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What are the major gases in the atmosphere?
- others - mostly argon & carbon dioxide
What are the major greenhouse gases and how does the Greenhouse Effect work?
- -carbon dioxide
- -water vapor
- -nitrous oxides
heat gets trapped in the lower atmosphere by the absorption of infrared energy by the gases listed above
What is global warming?
The increase in the mean annual temperature of the lower atmosphere and oceans in the past 50 years, primarily as a consequence of burning fossil fuels that emit greenhouse gases into the atmosphere.
Why does the historic temperature of the last 800,000 years give critics a reason to say there is not human induced global warming?
it really doesn't, but.... they say we are going in and out of ice ages except the last 100 years are way up, especially with co2 levels
Why do we think that there is human induced global warming?
- climate trend of the last decade
- climate trend of last year
- rate of change
How do ocean currents impact the climate?
- heat is distributed from the equator to the poles
- example: if gulf stream was halted then europe would plunge into an ice age
How hot has the planet gotten in the last few centuries / what are the major trends?
- average global temp increased about 1 degree F in the last 100 years
- due to human induced greenhouse gases, mainly co2
- this is average temp and quite an increase, 1700x faster than in the last 10,000 years
What are some of the consequences of global warming?
- heavier precipitation
- more intense and longer droughts
- rising sea level
- melting of arctic ice cap
- increased ocean acidity - coral reefs destroyed
- species extinction
Have we started to see some effects of global warming? if so - which ones?
- even here in austin we are in drought
- nyc subway tunnels flooded
What can be done about this on a global, local, and individual level?
- endorse and increase kyoto treaty provisions
- orbit sunscreens
- plant fast-growing forests fast
- carbon sequestration
- stop the use of wood and fossil fuels
- carbon tax on carbon emissions
- reduce consumption of unnecessary goods
What is the kyoto treaty and what does it propose?
an international agreement to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases, especially carbon dioxide
Which major nation is not joining the world in trying to combat global warming via the kyoto treaty and why?
- the united states
- energy plan that would comply was killed in senate in 2010 when filibuster was used to stop legislation by fossil fuel companies, etc.
Which country produces the most carbon dioxide - total and per capita?
- china just passed us
- 10 tons per capita in west
What are some solutions to this threat?
respond ANYWAY means loss of some funds, freedom from foreign oil influences, new technology/jobs, cleaner, sustainable planet, improved civilization