The Effects of Global Warming

Topics: Global warming, Climate change, Climate Pages: 20 (4451 words) Published: June 14, 2012

The Effects of Global Warming

The Effects of Global Warming


We would like to thank Dr M.G. Prasuna, Head- Languages Group, BITS-Pilani Hyderabad Campus for giving us an opportunity of preparing a group report on ‘The Effects of Global Warming’ as an evaluation component for the course Technical Report Writing (TA C312). It would not have been possible to prepare it within the stipulated time without her unwavering guidance and support.

Section 2, Group 4, Technical Report Writing

1. Introduction
Look closely and you will see the effects of climate change. Scientists have documented climate induced changes in some 100 physical and 450 biological processes. In the Russian Arctic, higher temperatures are melting the permafrost, causing the foundations of five story apartment buildings to slump. Worldwide, the rain, when it falls, is often more intense. Floods and storms are more severe and heat waves are becoming more extreme. Rivers freeze later in the winter and melt earlier. Trees flower earlier in spring, insects emerge faster and birds lay eggs sooner. Glaciers are melting. The global mean sea level is rising. Even if we reduce our greenhouse gas emissions dramatically today, these trends will continue for decades or centuries to come. The rate of climate change expected over the next 100 years is unprecedented in human history. Throughout geologic time the average global temperature has usually varied by 5° Celsius over intervals of millions of years. Now scientists believe that the temperature of the Earth’s surface – which has already risen by 0.6°C since the late1800s – is likely to increase by another 1.4 to 5.8°Cduring the course of the 21st century. Such an unusually rapid rate of change would affect fundamental Earth systems upon which our very lives depend – including ocean circulation and the hydrological, carbon and nutrient cycles. It would disrupt the natural and managed ecosystems that provide us with water, food and fiber. It would add to existing environmental stresses such as desertification, declining water quality, stratospheric ozone depletion, urban air pollution and deforestation. Researchers have been investing a great deal of effort in analyzing how climate change will influence the natural environment and human society. The cause-and effect linkages are often complex and the timing uncertain. But while much more research is needed, we know more than before about how we can adapt to the expected impacts and assist those people who are the most vulnerable. 2. THE NATURAL WORLD

3.1. Effects on the Polar Regions

Observed changes-

• Arctic air temperatures increased by about 5°C in the 20th century – ten times faster than the global-mean surface temperature – while Arctic sea-surface temperatures rose by 1°C over the past 20 years.

• In the Northern Hemisphere, spring and summer sea-ice cover decreased by about 10 to 15% from the 1950s to the year 2000; sea-ice extent in the Nordic seas has shrunk by 30% over the last 130 years.

• Arctic sea-ice thickness declined by about 40% during late summer and early autumn in the last three decades of the20th century.

• Precipitation has increased over the Antarctic; the Antarctic Peninsula has experienced a marked warming trend over the past 50 years, while the rest of the continent also seems to have warmed.

• Surface waters of the Southern Ocean have warmed and become less saline and the water flowing from the Atlantic into the Arctic Ocean has also warmed.

• The major seal breeding grounds in the Bering Sea have seen fur-seal pup numbers fall by half between the 1950s and the 1980s.

The 21st century- Likely Effects on the Polar Regions-

* Both the Arctic and the Antarctic are expected to continue warming. More sea ice will disappear. Most of the Antarctic will warm...
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