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WARMING PowerPoint Presentation

WARMING

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WARMING

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    2. Throughout its long history, Earth has warmed and cooled time and again. Climate has changed when the planet received more or less sunlight due to subtle shifts in its orbit, as the atmosphere or surface changed, or when the Suns energy varied. But in the past century, another force has started to influence Earths climate: humanity Throughout its long history, Earth has warmed and cooled time and again. Climate has changed when the planet received more or less sunlight due to subtle shifts in its orbit, as the atmosphere or surface changed, or when the Suns energy varied. But in the past century, another force has started to influence Earths climate: humanity

    3. Global warming is the unusually rapid increase in Earths average surface temperature over the past century primarily due to the greenhouse gases released by people burning fossil fuels. Global warming is the unusually rapid increase in Earths average surface temperature over the past century primarily due to the greenhouse gases released by people burning fossil fuels.

    4. Earth has experienced climate change in the past without help from humanity. But the current climatic warming is occurring much more rapidly than past warming events. Earth has experienced climate change in the past without help from humanity. But the current climatic warming is occurring much more rapidly than past warming events.

    5. In Earths history before the Industrial Revolution, Earths climate changed due to natural causes unrelated to human activity. These natural causes are still in play today, but their influence is too small or they occur too slowly to explain the rapid warming seen in recent decades. In Earths history before the Industrial Revolution, Earths climate changed due to natural causes unrelated to human activity. These natural causes are still in play today, but their influence is too small or they occur too slowly to explain the rapid warming seen in recent decades.

    6. Models predict that as the world consumes ever more fossil fuel, greenhouse gas concentrations will continue to rise, and Earths average surface temperature will rise with them. Based on plausible emission scenarios, average surface temperatures could rise between 2C and 6C by the end of the 21st century. Some of this warming will occur even if future greenhouse gas emissions are reduced, because the Earth system has not yet fully adjusted to environmental changes we have already made. Models predict that as the world consumes ever more fossil fuel, greenhouse gas concentrations will continue to rise, and Earths average surface temperature will rise with them. Based on plausible emission scenarios, average surface temperatures could rise between 2C and 6C by the end of the 21st century. Some of this warming will occur even if future greenhouse gas emissions are reduced, because the Earth system has not yet fully adjusted to environmental changes we have already made.

    7. The impact of global warming is far greater than just increasing temperatures. Warming modifies rainfall patterns, amplifies coastal erosion, lengthens the growing season in some regions, melts ice caps and glaciers, and alters the ranges of some infectious diseases. Some of these changes are already occurring. The impact of global warming is far greater than just increasing temperatures. Warming modifies rainfall patterns, amplifies coastal erosion, lengthens the growing season in some regions, melts ice caps and glaciers, and alters the ranges of some infectious diseases. Some of these changes are already occurring.

    8. Earths temperature begins with the Sun. Roughly 30 percent of incoming sunlight is reflected back into space by bright surfaces like clouds and ice. Of the remaining 70 percent, most is absorbed by the land and ocean, and the rest is absorbed by the atmosphere. The absorbed solar energy heats our planet. As the rocks, the air, and the seas warm, they radiate heat energy (thermal infrared radiation). From the surface, this energy travels into the atmosphere where much of it is absorbed by water vapor and long-lived greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide and methane. When they absorb the energy radiating from Earths surface, microscopic water or greenhouse gas molecules turn into tiny heaters like the bricks in a fireplace, they radiate heat even after the fire goes out. They radiate in all directions. The energy that radiates back toward Earth heats both the lower atmosphere and the surface, enhancing the heating they get from direct sunlight. Earths temperature begins with the Sun. Roughly 30 percent of incoming sunlight is reflected back into space by bright surfaces like clouds and ice. Of the remaining 70 percent, most is absorbed by the land and ocean, and the rest is absorbed by the atmosphere. The absorbed solar energy heats our planet. As the rocks, the air, and the seas warm, they radiate heat energy (thermal infrared radiation). From the surface, this energy travels into the atmosphere where much of it is absorbed by water vapor and long-lived greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide and methane. When they absorb the energy radiating from Earths surface, microscopic water or greenhouse gas molecules turn into tiny heaters like the bricks in a fireplace, they radiate heat even after the fire goes out. They radiate in all directions. The energy that radiates back toward Earth heats both the lower atmosphere and the surface, enhancing the heating they get from direct sunlight.

    9. What has scientists concerned now is that over the past 250 years, humans have been artificially raising the concentration of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere at an ever-increasing rate, mostly by burning fossil fuels, but also from cutting down carbon-absorbing forests. Since the Industrial Revolution began in about 1750, carbon dioxide levels have increased nearly 38 percent as of 2009 and methane levels have increased 148 percent. The atmosphere today contains more greenhouse gas molecules, so more of the infrared energy emitted by the surface ends up being absorbed by the atmosphere. Since some of the extra energy from a warmer atmosphere radiates back down to the surface, Earths surface temperature rises. By increasing the concentration of greenhouse gases, we are making Earths atmosphere a more efficient greenhouse. What has scientists concerned now is that over the past 250 years, humans have been artificially raising the concentration of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere at an ever-increasing rate, mostly by burning fossil fuels, but also from cutting down carbon-absorbing forests. Since the Industrial Revolution began in about 1750, carbon dioxide levels have increased nearly 38 percent as of 2009 and methane levels have increased 148 percent. The atmosphere today contains more greenhouse gas molecules, so more of the infrared energy emitted by the surface ends up being absorbed by the atmosphere. Since some of the extra energy from a warmer atmosphere radiates back down to the surface, Earths surface temperature rises. By increasing the concentration of greenhouse gases, we are making Earths atmosphere a more efficient greenhouse.