Friday, October 11, 2013

Current Events: Global Warming

I put together my first current events report for 5th grade. It's about the recent reports on global warming.

Check out the full report below and video below:

U.N.'s Global Warming Study Says It's All Your Fault!

According to a study by the U.N.-created Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), the world's top climate research group, there's no doubt about global warming, and it's 95% likely that humans are its primary contributors. "Human influence has been detected in warming of the atmosphere and the ocean, in changes in the global water cycle, in reductions in snow and ice, in global mean sea level rise, and in changes in some climate extremes," the report says.

The report says that "each of the last three decades has been successively warmer at the Earth's surface than any preceding decade since 1850" and that on "the Northern Hemisphere, 1983-2012, was likely the warmest 30-year period of the last 1400 years."

According to the report increases in greenhouse gas emissions are probably responsible for more than half of the observed global warming since 1950.

According to study by climate scientists from Stanford and Purdue universities, because global warming is increasing the eastern and central United States will probably see a greater risk of severe weather by the middle of this century. This is because global warming triggers atmospheric changes that favor storms. According to the study, by 2070 the eastern United States could experience 42% more severe thunderstorms. The study's data suggests a possible increase in the number of days with conditions tornadoes can develop in as well.

The data, which was reviewed by fellow scientists, found by Noah S. Diffenbaugh and Martin Scherer of Stanford and Robert J. Trapp of Purdue, was published on Sep. 23 in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Dr. Diffenbaugh said in an interview that "The results were consistent across 10 different models that scientists worldwide use to estimate the impact of climate change". The study measured what would happen if it got warmer and found that conditions that are known to produce severe thunderstorms would get higher. It makes predictions of changes in those conditions daily and even for parts of a day throughout the rest of the century. All 10 models projected an overall increase in potential severe-weather days in the spring and autumn after about 2040.

Kevin Trenberth of the National Center for Atmospheric Research in Boulder, Colorado, a second scientist whose own research has foreshadowed some of the findings, said he believes the study "actually underplays the worries." In 2011 and 2012 the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration recorded 13 thunderstorms and tornadoes costing more than $1 billion in damages each. Those storms caused nearly $45 billion in damage, total, and killed 628 people.

Various weather conditions help spawn thunderstorms, but among the most important are humidity, vertical wind shear, and atmospheric instability, which can cause warm air to rush upward through colder air. Because hot air can hold more moisture than cold air, rising temperatures ensure greater humidity in the future. The study predicted that the amount of energy available for a storm, called convective available potential energy, would also become more frequent as temperatures rise.

Meteorologist Jeff Masters of a private meteorology firm says the IPCC "has put together an amazingly authoritative and comprehensive report on a subject crucial to the future of civilization, a report that will guide policymakers worldwide as they struggle to cope with the growing chaos generated by the great climate disruption that is already upon us."

The report is based on research by hundreds of the world's top climate scientists from 39 countries and was subject to an extensive review process involving more than 1,000 experts.

The atmospheric concentrations of carbon dioxide, methane, and nitrous oxide have increased to levels unprecedented in at least the last 800,000 years. Carbon dioxide concentrations have increased by 40% since pre-industrial times, primarily from fossil fuel emissions.

There is "high confidence" that the rate of sea-level rise since the mid-19th century has been larger than the mean rate during the previous two millenniums. Over the period 1901-2010, global mean sea level rose by about 7.4 inches. Global mean sea level will continue to rise during the 21st century, with a projected range of from 10-32 inches.

There is "high confidence" that over the last two decades, the Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets have been losing mass, glaciers have continued to shrink almost worldwide, and Arctic sea ice and Northern Hemisphere spring snow cover have continued to decrease in extent.

Global surface temperatures are "likely" to be at least 2.7 degrees above pre-industrial levels by the year 2100, and will likely range from 4.7 to 8.6 degrees above the levels seen in 1986-2005.
The U.N. Secretary General said "The heat is on. Now we must act."


Sources:

U.N. global warming report puts humans on the hot seat - USA Today

Study Sees a Higher Risk of Storms on the Horizon - NY Times

Climate change report: It's 'extremely likely' that humans are responsible - CNN




Here are my other current events reports.