Climate Systems: Interactive Forces of Global Warming

Climate Systems: Interactive Forces of Global Warming

by Julie Kerr Casper




Global Warming is a seven-volume set that describes the most critical issues concerning this timely subject and explains in up-to-date detail the scientific principles involved. Each volume reviews the cause-and-effect relationships that impact the environment worldwide on daily, annual, and even longer time bases. Designed to complement science curricula, the books cover the spectrum of important climatic issues, helping the reader to build a solid foundation of knowledge with which to approach important topics related to global warming.

Climate Systems: Interactive Forces of Global Warming focuses on the scientific framework of Earth's complicated climate system; the interaction of the atmosphere, land, and oceans; the greenhouse effect; and the "hows and whys" of the scientific phenomenon known as global warming. Citing actual examples and multinational statistics, figures, and case studies, sidebars in the book enhance fundamental concepts and give the reader a sense of the urgency and enormity of the issue.

The volume includes information on

the carbon cycle

environmental awareness

the flow of energy

the future of global climate change study

global warming myths and facts

the greenhouse effect

motions in the atmosphere

ocean currents

plate tectonics

what scientists do not know about global warming

The book contains more than 50 color photographs and line illustrations, sidebars, a chronology, a glossary, a detailed list of print and Internet resources, and an index.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780816072606
Publisher: Facts on File, Incorporated
Publication date: 07/01/2009
Series: Global Warming Series
Pages: 240
Product dimensions: 7.60(w) x 9.30(h) x 0.70(d)
Age Range: 14 - 17 Years

Table of Contents

Preface viii

Acknowledgments xiii

Introduction xv

1 Elements of the Climate Systems 1

Climate and Weather 2

Federal Agencies Studying Climate 5

The Concept of a Global System 5

Climate Variability and Cycles 6

What Exactly Is Global Warming? 7

Global Warming: Myths and Facts 8

The Atmosphere's Structure 10

The Greenhouse Effect and Global Warming 14

The Mauna Loa Observatory 15

2 The Carbon Cycle and Its Links to Other Major Cycles 28

Biogeochemical Cycles 29

The Carbon Cycle-Natural v. Human Amplification 30

The Hydrologic Cycle 34

The Relationships between the Land, the Oceans, and the Atmosphere 36

Carbon Sinks and Sequestration 36

3 Plate Tectonics: Climate and Movement of the Earth's Continents 41

The Theory of Continental Drift 41

The Force That Drives the Tectonic Plates 44

Plate Tectonics and Global Warming 47

4 The Flow of Energy 55

Solar Energy 55

Ozone and Climate Change 58

The Earth's Energy 60

Atmospheric Energy 62

Global Energy Balance 66

Rates of Change 69

5 Planetary and Global Motion in the Atmosphere That Affect Climate 72

Orbital Variations 72

The Earth's Rotation and the Coriolis Force 76

Large-scale Features of the Atmospheric Winds 78

Gustave-Gaspard Coriolis (1792-1843) 78

Discovery of the Trade Winds 82

Global Warming and Atmospheric Circulation 83

The Origin of El Niño's Name 85

El Niño 86

6 Local Motions in the Atmosphere That Affect Weather and Climate 94

Regional Wind Systems 95

Local Wind Systems 99

A Storm with Many Names 104

Extreme Weather 105

NASA's Extratropical Storm Tracks Atlas 106

7 Ocean Currents 110

Ocean Circulation 110

The Roles ofVariable Seawater Density, Temperature, and Salinity 113

The Intertropical Convergence Zone 115

The Pacific Decadal Oscillation 115

The North Atlantic Oscillation 116

The Great Ocean Conveyor Belt 119

The Consequences of Destabilization-Abrupt Climate Change 120

8 The Global Warming Issue 122

Early Studies of Global Warming and Scientific Response 123

Svante Arrhenius (1859-1927): Swedish Chemist 123

Scientific Viewpoints and Scale 124

Advances in Technology and Education 126

The Growth of Environmental Awareness 132

Public and Media Response 144

9 The Big Picture 146

Climate Forcing-Positive and Negative Feedback 146

Scientific Inquiry and the Limits of Technology 150

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) 152

What Scientists Know, Speculate, and Do Not Know about Global Warming 157

What Lies Ahead 159

10 Conclusions and a Glance into the Future 161

An Overwhelming Consensus 161

Who Are the Major Contributors? 163

What the Experts Say 167

Coping with Global Climate Change-Adaptation 171

Research and Learning-Looking Ahead 172

Facts about Climate Change 173

Chronology 175

Glossary 181

Further Resources 190

Index 211

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