Human survival – We can not survive without the forests, the oceans, the coral reefs, the marine fish, the algae, the insects that make up the living world around us.
1.What is Global Warming ?
Temperatures on Earth are livable because of natural process called as “Greenhouse Effect”. When the sun’s radiation reaches our atmosphere,some is reflected back into space and some passes through and is absorbed by Earth.This causes the surface of the Earth to warm up.Heat from the Earth is radiated outward and absorbed by “Greenhouse Gases” in the atmosphere.This process prevents heat from disappearing into space and keeps the Earth warm enough to sustain life.Some human activities (primarily the burning of fossil fuels) intensify the warming effect by releasing additional greenhouse gases into the atmosphere.
These gases include carbon dioxide,methane and nitrous oxide.They come from varying sources and have different heat trapping capacities.
2.Global Warming Effects as a whole is shown below in the map.
click to enlarge
Image courtesy: National Geographic
3.One of the reasons for Global Warming:
70% of the Earth is covered by oceans and oceans have major role to play in Global Warming.
Oceans’ uptake of global CO2 emissions has halved in the last decade:
British researchers from the University of East Anglia have found in a new study that the amount of carbon dioxide being absorbed by the world’s oceans has halved in the last decade.The researchers gauged CO2 absorption through more than 90,000 measurements from merchant ships equipped with automatic instruments.The result of their 10-year study in the North Atlantic showed that CO2 uptake had halved between the mid-90s and 2000 to 2005.The findings assume significance as the ocean’s ability to soak up less of the greenhouse could worsen the global warming scenario.The saturation of the oceans would leave all our emissions to warm the atmosphere.Of all the CO2 emitted into the atmosphere, only half of it stays there; the rest goes into carbon sinks.There are two major natural carbon sinks: the oceans and the land “biosphere”. They are equivalent in size and absorb a quarter of all CO2 emissions each.
4.Rising sea levels threatens inundating 21 major cities:
Rising sea levels as a result of global warming threatens inundating 21 major cities, including Mumbai and Karachi, a new report by the WorldWatch institute has revealed. Other cities in the highly vulnerable risk category include New York, Los Angeles, Tokyo, Bangkok, Jakarta, Buenos Aires, Rio de Janeiro, Shanghai and Cairo, the ‘State of the World 2007: Our Urban Future’ report said.In the last century, oceans rose by between nine and 20 cms, which could increase up to 88 cms by 2100.
5.Tigers escape Sunderbans due to rising sea levels:
The Sunderbans (in India) are one of the world’s largest tiger habitats and over centuries. Thanks to climate change, to escape rising sea levels, experts believe that the tigers are migrating northwards in large numbers.“With rising waters the tigers are shifting northwards. And this is going to create problems,” says former field director of Sunderbans National Park Dr Sanyal.
Image Source: Kolkatabirds
News Source: ibnlive
6.Melting ice displaces walruses in the Russian Arctic:
Chukotka Peninsula, Russia – Some 40,000 walruses have appeared on the northwestern coast of the Russian Arctic, a phenomenon that scientists believe is a result of global warming melting Arctic sea ice.According to WWF, this is the largest walrus haul out — areas where walruses rest when they are out of the water — registered in the Russian Arctic.
Unlike seals, walruses cannot swim indefinitely and must rest, often on sea ice, after foraging.
7.Global warming = mass extinctions:
Climate change could cause a mass extinction in the near future, UK scientists are warning. Their research found global biodiversity was relatively low during warm greenhouse periods and that in these periods extinctions have been relatively high. Of five previous mass extinctions, four correlated with increased temperatures.In fact, if temperatures predicted for the next few centuries do come to pass over 50% of animal and plant species could be put to the climate sword.
News Source: The Great Beyond
8.Global warming leads the US Coast Guard into the Arctic:
The US Coast Guard plans to establish a base in the Arctic, to respond to the cruise ships and tankers that are already starting to travel there. The base will probably be established near the US’ northernmost town of Barrow, Alaska. Small at first, the base would be expanded as necessary, to help speed responses to oil spills from tankers, and emergencies involving cruise ships. The Coast Guard has also begun discussions with the Russians about controlling anticipated ship traffic through the Bering Strait. Coast Guard commandant Admiral Thad Allen declined to discuss the scientific issues related to global warming. But environmentalists have expressed some relief that the service will help protect the fragile environment.
OldSailor feels that we must act towards handing over a safe world to the coming generations.
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