|Introduction||Basics of Climate Change||Dangers of Linear Thinking||Human • Policy • Economy||Outlook||Appendix • Publisher's Corner|
In the following slides, the most important scientific discoveries on climate change and its effects are roughly summarized.
Carbon dioxide CO 2
Carbon dioxide is a member of the so-called greenhouse gases. The emission of each kind of gas causes an increase in temperature level (Global Warming) in the atmosphere and on the surface of the earth (land, sea). Until now, carbon dioxide has played the largest part. Roger Revelle and Charles David Keeling proved that the significant rise in atmospheric carbon dioxide concentration is caused by humans.
Methane CH 4
Methane, which has 21 times the greenhouse effect of carbon dioxide, breaks down into carbon dioxide in the atmosphere in more than 8 years. The addition of methane into the atmosphere is increasing at a considerably faster rate than that of carbon dioxide.
Other greenhouse gases exist in addition to carbon dioxide and methane however these play a less considerable role with regard to global warming.
The rising surface temperatures intensify the evaporation over water and land (=> drying of the soil). The water content increases in the atmosphere (=> more + heavier precipitation. The capacity of heat retention rises).
Energy E GLOBAL
The higher temperature level supplies all climate related processes with more energy. These climate processes progress with a higher speed. Their effects on the surface of the earth (land, sea) are considerable.
Albedo describes the ratio of diffusely reflected to directly applied solar radiation. The albedo for snow and ice surfaces can be up to 90 % (=> strong reflection); for other types of surfaces up to 20 % (=> strong warming). The decline in snow and ice surfaces as a result of global warming causes the following cyclical process:
Exposure of natural surfaces (land, sea) => decrease in albedo => strengthening of global warming => increased loss of snow and ice surfaces => exposure …
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