Climate Monitor

Climate Change Greenhouse Emissions Environmental Impacts
June 14 2024

What is Climate Change?

Climate change is a significant challenge resulting from both human and natural factors. The increased concentration of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere plays a central role. Activities like fossil fuel burning, deforestation, and agriculture have contributed to the release of these gases, intensifying the natural greenhouse effect. This has led to a notable rise in global temperatures, triggering various environmental impacts.

Global Temperature Anomaly

This map represents temperature anomalies across the world, specifically showing how the temperatures at different latitudinal and longitudinal points deviate from a baseline temperature. Temperature anomalies refer to the difference between the observed temperature at a specific location and the long-term average temperature for that same location during a specific period.

Year Over Year Surface Temperature

NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISTEMP)

GISTEMP provides global temperature anomalies, which represent the deviation of temperature from a baseline period (1980-2015). Positive anomalies indicate that the temperature is higher than the baseline average, while negative anomalies indicate that the temperature is lower.

By incorporating data from both land and sea, you can get a more complete picture of global surface temperatures. This comprehensive coverage enables researchers to analyze and understand changes in temperature across both terrestrial and marine environments.

These are temperature measurements from ground-based weather stations located on different continents and regions around the world. They provide temperature measurements for various locations on land since 1880.

Ocean Surface Temperature Anomoly

All Oceans Globally

These are temperature measurements from buoys, ships, and satellites which are used to estimate the sea surface temperatures across the globe since 1880.

Pacific Ocean - El Nino Warming Phase

The Oceanic Niño Index (ONI) is a rolling 3-month average temperature anomaly, and used for tracking El Niño-Southern Oscillation climate patterns. Based on the latest data for the last 3 months (MAM), the Oceanic Nino Index is currently 0.75, signifying a El Nino period. A persistent above average sea surface temperature may signify an El Niño episode. Conversely, a below average sea surface temperature will signal the onset of La Nina occurences.

Greenhouse Gas Emissions

Escalating greenhouse gas emissions have been found to correlate with the global temperature increase. CO2, primarily from fossil fuel combustion, traps heat in the atmosphere and disrupts natural carbon sinks, exacerbating the issue. Similarly, CH4 emissions from sources like livestock, landfills, and wetlands significantly contribute to the warming effect. As a consequence, we observe consequences like polar ice caps and glacier melting, rising sea levels, more extreme weather events, and effects on delicate ecosystems and biodiversity.

Carbon dioxide (CO2) is a colorless gas found in Earth's atmosphere. It is produced through natural processes (respiration, volcanic eruptions) and human activities (burning fossil fuels, deforestation). CO2 is a greenhouse gas, trapping heat in the atmosphere, contributing to global warming and climate change.

Over the past century, human activities have increased CO2 levels significantly. Prior to the Industrial Revolution, CO2 levels were around 280 ppm. Today, they exceed 410 ppm, the highest in 800,000 years. This rise in CO2 is linked to rising temperatures, melting ice, and ocean acidification. Monitoring CO2 is critical for understanding climate change's impact.

Methane (CH4) is a colorless and odorless gas present in the Earth's atmosphere. It is generated through natural processes like wetlands, termites, and geological sources, as well as human activities such as agriculture, livestock farming, and fossil fuel extraction. Methane is a potent greenhouse gas, having a significantly higher heat-trapping capacity than carbon dioxide. Its impact on climate change includes contributing to global warming and influencing weather patterns. Over recent years, methane concentrations in the atmosphere have been increasing, warranting careful monitoring and mitigation efforts to address its environmental implications.

Environmental Impacts

Environmental impacts are becoming more severe, causing devastating impacts on communities and infrastructure. Hurricanes, heatwaves, droughts, and wildfires have become more frequent, posing significant threats to ecosystems. Rapid ice melt and rising sea levels due to global warming exacerbate the risks of coastal flooding and storm surges. Moreover, changes in precipitation patterns can lead to more intense and prolonged periods of heavy rainfall, increasing the likelihood of flooding and landslides.

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