What is global warming?
Global warming is the rise in temperature of the earth’s atmosphere. It’s said that by the time a baby born today is 80 years old, the world could be 11 degrees warmer than it is now.
Is global warming bad?
The earth is naturally warmed by rays (or radiation) from the sun which pass through the earth’s atmosphere and are reflected back out to space again. The atmosphere’s made up of layers of gases, some of which are called ‘greenhouse gases’. They’re mostly natural and make up a kind of thermal blanket over the earth.
This lets some of the rays back out of the atmosphere, keeping the earth at the right temperature for animals, plants and humans to survive (60°F/16°C).
So some global warming is good. But if extra greenhouse gases are made, the thermal blanket gets thicker and too much heat is kept in the earth’s atmosphere. That’s when global warming’s bad.
What are the greenhouse gases?
Greenhouse gases are made out of:
- water vapour
- carbon dioxide
- nitrous oxide
- chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs)
How are extra greenhouse gases produced?
Extra greenhouse gases are produced through activities which release carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide and ozone CFCs (chlorofluorocarbons). These activities include:
- Burning coal and petrol, known as ‘fossil fuels’
- Cutting down of rainforests and other forests
- Animal waste which lets off methane
What’s the ‘ozone layer’ got to do with global warming?
The ozone layer is another important part of the atmosphere. It’s made up of ozone (a type of oxygen) that protects the earth from too many harmful rays called UVB.
Some greenhouse gasses damage it, letting in the harmful rays which could raise the Earth’s temperature.
So what could happen?
If Earth gets hotter, some of the important changes could happen:
- Water expands when it’s heated and oceans absorb more heat than land, so sea levels would rise.
- Sea levels would also rise due to the melting of the glaciers and sea ice.
- Animals like polar bears, which live on the ice, might die out.
- Cities on coasts would flood.
- Places that usually get lots of rain and snowfall might get hotter and drier.
- Lakes and rivers could dry up.
- There would be more droughts making hard to grow crops.
- Less water would be available for drinking, showers and swimming pools.
- Some plants and animals might become extinct because of the heat.
- Hurricanes, tornadoes and other storms which are caused by changes in heat and water evaporation may get more common
BOTH CLASSES OUR WORKING TOGETHER ON A PROJECT ABOUT GLOBAL WARMING FOR OUR MULTI-MEDIA FAIR.
WE WILL BE MAKING SEVERAL TECH PROJECTS/ POWER-POINTS AND A MOVIE ABOUT GLOBAL WARMING.
TODAY LETS DO OUR FIRST BLOG PIECE. (THESE WRITTEN BLOG PIECES ARE ACTUALLY THE FOUNDATION OF OUR TECH PROJECTS AS MOVIE AND POWERPOINTS WILL COME FROM OUR BLOG PIECES ABOUT GLOBAL WARMING.)
WRITE A FEW SENTENCES ABOUT GLOBAL WARMING ANSWERING THE FOLLOWING QUESTIONS
1. WHAT IS GLOBAL WARMING?
2. WHAT IS CAUSING GLOBAL WARMING?
3. WHAT ARE SOME OF THE EFFECTS ON ANIMALS, HUMANS, AND THE POLAR ICECAPS WE CAN
EXPECT TO SEE DUE TO GLOBAL WARMING?
4. WHAT CAN BE DONE TO SLOW DOWN GLOBAL WARMING.
INCLUDE FACTS AND YOU CAN REFER TO THE SHORT MOIVE I MADE FOR YOU ON GLOBAL WARMING OR OR ONE OF THESE LINKS AS A RESOURCE FOR INFORMATION
CLICK ON THE PICTURE BELOW TO WATCH THE MOVIE.
WHEN YOU ARE READY BLOG YOUR RESPONSE TO THE QUESTIONS BY CLICKING ON THE COMMENT BUTTON.
Below is a reprint of the New York Times Article on Ground Hog’s day and Global Warming , featuring our own Staten Island Chuck. After we read the article click on the picture to hear a podcast on global warming. ( takes time to download)
The Ground Hog emerged and Sounded a lot like Al Gore.
Groundhog Day has been part of the Western calendar since around the fifth century, which means it has survived centuries of Catholicism, the Reformation, the Enlightenment, the Industrial Revolution, and the advent of the agriculture of cloned sheep.
But whether it will survive in an age of global warming was one question — albeit not the biggest one — raised by the awkward coincidence yesterday of Groundhog Day 2007 falling on the same day a report was released by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change of the United Nations.
The report said that global warming was an unequivocal fact likely to make summers hotter and winters warmer for the next few centuries, with potentially dire consequences for the ecosystem. Groundhogs around the country, including the legendary Pennsylvania groundhog known as Punxsutawney Phil, basically concurred yesterday, shunning their shadows to predict an early spring.
But in this winter that almost wasn’t, that hardly seemed an accomplishment in prognostication — an untrained house cat could most likely have said the same.
“It is pretty clear that the groundhog is at some level being influenced by news coverage” of the whole global warming phenomenon, said Fred Gadomski, a meteorologist at Pennsylvania State University. “I have been noticing little contemporary phrases like ‘El Niño’ creeping into their little proclamations.”
In fact, both “El Niño” and “global warming” appeared in the official forecast read on Phil’s behalf at 7:28 a.m. yesterday by a spokesman for the Punxsutawney Groundhog Club, an organization loosely affiliated with the Chamber of Commerce of Punxsutawney, Pa., whose usual population of 6,000 swells to around 20,000 for the annual announcement.
“El Niño has caused high winds, heavy snow, ice and freezing temperatures in the West,” the four-legged forecaster began his four-couplet decree. “Here in the East with much mild winter weather we have been blessed.
“Global warming has caused a great debate; this mild winter makes it seem just great,” he continued. “On this Groundhog Day we think of one thing. Will we have winter or will we have spring? On Gobbler’s Knob I see no shadow today. I predict that early spring is on the way.”
Tom Chapin, editor of the local newspaper, The Punxsutawney Spirit, said the Punxsutawney groundhog’s use of such climate-change buzzwords was evidence of the extraordinary powers extant in certain members of the species, noting that “Phil, as far as I know, cannot read.”
In its earliest incarnation, Groundhog Day or something like it was a pagan observance, marking the midpoint between the winter solstice and spring equinox, according to historians.
Burrowing animals like the groundhog were said to have the supernatural ability to foretell an early spring. The observance merged at some point with the Christian holiday of Candlemas, and the tradition embodied in this proverb: “If Candlemas be fair and bright, winter will have another fight. If Candlemas brings cloud and rain, winter won’t come again.”
Mike Halpert, chief forecaster for the Climate Prediction Center of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, said that groundhog prognostication — while never used by the government, and “never very good” — was likely to remain for the foreseeable future as good as the average citizen’s guesswork, regardless of climate changes predicted in the United Nations panel’s report. “Just because we have global warming doesn’t mean that winter won’t still occur, and that there won’t still be variations in its duration,” Mr. Halpert noted.
New York-area groundhogs known as Malverne Mel and Holtsville Hal, both searching for their shadows on Long Island, attesting perhaps to the unreliability of marmot, house cat or other forms of inspirational climatology, issued split predictions. Mel foresaw an early spring, and Hal a long winter.
But Roberta Dinsmore, the librarian at Punxsutawney Memorial Library, where Punxsutawney Phil lives on the other side of a picture window on the ground floor (his burrow, complete with underground stream, was built in a mound of dirt there) said her town’s groundhog should never be compared to others.
“Oh, you know, he’s been very good,” Mrs. Dinsmore said in a telephone interview. “He will never be obsolete.” She had heard about the United Nations panel’s report, and called it “very important,” but said it would in no way make Phil moot.
“He has been right so often,” she said. “Anyway, I am pretty sure of that. You can check for yourself.”
The groundhog club claims that since 1886, Phil — there have been several — has seen his shadow 96 times, has not seen it 15 times and there are no records for nine years. Whether he has been “right” depends on when spring began in each of those years, a subjective question; but in this age of warming, he has seen his shadow — foretelling a longer winter — each of the past six years, until yesterday.
Mrs. Dinsmore was asked to describe Phil’s personality.
“Well, he loves bananas,” she said. “He lives with two little cousins. He’s very social. He’s quite fat.
“He was on ‘Oprah,’ you know,” she added. “He liked that very much.”
Gee it is finally cold around here (New York City) the way it is supposed to be in January. We may even get some snow. Here in NYC it is has been a very warm winter and there has been a lot of discussion of global warming.
In the mean while up in the Canadian Artic they are having their own problem with global warming. A massive ice shelf has broken off an island in the Canadian Arctic and could cause chaos when it starts floating away, scientists have warned.
If the ice starts floating into areas where ships go, it could cause big problems.
It’s thought to be the largest ice break for 25 years.
The ice broke off back in August 2005 but has only just been spotted.
At the moment, the ice shelf can’t do much damage, as the Arctic is frozen up for the winter, the scientists say. But once the sea ice melts next summer, the block of ice could start moving about and causing damage.