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Climate Change & Global Warming: History of Atmospheric Changes



Climate change global warming

Climate change is not an issue of the future, Nor is a concern for the environment a luxury. The climate has become unpredictable and uncertain. Climate extremes such as droughts, floods, and cyclones a re-costing 80 billion dollars damage annually worldwide. Stable ecosystems, including stable climate systems, are the very basis of life, of production and consumption, of stable economies and societies.

Global warming: Causes & Effects

Global warming is the process when the Earth heats up, and the temperature rises. This happens when there is an increase in the production of gases like carbon dioxide, water vapor, nitrous oxide, and methane, which are known as greenhouse gases. These greenhouse gases entrap heat and light from the Sun in the Earth’s atmosphere, and this, in turn, increases the temperature and causes global warming.


Did you know that since the beginning of the 20th century, the average temperature of the Earth has risen by 0.8° Celsius? Global warming hurts people, animals, and plants. In fact, many cannot accept the change, so they die out.

The ten indicators of climate change include measurements of sea-level rise taken from ships, the temperature of the upper atmosphere taken from weather balloons, and field surveys of melting glaciers. The first signs of global warming are seen near the surface of the Earth, and also in the upper atmosphere.

Antarctica appears to be getting warmer. Over the last 50 years, average temperatures on the continent have increased by 2.5°C. In 1995, a gigantic glacier broke off and floated out to sea- another indication that global warming is happening. Now let’s see what is this Climate Change first and How it is different from Global Warming?

Climate Change

Around the world, climate change is posing potentially catastrophic and long-term changes to the environment. The sea levels are rising, and Arctic Sea ice is melting. More intense hurricanes are approaching our coastlines, and more glaciers are retreating from the mountain valleys they once filled.

Warmer temperatures have led to more intense rainfall in some areas. This can cause flooding. Higher temperatures cause droughts in some areas of the world, causing a decline in crop productivity, which may lead to food shortage. Heatwaves have become common, and more living species are becoming endangered.

Paleoclimatology is a very big name for the study of climate changes that have happened during the entire history of the Earth. Glaciers are widely employed instruments in paleoclimatology. The ice in glaciers has hardened into an identifiable pattern, with each year leaving a distinct layer in an ice core.

The thickness of the layer can help to determine the climatic factors of a particular year. Climate change scientists can also get a grasp of the climate by studying sedimentary rock. Pale climatologists are scientists who figure out what the Earth’s climate was Iike before written records existed.

Greenhouse Effect

The air inside a greenhouse is usually warmer than the outside air because the glass walls of a greenhouse let in sunlight, and have the ability to trap heat inside it. This phenomenon is called the greenhouse effect. This same phenomenon occurs on the Earth, because of its atmosphere.

Greenhouse effect

The Earth’s atmosphere is really unique. It is not too hot, and not too cold, and has just the right mixture of gases and water. The Earth’s atmosphere contains trace gases, some of which absorb heat. These gases – water vapor, carbon dioxide, methane, ozone, and nitrous oxide are-referred to as ‘greenhouse gases’. So, we can say that parts of our atmosphere act as an insulating blanket of just the right thickness. It traps sufficient solar energy to keep the global average temperature in a pleasant range.

Without the greenhouse effect, life on this planet would probably not exist as the average temperature of the Earth would be a chilly – 18° Celsius, rather than the present 15° Celsius.

Difference between Weather and Climate

Climate and weather are the two aspects of meteorology. Weather is the day-to-day state of the atmosphere in a region. It deals with sunshine, rain, cloud cover, winds, hail, snow, sleet, freezing rain, flooding, blizzards, storms, heatwaves, and other conditions on a particular day, or at a particular time.

In most places, weather can change from minute-to-minute, and day today. Climate, on the other hand, is how the atmosphere ‘behaves’ over relatively long periods of time. When scientists talk about climate, they’re looking at averages of precipitation, temperature, humidity, sunshine, wind velocity, phenomena such as fog, frost, and other measures of the weather that occur over a long period in a particular place. Weather varies all the time, but the climate doesn’t vary nearly as quickly.

Layers of Atmosphere

The Earth’s atmosphere can be divided into several layers. These layers are divided based on the characteristics of the gases found at that height. Even though scientists have given special names to the boundary between each layer, this does not mean that there is an actual clearly visible border. The change is gradual.

The first layer of the atmosphere is called the troposphere. The troposphere is the layer that we live in, and where weather occurs. The next layer of our atmosphere is called the stratosphere, which extends 11 – 50 kilometers above the Earth’s surface. Above the stratosphere lies the mesosphere. Above the mesosphere is the thermosphere.

Layers of atmosphere

Extending from the top of the thermosphere to 10,000 km above the Earth is the exosphere. The troposphere is known as the lower atmosphere. The stratosphere and the mesosphere from the middle atmosphere, and the thermosphere is the upper atmosphere.

The Sun is the driving force behind the weather. As solar energy reaches the Earth, equatorial regions heat up more than the poles. As land or ocean water warms, it heats the air next to it, and this air begins rising. The heated air rises, and cooler air from elsewhere flows in to replace it.

At the same time, the Earth’s rotation causes the air to begin turning, as it flows along the ground, or high in the air. The result is a complicated picture with storms and winds carrying cool air toward the tropics, and warm air toward the poles. It is the unequal distribution of solar energy on the planet that causes temperature variations, which in turn, cause the wind and weather.

History of Climate Change

The earliest reliable recorded temperature goes back only about 300years. However, there are methods to study past temperatures by observing nature. A study of tree rings will give us clues about the climate of the past. Similarly, the study of corals can also throw light on the climate that existed in the past in a particular region. The study of ocean and lake bed sediments is also helpful in determining the weather and climate of ancient times.

Recent Changes

Temperatures are changing in the lower atmosphere – from the Earth’s surface, all the way through the stratosphere. Records from land stations and ships indicate that the global mean surface temperature warmed by about 0.9°F since 1880. Since the mid-1970s, the average surface temperature has warmed about 1 °F.

Global Warming Climate Change

The warming trend is seen in both daily maximum and minimum temperatures, with minimum temperature since increasing at a faster rate than maximum temperatures. Land areas have tended to warm faster than ocean areas, and the winter months have warmed faster than summer months. The average temperatures in the Arctic have increased at almost twice the global rate in the past 100 years.

Over the last decade, scientists have provided evidence to support their stand on the threat of global warming. To begin with, temperatures are soaring, and scientists can prove that the first decade of the 21st century is the hottest ever. More recent studies have also revealed that the rate at which global warming is occurring, is also increasing. The rising level s of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is further proof of global warming.

Greenhouse Gases and Glaciers

Greenhouse gases, such as carbon dioxide and methane, get trapped in the atmosphere and increase the temperature of the planet. Carbon dioxide is released in the atmosphere by human activities such as the use of vehicles and the production of electricity. Methane is released in the atmosphere as a result of activities such as mining and cattle rearing.

Sea levels are rising, and glacial melting is also occurring at a rapid pace. Melting glaciers contribute to the rise in sea levels, which is continuously increasing and threatening the low lying areas across the world. The rising instances of storms in tropical areas are also proof of global warming. Large-scale melting of glaciers, and constant heating of ocean water, due to soaring temperature, provides an ideal environment for storm formation. All these phenomena provide clear evidence of global warming.

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How Hurricanes are named? Male Vs Female Storms




The world is a big place, and at any one time, there can be more than one tropical storm or easier to hurricane brewing. Obviously, it is important that the folks reporting storms from around the world have accurate data.

In order to reduce the chance of confusion one storm with meteorologists decided to give each reported hurricane its own name. Before that, were referred to by their latitude and longitude positions, which were constantly changing.

Names are easier to remember, and less boring than simply assigning numbers. Since hurricanes were first reported via radio, during World War II, the names they were given were from the phonetic alphabet-Abel, Baker, Charlie, etc.

Later, in 1953, hurricanes began being named after women. In 1979, the World Meteorological Association began using both women’s and men’s names, so as not to slight either gender!

Hurricane names are now assigned alphabetically at the beginning of the year, alternating between male and female names. Every five or six years, the names are recycled and used again.

Names of Popular Male and Female Hurricanes of 21st Century in Alphabetical Order:

Celia (2010)
Dean (2007)
Dorian (2019
Elida (2002)
Hernan (2002)
Ioke (2006)
Irma (2017)
Isabel (2003)
Ivan (2004)
Juliette (2001)
Katrina (2005)
Kenna (2002)
Maria (2017)
Marie (2014)
Michael (2018)
Odile (2014)
Patricia (2015)
Rick (2009)
Rita (2005)
Walaka (2018)
Willa (2018)
Wilma (2005)

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Cows are responsible for Greenhouse Gases & Global Warming!



Cows emitting greenhouse gases and increase Global Warming

Agriculture is responsible for an estimated 14 percent of the world’s greenhouse gases. A significant portion of these emissions come from methane. There are around 1.5 billion cows and billions of other grazing animals around the globe.

Greenhouse gases trap heat in the atmosphere, which makes the Earth warmer. Some greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide occur naturally and are emitted into the atmosphere through natural processes and human activities. Other greenhouse gases, like fluorinated gases a recreated and emitted solely through human activities.

The main greenhouse gases are water vapor, carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxides, and fluorinated gases. Carbon dioxide enters the atmosphere through the burning of fossil fuels like oil, natural gas, and coal, as well as by the burning of solid waste, trees, and wood products, and also as a result of other chemical reactions.

Carbon dioxide is removed from the atmosphere when it is absorbed by plants. Methane is emitted during the production of coal, natural gas, and oil. Methane emissions also result from livestock, and by the decay of organic waste.

Nitrous oxide is emitted during industrial activities, as well as during the combustion of fossil fuels and solid waste. Fluorinated gases like hydrofluorocarbons, perfluorocarbons, and sulfur hexafluoride are synthetic, powerful greenhouse gases that are emitted from a variety of industrial processes.

Greenhouse gases cause global warming

Some greenhouse gases are present naturally in the atmosphere, and they play an important role in keeping our planet warm enough to support life. However, many human activities produce greenhouse gases too. The burning of fossil fuels, deforestation, urbanization, industrial and agricultural activities, all produce more and more greenhouse gases.

The speedy increase in greenhouse gases over the past century is a matter of worry. Do you know why? It is because when this happens, the balance of the greenhouse gas changes, and this has effects on the whole of the planet. Because there are more and more greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, more heat is trapped, which makes the Earth warmer. This is known as global warming.

A lot of scientists agree that Man’s activities are making the natural greenhouse effect stronger. If we carry on polluting the atmosphere with greenhouse gases, it will have very dangerous effects on the Earth.

Cow Methane Emission - Greenhouse Gases

The reason behind the increase in greenhouse gases

Greenhouse gases occur naturally in the atmosphere, but over the past century, the percentage of such gases present is increasing. The main reason for this is the burning of fossil fuels like coal, oil, and natural gas for transport, and other man-made needs. This releases into the atmosphere carbon, which has been safely stored underground for millions of years.

The enormous demand for electricity is another cause. The growing population of the Earth and the increasing numbers of refrigerators, air-conditioners, and other appliances all increase the demand for electricity, and most electricity is generated by burning coal.

Some farming practices release more methane, a toxic greenhouse gas, much more dangerous than carbon dioxide. Cattle belch out methane, and when rice fields are flooded, organic matter decays, releasing methane. The use of fertilizers and the burning of organic matter increase the number of nitrous oxides in the air.

Many factories produce long-lasting industrial gases that do not occur naturally, yet contribute significantly to the enhanced greenhouse effect, and ‘global warming’. The Earth has natural means to actually remove some greenhouse gases from the atmosphere, especially carbon dioxide, which is removed by plants.

Global deforestation by mankind means that we have not only increased the output of greenhouse gases but also that we have significantly reduced the ability of the Earth to reduce at least one of the greenhouse gases.

Cows Contribution

Agriculture is responsible for an estimated 14 percent of the world’s greenhouse gases. A significant portion of these emissions come from methane. There are around 1.5 billion cows and billions of other grazing animals around the globe.

They emit dozens of polluting gases, including lots of methane. Some experts say that the average dairy cow emits 100 to 200 liters of methane a day! This is shorter-lived than carbon dioxide but 28 times more potent in warming the atmosphere, said Mitloehner, a professor and air quality specialist in the Department of Animal Science, USA.

Methane gas is responsible for about a fifth of the enhanced greenhouse effect. Methane is lighter than air, colorless, odorless- and this is the gas that animals bur pout. It is also known as marsh gas. This is because it is produced when plants and other organic matter decompose in the absence of oxygen – for example, underwater.

Such decomposition takes place in wetlands, swamps, and marshes, and estimated to produce some 30 percent of atmospheric methane levels. Methane is produced in the gut of termites, and by microorganisms in the ocean. This gas is also stored in clathrates, which are deposits of methane that lie on the ocean floor. Methane is made by animals, and it can be released as a result of human activities such as agriculture, and fossil fuel production.

Role of water vapor in global warming

Water vapor is the most prevalent greenhouse gas in the atmosphere. It accounts for somewhere between 60 percent and 70 percent of the greenhouse effect. All of the other gases like carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide, and halocarbons make up the rest.

The effect of water vapor is so significant that the global average temperature would be below freezing without it. At the same time, water vapor is also playing a major role in global warming. You know that warm air can contain more moisture than cold air.

According to scientists, heat from other greenhouse gases is causing more water to evaporate, releasing the vapor into the atmosphere. That vapor, in turn, adds to the greenhouse effect, further warming the atmosphere, and causing more water to evaporate. So the cycle goes on, and global warming is speeded up.

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Climate Change Scientists known for their extraordinary contribution

In this article, listed are 4 Popular Climate Change Scientists known for their extraordinary contribution in the study of Global Warming



Climate Change Scientists

Climate Change Scientists

The Earth’s climate has been changing for billions of years. It has warmed and cooled many times long before humans were around. The origin of Man can be traced to the warm, relatively benign climate of equatorial Africa, but our ancestors battled the cold, harsh, and unforgiving climate of the last Ice Age in order to spread across the planet.

Some 10,000 years ago, however, the Ice Age ended. We developed agriculture, civilization, industry, and technology generally in a global climate that was warm, pleasant, and mostly predictable. The rise in temperature of the Earth’s atmosphere is known as Global Warming. Today, people are concerned because the Earth is warming faster now than it has ever done in the past. This warming can threaten our very existence.

4 Famous Climate Change Scientists

Below we are listing 4 Popular Scientists known for their extraordinary contribution to the study of Climate Change and Global Warming.

Jean Baptiste Fourier

People have long suspected that human activity could change the local climate. The basic principles of global warming were first noted in 1827, by the French mathematician and scientist Jean Baptiste Fourier. He observed that certain gases trapped heat in the atmosphere, and he called them greenhouse gases.

Climate Change Scientists

According to him the Earth’s atmosphere acts like the glass walls in a greenhouse, which let the sun’s rays in, and prevent warmth from escaping. Some gases like carbon dioxide act as a barrier to the heat getting back into space. So, an increase in the levels of carbon dioxide would result in an increase in the temperature of the Earth.

Fourier’s work was further developed by Svante Arrhenius, a Swedish scientist who was the first to claim in 1896, that the burning of fossil fuels may eventually result in enhanced global warming. He and Thomas Cham berlin calculated that human activities could warm the Earth by adding carbon dioxide to the atmosphere.

Svante Arrhenius: Father of Climate Change Science

Svante Arrhenius was a Swedish physical chemist and Nobel Prize winner. He is famous as the father of climate change science. Arrhenius became interested in a debate occupying the scientific community, namely the cause of the Ice Ages.

Svante Arrhenius: Climate Change Scientist

Could it be, he wondered, that vast swings in the levels of atmospheric carbon dioxide, lasting tens of millions of years, were the trigger? The link between carbon dioxide and the Earth’s temperature had been made years before. It was the French scientist Jean Baptiste Fourier, who first realized that certain atmospheric gases

Shrouded the planet like a bell jar, transparent to sunlight, but absorbing infrared rays. He called them green h o use gases. Arrhenius set himself the task of working out just how much water and carbon dioxide in the atmosphere warmed the planet. He was the first person to realize the possibility that human activities like the burning of coal can double the concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, and raise the temperature of the Earth.

G.S. Callendar

You probably know that trees extract carbon dioxide from the air. Therefore, it follows that the large scale cutting down of forests upsets the delicate balance of gases in the atmosphere. In 1938, British physicist G. S. Callander determined that higher levels of carbon dioxide had caused warmer temperatures in America and Europe.

G.S. Callendar

He produced data from ice cores showing that levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere had been rising since the industrial age began. Callendar believed green house warming was on its way, but no one was particularly worried at that time.

Callendar’s work attracted some attention, and climatology textbooks of the 1940s and 1950s routinely included a brief reference to his studies. But most meteorologists did not give much importance to Callendar’s ideas. While Callendar could not prove that greenhouse effect warming was underway, he had given sound reasons to reconsider the question.

We owe much to his courage. His claims rescued the idea of global warming from obscurity. Moreover, not everyone dismissed his claims. His ideas attracted scientific curiosity and attracted new thoughts on the subject.

Milutin Milankovitch

Milutin Milankovitch is a Serbian astrophysicist who is best known for developing one of the most significant theories relating to Earth motions and long-term climate change.

Milutin Milankovitch: Climate Change Scientist

Did you know that interaction between the Earth and Sun, known as orbital variation, changes, and has changed throughout the 4.6 billion year history of our planet?

Milutin Milankovitch dedicated his career to developing a mathematical theory of climate, based on the seasonal and latitudinal variations of solar radiation received by the Earth. This theory is known as the  Milankovitch Theory. Milankovitch estimated climatic fluctuations over the last 450,000 years and even described cold and warm periods.

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