If you measure global warming from that year onward, you get a distorted picture the overall trend, said Penn State climatologist Richard Alley. The trend over decades is what we should focus on. The oceans have warmed by about. How much greenhouse gas-related heating goes into the ocean depends on currents known as El Nino and La Nina, he said. Those currents affect the surface temperatures of the oceans, with warmer water coming to the surface during the El Nino phase. In , El Nino switched to La Nina.
That shift caused cooler water to come to the surface and allowed the oceans to absorb heat — like a big sponge. During the years since, the measured air temperature rise has flattened. Some people have used that trend to argue that global warming has stopped. The currents have tended to oscillate, said Alley, so eventually the oceans will switch back to the El Nino pattern, after which that warmer water will come back to the surface and force more heat to go into the atmosphere.
Indeed it was back in the s that French mathematician Joseph Fourier realized that our planet should be frozen considering it orbits at a distance of 93 million miles from the sun. Irish scientist John Tyndall backed the theory with laboratory experiments. For example, farmers might shift from their How do we know the climate is changing?
The scientific community is certain that the Earth's climate is changing because of the trends that we see in the instrumented climate record and the changes that have been observed in physical and biological systems. The instrumental record of climate change is derived from thousands of temperature and precipitation recording stations around the Will global warming produce more frequent and more intense wildfires?
Hot, dry conditions, however, do not automatically mean fire—something needs to create the How does carbon get into the atmosphere? Atmospheric carbon dioxide comes from two primary sources—natural and human activities. Natural sources of carbon dioxide include most animals, which exhale carbon dioxide as a waste product. Human activities that lead to carbon dioxide emissions come primarily from energy production, including burning coal, oil, or natural gas. How much carbon dioxide does the United States and the World emit each year from energy sources?
Energy Information Administration estimates that in , the United States emitted 5. Filter Total Items: Ostroff, Andrea C. View Citation.
Greenhouse: questions and answers
Ostroff, A. Geological Survey Circular , 24 p. Year Published: Ecosystem vulnerability to climate change in the southeastern United States Two recent investigations of climate-change vulnerability for 19 terrestrial, aquatic, riparian, and coastal ecosystems of the southeastern United States have identified a number of important considerations, including potential for changes in hydrology, disturbance regimes, and interspecies interactions. Cartwright, Jennifer M.
Cartwright, J. Geological Survey Fact Sheet —, 4 p. Geological Survey Fact Sheet , 2 p. Year Published: Landsat surface reflectance data Landsat satellite data have been produced, archived, and distributed by the U. Geological Survey, , Landsat surface reflectance data ver. Geological Survey Fact Sheet , 1 p.
Flint, Paul L.
What Is Global Warming?
Year Published: Remote sensing of land surface phenology Remote sensing of land-surface phenology is an important method for studying the patterns of plant and animal growth cycles. Meier, G. Remote sensing of land surface phenology; ; FS; ; Meier, G. Year Published: Delivering climate science about the Nation's fish, wildlife, and ecosystems: the U. Delivering climate science about the Nation's fish, wildlife, and ecosystems: the U. Year Published: The U. Geological Survey Climate Geo Data Portal: an integrated broker for climate and geospatial data The increasing availability of downscaled climate projections and other data products that summarize or predict climate conditions, is making climate data use more common in research and management.
Blodgett, David L. Year Published: Changing Arctic ecosystems - measuring and forecasting the response of Alaska's terrestrial ecosystem to a warming climate The Arctic Coastal Plain of northern Alaska is a complex landscape of lakes, streams, and wetlands scattered across low relief tundra that is underlain by permafrost.
kundsmaracmunlehn.cf Pearce, John M. Attribution: Alaska Science Center , Ecosystems. Year Published: Polar bear and walrus response to the rapid decline in Arctic sea ice The Arctic is warming faster than other regions of the world due to positive climate feedbacks associated with loss of snow and ice. Oakley, Karen L. Polar bear and walrus response to the rapid decline in Arctic sea ice; ; FS; ; Oakley, K.
Assessing carbon stocks, carbon sequestration, and greenhouse-gas fluxes in ecosystems of the United States under present conditions and future scenarios; ; FS; ; Zhu, Zhiliang; Stackpoole, Sarah. Date published: October 17, Date published: January 25, Date published: November 2, Date published: July 22, Date published: October 26, Attribution: Water Resources.
Date published: April 8, Attribution: Climate Adaptation Science Centers. Date published: December 4, Attribution: Core Science Systems. Date published: October 24, The current CH4 concentration is more than double that value, approximately ppb. The increasing concentration of CO2 is caused by the burning of fossil fuels such as oil, gas and coal , and the destruction of forests.
These activities release large amounts of CO2 into the atmosphere. The main natural source of CH4 is from wetlands. A variety of other sources of CH4 result directly or indirectly from human activities, for example from ruminant animals, rice paddies, leakage from natural gas pipelines, and from the decay of rubbish in landfill sites. However, CH4 growth rates have declined since the s, potentially due to reduced gas pipeline leaks and the drying of wetlands.
Increased amounts of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere will absorb more thermal radiation, and the Earth's surface and the lower atmosphere will warm. This extra warming is called the enhanced greenhouse effect. The ultimate objective of the Convention is:. The Kyoto Protocol commits us to returning our emissions of greenhouse gases back to levels, on average, over Important contributions that can be made by ordinary individuals are:.
The greenhouse effect is a warming of the earth's surface and lower atmosphere caused by substances such as carbon dioxide and water vapour which let the sun's energy through to the ground but impede the passage of energy from the earth back into space.
Energy emitted from the sun "solar radiation" is concentrated in a region of short wavelengths including visible light. Much of the short wave solar radiation travels down through the Earth's atmosphere to the surface virtually unimpeded.
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Some of the solar radiation is reflected straight back into space by clouds and by the earth's surface. Much of the solar radiation is absorbed at the earth's surface, causing the surface and the lower parts of the atmosphere to warm. The warmed Earth emits radiation upwards, just as a hot stove or bar heater radiates energy. The presence of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, however, changes the radiation balance.
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Heat radiation infra-red emitted by the Earth is concentrated at long wavelengths and is strongly absorbed by greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, such as water vapour, carbon dioxide and methane. This is called the natural greenhouse effect. If extra amounts of greenhouse gases are added to the atmosphere, such as from human activities, then they will absorb more of the infra-red radiation. The Earth's surface and the lower atmosphere will warm further until a balance of incoming and outgoing radiation is reached again the emission of infra-red radiation increases as the temperature of the emitting body rises.
Methane is a so-called greenhouse gas. Greenhouse gases impact the environment through warming the atmosphere. The concentration of greenhouse gases has risen significantly in the past years, in part due to human activities.
One of the biggest contributors to the atmospheric methane concentration is farmed livestock, especially cattle and sheep. These animals produce methane naturally as part of their digestive process, and belch it, especially while 'chewing the cud'. As the human population has grown, the number of farmed animals has increased markedly to meet the human demand for food through meat and dairy products.