Difference Between Climate Change And Global Warming Pdf
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Global Warming - Impacts and Future Perspective. Global warming and climate change refer to an increase in average global temperatures. Natural events and human activities are believed to be main contributors to such increases in average global temperatures.
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- What is the difference between global warming and climate change?
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- What's the Difference Between Global Warming and Climate Change?
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Not a MyNAP member yet? Register for a free account to start saving and receiving special member only perks. Global warming is a prominent part of the climate change expected in association with the observed increases in greenhouse gas levels brought about by man's activities.
In addition, detection in the observational record of the expected global warming is confounded by flawed and patchy observations and because observed climate change is not geographically uniform. This paper discusses the difference between weather and climate and analyzes examples of recent climate anomalies, including the North American drought.
It also summarizes the climate changes expected from increased greenhouse gas concentrations in light of the observational record. The observed patterns of temperature change over the globe are not yet well accounted for by climate models.
Nevertheless, climate models are the best tool we have for quantifying the complex processes involved in climate change and for making future projections. There are many uncertainties in future projections of climate change: uncertainties about what form the climate change will take, how quickly it will develop, and how extreme it will be. With the recognition that climate changes are inevitable as a result of the observed increase in greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere, there is a great need for better observations and analyses to document the past and current climate and how it has changed with time.
The need is for both regional and global evidence, to the extent that it exists, for many climatological variables. While there are many uncertainties in any future projections, there are also some certainties.
The levels of several greenhouse gases are increasing and will continue to do so. Carbon dioxide is the best known greenhouse gas.
For example, observations at Mauna Loa show that since the carbon dioxide concentration has increased from to approximately ppm Figure 5. So concentrations have already increased by 25 percent, largely because of man's burning of fossil fuels and clearing of forests. The other greenhouse gases of note are methane, nitrous oxide, and the chlorofluorocarbons CFCs ; the concentrations of all these gases.
The pressures of population growth, more than any other factor, will guarantee this. It is not my purpose here to delve into this aspect any further, though it is a subject of interest in itself. Because these gases are greenhouse gases—that is, they interfere with the outgoing radiation Figure 5.
In the midst of all the uncertainties, we must not lose sight of this. The greenhouse gases are well mixed and globally distributed and the increase will undoubtedly cause climate change. The main prospect of this gas accumulation is indeed global warming.
During the summer drought of , there was a proliferation of news media speculations about a possible link between the drought and the greenhouse gas effect. In fact, the best assessment we can make indicates that the drought was, more likely, essentially a natural phenomenon brought about primarily by changes in the tropical sea surface temperatures SSTs in the Pacific Ocean.
The theory of the drought Figure 5. In the tropical Pacific, atmospheric winds drive the ocean currents and thus determine the SST patterns; simultaneously, the SSTs determine where the main convergence in winds occurs in the atmosphere and thus where the tropical storms and thunderstorms are most apt to form in organized patterns.
This pattern was favorable to a northward displacement of the Inter Tropical Convergence Zone, a region of organized thunderstorms, and resulted in a change of heating patterns in the atmosphere through the latent heat released in rainfall. In turn, the change in heating disrupted the atmospheric flow by setting up anomalous waves in the atmosphere, manifested as a change in the jet stream and associated storm tracks in mid-latitudes. In the spring of , this led to anticyclonic conditions over North America—conditions favorable for the development of the drought.
The dry conditions led to heat waves, because the incoming solar radiation in summer goes mostly into heating the atmosphere rather than to evaporating moisture, and this, along with the moisture shortage, led to a perpetuation of the drought.
The greenhouse effect may well have made the heat waves hotter and the drought somewhat more severe than it would have been otherwise, but these effects were probably relatively small. The drought would almost certainly have occurred without any enhanced greenhouse effect; droughts are essentially a natural phenomenon and have occurred throughout history.
In , there were other weather extremes to talk about. While it was listed as the sixth warmest year on record for the globe, the warmest year ever in Great Britain where the instrumental records, which begin in , are the longest anywhere , and also the sunniest year, there were some contraindications, including record cold outbreaks in the United States in February and again in December How are these consistent with the greenhouse gas effect?
While one possible explanation of these signs relates to whether or not there might be increases in extremes in a greenhouse gas world—a distinct possibility with respect to droughts, floods, and things like hurricanes—another likely prospect is that these extreme events were caused simply by ''weather'' or natural variability. There is a lot of confusion in the mind of the public on this issue.
Weather arises from internal instabilities in the atmosphere that produce anti-cyclones and cyclones, and cold and warm fronts, as the equator-to-pole temperature gradient is continually being eroded by cold polar outbreaks and warm southerlies in these weather systems, even as the incoming solar and outgoing earth radiation help maintain those temperature gradients.
Weather, then, is an atmospheric phenomenon, and it has an infinite range of variability. Climate, on the other hand, is more persistent, and we think of it as essentially forced, or caused, by things external to the atmosphere. Changes in greenhouse gas concentrations is another phenomenon external to the weather system. Other possibilities are changes in the sun, volcanic eruptions that blot out the sun, and interactions with snow, sea ice, and glaciers.
Climate then, involves not only the atmosphere but also the oceans and interactions with other parts of the climate system. There are three areas of concern related to the use of climate observations to detect climate change:. The problems of homogenizing the original data are severe because over time there have been changes in the following:.
For land temperatures, station locations have moved, such as from the central city to the airports in the s, and observation times have changed. Because daily averages sometimes use averages of hourly or six-hourly readings and sometimes simply average the daily maximum and minimum temperatures, changes in observation time can introduce a bias.
These effects can be corrected if the changes in instrumentation, station site, time, and method of measurement are known, but this is not the case for many places outside of the United States. Some studies use only land-based stations, but such an approach is hardly global. Climate data in Antarctica began only in Observations at many southern ocean islands were initiated in the s.
For SSTs there are huge gaps in coverage over the ocean as we go back in time Figure 5. Global coverage combining SST and land data is estimated as shown in Table 5.
Other problems with SSTs are the changes in the kinds of buckets used to bring up water for temperature measurements and the switch, especially around World War II, to use of engine room readings of temperatures of water brought in to cool the engines. Because of heat in the engine room, the latter tend to be 0. More recently, satellite data have introduced other kinds of errors because of contamination by water vapor and aerosols in the atmosphere and because the satellite sees only the surface—the skin temperature.
Figure 5. Of the two corrected versions here, one shows almost no trend, while the other shows an upward trend and is more similar to what land data show.
The point here is that the corrections that need to be made to the data are uncertain, at least to 0. TABLE 5. The best estimates we have of global and hemispheric temperatures Figure 5. Note that in the Southern Hemisphere, the temperature trend is what we might expect—the largest temperature increases occurred after World War II when greatest increases in greenhouse gases occurred. In contrast, the biggest jump in the Northern Hemisphere occurred in the s. The details of why the record is like this are not yet well understood.
A big question is whether the overall warming will continue, as we might expect because of the greenhouse effect, or whether temperatures will decline as they did in the s.
Of this overall warming, it is possible that 0. However, regionally, there are large departures from this pattern, and there has not been much of a trend for the United States Figure 5. For the United States, the highest temperatures are found in the s, the dust bowl era in which droughts and heat waves prevailed. For comparison, many years have been warmer than , the second-to-last point on Figure 5.
When we look regionally at the decade from to Figure 5. The western states were warmer but the eastern states colder, providing little change for the United States as a whole. Note also the cooling in the North Atlantic and North Pacific, which would not be well captured using only land data.
It turns out that this pattern. Contours are every 0. Over the North Pacific in winter November through March , the Aleutian Low pressure system was more intense than normal from to , bringing more southerly winds over the West Coast and Warmer, moister air into Alaska, while on the back side of the Aleutian Low colder, drier air caused cooling over the North Pacific. This change in circulation takes the form of a. Why did this occur?
A big part of it may be related to changes in the tropics and what meteorologists refer to as "teleconnections. A major question, at present unresolved, is whether there may be a change in intensity or frequency of ENSO events with global warming.
This is unprecedented in the past years. Consequently, the question of why it was warm in Alaska becomes one of why there were three ENSO events in a row. Is this a signal of the greenhouse effect?
Reliable precipitation climatologies are not available over the oceans because even where rare measurements from ships do exist, they are unreliable. Over land, the climatologies are undoubtedly useful, but still subject to inhomogeneities, and it is difficult to obtain good estimates of changes with time, except regionally.
The records that do exist exhibit strong variability on all time scales. Interannual variations, often associated with ENSO, are strong, and there are also large decadal scale variations that can be verified by changes in lake levels. In the United States, record high levels in Lake Michigan and the Great Salt Lake in provide evidence of the persistently above normal rainfalls from about to Figure 5. Some lower frequency variations and trends also appear in several records, but their reality is often less certain.
One example of a strong and persistent reduction in rainfall is in the Sahel region of Africa, which has caused Lake Chad in the central Sahel to fall substantially in recent decades.
For precipitation data, the large spatial variability and inherent small scales make coverage, analysis, and averaging methods important considerations. Small changes in station location and changes in exposure, such as tree growth, commonly corrupt rainfall records, but these changes are generally not detectable unless detailed station history records are kept. Because of the small-scale spatial variability, adjustment of rainfall records for inhomogeneities using an. The latter also means that many more stations are needed to adequately monitor rainfall than are needed to monitor temperature, especially in complex terrain areas.
In addition, changes in instrumentation through alterations in rain gauge design to address factors such as wind, wetting losses, and evaporation that affect the collection efficiency and measurement of rain, and especially snow, introduce biases with time that must be corrected. National practices for converting frozen precipitation into liquid equivalent vary. Correcting of the pervasive inhomogeneities in rainfall records with complete station records is essential if confidence is to be gained in how rainfall is changing with time.
Data for years prior to , however, are much more uncertain and have a different basis. Prior to , data from all.
What is the difference between global warming and climate change?
Not a MyNAP member yet? Register for a free account to start saving and receiving special member only perks. Global warming is a prominent part of the climate change expected in association with the observed increases in greenhouse gas levels brought about by man's activities. In addition, detection in the observational record of the expected global warming is confounded by flawed and patchy observations and because observed climate change is not geographically uniform. This paper discusses the difference between weather and climate and analyzes examples of recent climate anomalies, including the North American drought. It also summarizes the climate changes expected from increased greenhouse gas concentrations in light of the observational record.
Said another way, global warming is one symptom of the much larger problem of human-caused climate change. Global warming is just one symptom of the much larger problem of climate change. NOAA Climate. Another distinction between global warming and climate change is that when scientists or public leaders talk about global warming these days, they almost always mean human -caused warming—warming due to the rapid increase in carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases from people burning coal, oil, and gas. Climate change, on the other hand, can mean human-caused changes or natural ones, such as ice ages. The planet has experienced long cold periods "ice ages" and warm periods "interglacials" on ,year cycles for at least the last million years. Global warming is also different from past warming in its rate.
Global warming” refers to the long-term warming of the planet. “Climate change” encompasses global warming, but refers to the broader range of changes that.
What’s the difference between climate change and global warming?
Global warming generally refers to the observed warming of the planet due to human-caused greenhouse gas emissions. Climate change generally refers to all of the various long-term changes in our climate, including sea level rise, extreme weather, and ocean acidification. In general or popular usage, global warming and climate change have become interchangeable over the past several decades, and that trend is likely to continue this century, especially as the warming itself becomes more and more prominent. Arnold Schwarzenegger joins an elite team of wildland firefighters as they battle a new breed of forest fire, one made more deadly by climate change.
Not a MyNAP member yet? Register for a free account to start saving and receiving special member only perks. Research has also evaluated actions that could be taken—and in some cases are already being taken—to limit the magnitude of future climate change and adapt to its impacts. In the United States, a series of reports by the U.
Similarly, the terms "weather" and "climate" are sometimes confused, though they refer to events with broadly different spatial- and timescales. Weather refers to atmospheric conditions that occur locally over short periods of time—from minutes to hours or days. Familiar examples include rain, snow, clouds, winds, floods or thunderstorms.
What's the Difference Between Global Warming and Climate Change?
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This is somewhat understandable since the two concepts overlap a great deal. In fact, there is a causal relationship between the two. However, there are some subtle and some not-so-subtle differences between global warming and climate change. It can refer specifically to such warming that is due to the influence of rising concentrations of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. At night most of this energy is radiated back into space.
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