Polar Bear is looking for ice
A polar bear surveys the scene in Spitsbergen, northern Norway.
Levels of greenhouse gases (GHG) have gone up and down over the Earth’s history, but they have been fairly constant for the past few thousand years. Global average temperatures have stayed fairly constant over that time as well, until recently. Through the burning of fossil fuels and other GHG emissions, humans are enhancing the greenhouse effect and global warming.
Scientists often use the term “climate change” instead of global warming. This is because as the Earth’s average temperature climbs, winds and ocean currents move heat around the globe in ways that can cool some areas, warm others, and change the amount of rain and snow falling.
Over the past 130 years, global temperature rose on average of 0.9 degrees as a result of man-made greenhouse gas emissions. But the climate changes differently in different areas.
Impacts of climate change
If greenhouse gas emissions continue, Earth is facing higher temperatures from 2.6 to 4.8 ° C, at the end of the century, comparing today. Even if we are able to reduce CO2 emissions drastically, the earth will still be 0.3 to 1.7 ° C warmer than today. We learned last year that many of the effects of climate change are irreversible.
Sea level rises
An important consequence of global warming is the rising sea level. Around the year 2100, researchers expect an increase to 80 cm. The rapid warming brings great risks with it for food, safety and nature by increasing heat, drought, sea level rise and the growing power of cyclones. By region, the effects will vary significantly.
This is what the Earth would look like if al the ice is melted
As National Geographic showed us in 2013, sea levels would rise by 216 feet if all the land ice on the planet were to melt. This would dramatically reshape the continents and drown many of the world’s major cities.
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