http://climate.nasa.gov/ GLOBAL WARMING: CAUSES AND MEASUREMENTS The atmosphere has four distinct zones of contrasting temperature. Wavelengths of Light Carbon Cycle Gas levels measured from ice cores in the north and south pole areas Annual Mean Temperature Anomalies 1901-2003 NASA: Changes in physical and biological systems and surface temps 1970-2004 Note greater changes over land than oceans. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's (NOAA) 2005 State of the Climate Report •Since 1880, the average surface temperature has warmed by about 1.5 ºF. •Since the mid 1970s, the average surface temperature has warmed about 1 ºF. •The 6 warmest years since 1880 have been: 1998, 2002, 2003, 2005 (warmest), 2006, 2009. •http://www.nasa.gov/multimedia/nasatv/on_demand_video.html?param=http://anon.nasa-global.edgesuite.net/anon.nasaglobal/ccvideos/GSFC_20100121_GlobalTempAvg.asx&_id=221087&_title=Global%20Temperature%20Increase&_tnimage=418330_m ain_1_418330mainenus_2008temp100x75.jpg NASA: Changes in temperature, sea level and Northern Hemisphere snow cover 2005 Temperature Anomalies Hottest Year on Record Observed changes in climate and their effects 1. In land ecosystems, earlier spring events and shifts in plant and animal ranges. 2. earlier spring planting of crops, and 3. increased disturbance of forests due to fires and pests 4. Impacts to human health, such as heat-related mortality 5. changes in infectious disease vectors (insects + animals) 6. allergenic pollen in Northern Hemisphere high and mid-latitudes Costs of catastrophic weather events have shown a rapid upward trend in recent decades. Global warming harbinger Droughts and fires Scorched Earth: impacts and implications of the 1998 fire disaster in North and Central America. Mexico Worst fire season ever, 1998. 1.25 million acres burned during a severe drought. Smoke reaching Texas triggered a statewide health alert. Eastern USA Driest growing season on record, 1999 in 4 states. The period from April-July 1999 was the driest in 105 years of record-keeping in New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland, and Rhode Island. Agricultural disaster areas were declared in fifteen states, with losses in West Virginia alone expected to exceed $80 million. Reference: NOAA, 1999. Following the Atlantic hurricane season of 2005, which set a record with 27 named storms, a great deal of attention has focused on the relationship between hurricanes and global warming. Destructiveness Increases Quickly with Sea Temperature The graph above shows the first statistical estimate of the impact of global warming on Atlantic hurricanes in the years 2002--2004. N. Atlantic sea temperatures have risen by 0.5° C Data show Greenland and Antartica lost 36 - 60 cubic miles of ice/ year 2002-2006 Flowing meltwater from the Greenland ice sheet Since 1978 annual average Arctic sea ice extent has shrunk by 2.1 to 3.3% per decade, with larger decreases in summer of 5.0 to 9.8% per decade. Glaciers are retreating almost everywhere around the world — including in the Alps, Himalayas, Andes, Rockies, Alaska and Africa.12 The disappearing snowcap of Mt Kilimanjaro, from space. Photographs 1913 (left) and 2005 (right). Shepard Glacier in Glacier NP, Montana. There were 150 glaciers in 1850, but today only 27 persist. Carbon Dioxide contributes about 2/3 of Global Warming Gases CO2 Emissions by Country CO2 Emissions Comparing 1st and 3rd World Countries CO2 Emissions by Source: Coal burning = #1, Cars = #2 US citizens use more energy than all others US energy use by type of energy Global Warming Potentials: Different Gases Absorb Sun Energy More, OR Remain in the Atmosphere Longer, Adding to the Greenhouse Effect.