Cause And Effect Of Global Warming
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Travel Prince Edward Island launches an epic pilgrimage trail. Travel Planet Possible Hunt for moose bones in the name of science at this national park. Subscriber Exclusive Content. Why are people so dang obsessed with Mars? How viruses shape our world. The era of greyhound racing in the U. See how people have imagined life on Mars through history. See More. United States Change. Despite political controversy about climate change, a major report released Sept. More than international scientific organizations agree that global warming is real and has been caused by human action. Ice is melting in both polar ice caps and mountain glaciers. Lakes around the world, including Lake Superior, are warming rapidly — in some cases faster than the surrounding environment.
Animals are changing migration patterns and plants are changing the dates of activity," such as trees budding their leaves earlier in the spring and dropping them later in the fall, Josef Werne, a professor of geology and environmental science at the University of Pittsburgh, told Live Science. One of the most immediate and obvious effects of global warming is the increase in temperatures around the world. The average global temperature has increased by about 1. That year Earth's surface temperature was 1. Before , was the warmest year on record, globally. And before ? Yep, In fact, 16 of the 17 warmest years on record have happened since , according to NASA. For the contiguous United States and Alaska, was the second-warmest year on record and the 20th consecutive year that the annual average surface temperature exceeded the year average since record keeping began, according to NOAA.
Extreme weather is another effect of global warming. While experiencing some of the hottest summers on record, much of the United States has also been experiencing colder-than-normal winters. Changes in climate can cause the polar jet stream — the boundary between the cold North Pole air and the warm equatorial air — to migrate south, bringing with it cold, Arctic air. This is why some states can have a sudden cold snap or colder-than-normal winter, even during the long-term trend of global warming, Werne explained. One cold or warm year or season has little to do with overall climate.
It is when those cold or warm years become more and more regular that we start to recognize it as a change in climate rather than simply an anomalous year of weather," he said. Global warming may also lead to extreme weather other than cold or heat extremes. For example, hurricane formations will change. Though this is still a subject of active scientific research, current computer models of the atmosphere indicate that hurricanes are more likely to become less frequent on a global basis, though the hurricanes that do form may be more intense. Global warming increases that temperature difference. Hurricanes are called typhoons in the western North Pacific, and they're called cyclones in the South Pacific and Indian oceans.
Lightening is another weather feature that is being affected by global warming. According to a study , a 50 percent increase in the number of lightning strikes within the United States is expected by if global temperatures continue to rise. The researchers of the study found a 12 percent increase in lightning activity for every 1. NOAA established the U. The number of extreme weather events that are among the most unusual in the historical record, according to the CEI, has been rising over the last four decades. Scientists project that extreme weather events, such as heat waves, droughts, blizzards and rainstorms will continue to occur more often and with greater intensity due to global warming, according to Climate Central. Climate models forecast that global warming will cause climate patterns worldwide to experience significant changes.
These changes will likely include major shifts in wind patterns, annual precipitation and seasonal temperatures variations. In addition, because high levels of greenhouse gases are likely to remain in the atmosphere for many years, these changes are expected to last for several decades or longer, according to the U. In the northeastern United States, for example, climate change is likely to bring increased annual rainfall, while in the Pacific Northwest, summer rainfall is expected to decrease, the EPA said. One of the primary manifestations of climate change so far is melt. North America, Europe and Asia have all seen a trend toward less snow cover between and , according to research published in the journal Current Climate Change Reports. According to the National Snow and Ice Data Center, there is now 10 percent less permafrost , or permanently frozen ground, in the Northern Hemisphere than there was in the early s.
The thawing of permafrost can cause landslides and other sudden land collapses. It can also release long-buried microbes, as in a case when a cache of buried reindeer carcasses thawed and caused an outbreak of anthrax. One of the most dramatic effects of global warming is the reduction in Arctic sea ice. Sea ice hit record-low extents in both the fall and winter of and , meaning that at the time when the ice is supposed to be at its peak, it was lagging. The melt means there is less thick sea ice that persists for multiple years. That means less heat is reflected back into the atmosphere by the shiny surface of the ice and more is absorbed by the comparatively darker ocean, creating a feedback loop that causes even more melt, according to NASA's Operation IceBridge.
Glacial retreat , too, is an obvious effect of global warming. Only 25 glaciers bigger than 25 acres are now found in Montana's Glacier National Park, where about glaciers were once found, according to the U.