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Global Warming

Global Warming is the increase of Earth's average surface temperature due to effect of greenhouse gases, such as carbon dioxide emissions from burning fossil fuels or from deforestation, which trap heat that would otherwise escape from Earth. This is a type of greenhouse effect.

Causes of Global Warming

Natural Causes- Natural causes are causes created by nature. One natural cause is a release of methane gas from arctic tundra and wetlands. Methane is a greenhouse gas. A greenhouse gas is a gas that traps heat in the earth's atmosphere. Another natural cause is that the earth goes through a cycle of climate change. This climate change usually lasts about 40,000 years.

Man-made Causes- There are many man-made causes. Pollution is one of the biggest man-made problems. Pollution comes in many shapes and sizes. Burning fossil fuels is one thing that causes pollution. Fossil fuels are fuels made of organic matter such as coal, or oil. When fossil fuels are burned they give off a green house gas called CO2. Also mining coal and oil allows methane to escape. How does it escape? Methane is naturally in the ground. When coal or oil is mined you have to dig up the earth a little. When you dig up the fossil fuels you dig up the methane as well.

Another major man-made cause of Global Warming is population. High population means more food requirements, and more methods of transportation. That means more methane because there will be more burning of fossil fuels.

Effects of Global Warming

Some of the brutal effects seen as a result of global warming across the world are:

  • Melting of ice in the ice dominated areas of earth such as West Antarctica and Greenland, and Arctic sea ice can be seen. These include the melting of mountain glaciers and ice sheets covering.
  • The number of Adélie penguins found in Antarctica, has declined from 32,000 breeding pairs to 11,000 in last 30 years.
  • An increase in the level of sea has been observed due to melting of sea ice over the last century.
  • A number of organisms such as butterflies, foxes, and alpine plants have moved farther north or to higher, cooler areas.
  • The average precipitation (rainfall and snowfall) has increased across the globe at a significant rate.
  • The number of Spruce bark beetles has increased significantly in Alaska due to continuous warm summers. These insects have destroyed up 4 million acres of spruce trees.

Some of the other effects of global warming that are expected in near future are:

  • Rise in Sea levels is expected to be 18 and 59 centimeters by the end of the century, and continued melting at the poles could add between 10 to 20 centimeters.
  • Often Hurricanes and other catastrophic storms are likely to become common.
  • Species living in a symbiotic relationship may loose their synchronization.
  • Conditions of floods and droughts will become more common and often as a result of decrease in the rainfall.
  • Availability of fresh water is likely to decrease with time. It is predicted that if the Quelccaya ice cap of Peru continues melting at this rate, it will completely melt by 2100.
  • Some diseases will spread such as malaria carried by mosquitoes.
  • Eco-systems will be affected to a greater extent leading to extinction and rise of many species.


El Niño refers to the extensive warming of the central and eastern Pacific that leads to a major shift in weather patterns across the Pacific. In Australia (particularly eastern Australia), El Niño events are associated with an increased probability of drier conditions.

Changes to the atmosphere and ocean circulation during El Niño events include:

  • Warmer than normal ocean temperatures across the central and eastern tropical Pacific Ocean.
  • Increased convection or cloudiness in the central tropical Pacific Ocean - the focus of convection migrates from the Australian/Indonesian region eastward towards the central tropical Pacific Ocean.
  • Weaker than normal (easterly) trade winds.
  • Low (negative) values of the SOI (Southern Oscillation Index).
  • Monitoring these changes help to detect an El Niño event and forecast its lifetime.

The Southern Oscillation Index, or SOI, gives an indication of the development and intensity of El Niño or La Niña events in the Pacific Ocean. The SOI is calculated using the pressure differences between Tahiti and Darwin.

The Government of India brought into effect Bharat Emission Norms for vehicular emission in 2000 following the European Norms of the European Union.

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