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Effect of Increasing CO2

Science is about using observation and reason to understand the physical world. Here are some of the latest observations showing how increasing greenhouse gases are changing the Earth. https://www.sealevel.info/co2.html

CO2: Man is now putting about 30 billion tons of carbon dioxide into the air each year. About half of it dissolves in the ocean, making them 20% more acidic, and the rest increases the concentration in the air.

  CO2: Man is now putting about 30 billion tons of carbon dioxide into the air each year. About half of it dissolves in the ocean, making them 20% more acidic, and the rest increases the concentration in the air.

Temperature: CO2 is one of the greenhouse gases that warm the Earth, and NASA’s graph shows how its increase is changing the Earth’s temperature:

.                            NASA GISS Data.

The Sun: The current global warming is often wrongly attributed to an increase in intensity of the sun. The sunspot activity does not show up above the noise in the temperature record above – and the solar irradiance increased slightly until 1960 and has declined slightly since then.

Arctic Ice: Many of the changes in the Earth are subtle but this NASA picture clearly shows  how the Earth is changing:

Arctic ice:  The next two graphs show quantitatively how both the extent and the volume of the Arctic ice is changing.

Arctic ice volume at each years minimum.

Antarctica: Research by Steig and by O’Donnell  show that Antarctica is warming. The warmer oceans result in more snowfall which increases the inland glacier mass, but the erosion of ice by the warmer oceans is causing an overall loss of ice mass.

Antarctic ice mass from GRACE satellite data.

Antarctic ice mass from GRACE satellite data.

Greenland: The Greenland ice sheets are also beginning to decline.

Ocean Level Rise: The melting ice sheets, melting glaciers, and thermal expansion are causing the oceans to rise by about 3 mm per year which, though it seems small, amounts to an increase in ocean volume of 1190 cubic kilometers/yr.

Rise in Sea Level.

Severe Weather: Warmer temperatures increase both the rate of evaporation and the energy and moisture in the air. This has doubled the incidence of severe weather, floods, droughts, and wildfires.

Permission Courtesy of Munich Re.

Permission Courtesy of Munich Re.

Economic Costs: Large insurance companies such as Suisse Re now consider global warming a risk factor as there has been a fivefold increase in billion-dollar weather events in the last 30 years.

Droughts: The Palmer Drought Index below includes most of the continental areas used for food production. Zero represents average rainfall and -4 represents extreme drought. Since 1980, drought conditions have grown worse worldwide, and no one disputes the effect of droughts on food production.

Food Production: The increasing CO2, temperatures, and droughts are expected to decrease food production worldwide.

Figure-28

Extreme Temperatures: Climate scientists now have enough data and computing power to estimate the probability of extreme weather events. The figure below, from a paper by Hansen et. al.,shows how the distributuion of temperature have varied over the past 60 years. Extremely hot temperatures, those over 3 standard deviations from the mean,  are now over 20 times as probable as for the 1950 – 1980 period and 10 times as probable as for the 1980 – 2010 average.  That means that extreme temperatures that affected less than 1% of the landmass in 1980, now affect almost 10% of the landmass annually.

Note: This was posted on 08/31/2011 and updated on 04/03/2012,08/11/2012, and 02/12/2013. It was reposted on 08/27/2021.

(c) 2011  J.C. Moore

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Science, Climate Change, and the Greenhouse EffectDecember 13, 2010In “Climate Change”

Tags: Acidic OceansAntarctica iceBillion-dollar weather eventsClimate ChangeCO2droughtsextreme temperature probabilities.global WarmingGreenhouse Effectice-agesjames-hansenKeeling CurveMunich ReNASA’s temperature graphOcean level risePalmer Drought Indexpolar ice meltingSolar irradianceSunsunspot activity

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