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...

The Holocene Epoch

Northern Hemisphere ice sheets have waxed and waned on 100,000 year timescales for at least 600,000 years and the approximately 10,000 years since the waning of the last Pleistocene glacial maximum are known as the Holocene Epoch. The Holocene is the shortest Cenozoic epoch and Holocene climate change is negligible compared to that in longer epochs. However, due to its recent nature, the records of the Holocene climate are better preserved than those of prior epochs and indicate smaller-scale,...

The Present Atmosphere

The Earth's atmosphere is extraordinary comparing the Earth to other planets in the Solar System illustrates just how extraordinary. The inner planets are often referred to as the terrestrial planets because they consist of rocky masses surrounded by gaseous atmospheres (with the exception of Mercury, whose atmosphere has long since been lost to space because of its proximity to the Sun). Venus and Mars both have substantial atmospheres and make excellent comparisons for the atmospheric...

Toronto Conference

SCIENTISTS FROM VARIOUS international organizations, such as the World Meteorological Organization in Geneva, met with their peers in groups at various locations for three years. Following the signing of the United Nations Vienna Convention on the Protection of the Ozone Layer (1985) and the Villach Conference (1985), these meetings helped to develop the basis for further action. From the discussions at these meetings, a scientific accord on the main aspects of how much climate warming can be...

List of Articles

Antarctic Meteorology Research Center Atmospheric Absorption of Solar Radiation American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy Atmospheric Emission of Infrared Radiation Atmospheric General Circulation Models Atmospheric Research and Information Centre Austria Automobiles Aviation Azerbaijan Broecker, Wallace Brunei Darussalam Bryan, Kirk Bryson, Reid Budyko, Mikhail Bulgaria Burkina Faso Burundi Bush (George H.W.) Administration Bush (George W.) Administration Energies Cantor Fitzgerald EBS...

Fourier Joseph 17681830

JOSPEH FOURIER WAS a French mathematician, also acknowledged as an Egyptologist and administrator, who greatly influenced mathematical physics through his Th orie analytique de la chaleur (1822 The Analytical Theory of Heat). He analyzed the con duction of heat in solid bodies in terms of infinite mathematical series now called the Fourier series. His work went well beyond the area of heat conduction, stimulating research in mathematical physics. Since Fourier, the discipline has been...

Nongovernmental Organizations As Lobbying Forces

The NGO movement has also emerged as a powerful lobbying force that can claim many achievements. For example, the NGO-led International Campaign to Ban Landmines (ICBL), first initiated in 1992, laid the groundwork for the UN 1997 International Mine Ban Treaty. In the United States alone, over 500 NGOs participated in the campaign, designed to ensure a global ban on antipersonnel landmines. This campaign illustrates how NGOs can affect international law, and utilize their access to policymakers...

Smagorinsky Joseph 19242005

AMERICAN METEOROLOGIST AND the first director of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory (GFDL), Joseph Smagorinsky developed influential methods for predicting weather and climate conditions and lectured at Princeton for many years. With his decision to move the GFDL to Princeton, Sma-gorinsky made the university a leading center for the study of global warming. Joseph Smagorinsky was born to Nathan Sma-gorinsky and Dina Azaroff. His parents...

United Arab emirates

Located in the Persian Gulf, the United Arab Emirates (U.A.E., formerly the Trucial States) has a land area of 32,278 sq. mi. (83,600 sq. km.), with a population of 4,380,000 (2006 est.) and a popu lation density of 139 people per sq. mi. (64 people per sq. km.). Its economy is heavily dependent on petroleum and natural gas, with the country enjoying a very high standard of living. With little natural freshwater and regular sand and dust storms, the U.A.E. has little arable land, with most of...

Vostok Core

The first hole drilling stopped in 1985 because of problems. A second hole drilled with French-Russian cooperation produced an ice core 2,083 m. long, or 1.33 mi. With a climate record of 160,000 years, drilling on this hole ended in 1990. A third hole was drilled with collaboration among Russia, France, and the United States. The drilling reached a depth of 2.25 mi. (3.6 km.) and in January 1998 produced the deepest ice core recovered at the time (now exceeded by the European Project for Ice...

Upwelling Coastal

Coastal upwelling occurs when water along a coastline flows offshore and deeper water usually relatively cool, rich in nutrients, and high in partial pressure of carbon dioxide flows upward to fill its place. Upwelling areas are notable for their effect on carbon cycling, as upwelling not only brings dissolved inorganic carbon to the surface, where it is released into the atmosphere, but also stimulates phytoplank-ton blooms that further remove some of that carbon through photosynthesis a small...

Milankovitch Cycles

THE MILANKOVITCH CYCLES are recurring variations in the Earth-Sun orbital geometry. They collectively account for deviations in the amount and intensity of solar radiation received by the Earth. The cycles are named after Serbian astrophysicist Milutin Milankovitch (1879-1958), who developed the modern mathematical theory and formulas upon which these orbital perturbations are based. The central assertion of the Milankovitch theory is that the Earth's orbital relationship with the Sun is not...

Seasonal cycle

THERE ARE SEVERAL versions of seasons. The classical concept of season is of the four seasons that divide the year spring, summer, fall, and winter. Some regions of the globe have weather-based seasons, such as rainy or dry seasons. Certain natural occurrences are more frequent during particular times of year therefore, we have hurricane season as well as tornado season. Seasonal cycles for weather patterns occur because of the atmosphere. Although the atmosphere is hundreds of miles thick,...

Sea Level Rising

SEA LEVEL RISE is caused by thermal expansion of the oceans, melting of glaciers and ice caps, melting of the Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets, and changes in terrestrial storage. Changes in sea level will be felt through increases in the intensity and frequency of storm surges and coastal flooding increased salinity of rivers, bays, and coastal aquifers resulting from saline intrusion increased coastal erosion loss of important mangroves and other wetlands (the exact response will depend on...

The HYDRoloGic Cycle

The hydrologic cycle is part of this heat energy imbalance process. This feedback process complicates the global warming phenomena and involves water vapor, clouds, and aerosol particles. Evaporation is the basis of this important process. Water is evaporated by Sun, incorporated into clouds as water vapor, falls to the land and water bodies as rain, and enters water bodies to complete the cycle. Conversely, to make matters worse, water vapor acts as a prominent greenhouse gas as it is involved...

Environmental History

ENVIRONMENTAL HISTORY IS the study of the interactions between human cultures and nature through time and space, examining how the natural environment has influenced the historical processes and, conversely, how people have recognized and transformed their environment using technology. This bilateral approach was designated by Christopher Smout. The goal is to place the natural world as an actor of history, an approach that social history has neglected. The object of study is ecological, where...

Recent Climate Change

China is experiencing a well-documented, widespread warming. The glaciers on the Tibetan Plateau are retreating rapidly, and permafrost is melting. This rate has accelerated in the early 21st century under the impact of an intensified South Asia Monsoon, which is likely a consequence of global warming. Yao Tandong and others trace the glacial retreat in China to the termination of the Little Ice Age, around the beginning of the 20th century. Since then, the glacial retreat can be divided into...

Dominican Republic

Located IN the Caribbean, the Dominican Republic occupies the eastern part of the island of Hispaniola, the other part the Republic of Haiti. It has a land area of 18,810 sq. mi. (48,442 sq. km.), with a population of 9,183,984 (2007 est.), and a population density of 474 people per sq. mi. (182 people per sq. km.). The In the Dominican Republic, sugar cane crops a re being repurposed to make ethanol to blend with gasoline. In the Dominican Republic, sugar cane crops a re being repurposed to...

Clouds Stratus

Stratus clouds are those clouds that resemble a sheet across the atmosphere. These clouds typically rest at a low altitude, found below 6,000 ft. (2,000 m.). Their color can vary between white to dark gray. A stratus cloud that rests at ground level is known more commonly as fog. Stratus clouds a bit higher than fog block the sun from view and cause a cloudy day' The name stratus is the Latin word to spread out. The formation of stratus clouds occurs when a sheet of cool air passes under a...

Hydrofluorocarbons

Hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) ARE a group of organic compounds that contain carbon, fluorine, and hydrogen. They are by-products of industrial manufacturing and were introduced as a replacements for chlorofluorocarbons and other ozone-depleting substances. However, though HFCs have zero ozone depletion potential (ODP), they have intrinsic and significant global warming potential (GWP), typically in the range of 1,000 to 3,000 times that of CO2. Thus, they are among the six key greenhouse gases...

Seawater Composition of

SEAWATER IS A solution of salts of nearly constant composition, dissolved in variable amounts of water. It is denser than fresh water. It is risky to drink sea-water because of its high salt content. More water is required to eliminate the salt through excretion than the amount of water that is gained from drinking the seawater. Seawater can be turned into potable water by desalination processes or by diluting it with freshwater. The origin of sea salt is traced to Sir Edmond Halley, who in...

Arakawa Akio 1927

AKIO ARAKAWA HAS been a leader in the field of atmospheric general circulation model (AGCM) development from its beginning. AGCMs are essential tools for studies of global warming and projecting the consequences of anthropogenic climate change. Arakawa's inventiveness and extraordinary insight on atmospheric processes have resulted in fundamental contributions to the design of AGCMs in several areas, primarily 1) numerical schemes suitable for the long model integrations required by climate...

Texas

IN A POST-WORLD War II climate of mass consumption, urban disinvestment, and the emerging dominance of the automobile as the preferred mode of transportation, Texas and its economy grew dramatically. Fleeing postindustrial urban decay and the loss of manufacturing economies, millions of Americans and immigrants flocked to the wide-open and nonunionized spaces of the southwest United States. Home to almost 25 million residents, the State of Texas ranks second only to California in population and...

Radiation short Wave

Radiation traveling IN waves shorter than one micrometer ( im) is characterized as short wave, and includes gamma rays, x-rays, ultraviolet light, and visible light. Climatologically, short wave radiation commonly refers to the incoming radiation from the sun. There is an inverse relationship between the temperature of an object and the wavelengths at which it primarily emits. Because the sun is a hot object (approximately 5800 K), it emits radiation at short wavelengths. Since shorter...

Foraminifera

Foraminifera ARE MARINE eukaryotic unicellular organisms that construct a shell or test. They use chemicals from their surroundings to construct calcareous or siliceous crystals, or particulate grains to form an agglutinated test. They are heterotrophic protoctists with granular reticulopods (pseudopo-dial networks) exhibiting two-way streaming. Fora-minifers are Linnean classified by their chemistry, mineralogy, structure of the test walls, cytology, and DNA of protoplasm. Foraminifers can be...

University of Utah

THE UNivERsiTY OF Utah, founded in 1850, is a public, coeducational institution located in Salt Lake City. The university confers bachelor's, master's, doctoral, and professional degrees in a variety of academic and professional disciplines. The university offers a focus on environmental science, and the university's College of Mines and Earth Sciences is home to the Departments of Meteorology and Geology and Geophysics. The Department of Meteorology focuses on offering a background for...

Carbon Dioxide

CARBON DIOxIDE IS a naturally occurring gas. Chemically, it is stated as CO2, which means that each carbon dioxide molecule has two oxygen atoms bonded to a single carbon atom. CO2 has many practical applications. CO2 measurements are now being used as a way to test the cardiovascular system. This new tool has the promise of not being as invasive as other diagnostic methods. CO2 can be frozen into dry ice, and has numerous chemical uses. It is often a byproduct from chemical reactions. It has a...

Costa Rica

THIS Central American Republic, which has coastlines on the Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean Sea, has a land area of 19,725 sq. mi. (51,100 sq. km.), with a population of 4,238,000 (2005 est.), and a population density of 220 people per sq. mi. (85 people per sq. km.). Only 6 percent of the country is arable, the smallest percentage of any of the Central American countries 46 percent is meadow and pasture, much of it used for raising cattle, which, in turn, contribute to an increase in methane....

Fluvial And Fossil Sediments

Waterborne or fluvial sediments include fine materials resembling aeolian deposits, but also larger particles such as gravel, pebbles, cobbles, and organic debris too dense or massive to be entrained by winds. Materials drop out of the water column in order of density the denser the object, the more quickly it is deposited. As one result, the densest fluvial sediments accumulate closest to the point where the river or stream that carries them enters a lake, producing horizontal sorting patterns...

Chile

Located ALONG the Pacific seaboard of South America, the Republic of Chile has a land area of 292,183 sq. mi. (756,950 sq. km.), with a population of 16,598,074 (2007 est.), and a population density of 57 people per sq. mi. (22 people per sq. km.). With 5 percent of the land arable, 21 percent of Chile is forested, with 1.15 million hectares of plantation forests, most of which is pine. In spite of a heavy reliance on mining, Chile has a relatively low level of carbon dioxide emissions 2.7...

Applied Energy services

APPLIED energy services, iNC. (AES) is a global power company providing energy to five continents (all but Australia and Antarctica). Since its founding in 1981, AES has expanded globally with a purpose of bringing safe electric power to people, including those who have never before had access to it. To this end, the company uses the slogan The Power of Being Global. The first AES power plant was built in Texas in 1985 the AES power plant cadre subsequently increased to four U.S. plants by...

Uruguay

URUGUAY is located in southern South America, making a small wedge between Argentina and Brazil. Most of the country is covered by rolling grasslands, though it is crossed by several river systems and has a coastline on the Atlantic Ocean. Uruguay has no mountain ranges to buffer it from weather systems, making it susceptible to rapid weather changes. Droughts and periodic flooding are common. Climate change is expected to have some initial benefits for the livestock industry, but its long-term...

Idaho state climate services

THE national OLIMATIO Data Center, the National Weather Service, and the University of Idaho founded the Idaho State Climate Services in May 1978 to provide climate services that had formerly been supplied by a National Weather Service program. Professor Myron Molnau was instrumental in establishing the center. The State Climate Services program is housed in the Biological and Agricultural Engineering Department and is headed by the state climatolo-gist for Idaho. The Idaho Agricultural...

Clouds Cirrus

Cirrus clouds ARE the thin and wisp-like clouds seen at high altitudes (higher than 20,000 to 26,000 ft., or 6,000 to 8,000 m.). The name cirrus comes from the Latin word for curl. They are composed predominantly of tiny ice crystals, because they form in the cold region of the troposphere. If cirrus clouds drop their ice crystals, these crystals evaporate before they arrive at the ground. Cirrus clouds can take on a variety of formations, including a more tuft-like characteristic called...

Saudi Arabia

COVERING MOST OF the Arabian Peninsula, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has a land area of 829,996 sq. mi. (2,149,690 sq. km.), with a population of 24,735,000 (2006 est.) and a population density of 29 people per sq. mi. (11 people per sq. km.). Riyadh, the capital and the largest city, has a population of 4,193,000 and has a population density of 3,891 per sq. mi. (1,500 per sq. km.). Some 2 percent of Saudi Arabia is arable land, with a further 56 percent used for meadows and pasture. With a...

Waves rossby

NAsa researchers at the Goddard Institute for Space Studies describe Rossby Waves as slow-moving waves in the ocean or atmosphere, driven from west to east by the force of Earth spinning. These are naturally occurring phenomena first recognized in 1939 by a Swedish-American meteorologist named Carl-Gustav Rossby. These waves, which are found in both the atmosphere and the oceans, are important mechanisms for the redistribution of energy around the globe. In three sections, this essay describes...

Internal Climate Variability

INTERNAL OR NATURAL climate variability refers to variations over time in one or more measures of climate, resulting from natural causes. The distinction between climate variability and weather variability is not a matter of different timescales rather, it is based on the fundamental distinction between climate and weather weather refers to meteorological conditions at a specific time and location, whereas climate refers to any statistical characterizations (such as a long-term mean) of weather...

Antarctic Circumpolar Current

THE ANTARCTIC CIRCuMPoLAR CuRRENT (ACC), also known as the West Wind Drift, is the only current that flows completely around the globe, unimpeded by continents. Famous explorers have often referenced the ACC in their navigational logs, including Edmond Halley (the first to note the ACC in a 1699-1700 voyage), James Cook, James Clark Ross, Sir Francis Drake, James Weddell. The ACC is notably the roughest sea crossing for navigators, particularly the 497 mi. (800 km.) wide Drake Passage extending...

Pliocene era

The pliocene epoch is the uppermost subdivision of the Tertiary period (65.5 to 2.588 million years ago), and represents a geological stage from about 1.806 to 5.332 million years ago. Although the Pliocene was generally warmer than the present, this epoch is characterized by pronounced climatic oscillations that ultimately led to the characteristic cooling of the late Quaternary glacial-interglacial cycles. Pliocene climate data are inferred from oxygen isotope, dust, microfossil, and in some...

International union of Geodesy and geophysics IuGG

THE international union of Geodesy and Geophysics (IUGG) was established in 1919 as a nongovernmental organization. Original members were Australia, Belgium, Canada, France, Japan, Portugal, the United Kingdom, and the United States. It is based at the University of Colorado in Boulder, Colorado, and is also known by its French name, Union G od sique et G ophysique Internationale. Geodesy and geophysics refer to the study of the sciences of the Earth and its position in space. Individual fields...

Climatic Data proxy Records

CLIMATE SCIENTISTS would prefer to have all climate change information recorded by weather instruments, but suitable instrumentation was practically nonexistent before the 19th century. As a result, investigators of longer-term (paleoclimatic) climate changes rely on datable noninstrumental information. Climate scientists refer to noninstrumental records as proxy records, because they are substitutes for direct measurements taken by instruments. There are four principle proxy record sources...

History Of Oil Consumption

American and British engineers led the way in searching for new deposits of oil around the world, a process that rapidly accelerated around 1900. By then it had become obvious, to engineers at least, that oil was a safer (on average), cleaner, and smoother form of energy than that produced by coal. Big Coal remained dominant at the start of the 20th century, and most Americans continued to heat their homes with coal well into the 1930s, but those who switched over to oil found it cheaper,...

Troposphere

On THE BAsis of thermal characteristics, the atmosphere is normally subdivided into four major vertical layers the troposphere, stratosphere, mesosphere, and thermosphere. The troposphere makes up the lowest of these layers, extending from the surface to a global average height of 7.5 mi. (12 km.). Coined in 1908 by French scientist Leon Philippe Teisserenc de Bort, the name troposphere is derived from the Greek word tropos, meaning to turn, mix, or change. The term aptly describes the...

List of Contributors

Akter, Farhana King's College, London Allmon, Warren D. Paleontological Research Institute Andronova, Natasha University of Michigan U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Backe, Andrew S. National Science Foundation Ballabrera, Joaquim Institut de Ciencies del Mar Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Cient ficas Bardecki, Michal J. Ryerson University Berhe, Asmeret Asefaw University of California, Berkeley Bevington, Douglas Loyd University of California, Santa Cruz Boersma, P. Dee...

Equatorial Countercurrent

Equatorial countercurrents are major surface flows that carry water eastward in the Atlantic, Indian, and Pacific Oceans. They are located near the equator and are sandwiched between two westward-flowing currents, the North Equatorial Current and the South Equatorial Current. Equatorial counter-currents are unique, in that they flow in the opposite direction of the surface winds. The other major surface currents in the tropics flow in the same direction as the prevailing winds. The equatorial...

San Marino

THE LAND-LocKED REPuBLic, entirely surrounded by Italy, has a land area of 23.5 sq. mi. (61 sq. km.), with a population of 31,000 (2006 est.) and a population density of 1,198 people per sq. mi. (461 people per sq. km.), the 20th highest density in the world. It is a very prosperous country, with gross domestic product per capita being US 34,600. As a result, it makes heavy use of electricity air conditioning in the hot summers and heating for the winter, as well as regular domestic and...

Carbon Footprint

A CARBON FOOTpRINT is defined as the total amount of carbon dioxide (CO2) and other greenhouse gases such as methane (CH4), nitrous oxide (N2O), hydro-fluorocarbons (HFCs), perfluorocarbons (PFCs), and sulfur hexafluoride (SF6) emitted directly and indirectly to support human activities such as the burning of fossil fuels, deforestation, livestock raising, and agricultural production. Calculating a carbon footprint is a tool for understanding the amount of global warming gases everyday...

Convection

Currents moving in fluids are convection. More specifically, fluids liquids, gases, and rheids undergo movements as convection currents. Convection plays a major role in heat transfers. In fluids, both movement of mass in the fluid, and the heat it contains, occurs in a random way, if Brownian motion occurs. However, in the process of advection, large motions develop in the fluid, which move not only its mass, but also the energy it contains. Convection means the transfer of mass and heat by...

Central African Republic

A former French colony in central Africa, the Central African Republic is entirely landlocked and has an area of 240,534 sq. mi. (622,984 sq. km.), with a population of 4,216,666 (2007 est.), and a population density of 17.5 people per sq. mi. (6.8 people per sq. km.). The country is poor, with 3 percent of the land arable, and a further 5 percent used for meadows and pasture. In spite of this, many of the desperately poor people in the country survive through subsistence farming. Some 64...

Colorado Climate Center

The COLORADO Climate Center (CCC) is part of the Department of Atmospheric Science in the College of Engineering at Colorado State University. The aim of the center is to assist the state of Colorado in monitoring climate change over time, ranging from weeks to years. The CCC provides climate-related services to business, government, industry, researchers, educators, and the general public. The center tries to understand the complex interactions between the atmosphere, oceans, continental...

Somalia

Located in northeast Africa the Horn of Africa Somalia has a land area of 246,201 sq. mi. (637,657 sq. km.), with a population of 8,699,000 (2006 est.) and a population density of 34 people per sq. mi. (13 people per sq. km.). About 80 percent of the population is dependent on agriculture, though only 2 percent of the land is arable, with a further 69 percent used for meadows or pasture, mainly low-intensity grazing of cattle, goats, and pigs. Some 14 percent of the land is forested. Because...

Atmosphere Climate and environment Information Programme uk

IN Response To rising concerns about climate change and global warming at the end of the 20th century, the government of the United Kingdom created the Atmosphere, Climate, and Environmental Information Programme (ACE) as the academic arm of the Atmospheric Research and Information Centre (ARIC). Operating under the auspices of the Department for Environment, Food, and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) and supported by the Department of the Environment, Transport, and Regions (DETR), ACE was established in...

Department of State uS

THE AREAS OF responsibility of the Department of State are the United States' foreign policy. Also, how foreign policy may impact U.S. security. Therefore, its interests in global warming and climate change are only to the degree that these phenomena may affect international policy or national security. According to a June 2007 Report to Congress, called The Senator Paul Simon Water for the Poor Act 2005 (P. L. 109-121), Climate variability is a measure of the degree to which rainfall and...

Jurassic

THE JURASSIC PERIOD extended from about 199 million years ago to 145 million years ago. This geological time period constitutes the middle of the Mesozoic era, also known as the Age of Dinosaurs. The start of the period is marked by the major Triassic-Jurassic extinction event. This period was named by Alexandre Brogniart for the extensive marine limestone exposures of the Jura Mountains, in the region where Germany, France and Switzerland meet. During the early Jurassic, the supercontinent...

Nongovernmental Organizations NGOs

NONGOVERNMENTAL ORGANIZATIONS (NGOS), while a comparatively modern phenomenon, have existed in the form of charitable organizations or political associations since the 18th century. During the 18th and 19th centuries, many people formed specific, community-based organizations, designed to meet specific community needs, or to advance particular policies. The issues targeted by these groups were broad in scope and included women's rights, the status of the poor, local government reform issues,...

Perfluorocarbons

The perfluorocarbons are a group of chemically related greenhouse gases covered by the Kyoto Protocol. Although emissions of perfluorocarbons are low compared to many other pollutants, they are of great concern because the perfluorocarbons are extremely powerful greenhouse gases with very long atmospheric lifetimes. Furthermore, the release of man-made perfluorocarbons is on the rise, due to increasing aluminum and semiconductor chip manufacture. Annual releases of PFM, the most abundant...

Chamberlin Thomas C 18431928

CHAMBERLIN was an American glacial geologist and educator who, at the turn of the 20th century, challenged the generally accepted Laplacian theory that the Earth was formed by hot gases and was gradually becoming cooler. He suggested the plan-etesimal hypothesis, arguing that the planets were formed after a star passed near the Sun, pulling away material from both bodies that later condensed into the planets. Chamberlin was one of the first scientists to emphasize the role of carbon...

Radiant Energy And Ocean Current

Radiant energy from the Sun is not uniformly distributed across the globe, because the Earth is spherical. Specifically, more energy per a given surface area arrives at the tropics, where the Sun is more directly overhead, than arrives at the poles where sunlight strikes the Earth at a greater angle. This has a number of effects. Evaporation is higher in these tropical waters, thereby affecting the concentration of ions in the water. This concentration of ions, in turn, increases tropical...

Somali current

The SOMALi current can be found on the surface of the northern Indian Ocean, serving as a western boundary of this ocean. It is a movement of waters around the Indian Ocean, dispersing heat. Atmospheric circulation and ocean circulation together are the major mechanisms for global heat distribution. As atmospheric circulation defines large-scale air movements around the globe, ocean circulation refers to the patterned movement of particular waters. In summer, a southwest monsoon blows upward...

Romanticism And Conservation

Researchers and other intellectuals, including artists, began to recognize the local impacts of environmental degradation around the turn of the 19th century in the United States and Europe. For scientists, powers of observation were based on empiricism and the scientific method that were honed during the Enlightenment. Artists and intellectuals observed natural beauty and captured it in the painting, music, and literature of the Romantic period. Romanticism emerged along with the Industrial...

Glaciers retreating

There are glaciers in all areas of the globe. Most glaciers are found in the polar regions, but many of the Earth's tallest mountains also have glaciers. Glaciers go through life cycles. They have growing years, moving years, and retreating years. For glaciers to form, very specific climatic conditions are necessary. They are usually found where there is enough snowfall for a snow pack to permanently accumulate, where summers are not warm enough for all of the snow to melt. In some regions,...

Bahamas

LOCATED IN THE Caribbean, the Bahamas consists of an archipelago of more than 700 islands that cover about 100,000 sq. mi. (160,934 sq. km. ) of ocean, and a land area of only 5,378 sq. mi. (13,878 sq. km.). It has a population of 323,000 (2003 est.), with a population density of 60 people per sq. mi. (23.27 per sq. km.), although on the island of New Providence in the capital of Nassau, there are 4,402 people per sq. mi. (1,693 per sq. km.). Much of the economy of the nation comes from...

International solar Energy society IsEs

THE INTERNATIoNAL soLAR Energy Society is an international nonprofit, nongovernmental organization with a focus on the development and diffusion of renewable energy technologies. The society has 30,000 members globally from industry, research, and government there are national sections in 54 countries. The following goals are stated in the society's mandate to encourage the use and acceptance of renewable energy technologies to realize a global community of industry, individuals, and...

International Geophysical Year IGY

THE INTERNATIONAL GEOPHYSICAL Year (IGY), in French, Ann e G ophysique Internationale, took place between July 1, 1957 and December 31, 1958. The International Council for Science (ICSU) began designing it in 1952. The ICSU addresses global issues through international initiatives aimed to support scientists. A successful example of these initiatives, besides the International Geophysical Year, is the International Biological Program, which took place 1964-74. The International Geophysical Year...

Volcanism

MEMBERs of The scientific community by and large concur that the Earth is undergoing a change in climate and that global warming is occurring at an increasing rate. In fact, scientific modeling suggests that Earth will experience an increase in temperature during the next 100 years at a pace up to four times greater than that in the previous 100 years. To a large extent this acceleration in the late 20th century is attributed to carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions generated by human activity. Carbon...

Mississippi state university

Mississippi state university offers several educational options in the areas of meteorology and climatology. The Department of Geosciences offers on-campus undergraduate and graduate degrees in Geosciences, with optional emphases in broadcast meteorology, professional meteorology, climatology, geology, geography, and geographic information systems (GIS). The department also offers a distance-learning graduate degree specifically for Kindergarten-12 teachers and distance-learning certificate...

Honduras

The republic of Honduras lies in Central America, and has coastlines with the Caribbean Sea and the Pacific Ocean. Honduras has a land area of 43,278 sq. mi. (112,492 sq. km.), with a population of 7,326,496 (2006 est.), and a population density of 166 people U.S. aid workers rush food, shelter, water and medical aid to Hondurans made homeless by Hurricane Mitch in 1998. U.S. aid workers rush food, shelter, water and medical aid to Hondurans made homeless by Hurricane Mitch in 1998. the most...

Thermodynamics

THE SCIENCE OF thermodynamics, a branch of physics, aims to describe transformations in energy. Thermodynamics comprises three laws. The first holds that energy can neither be created nor destroyed. Energy in various forms may be transformed into heat (thermal energy) and heat may be transformed into another form of energy so long as the total energy in the system remains constant. The second law states that entropy, a measure of the amount of energy dissipated as heat, increases over time in a...

Arctic And SuBarctic IssuES

To strengthen the global response, CIEL's Climate Change Program focuses on impacts to people and ecosystems of the Arctic and subarctic. The program works to protect the Earth's climate system through promotion of human rights, forest conservation, and biodiversity protection. According to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, the destructive effects of climate change will not only affect the environment, but also Arctic peoples. Average annual temperatures in the Arctic have...

Advocacy and operational ngos

The World Bank differentiates between operational and advocacy NGOs, where an operational NGO focuses on the design and implementation of development-related projects, such as service delivery, and an advocacy NGO defends or promotes a specific cause. A good example of an operational NGO is that of the work of the International Medicine Corps (IMC) in Afghanistan. In this case, the IMC instituted a vaccination campaign against measles, a disease that was identified by the World Health...

Conservation And Climate Change

Knowledge about climate change has come slowly alongside the emergence of the conservation and, later, environmental movements. Differing approaches to conservation moved toward a more holistic understanding of human impact on dynamic environmental processes. For example, in an 1867 report to the Wisconsin Legislature, I.A. Lapham showed the relation of forests to stream flow. His suggestion about the need to plant more trees to protect watersheds foreshadowed the conservation movement. At...

Orbital parameters Obliquity

The earth's ORBIT and orientation around the Sun affects how solar energy is received. Obliquity is the degree of the Earth's tilt as it completes its daily rotation and yearly revolution around the Sun. It is the angle an imaginary rotational axis would make with the plane of the Earth's orbit. The axial tilt, which varies over time from 21.5 to 24.5 degrees and back again, is the reason for the seasons. A complete tilt cycle takes 41,000 years to complete. In concert with the eccentricity of...

The Keeling Curve

Charles David Keeling of California developed a device for measuring the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere in parts per million. During the Geophysical Year 1957-58, he took many readings at different locations on the surface of the Earth. These included the top of Hawaiian volcanoes that were (at the time) far from industries. He also took readings in all manner of other places and used these to construct the Keeling Curve. The Keeling Curve shows that the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere has...

The Climates Of Africa

The climate is not uniform, but rather varies by locale. From this, it follows that the continents have a multiplicity of climates. Africa, the cradle of humanity, has a Mediterranean climate in its coastland along the Mediterranean Sea. The sea imparts its heat to North Africa. But, the sea breeze does not penetrate far into Africa, making only a thin strip of coastline Mediterranean in climate. The sea absorbs heat in summer and retains this heat into autumn, radiating it to Mediterranean...

Precambrian era

The precambrian era, or Supereon, refers to the geological time comprising the eons that came before the Phanerozoic eon. This time spans from the formation of Earth around 4.5 billion years ago to the evolution of abundant macroscopic hard-shelled animals, which marked the beginning of the Cambrian era, the first period of the first era of the Phanerozoic eon. The Precambrian era encompasses 86 percent of the Earth's history, however very little is known about this time period. In fact, the...

Greenhouse effect

Human activities can disrupt the balance of the natural system that regulates the temperature on Most of Earth's heat is re-radiated toward space, but some is trapped by greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. This is a natural effect that keeps Earth's temperature at a level necessary to support life. Human activity particularly burning fossil fuels (coal, oil, and natural gas) and land clearing is generating more greenhouse gases. Scientists are convinced that this will trap more heat and raise...

Chronology

The Earth, newly formed, had the hottest climate in the planet's long history. Temperatures were hot enough to liquefy rock. Radioactive elements in Earth's core generated heat and pressure as they decayed, pushing molten rock toward Earth's surface. Volcanoes also brought molten rock to the surface, liberating heat. Volcanoes spewed carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, causing the Greenhouse Effect. As the mass of radioactive elements in Earth's core diminished, the climate cooled and the first...