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Author Topic: Global Warming is WITH US  (Read 29761 times)

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Re: Global Warming is WITH US
« Reply #1275 on: March 27, 2018, 03:07:25 pm »
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Unforgettable Sights of Our Changing World

Mar 23, 2018

The Trump 🦀 administration is pushing to eliminate NASA’s climate research programs.

These pictures show what a loss that would be.


Alaska’s Columbia glacier has melted away, leaving a pool of water in its wake. Source: NASA

By Jeremy Deaton

President Trump’s proposed 2019 budget would slash funding for NASA’s Earth Science Division, and while his budget hasn’t gained traction in Congress, it is an important statement of the administration’s priorities. In a nod to his allies in the fossil fuel industry, Trump is calling for the elimination of vital programs that monitor carbon pollution and climate change.

Critics say NASA’s Earth Science Division is a waste of taxpayer dollars and a distraction from the agency’s core mission of space exploration. But NASA has a critical role to play in understanding human-caused climate change, by operating satellites that monitor the Earth’s forests, deserts, oceans and atmosphere.

NASA scientists are working to improve our understanding of natural disasters like wildfires, hurricanes and drought, while tracking long-term changes to the Earth’s climate. Researchers are also mapping out those changes so Americans can understand how heat-trapping carbon pollution is reshaping the world. Below is a collection of NASA maps, graphs and photos cataloging this profound transformation.

A computer rendering of the Earth at night based on satellite images. Source: NASA

Causes of climate change

It’s part of NASA’s mission to understand the balance of energy on Earth — how much of the Sun’s energy is absorbed by the Earth and how much of it is reflected back out to space. Over the last century, the Earth has retained more and more of the Sun’s energy, causing the planet to warm around 1 degree C.

Warming is not explained by changes in solar activity or changes in the Earth’s orbit, nor is it explained by changes in volcanic activity. What about human factors? Changes in land use — converting forests to farms and pastures — have had a slight cooling effect, as dark green woodlands are replaced by tawny-colored fields of wheat and grass, which reflect more of the Sun’s light. Ground-level ozone pollution makes the Earth a little warmer, but not much. Aerosols, another form of pollution, actually cool the atmosphere.

The evidence shows that greenhouse gasses are responsible for the warming trend. Carbon pollution is trapping more of the Sun’s heat. That carbon pollution primarily comes from burning coal, oil and gas to generate energy. It also comes from raising livestock — mostly cows and sheep — that expel methane, a powerful heat-trapping gas, and from burning forests. While converting dark-colored forests to bright-colored farmland has a small cooling effect, lighting trees on fire also releases a tremendous amount of heat-trapping carbon pollution into the sky. Trees scrub carbon dioxide from the air. When set aflame, they dump that carbon back into the atmosphere.

Human contributions to climate change, including land use changes, ozone emissions, aerosol emissions and greenhouse gas emissions. Greenhouse gas emissions are responsible for the warming trend. Source: NASA/Bloomberg

The line graph below shows how quickly carbon dioxide is gathering in the atmosphere, rising from 370 parts per million in 2000 to more than 400 parts per million today, as measured by the Mauna Loa Observatory in Hawaii. The map shows the changing concentration of carbon dioxide in the Earth’s atmosphere, as measured by satellite, shifting from green to yellow to orange to red as the concentration increases. Cars, trucks, factories and power plants in the United States, Europe and China are responsible for most of the pollution.

The line graph shows the atmospheric concentration of carbon dioxide as measured at the Mauna Loa Observatory in Hawaii, from 2000 to 2015. The map shows the distribution of added carbon dioxide over the same period, according to satellite data. Warmer colors indicate more carbon dioxide. Source: NASA

The world’s carbon output has grown in recent years, but there has also been a shift in where that carbon pollution is coming from. The United States, Europe and Japan have seen declining pollution thanks, in large part, to limits on pollution. In China, India in the Middle East, pollution has increased as those countries open more factories, fire up more power plants and put more cars on the road. In addition, numerous companies in the United States and Europe have moved manufacturing operations to China, effectively exporting the pollution associated with those operations.

The map below shows changes in emissions of nitrogen dioxide from 2005 to 2014. Nitrogen dioxide isn’t a heat-trapping gas like carbon dioxide, but it is a dangerous pollutant that can make it harder to breathe. Areas with little nitrogen dioxide pollution are colored in blue. Areas with more pollution are colored in yellow, while areas with the most pollution are colored in red.

Nitrogen dioxide pollution from 2005 to 2014. Cooler colors indicate less pollution. Warmer colors indicate more. Pollution declined in the United States and Europe and increased in China. Source: NASA

The rapid growth of China looks even more dramatic when viewed up close. The satellite images below shows how Shanghai has changed between 1984 and 2016 as more companies set up factories and workers moved from rural areas to work in those factories. The population of the city roughly doubled in that time.

Shanghai, China from 1984 to 2016. Source: NASA

Industrialization isn’t the only trend driving the rise in temperature. As mentioned above, there’s also deforestation. The map below shows declining forest cover in Rondônia in western Brazil between 2000 and 2010. Settlers build roads into remote parts of the Amazon rainforest, burning forests near those roads to clear land for crops and cattle.

Rainforest loss in Rondônia, Brazil from 2000 to 2010. The area shown is roughly 100 miles across. Source: NASA

All together, these trends — industrialization, deforestation, growing consumption of meat — are producing dramatic changes in the Earth’s climate and, by extension, are fueling heat, drought and severe storms.

Symptoms of climate change 😓

The most obvious symptom of all that carbon pollution is a rise in the average surface temperature of the Earth. The map below is based on temperature from thousands of weather stations, ships, buoys and research outposts collected over more than a century. It shows the how much temperatures have differed from the mid-20th-century average. Blue areas are unusually cold. Orange areas are unusually hot. As the map progresses from 1880 to 2016, temperatures grow warmer across the globe.

Global temperature anomaly from 1880 to 2016. Warm colors indicate temperatures above than the 1951–1980 average. Cool colors indicate temperatures below that average. Source: NASA

Full article with more great graphics:


« Last Edit: March 27, 2018, 07:19:09 pm by AGelbert »
Hope deferred maketh the heart sick: but when the desire cometh, it is a tree of life. Pr. 13:12


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