The Greenhouse Effect.

Greenhouse Effect

Is it real or not?

Basic Components to what should be called the Enhanced Greenhouse effect:

The earth has a natural greenhouse effect due to trace amounts of H20 and CO2 that naturally occur. The enhanced greenhouse effect refers to the augmentation of these natural gases by human activities.

The net result is that we are depositing approximately 2 billion extra tons of carbon in an out of equilibrium cycle. Eventually this will be taken up by the land but the timescale for that process is unknown. Hence, the extra carbon, in the form of C02 remains in the atmosphere.

The deposition of C02 and methane (CH4) continues to exponentially increase.

Such that we are now at historical all time high concentration:

While the US is the worst offender, this is truly a global problem. Are we going to tell China, for instance, not to "contribute"

Bare bones simulator

  • Manifestations and Predictions of the Greenhouse Effect

    Simplest Prediction is increase in global mean temperature.

    Role of clouds is crucial --> Net Cooling or Warming? --> There is general consensus that cloud cover will increase as the capacity for the atmosphere to retain water increases with increasing temperature.

    What does the actual data look like?

  • All the Data: Global Warming NCDC Document

    Long Term Temperature Trends:

    Potential Problems:

    Distribution of Temperature trends on the Earth. Where is it getting warmest the fastest:

  • All the historical data
  • 1953-1973
  • 1973-1993

    When positional data is combined with temperature data and timesliced in this way - it seems clear the Global Warming is occurring. This conclusion was reached by a National Academcy of Science panel in Sept. 1995 and is accepted by most.

  • Temperature Variations with Altitude

    What about the US:

  • Annual US Trends
  • Max Temperature US Trends
  • Min Tempearture US Trends
  • Annual Precipitation Trends
  • Number of Tornadoes

  • Some Conclusions

    Some Internet Resources:

  • Nice Overview
  • Comprehensive overview
  • Another overview
  • A Dissenting View (not really - this talks about how we are warming the oceans - same problem!)
  • Journalistic view of the problem
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