considerable level of sophistication to the original approaches. Models now attempt customarily to explain the entire global system instead of regional or partial attempts, owing to the greater level of understanding of the heterogeneity of interactions around the world. Nevertheless, the basic approach remains the same, in that the atmosphere is...

Long History Of Linkage Between Climate And Populations

Population geography has acknowledged for many years the role played by climatic factors in explaining the history of population and the emergence of cities. Thus, for mankind, the passage across the Bering Strait to America 13,000 years ago was possible due to the low sea levels of the Ice Age, while the Medieval Climate Optimum which lasted between the 8th and 13th centuries stimulated the population of Polynesia by making navigation relatively easy, thanks to regular winds and clear skies....

Addressing humaninduced contributions to climate change

Based on energy consumption data from the Energy Information Agency released June 1, 2007, Oklahoma's total carbon dioxide emissions from fossil fuel combustion in million metric tons for 2004 were 98.97, made up of contributions by source from commercial, 2.31 industrial, 19.79 residential, 3.72 transportation, 28.92 and electric power, 44.23. All areas had improved over 2003 estimates. Oklahoma ranks eighth in the nation in terms of its potential to produce wind energy, with the ability to...

New Naturehuman Relationship

A critical environmental education consists of developing, not only among youth, but the population in general, the capacities to analyze educational propositions regarding the environment and dominant environmental discourses to decode hidden ideological orientations, the beliefs and interests that direct them, and which implicitly tend to reproduce the practices that are nevertheless the ones that would be necessary to shift to a different kind of relationship between nature and human beings....

Antarctic Meteorology Research Center

THE ANTARCTIC METEOROLOGY Research Center (AMRC) is part of the Space Science and Engineering Center (SSEC) at the University of Wisconsin-Madison's Graduate School. The AMRC collects most of its data from automatic weather stations. The center is funded by the National Science Foundation to make available daily composite images from weather satellite data. AMRC also monitors icebergs and has tracked the large iceberg B-15 since it calved in March 2000. The AMRC was established in the 1992-93...

A NEw MODEL

Munk's relevance for the field of global warming lies in his work on the acoustic tomography of the ocean that he developed from the 1970s through to the 1990s. Munk had a leading role in the development of a new method for tracing long-term changes in climate linked with global warming. Munk came to the conclusion that important information about the ocean's large-scale structure could be gathered by studying the sound propagation patterns and the time it takes for sound to travel through the...

Aerosols

Aerosols are solid or liquid particles that are small enough to remain suspended in the atmosphere for hours to days. They are created by both natural and human-caused processes, and are either directly emitted from sources or are formed in the atmosphere from the condensation of gases. Aerosols can perturb climate either directly, by the scattering or absorption of radiation, or indirectly, through the modification of clouds and precipitation. The effects of aerosols on climate represent the...

Air Quality

Weather and climate changes can affect the mix and level of contaminants in the air. This has important consequences for health, according to a growing body of research showing associations between poor air quality and adverse health effects. In particular, cardiovascular conditions such as cardiac arrhythmia, and respiratory conditions, such as asthma, have been associated with poor air quality. For asthma, temperature increases can affect the levels of aeroal-lergens, such as pollen and mold,...

Annual Carbon Emissions by Region

Centrally Planned East Asia Eastern Europe & Former Soviet States India & Southeast Asia Australia, Japan, Pacific Ocean States Central & South America 1800 1600 1400 1200 1000 800 600 400 200 This figure shows the annual fossil fuel carbon dioxide emissions, in million metric tons of carbon, for a variety of non-overlapping regions covering the Earth. Data source Carbon Dioxide Information Analysis Center. Regions are sorted from largest emitter (as of 2000) to the smallest United...

Advocacy

While it is easy for audiences to be reached by the media (for example, by listening to the radio, watching television, or picking up a newspaper) the access for an individual to go inside the media, on the other hand, is harder, and often impossible, especially with national media and large television networks, for an unknown citizen to discuss an issue, a problem, or an opinion of his her own. In most cases, groups and associations have more opportunity to be heard than a single individual....

American Electric Power

AMERICAN electric power (AEP) was founded in 1906, and served electric utilities in various parts of the United States for over 100 years. The company was originally formed from a utility holding-company in 1899, but began its electric utility service business in Albany, New York, on December 20, 1906, as American Gas and Electric (AG& E), acquiring its first utility properties on January 2, 1907. In 1917, AG& E operated the first super power plant on the Ohio River at Wheeling, Ohio, and...

American Gas Association

THE AMERICAN GAs Association (AGA) is a national trade organization composed of natural gas-providing companies. This large group of companies, founded in 1918, was organized to better represent the interests of natural gas providers at the legislative level. The AGA is headquartered in Washington, D.C., on Capitol Hill. According to the AGA, nearly one-quarter of American energy is supplied by natural gas. The AGA vision statement is T o be the most effective and influential energy trade...

Bird Reproduction And Global Warming

Two examples elucidate the complexity of understanding changes to inter-species patterns of relationship and, thus, comprehending the complexity of the changes that global warming introduces to ecosystems. One example comes from the United Kingdom and concerns relations between flower blooming, butterfly production of caterpillars, and bird reproduction. For 47 years, naturalist Richard Fitter wrote down notes about the flowering times of many plant species, the arrival and reproduction of...

And Climate Change

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Agriculture

Farmers produce much of the human food supply raw inputs such as cotton, leather, and wool for textiles and an array of fibers, chemicals, and pharmaceuticals that serve myriad manufacturing processes. Agriculture is a complex system of human activity that is intertwined in the economic, environmental, and social processes on the Earth. The importance of agriculture to human well-being explains why influential national and international government and nonprofit agencies have focused so much...

Awards and accolades

Throughout his long career, Munk has received numerous awards. He was elected to the National Academy of Sciences in 1956, and to the Royal Society of London in 1976. He has been the recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship three times. In 1965 he received the Arthur L. Day Medal from the Geological Society of America, and, in 1966, he was awarded the Sverdrup Gold Medal of the American Meteorological Society. The Royal Astronomical Society of London gave him the Gold Medal in 1968. In 1976, he...

Aviation

AviATioN is one of the most significant drivers of global warming and climate change. The rapid development of economies around the world has increased the desire to travel by air, thus creating greater levels of pollution, both in the air and on the ground. However, aviation plays an important part within the global economy and, as a result, governments, aircraft manufacturers, airlines, and airports are working hard to reduce their global impact. The growth of air transportation has been...

Alaska Climate research Center

The ALAskA Climate Research Center is a research and service organization at the Geophysical Institute at the University of Alaska, Fairbanks. Established and funded by the State of Alaska, the center conducts research focusing on the climate of Alaska and other polar regions. It also houses an archive of Alaska climate data. The primary concern of the center is to supply information concerning the meteorology and climatology of Alaska to public, private, and government agencies. It also...

Broecker Wallace 1931

WALLACE BRoEcKER IS an American oceanogra-pher, Newberry Professor of Geology at Columbia University, and scientist at the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory who made major contributions to chemical oceanography, especially oceanic mixing based on radioisotopic distribution. Broecker set the research agenda for the field of paleoclimatology, thanks to his ability to devise coherent pictures of how all the different elements of the Earth shape the planet's climate. In particular, Broecker focused...

Awards

In addition to recognizing distinguished accomplishments by electing members to its own ranks, the NAS recognizes the work of other accomplished scientists by bestowing annual awards, currently 30 in number, in nine fields Astronomy Astrophysics, Behavioral Social Sciences, Biology and Medicine, Chemistry, Earth and Environmental Sciences, Engineering and Applied Sciences, Mathematics and Computer Sciences, Physics, and a General category. Awards include the John J. Carty Award for the...

Berlin Mandate

The Berlin mandate was a ruling reached at the first Conference of the Parties (COP 1) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) in March 1995. It established a process for dealing with matters of climate change. The UNFCCC was adopted in 1992 at the UN Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED) held in Rio de Janeiro. Informally, the conference was known as the Earth Summit. It adopted an international treaty binding countries together in a common effort to...

Arrheniuss Greenhouse

In 1898, Arrhenius put forward a theory we now call the greenhouse effect. A simplified explanation is that shortwave solar radiation can pass through the clear atmosphere relatively unimpeded, but longwave infrared radiation emitted by the warm surface of the Earth is absorbed partially and then re-emitted by a number of trace gases particularly water vapor and carbon dioxide in the cooler atmosphere above. On average, the outgoing infrared radiation balances the incoming solar radiation, so...

Botanical Evidence For Global Warming

Botanical evidence for global warming is being extracted from the rich trove of journals and records kept by gardeners and farmers in areas such as New England. Henry David Thoreau's writings are an early version of this form of information that is allowing comparisons to be made with weather in prior decades and the current weather patterns. It takes at least 30 years of records to have sufficient data to make statements about the climate of an area. Those who have consistently kept records of...

Canada And The United States

Issues and diverging conclusions regarding environmental problems and pollution have often caused diplomatic conflicts between Canada and the United States, especially in the early 1980s. The Canadian government stated that air pollution in the Great Lakes region was mainly caused by U.S. industries, and the action of winds, which brought pollution from the south to the north of the border. Moreover, three short Canadian documentaries took the position that air pollution and acid rain occurring...

Belize

BELIZE iS A small country in Central America south of Mexico's Yucat n Peninsula and east of Guatemala. Its eastern coast faces the Caribbean Sea. Belize is known as a small island developing state because of its low-lying seashore, coastal communities, and open and vulnerable economy. Small island developing states are considered extremely susceptible to the effects of climate change, including rising sea levels. The small, open economy of Belize has historically been dependent on a narrow...

BIOL 436 Population EcOlogy And Global cLIMATE cHANGE

In this course, students investigate the factors shaping the characteristics of populations and their dynamics in time and space, with emphasis on the responses of populations to climatic fluctuation and global climate change. These concepts include the science of climate change, how temperature trends are estimated, the data used in assessment reports by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, large-scale climate systems such as the North Atlantic Oscillation and the El Ni o Southern...

Annual Average Five Year Average

1860 1880 1900 1920 1940 1960 1980 2000 1860 1880 1900 1920 1940 1960 1980 2000 This image shows the instrumental record of global average temperatures as compiled by the Climatic Research Unit of the University of East Anglia and the Hadley Centre of the UK Meteorological Office. Data set Had-CRUT3 was used, which follows the methodology outlined by Brohan et al. (2006). Following the common practice of the IPCC, the zero on this figure is the mean temperature from 1961 to1990. The uncertainty...

Bosnia and Herzegovina

ONE OF THE former constituent states of Yugoslavia, the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina has a land area of 19,767 sq. mi. (51,197 sq. km.), with a population of 3,925,000 (2007 est.), and a population density of 230 people per sq. mi. (76 people per sq. km.). Fourteen percent of the country is arable land, 20 percent is used for meadows and pasture, and 39 percent of the land is forested with mainly pine, beech, and oak trees. One of the least developed countries in Europe,...

Applications Of Paleoclimate Modeling

The applications of paleoclimate modeling include identifying mechanisms of climate change, quantifying the climate response to specific forcing factors, recognizing climatic feedbacks and processes that amplify damp climatic forcings, identifying limitations of climate proxies from the geological record, and demonstrating strengths shortcomings in numerical climate models. Paleoclimate modeling studies have contributed to many of the outstanding problems in paleoclimatology. A few of the most...

Biogeochemical Feedbacks

Feedbacks ARE PRocESSES in a system that can either amplify or dampen the system's response to external influences. When the concentration of a certain variable in a subsystem affects the behavior of the entire system, then changes in inputs or concentrations of that variable can result in multiple, coupled responses. It is possible that some of the responses enhance, while others mitigate, the initial response of the system to the external forcing. In the case of the Earth's system, if a...

Botany

Botanists study all aspects of plants, including their environment and how they grow. The discipline is one of the oldest sciences and has been closely associated with agriculture, horticulture, pharmacology, and other disciplines concerned with plants. Botany is related to many other sciences such as soil science, chemistry, geography, mathematics, and physics. All the sciences and businesses that use botanical knowledge benefit from pure botanical research....

California Institute of Technology

The CALIFORNIA INSTITuTE of Technology, also known as CalTech, or simply Tech, is a private university and research institute located in Pasadena, California. Established in 1891, it offers graduate and undergraduate instruction, and research, in pure and applied science and engineering. CalTech maintains a strong emphasis on the natural sciences and engineer ing. CalTech also operates and manages the National Aeronautics and Space Administration's (NASA's) Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), an...

Cameroon

LOCATED IN CENTRAL Africa, the Republic of Cameroon has a land area of 183,568 sq. mi. (475,442 sq. km.), a population of 17,795,000 (July 2005 est.), and a population density of 97 people per sq. mi. (37 people per sq. km.). With 80 percent of the population involved in agriculture, arable land accounts for 13 percent of the country. A further 4 percent is used for meadows and pasture. Fifty-four percent of the land is covered in forest. The forestry industry specializes in tropical hardwoods...

Canada

CANADA IS OFTEN seen as one of the coldest places in the world. It is the second largest country in the world (after Russia), located at the top of the North American continent. The United States and Canada share the world's longest unprotected border (known as the 49 th parallel of north latitude). In December 2007, Canada's population reached 33,091,228, most of whom live in the southern parts of the country, mainly near the St. Lawrence River and in the Great Lakes regions. The most...

Changing Atmosphere

Based on trapped gases in ice cores in Antarctica, there has been a dramatic increase in greenhouse gases in the global atmosphere since the beginning of the Industrial Revolution. Samples indicate that in the last 200 years, CO2 has increased by 35 percent, methane by 600 percent, and nitrous oxide by 18 percent. Data for CO2 suggest that about 100 years ago there was an increase in the growth rate of atmospheric concentration, followed by another rate increase beginning about 50 years ago....

Chemical pROxIES

Both organic and mineral lake sediments undergo reactions that vary depending on their chemical compositions, and on environmental factors such as temperature, and the light and nutrients available to organisms. Compounds containing arsenic (As) carbon (C), chlorine (Cl), iron (Fe), mercury (Hg), nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P), silicon (Si), Sodium (Na), and sulfur (S) are among those that have been used as proxies for the climate conditions prevailing at the time sediments were deposited....

Climate Change And Flooding

Inland flooding will also be impacted by climate change. Rainfall patterns are expected to change over the next century, with climate models predicting more heavy-rain events, separated by prolonged periods of dry weather. Much of this will be due to the heating of the atmosphere warmer air holds more water, raising the potential for a quick release of a large volume of water. Air pollution will also play a role, as more particu-lates in the atmosphere gives this increased amount of water vapor...

Climatic Data Atmospheric Observations

Atmospheric OBSERVATIONS FORM the basis for weather prediction and analysis, for monitoring climate and climate change, and for atmospheric and climate research. Observations are carried out routinely and in a well-coordinated manner by weather services and individuals using a variety of platforms and instruments. The range of intentions behind observing the atmosphere leads to different types of data products. For climate trend applications, a number of errors need to be carefully addressed....

Cloud Feedback

INCREASES IN SuRFACE and tropospheric temperatures produce changes in cloud properties that, in turn, produce changes in temperature. This effect is known as cloud feedback. Cloud feedback has been identified by the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) as one of the most uncertain processes in climate models. Cloud particles (hydrometers) affect both thermal and solar radiation. Cloud particle size and concentration are strongly-affected by updraft velocity, humidity,...

China

THE RISE OF the Tibetan Plateau in western China caused a major worldwide climate shift. As the highest region on Earth, this area became the world's third major weather-maker, after the polar regions, and gave rise to the South Asia Monsoon about 8 million years ago. The growth of the plateau also set the stage for the ice ages that began approximately 2.5 million years ago. Glacial deposits, lake strand-lines, paleo-biologic studies, and ice core records now available from the Tibetan Plateau...

Climatic Data Instrumental records

Detection OF current global temperature and reconstruction of past trends rely on data from four sources surface temperature from weather or climate stations, weather balloons, satellite mounted remote sensors, and proxy sources. Data from the first three categories are known as the instrumental record. Until recently, measurements of global air-temperature change were based entirely on measurements taken on the ground at weather stations. Three authorities that have taken responsibility for...

Clean Air Act US

CLEAN Air Act (CAA) was passed by the U.S. Congress in 1963 and strengthened with amendments passed in 1970, 1977, and 1990. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is responsible for implementation and regulation of the CAA, although much of the work falls to state and local governments. EPA regulates many pollutants (such as particulate matter) that play an important role in the Earth's radiation balance, but CAA has not been used to regulate greenhouse gases (GHGs), the...

Changing Ecosystems And Weather

Another possible effect associated with climate change is the potential danger it holds for marine ecosystems. As the sea-level rises, coupled with increased warming of the ocean waters, marine biodiversity will be further threatened by the myriad impacts on all marine ecosystems, from tropical coral reefs (especially in the Maldives), to polar ecosystems. Coral reefs are already under severe stress from human activities, and have experienced unprecedented increases in the extent of coral...

Climate Change Effects

CLIMATE Change IS commonly used to describe any systematic alteration or statistically significant variation in either the average state of the climate elements such as precipitation, temperature, winds, or pressure or in its variability, sustained over a finite time period (decades or longer). It can be referred to as the long-term change in global weather patterns, associated especially with increases in temperature, precipitation, and storm activity. These inconsistencies in climate systems...

Climate Thresholds

CLIMATE CHANGE IS not always a gradual process. Just as the weather includes both the ordinary passage of seasons and unpredictable, extraordinary events, such as devastating hurricanes and droughts, so, too, does climate change entail both gradual processes and the sudden, sharp changes called climate thresholds. These thresholds are hypothetical that is, they have not been observed directly, though it is believed that they have happened in the past. Methane is often implicated in climate...

Developed World Responses

The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (1992) obligates the developing nations to use clean and sustainable technology, but it also obligates the developed world to assist the developing world in its transition to cleaner technologies. The framework established the principle of common but differentiated, responsibilities. This principle recognizes that developed countries have historically, and currently, create the largest amount of greenhouse gases. Per capita emissions are...

Climatic Data Sea Floor Records

The Sea Floor is blanketed with sediments composed primarily of the remains of plants and animals that live in the oceans which cover three-quarters of the Earth's surface. Sea-floor sediments also include particles of soil, dust, volcanic ash, and fragments of vegetation that are washed off the land by rivers and floods, blown in by winds, or left by melting icebergs. In the deep oceans throughout the world, sea-floor sediments have piled up continuously over thousands to millions of year,...

Center for Clean Air Policy

Established in 1985, the Center for Clean Air Policy (CCAP) is an independent, nonprofit entity headquartered in Washington, D.C. It adopts market-based approaches to environmental problems as the best way to reach common ground. The CCAP's current domestic and international initiatives promote stakeholder dialogues, education and outreach, qualitative and quantitative research, technical analyses of emission mitigation options, and policy recommendation development. The CCAP attempts to...

Climatic Data Sediment Records

Sediment layers in different types of depositional settings, which include floodplains, and the bottom of lakes, rivers, and oceans, can provide a useful archive of past climatic conditions over the last few decades to tens of thousands of years ago. Such sediment records are routinely used to reconstruct natural variability in past environmental conditions, as well as anthropogenic-driven changes in contemporary climate, including changes in effective moisture (the difference between...

Clouds Cumulus

Cumulus clouds are puffy and usually have well-defined boundaries. They form from the condensation or deposition of moisture in particles known as cloud nuclei present in the moist updrafts of convective plumes. The cloud particles can be composed of liquid water, supercooled water, or ice. These cloud particles are denser than air therefore they increase the density of cumulus updrafts. However, water vapor is lighter than dry air, and therefore, except for the effects of the cloud particles,...

Climatic Data Historical Records

HISTORICAL records OF climate data include the instrumental record and proxy climate data from human recorded history. Proxy records are a substitute for direct measurements by meteorological instruments. The principal sources of historical proxy records are written, archaeological, and Sonographic evidence. Accurate reconstruction of past climate relies on information from instruments that measure air pressure, wind speed, wind direction, precipitation, air temperature, and humidity made at...

Coal

COAL IS ONE of a variety of energy sources that both developed and developing nations use. It is the fossil fuel that is relied upon most heavily for electricity generation in the United States. Organic matter from the Carboniferous period, which occurred approximately 360-286 million years ago, forms currently accessible coal deposits. There are several different types of coal, each with varying degrees of thermal value. In the process of electricity and heat generation, coal combustion...

Climate changes associated with the north atlantic oscillation

Variations of zonal circulation intensity over the North Atlantic and displacement of centers of atmospheric action lead to significant climate changes over Europe. The pressure gradient between the Azores High and the Icelandic Low determines the strength of the mid-latitude westerly and, hence, the transport of relatively warm and humid air from the North Atlantic to Europe. During the mid-1990s James Hur-rell and others showed that, on the interannual-to-decadal scale, the NAO...

Contemporary Religions

The Europeans who came to North America were farmers and settlers, rather than adventurers or traders, like many of the other Europeans who settled in what became Latin America. Their theology was based upon the Bible, which taught in Genesis that people should multiply and fill the Earth. In addition, they were to subdue the Earth and make a garden of it. Obedience to these commands may have been fulfilled too well. However, the land and water practices of Europeans had developed independently...

Climate Change Technology

Climate Change Technology Program (CCTP) mission is to stimulate and strengthen the scientific and technological enterprise of the United States, through improved coordination of multi-agency federal climate change technology programs and investments and, in partnership with others, provide global leadership to accelerate the development of new and advanced technologies that would attain its vision. It was established by President George W. Bush. In September 2007, the secretary of the...

Chemical Water Pollution

Chemical form of water pollution includes the presence of a wide range of chemicals from industry, such as lead, arsenic, nitrates, radioactive substances, metals and solvents, and even chemicals which are formed from the breakdown of natural wastes (ammonia, for instance). Effluents from chemical industries and oil pollution from accidental crude spillage are categorized under chemical form of water pollution. In aquatic systems, these chemicals are poisonous to fish and other aquatic life....

Coastline And Wetlands

Rising sea levels and the accompanying problems are major concerns, as every part of Delaware is within 20 mi. (32 km.) or less of the Atlantic Ocean or the Delaware Bay. Sea level is already rising by 12 in. (30 cm.) per century in some parts of the state, and beach erosion is a growing problem along the state's 381 mi. (613 km.) of shoreline. Delaware made early efforts to respond to the problems of global warming. Legislation to protect shore areas was passed as early as the 1970s, and in...

Conservation Biology

In the 20th century, biology multiplied into several subfields, among them conservation biology, a discipline that traces its origin to Eastern philosophies. The ancient Chinese, Japanese, and Indians posited a link between humans, plants, and animals. Given this link, harm could not come to the animal world without also harming humanity. Eastern philosophies believed pristine lands to be essential for people who desired a spiritual experience. In the Gospels, both John the Baptist and Jesus...

Climate Change And Sea Level Rise

Predictions regarding sea-level rise are one of the most controversial aspects in climate science, with estimates ranging from a few inches to several meters. Dramatic images of the Statute of Liberty barely peeking above the waterline aside, there is little doubt that there will be a rise in the overall sea level over the coming century. Water will expand as ocean temperatures rise, and the melting of the polar ice caps will contribute to the overall volume of water. But the rise is not...

Climatic Data Oceanic Observations

CLIMATIC OCEANIC OBSERVATIONS are marine meteorological and deep ocean observations that are performed for a long time (at least over a few decades) using specialized oceanographic vessels, volunteer merchant ships, buoy arrays, floats, and drifters. Marine meteorological observations are performed over a few centuries. Voluntary observations by merchant ships (volunteer observing systems, or VOS) report most of these data. Standard marine meteorological observations include sea-level pressure,...

Climate Impacts LINK project

The climate impacts LINK Project (LINK) provides climate model data harvested at the Met Office Hadley Centre (MOHC) for use by researchers, institutions, companies, and political organizations. These users are located both in the United Kingdom and abroad the data from LINK impact many fields such as marine biology, aviation, civil engineering, public policy, economics, and atmospheric sciences. LINK is supported financially by the United Kingdom's Department of the Environment, Food, and...

Climate Forcing

Climate forcing occurs when the global energy balance of the Earth is changed. There are a number of mechanisms that can force climate change. The Earth's global climate is a dynamic system that is in equilibrium. On a planetary scale, it is steered by the amount of energy available in the system for use by its various ecosystems. If the amount of energy stored or received in the climate system changes, then climate changes occur as well. The global climate is affected by the Sun, which...

Conclusion

Thus, on numerous levels, from both the governmental to the business sector, climate change policy in the United States has enjoyed a rebirth of late. The IPCC first noted a discernible human impact on climate change in 1995. In the 2005 aftermath of a devastating Hurricane Katrina and its utter destruction of the truly unique American city of New Orleans, Americans finally concurred. And according to NASA's chief climatologist Jim Hansen, this public opinion tipping point is about to encounter...

Climatic Data Lake Records

SEDIMENTS THAT ACCuMuLATE in lakes and ponds are composed of many kinds of materials. Some, such as windborne dust, pollen, and soot, fall into lakes from the atmosphere. Others, such as clay, silt, sand, gravel, and large organic debris, such as charcoal and leaves, are washed into lakes by running water. A third group of materials originates in lakes the remains of aquatic organisms, most importantly the silica-based shells of diatoms (algae) and the calcium-based shells of zooplankton and...

Climate Cycles

There are identifiable cycles in the weather patterns of the Earth. There are four seasons every year in the temperate zones. In the polar regions, there are seasons of light and dark, and in the tropical regions, there are seasons of wet monsoons and dry periods. These identifiable annual cycles are like the cycles of the climate of the Earth over vast eons of the geologic eras. Geologists estimate the age of the Earth at about 4 billion years old. For much of that time, it was a ball of gas,...

Cte dIvoire

LOCATED IN wEST Africa, the former French colony of C te d'Ivoire (formerly known as the Ivory Coast) has a land area of 124,502 sq. mi. (322,460 sq. km.), with a population of 17,654,843 (2006 est.), and a population density of 145 people per sq. mi. (56 people per sq. km.). Over 26 percent of the country is forested, much of it equatorial rainforest, with an extensive timber industry. Arable land accounts for only 8 percent of the country, with a significant amount used for the production of...

Conference Of Parties

The Conference of Parties (COP) meets annually to assess progress in dealing with climate change. The COP also carried out the task of negotiating the Kyoto Protocol in the mid-1990s to establish legally binding obligations for developed countries to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions. The COP is the highest decision-making authority of the FCCC. It is an association of all the countries that are Parties to it. The COP is responsible for managing international efforts to address climate...

Climatology Pioneers

Several key figures emerged in the academic world as the regard for meteorology and climatology increased. Carl-Gustav Rossby created the Department of Meteorology at the University of Chicago in 1942, and there, with a team of researchers, developed the first physical climate models that viewed the entire planet as an integrated physical whole, or system. Reid Bryson, a World War II military meteorologist, left the geography department at the University of Wisconsin, Madison to form a...

Detection of Climate Changes

Because THE ATMOSPHERIC system is dynamic, variations in temperature and precipitation regimes have occurred throughout the Earth's history. Glaciations and deglaciations, for example, show how changeable climate can be. Detecting climate changes shows that climate differs significantly from some previous episode. Detection differs from attribution, which denotes the causes of those changes. While daily fluctuations in weather happen as a consequence of a chaotic atmosphere climate...

Condensation

Anne Ferran Work

CONDENSATION IS THE change of phase of a substance from vapor to liquid. It is the opposite of evaporation, the change of phase from liquid to vapor. The condensation of water is one of the most important physical processes of the Earth's climate system. Condensation forms cloud particles and precipitation. It is the main sink of atmospheric water. On Earth, water can be found in the solid, liquid, and gas phases. Evaporation (and sublimation) of water substance, the transport of water vapor,...

Coastal Zone

The combined threat of sea-level rise, more severe hurricanes, and global migration toward the coasts has made it increasingly important for coastal zones to adapt to climate change. Coastal adaptation measures must cut across sectors and improve resilience of both existing and planned development. In addition to land-use planning, other laws and programs, such as those governing flood insurance, can have a profound effect on coastal development. National, state, and local laws and policies...

Contemporary Scholarship

For a few years, it seemed as if the new Earth Institute would be just another highly-endowed think tank for liberal environmentalists, with much of the nation paying little attention to its pronouncements. However, Columbia showed it was committed to hiring scholars from across the disciplines, and not all of them proved to be liberal or traditional environmentalist groups. There were sharp disagreements among Columbia scientists, about the extent of global warming, or if global cooling still...

Data

The ability of climate modelers to integrate the increasing number of variables into their models and add more sophisticated techniques for modeling the interactions between them relies to a considerable extent on the greatly enhanced number of data observations and their accuracy. Generations of weather balloons and their successors, for example, have been instrumental in the enormous increase in volume and scope of observations that are now available. Expansion of satellite coverage of the...

Contemporary History Of Oil Consumption

Yet all along, there had been the warning issued by geologist M.K. Hubbert back in 1960. Pointing out that new deposits of oil were scarcer by the year, Hubbert predicted that the industrial world would soon encounter oil peak, a moment at which the maximum daily amount could be extracted from the Earth, a moment from which the industrial world would have to accommodate itself to gradually lower levels of oil use. Few people wanted to believe Hubbert's theory, because there seemed to be no good...

Deserts

Deserts Are An environmental extreme, characterized by low rainfall that is highly variable intra-annu-ally and interannually, with a coverage of about 27.7 Mkm.2, equivalent to 35 percent of the earth's surface and, thus, representing one of the largest terrestrial biomes. They occur mainly within latitudes between 5-35 degrees north of the equator and are characterized by very high aridity, very little vegetation cover and large surfaces of exposed bare soil, and high adaptations of plants...

David Suzuki Foundation

THE DAVID SUZUKI Foundation is an independent Canadian charity, based in Vancouver, British Columbia, which has worked since 1990 to protect biological diversity and quality of life. Through science and education, the foundation works broadly to advance principles of sustainability. Dr. David Suzuki, one of Canada's best-known contemporary environmental advocates, built his career first as a geneticist, and then as a broadcaster, journalist, and popular educator. In November 2004, Dr. Suzuki...

Drift

IN THE WORLD'S polar regions, ice that floats on the water's surface is termed drift ice. Drift ice is named for its tendency to be carried by wind and currents. Drift ice that is forced into a single mass is called pack ice. The two major ice pack regions in the world, accounting for the majority of the ocean drift ice, are the Arctic and Antarctic ice packs. Increasing water and air temperatures are causing this ice to melt. The extent of this ice depletion by climate change is unknown....

Computational Power

Clearly, the need to deal with these variations requires an enormous amount of computational power. This power has not been available until recent years. In 1965, the computer scientist Gordon E. Moore predicted that, because of the increasing sophistication with which transistors could be placed upon a circuit board, computational power was doubling approximately every two years. Moore's Law has continued to hold true until the first decade of the 21st century, although it is through different...

Environmental and Societal Impacts Group

THE FORMER ENVIRONMENTAL and Societal Impacts Group (ESIG) is now called the Institute for the Study of Society and Environment (ISSE). ISSE has a three-part motto Integrative Research, Service to Society, and Education for the Future. Integrative research refers to ISSE's multi-disciplinary research groups, which includes members of different Laboratories in the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR). ISSE is part of NCAR, itself part of the University Corporation for Atmospheric...

Dominica

THIS Caribbean island of Dominica, formerly a British colony, has a land area of 290 sq. mi. (751 sq. km.), with a population of 71,727 (2006 est.), and a population density of 272 people per sq. mi. (105 people per sq. km.). Some 9 percent of the land area is arable, with another 3 percent available for use as meadows or pasture. Unlike many other Caribbean islands, Dominica does not rely heavily on tourism, although some 70,000 people do visit the country each year. One major environmental...

Deforestation

THERE ARE vARIOuS definitions of deforestation. The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) defines deforestation as A non-temporary change of land use from forest to other land use or depletion of forest crown cover to less than 10 percent. Clear cuts (even with stump removal) if shortly followed by reforestation for forestry purposes are not considered deforestation. According to the FAO there were 3,952 million ha. of forestland in the world in 2005. The most forested...

Djibouti

LOCATED IN NORTHEAST Africa, with land borders with Eritrea, Ethiopia, and Somalia, Djibouti was formerly known as French Somaliland, and later as the Territory of Afars and Issas. It has a land area of 8,958 sq. mi. (23,200 sq. km.), with a population of 496,374 (2006 est.), and a population density of 88 people per sq. mi. (34 people per sq. km.). With extremely poor soil, less than 1 percent of the country is arable land, with another 9 percent being used for meadows and pasture, mostly to...

Direct Ice Observations

While indigenous people have populated the Arctic for thousands of years, exploration of the Arctic by European explorers did not begin until the 16th century. While these voyages were initially motivated by the search for the Northwest Passage, they also provided the first real records of Arctic sea ice conditions. However, it was not until numerous expeditions to the Arctic and several attempts for the North Pole had been made that the distribution of sea ice in the Arctic became well...