Monday, May 9, 2011

What is Being Done and Solutions to Global Warming

Fig 1:
Everyone needs to understand that global warming does exist! The problem with global warming is if it is occurring at such higher rates because of human activity- and the answer is yes. There is an abundant amount of evidence that shows that not only do natural cycles and phenomenon’s cause global warming but also the activity humans do. The question now becomes what to do about global warming and this is a complex and hard question to answer. Although there is no simple one answer to this question, many humans have started taking steps toward helping lower the issue of global warming. One way this is being done is by lowering the amount of greenhouse gases (such as carbon dioxide) into the atmosphere. Productions such as cars are now being made to run on energy instead of gas, plastic is being recycled instead of thrown in garbage land fields where it takes them hundreds of years to biodegradable. Along with some of these solutions that are already being put in place, research and ideas are beginning to appear such as the idea to start storing carbon dioxide underground- called "carbon sequestration". Though every country, city, and town can choose their own way to take action towards the issue of global warming, solutions are being made and people are starting to help. Though the implications that have already been caused by humans may take time before results can be seen, people are doing something about it! As long as we head down the road of becoming greener the issue of global warming can only decrease. (Refer to sources under links)
Fig 2:

What the News Has to Say About Global Warming

As global warming becomes more and more of an issue, the news has started to talk about it. According to The New York Times, they feel that "Global warming [is] becom[ing] perhaps the most complicated issue facing world leaders" (New).  As we burn more and more greenhouses gases, such as carbon dioxide, our atmosphere is becoming more and warmer. This is due to the fact that the heat is not able to get out of the earth atmosphere causing the air to become warmer. The issue of global warming first appeared as "Global talks on climate change... in CancĂșn, Mexico... late in 2010" and due to this conferences globally have started to appear on how the issue can be resolved (New).  Though now dramatic measure have been taken yet, the issue has caught our representatives eye here in the United States. President Obama says "that he would put the United States on a path to addressing climate change by reducing emissions of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gas pollutants" (New). Some small steps have been taken such as the "the Environmental Protection Agency imposed its first regulations related to greenhouse gas emissions" (New). These regulations will help the US move to a more healthier earth and hopefully reduce the issue of global warming. Global warming is something that we can help reduce. If small steps such as recycling and find ways to mobilize without burning fossil feuls, we can make our earth a beautiful planet.

Refer to sources under links.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Texas A&M says Global Warming will Impact U.S Military Operations

With the summers becoming hotter in College Station due possibly to Global Warming, Professors at Texas A&M have started to research about what global warming holds for our earth's future. A professor of oceanography, Kennicutt, has started during research on how global warming will not only affect the oceans but also the US military. His research shows that warming climate presents not only National and Homeland security challenges that will cause the US military to have to find new ways of doing business with other countries and navigating. He says that “the U.S. military needs to know what the world will look like 20-30 years from now if it is to make the preparations today to cope with tomorrow’s realities”(Texas). Kennicutt has been doing a report with fellow employees that "...presents a rather foreboding series of possible outcomes as our planet warms and reacts to past and continued greenhouse gas emissions” (Texas). Kennicutt points out in his research that "if the polar icecaps in Greenland and Antarctica continue to melt, sea levels around the world will dramatically rise" (Texas). Rising sea levels could have wide ranging impacts on naval facilities across the globe now and in the future. In the Arctic, the Northwest Passage could become seasonally ice-free, allowing for routine transiting of ocean going vessels across the Arctic Ocean. This would be helpful in reducing shipping time by "as much as one-third from Europe to Asia alone" (Texas). Kennicutt says “It would open large areas of the Arctic Ocean that were previously inaccessible to fishing, tourism, oil and gas exploration and possible environmental disasters. Studies suggest that as much as 30 percent of the world’s remaining oil and gas reserves are above the Arctic Circle, so it seems inevitable that exploration, exploitation and transport of oil and gas in the region will increase.” Though these would be great opportunities it would also cause future changes in the politics and military strategies in the north, it has also been predicted that with these ice melts "...over the next few decades droughts will be more severe, and so will storms such as hurricanes and typhoons, and this could put a severe strain on the military as it tries to respond to increasingly frequent natural disasters worldwide" (Texas). Since the military responds in help to these disasters this would cause them to have to deal with natural disasters more often. The issue of global warming may have some positive changes to some in the future but these changes will only cause political issues between country boundaries, and cause trading and terrorism and easier opportunity, killing more animals and animal habitats, and causing military strategies to change.

Refer to source under links.

Cons to the Issue of Global Warming

The issue of global warming is something that affects people's political party affiliation. The issue is seen as a natural occurring process by Republicans and seen as an issue due to human factors by Democrats. I feel that the issue is due to both. There are cycles and natural disasters that occur that humans have no control over. However we do have control over how much fuel we are burning and how many trees we cut down. The world is highly populated and every year more and more people are born. Recycling and other processes to help keep our earth healthy and green are becoming a bigger need. However there have been no laws put into place to help keep our earth green and healthy. I feel that this is a growing concern and that the younger generations need to be aware of what’s happening and what can be done to help the issue of global warming. Some day we are going to be the ones setting laws into place and electing our representatives and finding answers to problems; and an answer needs to be found to decrease the issue of global warming. We have already started to see the impact global warming can have with the hotter summers we are having in Texas, floods in Australia, and the ice melting in Antarctica. Something needs to be done to help this issue and the answer lies within the young generations. 
Fig 1:   

Global Warming Affects on College Station/Bryan

The issue of global warming is something that is affecting the world globally but on a smaller scale, is also affecting College Station. In the last few years College Station has experienced summers hotter then usual and has also experienced snow, something Texas would normally not see. According to Gerald North, professor of atmospheric sciences and oceanography at Texas A&M University in College Station, The warming that has occurred in the last 100 years seems to be very unusual" and that "We [have not seen] warming changes like [this] for 10,000 years. The rate at which it is going up has not stopped"(Battalion). The changes in the last few years have been "3 degrees Celsius...about 5.5 degrees Fahrenheit" said Andrew Dessler, professor of atmospheric sciences and oceanography as well at Texas A&M (Battalion). Even though this might be a small change it  "...actually corresponds to extremely large changes in the global climate" around the world (Battalion). Dessler says that "in the last ice age there was 3000 feet of ice over Boston, the oceans were 300 feet lower than they are today and that was five to eight degrees Celsius cooler than it is today. "So if you lower the global temperature five to eight degrees Celsius, which is about 12 degrees Fahrenheit, you end up with an ice age" (Battalion). A few degree change might not seem like alot to many but in the big picture and with the issue of global warming, it is. These changes in the temperature from a few degrees warming and a few degrees colder are caused by the effect of global warming and global cooling (which causes ice ages). This could be the reason for hotter summers and students at A&M getting to experience snow days.

Refer to source under links.

Natural Occuring Phenomenon

 There is scientific proof of natural occurring cyclic activities that affect earth’s temperature. For the past million years the natural climate of earth has cycled between warm periods and cold periods; the shifting in and out of these cycles is associated with Milankovitch Cycles. According to the OSSS, "The Milankovitch cycle was created by an astronomer named Milutin Milankovitch who stated that the orbital gravitational forces caused by the movement of other planets in our solar system affects earth’s orbit just as ours affects theirs; thus, changes our orbit around the sun, the tilt of our axis, and the wobble of our axis" (Global). When these factors bring the northern hemisphere of earth closer to the sun, perihelion, you see ice melting quickly, the sea levels rising, and warmer weather; on the other hand, when the northern hemisphere is further from the sun, aphelion, it causes cooling.  As of now we are in the "...warm period which is estimated to last 20,000 years and will soon be followed by a cold period, which could last around 80,000 years" (NASA). Likewise over the past million years we have seen continents shift due to plate tectonics which affect heat transfer through ocean circulations. The "...location of the seas are important in controlling the transfer of heat and moisture across the globe; therefore determining global climate"(NASA). An example of heat transfer through ocean circulation is the Great Ocean Conveyor Belt, in this circulation you can see how heat is transferred through the ocean via great underwater currents; this cycle is estimated by NASA to "...take around a thousand years"(NASA). Plate movement also causes volcanoes to erupt; thus emitting more carbon dioxide into the atmosphere which causes global temperatures to rise.

Refer to links on the side.

Fig 1:

Monday, March 21, 2011

Visual Images Expression on Global Warming

In the last few years there have been many newspaper images and cartoons that have came out that make fun of the presidents or candidates and their opinions on global warming. During the election in 2008 with Al Gore, a cartoon came out in a newspaper of Gore holding the world on a string swinging it back and forth in front of his face, saying “your feeling warmer” as the globe was swung closer to him. The artist of this image/comic is using sarcasm to show that Gore is a believer of global warming. This artist uses sarcasm to show not that Gore is not a believer but to show that the artist is not a believer in it. The use of sarcasm can be very funny to those who also feel as the artists of the cartoon and don’t belief in global warming either. Gore is also the main and only person in the cartoon showing the focus on him and his view on global warming. The cartoon also is not very colorful but does use the colors red, white, and blue to show that it is an issue in the U.S. The artist also colors the earth mainly blue and no green. These colors show that issue of global in the sense of water increasing on earth from ice melting and no Greenland because of deforestation. The newspaper and media are a very good way to express political views on issues in the world. Through mostly sarcasm they achieve this goal.
Fig 1.