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Global warming

Analyzing
changes in
the
ecosystem
that are a
result of
changing
climate,
human
activities and
changes in
population
Ozone Depletion
• Between 20 and 50 kilometers in
the stratosphere above Earth’s
surface there is a large amount of
ozone O3 gas.
• Ozone at the ground level is a
pollutant.
• At this level it is naturally occurring
and has an important function.
• Ozone filters out harmful UV light.
• “Earth’s sunscreen”
smog
• Ozone can also be found at
the troposphere which is
“bad ozone”
• Results from automobiles
and factories.
• Cars release Nitrogen
Oxides gas and VOC’s
(Volatile Organic
compounds).
• These combine with
oxygen and hot sunny days
to form ozone at the
ground level.
• Usually dissipates on cooler
evenings.
Ozone in troposphere
• High ozone levels
during the summer
months when it is hot.
• Highest levels
accumulate in the
Northern hemisphere
during the summer.
• Ozone ends up in rural
areas; sometimes up to
250 miles downwind
from an urban area.
More on Ozone
• Ozone Videos
• The Dobson unit is a
measure of the number of
molecules of ozone in a
vertical column of the
atmosphere.
• You can see that the
concentration of ozone
decreases in ever-smaller
concentric circles with the
lowest reading centered
over the South Pole.
Chlorofluorocarbons
• CFC’s: gases (Hydrocarbons) that
damage the ozone used in
aerosols and refrigerators.
• Banned in U.S., Scandinavian
countries and Canada after the
discovery that the hole in the
ozone was caused in part due to
CFC’s.
• Phase out began and introduction
of less volatile substances.
• Volatile Organic Compounds
(VOC) directive of the EU in 1997.
Permitted chlorofluoroalkane uses
are medicinal only.
Evidence of global warming
• Controversial topic: “Most
widely accepted hypothesis is
that current warming is related,
at least in part to human
activities that are adding
carbon dioxide and other
greenhouse gases to the
atmosphere.”
• Adding CO2 and deforestation
worldwide is disrupting the
carbon cycle.
• clean coal vs. dirty coal
Effects of global warming
• Computer models are used
to try to predict what will
happen if the Earth
continues to heat up.
• Increase of 1-2 degrees Celsius by 2050.
• Rising sea levels
• Flooding of coastal regions
• Extinction of organisms
• Droughts and irregular
weather
Warmer weather?
What’s the problem???
• insects that usually die
during cold winter months
will live longer, spreading
disease.
• Hurricanes, Droughts…
• Starvation and wars
• Economic woes
• Melting of polar ice caps….
Melting of polar Ice, Oh my.
• 5,773,000 cubic miles of water in ice
caps, glaciers and permanent snow.
• According to the National Snow and Ice
Data Center, if all glaciers melted today
the seas would rise about 230 feet.
• Sea levels will rise.
• Trapped water is freshwater.
• White is reflective.
Any bright side?
• New passage through the
Arctic ocean from the Atlantic.
might increase trade and economic
boom to Arctic.
• Less hurricanes? Safer for trailer
homes in Florida.
• Longer summers!!
• Longer growing season= more food
What can we do?
• Conserve resources
• Reuse, recycle and reduce
• Proper disposal of chemicals
• Research: not to predict disaster
but create solutions
• Natural Resources Defense Council
• Shorten showers: even a one or
two minute reduction can save
up to 700 gallons per month
• Turn off the water while
brushing your teeth. Saves three
gallons each day.