Climate is the
temperature, humidity, precipitation, winds, radiation, and other meteorological
conditions characteristic of a locality or region over an extended period of
is any long-term significant change in the "average weather" that a
given region experiences. Average weather may include average temperature,
precipitation and wind patterns .
The term Global Warming refers to
the observation that the atmosphere near the Earth's surface is warming. This
warming is one of many kinds of climate change that the Earth has gone through
in the past and will continue to go through in the future. It is reasonable to
expect that the Earth should warm as the amount of greenhouse gases in the
atmosphere increases. It is known for certain that atmospheric concentrations of
greenhouse gases are rising dramatically due to human activity. It is less well
known exactly how the increases in these greenhouse gases factor in the observed
changes of the Earth's climate and global temperatures
can contribute to global warming and climate change by
polluting and cutting down rainforests, but humans can not control the
climate or change it. The climate system is very complex and has many
variables and components. Human beings do not control all the variables
and components or the Planet Earth.
organization or person that is saying things like "we can solve the
climate crisis" or "we can stop global warming" are making
statements that are just "Advertising Slogans" impossible to accomplish.
"stop global warming" or "solve the climate crisis" human
beings would have the ability to control the following to name a few:
No matter how
aggressively heat-trapping emissions are reduced, some amount of climate change
and resulting impacts will continue. Consequently, there is a need for
adaptation and mitigation.
improving our ability to cope with or avoid harmful impacts or taking advantage
of newly favorable conditions
defined as -to lessen in force or intensity, as wrath, grief, harshness, or
pain; moderate- to make less severe. At best human beings can slightly modify
reducing the amount of climate change, for example, by reducing heat-trapping
emissions or increasing their removal from the atmosphere
We should try
to be the best protectors of the planet as much as we are capable and
adapt to and prepare for the changes in the Earth's Climate that are
NASA:Clouds and Earth's Radiation
Energy from the Sun reaching the
Earth drives almost every known physical and biological cycle in the Earth
system. The energy that keeps the earth's
surface warm originates from the sun. The primary source of energy to drive our
global climate system (including atmospheric and, to a lesser extent, oceanic
circulation) is the heat we receive from the Sun, termed solar insolation. The
amount of insolation which reaches the Earth's surface depends on site latitude
and season. The insolation into a surface is largest when the surface directly
faces the Sun. As the angle increases between the direction normal to the
surface and the direction of the rays of sunlight, the insolation is reduced in
proportion to the cosine of the angle. This is known in optics as Lambert's
These false-color images show the
average solar insolation, or rate of incoming sunlight at the Earth's surface,
over the entire globe for the months of January and April. The colors correspond
to values (kilowatt hours per square meter per day) measured every day by a
variety of Earth-observing satellites and integrated by the International
Satellite Cloud Climatology Project (ISCCP). NASA's Surface Meteorology and
Solar Energy (SSE) Project compiled these data--collected from July 1983 to June
1993--into a 10-year average for that period. Credit Image courtesy Roberta
DiPasquale, Surface Meteorology and Solar Energy Project, NASA Langley Research
Center, and the ISCCP Project
This 'projection effect' is the main
reason why the polar regions are much colder than equatorial regions on Earth.
On an annual average the poles receive less insolation than does the equator,
because at the poles the Earth's surface is angled away from the Sun.
Although the energy that is emitted from
the sun is almost constant, even small changes can have noticeable effects. When
the Sun's energy reaches the Earth it is partially absorbed in different parts
of the climate system. The absorbed energy is converted back to heat, which
causes the Earth to warm up
There are three main factors that directly influence the energy balance
of the earth and it's temperature:
The total energy influx, which depends on the earth's distance
from the sun and on solar activity
The chemical composition of the
Albedo, the ability of the earth's surface to reflect light.
Striking a Balance with Climate Change NASA Video
The Earth's climate system is
a compilation of the following components and their interactions-
hydrosphere, including the oceans and all other reservoirs of water in
liquid form, which are the main source of moisture for precipitation and
which exchange gases, such as CO2, and particles, such as salt, with the
land masses, which affect the flow of atmosphere and oceans through their
morphology (i.e. topography, vegetation cover and roughness), the
hydrological cycle (i.e. their ability to store water) and their radiative
properties as matter (solids, liquids, and gases) blown by the winds or
ejected from earth's interior in volcanic eruptions.
cryosphere, or the ice component of the climate system, whether on land or
at the ocean's surface, that plays a special role in the Earth radiation
balance and in determining the properties of the deep ocean.
biota - all forms of life - that through respiration and other chemical
interactions affects the composition and physical properties air and water.
Earth has periods of time when the temperature rises (warming cycles) and
periods when the temperature drops (cooling cycles) it is a series of natural
cycles of our planet. The Sun and it's level of solar activity has an major
influence on these cycles.
climate change and global warming are receiving unprecedented attention due to
the possibility that human activity on Earth during the past couple hundred
years will lead to significantly large and rapid changes in environmental
The first step in addressing the
issue of global warming is to recognize that the warming pattern, if it
continues, will probably not be uniform. The term "global warming"
only tells part of the story; our attention should be focuses on "global
climate change." The real threat may not be the gradual rise in global
temperature and sea level, but the redistribution of heat over the Earth's
surface. Some spots will warm, while others will cool; these changes, and the
accompanying shifts in rainfall patterns, could relocate agricultural regions
across the planet.
greenhouse effect is a natural occurrence that maintains Earth's average
temperature at approximately 60 degrees Fahrenheit.
normal conditions some of the sun's heat is radiated back into space
occurs when heat is trapped in the atmosphere by gases
The greenhouse effect is a
necessary phenomenon that keeps all Earth's heat from escaping to the outer
atmosphere. Without the natural greenhouse effect it is certain that life on
Earth would be difficult to sustain.
Temperatures on Earth would be much
lower than they are now, and the existence of life on this planet would not be
possible. The global average temperature would drop precipitously 33 degrees
from its current 15 to -18C. The Earth would become an ice planet.
However, too many greenhouse gases in Earth's atmosphere could
increase the greenhouse effect.
This could result in an increase in mean global
temperatures as well as changes in precipitation patterns.
The Earth's atmosphere, a thin blanket of gases, protects
the planet from the harshest of the sun's ultraviolet radiation. The
atmosphere, by trapping the Earth's warmth, keeps rivers and oceans from freezing.
Carbon dioxide and water vapor are the most important gases in creating
the insulating or "greenhouse effect" of the atmosphere.
Global Warming: How Humans are
Affecting Our Planet
the last 400,000 years the Earth's climate has been unstable, with very
significant temperature changes, going from a warm climate to an ice age in as
rapidly as a few decades. These rapid changes suggest that climate may be quite
sensitive to internal or external climate forcings and feedbacks. As can be seen
from the blue curve, temperatures have been less variable during the last 10 000
years. Based on the incomplete evidence available, it is unlikely that global
mean temperatures have varied by more than 1C in a century during this period.
The information presented on this graph indicates a strong correlation between
carbon dioxide content in the atmosphere and temperature. A possible scenario:
anthropogenic emissions of GHGs could bring the climate to a state where it
reverts to the highly unstable climate of the pre-ice age period. Rather than a
linear evolution, the climate follows a non-linear path with sudden and dramatic
surprises when GHG levels reach an as-yet unknown trigger point.
image was created with data acquired by the Atmospheric Infrared Sounder, AIRS,instrument
on NASA's Aqua spacecraft during July 2008. The image shows large scale patterns
of carbon dioxide concentrations that are transported around the Earth by the
general circulation of the atmosphere.
Arctic sea ice has shrunk to a 29-year low, significantly below the minimum set
in 2005, according to preliminary figures from the National Snow and Ice Data
Center, part of the University of Colorado at Boulder. NASA scientists, who have
been observing the declining Arctic sea ice cover since the earliest
measurements in 1979, are working to understand this sudden speed-up of sea ice
decline and what it means for the future of Earth's northern polar region.
JPL Video: The Big Thaw October 01, 2007 A thick chunk of Arctic sea ice the
size of two states has disappeared. Is it global warming or normal causes? A new
NASA-led study found a 23-percent loss in the extent of the Arctic's thick,
year-round sea ice cover during the past two winters. Between winter 2005 and
winter 2007, the perennial ice shrunk by an area the size of Texas and
California combined. This drastic reduction of perennial winter sea ice is the
primary cause of the fastest-ever sea ice retreat on record this summer.
Scientists say the rapid decline in winter perennial ice was caused by unusual
winds. For more information go to: www.jpl.nasa.gov
ice reflects light from the sun. As this ice begins to melt, less sunlight gets
reflected into space. It is instead absorbed into the oceans and land, raising
the overall temperature, and fueling further melting. This results in a positive
feedback loop called ice albedo feedback, which causes the loss of the sea ice
to be self-compounding. The more it disappears, the more likely it is to
continue to disappear. -full story click
September of 2007, Arctic sea ice extent shrank to the lowest ever seen during
the satellite record. The animation shows extent and concentration from 1979 to
2000; the magenta line indicates the median sea ice extent.Credit The
National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC)