Largescale Salinity Changes

According to the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, tropical ocean waters have become much saltier over the past 40 years, while the polar waters have become much fresher. In addition to this, there is increased warming at Earth's surface, which has increased evaporation over the low-latitude (equatorial) oceans. When water is evaporated, it picks up freshwater, leaving the salt behind. Carried by Earth's circulation patterns, the freshwater moves toward the polar regions where it is...

Hurricanes And Global Warming

A hurricane is an intense tropical storm in which sustained wind speed exceeds 74 miles (119 km) per hour. According to the 2007 Fourth Assessment Report of the IPCC, it is more likely than not (meaning better-than-even odds) that there is a human contribution to the observed trend in the rise of hurricane intensity since the 1970s. The IPCC states that it is likely (more than 67 percent odds) that future tropical cyclones (hurricanes) will become more intense, with larger peak wind speeds and...

Hurricane Katrina And Global Warming

Hurricane Katrina struck Louisiana and Mississippi and other southeastern states in 2005 and wreaked so much havoc and destruction on those areas of the United States that many people have been looking at global warming and wondering if that was the cause. deep within minutes, and continued rising until it was more than 13.5 feet (4 m) deep. An anemometer in Massachusetts recorded sustained wind speeds of 121 miles (195 km) per hour. This reading holds the record today as the second-highest...

Global Warming As A Trigger

Alley, a professor of geosciences at Pennsylvania State University and an associate at Earth System Science Center at Pennsylvania State University, in an article in Scientific American, Humans are pushing certain aspects of climate closer to the thresholds that could unleash sudden changes in climate . If global warming triggers climate change, humans will be presented with many challenges. Although it is true that some regions will become more habitable with warmer...

The Milankovitch Cycles

Earth's orbit does not remain fixed it varies over time. Major contributing factors to ice ages are these natural variations that occur between the Earth-Sun relationship. There are three natural cycles that have an effect on Earth's climate. The cycles have to do with Earth's axial tilt, its elliptical orbit around the Sun, and its wobble, or precession (the direction the North Pole points). These orbital parameters have cyclic occurrences (periodicities) that range from 22,000 to 100,000...