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What will happen if global warming continues

Global warming is the way we call the gradual process of increasing the temperature of the planet Earth, among other causes, intensifying the greenhouse effect.   The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) concludes that much of increase since mid-twentieth century is due to the increase in anthropogenic greenhouse gas concentrations.   Probably natural phenomena such as solar variation and volcanoes caused some global warming from pre-industrial times to 1950 and a slight cooling from 1950 onwards.     These basic conclusions have been endorsed by at least 30 societies and academies of science,   including all of the national academies of science of countries industrialized world.       While some individual scientists have shown disagreement with this hypothesis,   the vast majority of scientists working on climate change agree with the main conclusions of the IPCC.    

Projections from climate models indicate that surface temperatures will increase by 1.1 to 6.6 ° C during the XXI century.   The uncertainty in this estimate is an increase or no gas emissions greenhouse and use of models with different climate sensitivity. Another thing is uncertain how warming and other related changes will vary in each region. Most studies focus on the period after 2100, and it is believed that the warming will continue a thousand years if greenhouse gas levels are stabilized. This is due to the large heat capacity of the oceans. 

rainfall temperature correlation

Rainfall and temperature correlation

Increasing global temperature will cause rising sea levels and change the number of rainfall, including an expansion of the subtropical desert regions.   Other effects include increased intensity of extreme weather changes in yields, modifications of trade routes, the retreat of glaciers and species extinction. According to Nicholas Stern, former World Bank economist, the cost of climate change could be between 5% and 20% of world GDP in 2050. 

Most governments have signed and ratified the Kyoto Protocol to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

What will happen if global warming continues

Scientific data

 The scientific consensus (although there are voices that oppose this hypothesis) about global warming is that the Earth is warming and that emissions of greenhouse gases produced by humans are very significant. However, it is not known precisely the relationship between these two phenomena.

Scientists know that the atmosphere by adding carbon dioxide (CO2) and methane (CH4) into the atmosphere, caeteris paribus, without any other changes, global temperatures would increase. In fact, the greenhouse gases that have been in the atmosphere for millions of years, created a natural greenhouse effect without which the Earth’s temperature would be 30 ° C lower uninhabitable. Therefore, there is no debate about the fact that adding CO2 and CH4 ceteris paribus average temperatures will increase, but the net effect would be that the increase of these gases or interaction with other gases, and if changes in the biosphere, in water vapor or clouds cancel the heating effect. The results are also an issue controvertible weather; do not know exactly whether the temperature increase would more or less precipitation (increased water vapor in the atmosphere increases the humidity but decrease precipitation). In either case, global warming in the short term, even a few degrees, it could have very significant effects: melting ice caps and flood coastal areas, desertification, climate change, etc.

From 1860 to 1900 the global temperature (land and sea) has increased by 0.75 ° C. Temperatures in the lower atmosphere have increased between 0.12 and 0.22 ° C every decade since 1979. It is believed that during 1000, 1850 or 2000 years before temperatures were stable with fluctuations in local or regional, as now Medieval Warm Period or the Little Ice Age. The length of time over which concentrates research climate varies depending on the approach of the deadline (short or long) and data available for research. The data on global temperatures began in 1860. Other studies recommend extending the 1000 model years. The measurements of the troposphere satel·litals available starting in 1979.

Throughout the last century, global temperature (land and sea) has increased by 0.6 ± 0.2 ° C.   The effects of this are measurable global warming. Also, the atmospheric carbon dioxide has increased from 280 parts per million (ppm) by volume in 1880 to about 315 ppm in 1958 and 367 ppm in 2000, an increase of 31% in 200 years. According to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, eleven of the last twelve years (referring to the period 1995-2006) are among the twelve warmest years since 1850,     date from which to measure global temperature of the planet. Other greenhouse gas emissions have also increased. The expected future emissions of carbon dioxide continue to grow due to the use of fossil fuels, though the course will depend on economic developments, sociological, technological and natural.

Causes warming

Theory of anthropogenic causes

For many scientists the increase of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases, and the increase in global temperature are related. This theory has been summarized in the research of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). In its Third Assessment Report, the IPCC concluded that “most of the warming observed over the last 50 years is attributable to human activities.”

The IPCC has several possible scenarios of emissions of carbon dioxide between 540 and 970 ppm for 2100. Climate models affected by the estimated increase in carbon dioxide and, to a lesser extent, the decrease in aerosols sulfate predict a rise in temperature between 1.4 and 5.8 ° C between 1990 and 2100. Most of the uncertainty of models is caused by lack of knowledge of future emissions of carbon dioxide, and the uncertainty about the accuracy of climate models. Searches of climate predict that if the levels of greenhouse gases and solar activity remain constant, there would still increase by 0.5 ° C (and some models predict an increase of 1 ° C) during the next 100 years.

Coal power plants, emissions from cars and factories and other human activity produces 22 billion tons of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases each year. Agriculture, fertilizer or manure, natural gas, rice paddies, compounds and other sources contribute 250 million tons of methane each year. Half of the emissions in the atmosphere are still human. Atmospheric concentrations of CO2 and CH4 have increased 31% and 149% respectively from preindustrial levels of 1750. This increase is considerably higher than during any other time of the last 650,000 years, according to available data extraction ice sheets. The indirect geological evidence, it is believed that the values ​​of carbon dioxide today existed 40 million years ago. Three quarters of the anthropogenic emissions of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere during the past 20 years are caused by burning fossil fuel. The rest comes from the change in land use, mainly because of deforestation.   It should be noted that anthropogenic emissions of other pollutants, mainly sulphate aerosol, can have the opposite effect of cooling. 

Kyoto Protocol

Although the presentation of the theory of anthropogenic causes has had much acceptance and economic incentives (especially Russia) were enough to persuade the governments of 150 nations ratified the Kyoto Protocol, there are still problems on the amount of gas that cause global warming. Uncertainty remains and has been emphasized by politicians, and although there are others who question the costs needed to reduce global warming. However, the trend of the position of the business has been the acceptance of the anthropogenic causes of global warming and the need to take action and economic controls through the exchange of carbon emission permits or the Approval carbon tax. Therefore, several countries have agreed to sign the Kyoto Protocol. However, the signing of this agreement has been very slow, as some politicians controvertible countries consider developing a severe constraint on their economic and industrial development. They believe that will not reach the level of development of Europe and the United States proposed restrictions and that these developed regions reached their level of development through a long process since the nineteenth century industrial growth accompanied by high pollen tion, a process that is considered inevitable. The agreement therefore included special clauses differentiate the degree of development of countries without putting any restrictions on poor countries immediately regardless of the size of their economy (China and India for example, are two of the main polluting countries in the world, but its classification as poor countries are excluded from the restrictions imposed on Europe and Japan, this is one of the reasons why the United States has not ratified the agreement) .

Theory of anthropogenic causes no

While it is true that there has been a slight increase in average temperatures in the last century, it is also true that there were natural variations in the average temperature of the Earth much more important in the past and there still no absolute certainty about whether the current changes are due to human activity, or explained by natural cycles.

The climate system varies through natural processes (internal) and external variations, caused by humans or nature (such as changes in Earth’s orbit around the sun, called Milankovitch cycles, solar activity and volcanic emissions). Climatologists agree that the earth has warmed in recent years. The controversy, however, is the cause of this increase.

Have published reports showing that geographical and climatological ice sheets of Greenland and Iceland have grown the last twenty years and the ice of Antarctica,   which suggests that climate models are much more complex than previously thought and that depends on many more variables than anthropogenic activities. This group of scientists also argue that the rise in temperatures has been located only in certain regions while other temperatures have shown a considerable decline in recent years   and therefore it is not a global phenomenon.

The following are some alternative theories proposed by the scientific community on the causes of global warming:

Variations direct solar radiation is the main cause of global warming. According to scientific research, cooling and heating periods have coincided with changes in sunspots and / or radiation. Third Assessment Report of the IPCC suggests that the causes volcanic and solar could cause half of the variations in temperature before 1950, but the net effect of these natural variations has been neutral since. In particular, climate change caused by greenhouse gases from 1750 was, according to their estimates, eight times larger than the change caused by increased solar activity during the same period. For proponents of alternative theories such effects are proof of the second theory, the theory of the output of the cooling period.

The warming is the result of the exit of a cooling period, the Little Ice Age, and therefore requires no other explanation. During the Middle Ages the temperatures were much higher, comparable to current temperatures. From the sixteenth century the planet experienced a cooling causes even today controvertibles that would last until the nineteenth century.

The heating is within the range of natural variation historical and requires no other explanation in particular.

The warming trend has not been established clearly do not know what is the responsibility of humans in the natural process of global warming.

Measures to control global warming

The answer to the challenge of controlling global warming requires fundamental changes in energy production, transport, industry, government policies and development plans across the globe. Although these changes require time, the current challenge is to control the inevitable consequences with measures to avoid more serious consequences in the future. The reduction of emissions of greenhouse gases (also called mitigation of greenhouse gases) is a necessary measure to control global warming. There are two main strategies to slow the accumulation of greenhouse gases. One is to reduce the use of fossil fuels, reducing emissions of greenhouse gases.   The other is to keep carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere by storing gas or its carbon component in Furthermore, what is known as carbon capture and sequestration. 

Carbon capture

One way to avoid emissions of carbon dioxide reaching the atmosphere is to conserve and plant more trees. The trees (particularly the young and fast growing) removed a lot of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and store carbon atoms on new wood. Around the world forests are disappearing at an alarming rate, especially in the tropics. In many areas, reforestation is scarce and the land loses fertility or intended for other uses as cultivated lands or urban development. In addition, the trees, when they are felled or burned, they release stored carbon into the atmosphere as carbon dioxide. Slowing the rate of deforestation and planting new trees to help offset the buildup of greenhouse gases. 

It is also possible direct capture of carbon dioxide in gaseous form. Before injected into empty oil wells to force out oil from the ground or seabed.   It is possible to use this same process to store carbon dioxide released by a plant for energy production a factory. For example, since 1996 the process has been used in a natural gas drilling rig near the coast of Norway.   Carbon dioxide leaves the surface with natural gas is captured, compressed and then injected in an aquifer deep below the seabed, which can not escape. In most cases, the process of capturing carbon dioxide also involves the transportation of compressed gas in suitable locations for storage beneath the surface. The deep ocean waters could also absorb a lot of carbon dioxide but its effects on ocean life can be harmful. The viability and environmental effects of these measures are being studied by international teams. 

Energy sources

Global consumption of fossil fuels is increasing every year. However, energy use worldwide is slowly changing: fuels that emit lots of carbon dioxide is being replaced by fuels that emit less quantity of this gas.

The wood was to be the primary source of energy used by humans, and the Industrial Revolution (mid eighteenth century), coal was becoming the main source of energy. Towards mid-nineteenth century the use of oil surpassed the coal to power internal combustion engines, which are then used in cars. In the nineteenth century began widespread use of natural gas for heat and light. The combustion of natural gas emits less carbon dioxide than oil which, in turn, emits less than coal or wood. However, there may be a change in this trend as depleted oil reserves. By now, we are beginning to use other fuels, such as tar sands. The production of oil from tar sands involves the extraction and refining process that emits carbon dioxide.   In addition, the relative abundance of coal reserves in countries like China and the United States could cause A new rise in the use of coal to generate electricity. Innovative technologies for coal-fired power plants could help mitigate the harmful effects.

It is only possible to achieve a substantial reduction in emissions of carbon dioxide by changing the source of energy, which now is obtained from fossil fuels. Nuclear power plants do not emit carbon dioxide but the nuclear power generated controversy for reasons of caution, safety, as well as the high cost of nuclear waste disposal.   The renewable solar, wind and obtained from the Hydrogen does not emit greenhouse gases. These alternative energy sources can be less polluting practices when compared with the use of fossil fuels. Other options are fuels made from plants such as biodiesel (vegetable oil obtained from new and used) and bioethanol (a gasoline additive obtained from plants). The use of these fuels help reduce total emissions of carbon dioxide by cars. The electric car hybrid that uses an electric motor combined with a gasoline or diesel, emits less carbon dioxide than conventional cars. 

International agreements

International cooperation is needed to achieve a reduction of greenhouse gases. The first international conference on this issue was held in 1992 in Rio de Janeiro (Brazil). At the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (known informally as the Rio Summit or Earth Summit (1992)) countries attending pledged to tackle the problem of greenhouse gases by signing the Convention Framework Convention on Climate Change. So far, over 180 countries have ratified the Convention, which commits countries to stabilize greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere at a level that would prevent dangerous human interference with the climate. This is necessary because the ecosystems can adapt naturally to global warming,   not to jeopardize food production   and that economic development is sustainable.

The countries that attended the Earth Summit (1992) agreed to meet again to translate these good intentions into a binding treaty on reducing emissions. In 1997, 160 countries met in Japan, which agreed to the so-called Kyoto Protocol. This treaty sets mandatory targets for the reduction of emissions of greenhouse gases. The industrialized countries that signed the treaty are obliged to reduce their emissions by 5% below the amount issued in 1990. This reduction should be achieved by 2012 and measures to achieve this should start applied in 2008.   Developing countries are not required to meet these reductions, since according to the rules of the Kyoto Protocol, industrialized countries must take the first steps because they are responsible for most emissions up and now have more resources to achieve this reduction.

This Protocol does not enter into force unless it was signed by industrialized countries responsible for 55% of emissions in 1990. This was achieved in November 2004 (when Russia approved the treaty) and was implemented in February 2005 .   In late 2006, 166 countries had signed and ratified the treaty. Among the countries that did not make it necessary to highlight the United States. 

The Kyoto Protocol (which expires in 2012) is only the first step towards the reduction of emissions of greenhouse gases. To stabilize or reduce emissions in the XXI century it is necessary to take broader measures and firm. This is due in part to the recommendations of the treaty did not take into account the rapid industrialization of countries like China and India, which are exempt from developing countries meet the treaty.   However, it is expected that developing countries produce half the emissions of greenhouse gases to 2035.   The leaders of these countries argue that emissions controls have cost considerable difficulty economic development.

In 2007 the European Union (EU) took on a new international initiative to control global warming. At the summit held in March, the 27 European countries to agree reference exceeded the recommendations proposed in the Kyoto Protocol to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases. This agreement set ambitious targets for the European Union, although still to determine the objectives and rules for each country through further negotiations.

In this agreement, the leaders of the European Union decided in 2020 to reduce emissions by 20% compared to the figures for 1990 or up to 30% if countries outside the EU to join this agreement. They also agreed that renewable energy (such as solar and wind) will represent 20% of the total energy in the European Union in 2020 (an increase of 14%). They also agreed to carry out an increase (up 10%) energy fuels obtained from plants such as biodiesel and bioethanol. Along with these goals, the leaders EU agreed on a plan to promote low-energy fluorescent bulbs, following the example of countries like Australia, New Zealand, Canada and the Philippines have progressively limited the use of incandescent bulbs of higher consumption.

What will happen if global warming continues ? Future Approach

Perhaps the CO2 compensation mechanism works. In a period of hundreds of years, perhaps the sun will enter a new low. Within a period of thousands of years, perhaps save us the next ice age.

In the Cretaceous, without human intervention, CO2 was higher now and the Earth was 8 ° C warmer.

Interdisciplinary Subject

Climate change need to consider issues pertaining to diverse fields of science: meteorology, physics, chemistry, astronomy, geology and biology (endangered species), there are many things to say. This is why Wikipedia is open to all specialists wishing to have their say.

Consequences of climate change

desertion / what will happen if global warming continues


The consequences of climate change can not be determined exactly, because we do not know the behavior of the atmosphere in the new conditions. However, forecasts are that are:

  • Rising sea levels due to melting ice partial and total or partial disappearance of glaciers not only by increasing the amount of water but also by the greater volume of ocean water as consequently having warmed.
  • Disappearance of growing areas near the coasts, and many coastal cities.
  • Changes in rainfall current regime: increased costs and decreased rainfall in the islands due to the evaporation of water.
  • Changes in the distribution of vegetation. Decrease in arable areas and vegetation due to drought. Expansion of desert areas, or desertification.
  • Appearance of tropical diseases in areas where there are now, like malaria or cholera in Europe.

International studies

In September 2013, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, GEICC (in English Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, IPCC) presented the Summary for Policymakers the first chapter of the 5th Report on Climate Change  The Physical Science Basis. This report presents the most current knowledge on the subject and presented changes with respect to the four previously published reports, such as the effect of human influence on climate.

The other two chapters and the final document will synthesis during 2014:

Impacts, Adaptation and Vulnerability (Working Group II) was presented at the meeting in Yokohama (Japan) in March 2014

Climate change mitigation (Working Group III) was released in Berlin (Germany), April 2014

Summary document, released at a meeting in Denmark in October 2014

Previous studies also published by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change are:

  • First study on Climate Change (known by the acronym FAR): The Physical Science Basis (1990), Study Impact (1990), Response Strategies (1991)
  • Second Study on Climate Change (known as SAR): The Science of Climate Change (1995), Impacts, Adaptation and Mitigation of Climate Change (1995), Economic and Social Dimension of Climate Change (2005) Synthesis Report (2005)
  • Third study on Climate Change (called TAR): The Scientific Basis (2001) Impacts, Adaptation and Vulnerability (2001), mitigation (2001) Synthesis Report (2001)
  • Fourth studio on Climate Change (known as AR4): The Physical Science Basis (2007), Impacts, Adaptation and Vulnerabilitt (2007) Climate Change Mitigation (2007) Synthesis Report (2007)

Ancient global warming and what it might mean for the future

This event, the Paleocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum, is one where the global climate warmed something like 5 to 8 degrees centigrade in a period of 10,000 years.

And then it remained that much warmer than it had been for the next 100,000 years,  and then the temperature began to decline back towards its original state.

And that warming is absolutely associated with a very large release of carbon. into the ocean atmosphere system. So we know what caused it, and what caused it was similar to what’s causing global warming today.

Studying the plants: what happened to the plants during that period, mostly in Wyoming because it’s a place where rocks of that age were being deposited very rapidly during the Paleocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum. In that part in the world, before the the Paleocene-Eocene

Thermal Maximum started, the forests were composed of a mixture of plants that we think of as being sort of deciduous forest trees today, things like Birches and Walnut trees and

Dogwoods but also mixed with things like Dawn Redwood as a very common kind of tree, and Palm trees, which of course grow mostly farther south.

So that was kind of a typical forest type for many millions of years prior to the beginning of the Paleocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum.

Then in a very short period  in about 10,000 years, those plants are locally extirpated.

[blockquote author=”Dr. Scott Wing, Curator of Fossil Plants ” pull=”normal”]We find no record of them, and they’re replaced by plants that have living relatives that grow mostly in dry topical forests today, so these are plants that wouldn’t be familiar to most people in the continental U.S. because they don’t grow here anymore, but they are groups of plants that tolerate very warm conditions and also a pretty good dry season.[/blockquote]

More like the kinds of plants that you might find in a dry forest in Costa Rica or southern Mexico, and those plants are very abundant for the 100,000 year period of the PETM and then towards the end of that period as the climate begins to cool again, we see the return of what had been the native flora, the Walnuts and the Birch relatives and the Dogwood relatives and the Dawn

Redwoods return to the area, so they must have survived some place because many of them return, though some of them don’t.

So we probably had some extinctions associated with that warming event, but we also had a lot of just movement of species. They disappeared in one area, they couldn’t survive there,  they survived somewhere else and then they returned.

The paleontological record gives us a way of studying  climate change events that have already happened, where we can see what happened, we don’t have to wait to see whether we’re right.

We can make a predication and then consult the archive of the planet’s history in the rock record and in the fossil record and find out what actually did happen.

Which Countries Will Be Underwater Due To Climate Change?

Sea levels are rising, but which countries are most at risk? We’ve got a detailed report, and the results might just include you.

Last week, the UN hosted their climate summit in New York City, to establish a plan for reducing carbon emissions. It’s a hefty topic, with a lot of political discussions surrounding it – but one of the discussions you don’t often hear, is how climate change will actually affect people in different countries around the world.

Fortunately, just published an analysis of exactly that. It offers a country-by-country estimate of populations that are most at risk for regular flooding, based on a new set of sea-level data more comprehensive than ever before. Regular flooding in this case, is defined by a flood at least once every 3 years.

So who’s at most risk?

Take a look at this chart from the New York Times, based on this data. Each box represents a coastal country. The bigger the box, the higher percentage of that country’s population who will be exposed to regular flooding by the year 2100. If global carbon emissions continue on their current trend, that amounts to 2.6% of the world’s population, or 177 million people. But there are other options in this chart, to account for more conservative and liberal estimates.

Flooding risk if climate change continues happening

At minimum, even with extremely rigorous cuts to global emissions and oceans that are far less sensitive to climate change than we expect, 1.9% of the population of coastal countries would still be affected by flooding. And at worst, that figure would rise to 3.1%. If you go by the expected estimate of 177 million, though, 50 million of those people live in China. That’s the most out of any country, and yet China continues to be the world’s largest producer of carbon emissions.

Interestingly, the US – also one of the world’s largest carbon emitters per capita – only ranks #34 on the list, right between India and Madagascar.

Top 20 flooding risk countries

Top 20 flooding risk countries

Notice that 8 of the top 10 countries most at risk are in Asia. Yet if you consider the amount of residents, The Netherlands actually ranks highest, per capita. 40% of their population would be at risk from regular flooding. But because they possess the world’s most advanced levee system, their practical risk is actually quite low.

Even with all this data, – there’s still a good chance we’re underestimating the risks of what will happen if global warming continues. The US, for example, has much more detailed elevation data than most other countries, so when the group used that data to create their estimates, they actually found their projections for the US were much too conservative.

Assuming other countries had access to similar data, then the global estimates could increase dramatically, from 177 million up to 500 million.

Of course it’s important to remember that these are just estimates thoughts about What will happen if global warming continues increasing. There’s a lot of uncertainty surrounding climate change, and its pace can vary from decade to decade, especially as governments start to wisen up – and change their policies accordingly.