May 14, 2012

What is Global Warming?

The term Global Warming refers to the gradual increase in temperature of the atmosphere and oceans on the Earth. Global warming has been detected at present, in addition to its continued growth which is projected in the future.

A review of the plot of land surface temperatures of the past 100 years, was an increase of about 0.8 ° C, and most of this increase has been in the past 30 years.

Still, most of the scientific community says there are more than 90% certainty that the increase is due to increased concentrations of greenhouse gases from human activities, including deforestation and the burning of fossil fuels like oil and coal. These conclusions are supported by the science academies of most industrialized countries.

The projections from climate models were summarized in the Fourth Report of the IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) in 2007. They indicated that global temperatures will likely continue to rise during the twenty-first century. The increase would be between 1.1 and 2.9 ° C in the lower emissions scenario, and between 2.4 and 6.4 º C in higher emissions.

An increase in global temperatures will result in changes as already being observed worldwide. These changes are:

  • Rising sea levels
  • Changes in the pattern and amount of precipitation
  • Expansion of subtropical deserts

The temperature increase is expected to be greater at the poles, especially in the Arctic and will see a retreat of glaciers, permafrost and ice in the seas.

Other effects include more frequent extreme weather, including droughts, heat waves and heavy precipitation. Extinctions are expected due to temperature changes and variations in the crop yield.

Experts hypothesize that if the increase in global average temperature is higher at 4° C compared to preindustrial temperatures in many parts of the world, the natural systems can not adapt and therefore can not support their surrounding populations. In short, there will be no natural resources to sustain human life.

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