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The effects of global climate change essay

Effects of Global Warming Essay

Bibliography Abstract Global warming is effecting all of the world today and the affect is not a good one. Melting of ice caps, permafrost, and the overall warming of the world cause major problems all over; these problems affect everyone everywhere. Melting permafrost causes some of the most damage of any other factor that global warming affects.

The heaving of permafrost damages roads, homes, and other buildings. The loss of these icepacks causes a loss of subsistence food that the natives rely on for their main food source. The problem we will address discusses the effect of melting permafrost on various forms of infrastructure.

We focus on homes and roads because those affect many people personally. Solutions for the problems to home foundations include: Solutions to the problem of upheaval in roads can be solved by: The only global solution the effects of global climate change essay is to stop the green house emission now.

The affect of halting emissions will not be seen until many years down the road, but if we don't stop them, then the global warming situation will never be solved. The problem of global warming is not something that can be solved in a finger snap; it will take many years to fix the damage that we have done.

Stopping the production of green house gases now will help greatly in the future. Body of Paper Introduction to Global Warming Global warming is affecting the world at an alarming rate.

The average temperatures of the world over the past 100 years have risen 0. The temperatures haven't just been rising at an average rate each year; they are increasing exponentially.

The Arctic Climate Impact Assessment has proven that global warming is a danger that needs to be dealt with now and that the global warming crisis is aggravated even further by human activity Berner etc.

The Arctic provides important natural resources to the rest of the world; these resources would be greatly affected by the global warming crisis Berner etc. Areas where water is prevalent in its frozen state are affected the most by the rising temperatures Armstrong. Arctic areas, including Alaskahave undergone the greatest temperature increases of any other area of the world. These temperatures have risen almost 6 E C, unlike rest of the world's average 0.

The Arctic region affected by global warming includes the town of Barrow, Alaska. Barrow is considered to be the northern-most population in North America. Global warming affects the indigenous peoples in many ways. The most obvious way that it affects them is through the food supply. Native Alaskans depend on hunting polar bear, walrus, seal, and caribou for subsistence and the preservation of their culture Impacts of a Warming Arctic, 2004.

Another fairly obvious way that the global warming affects the people of Alaska is through the melting of permafrost. Melting permafrost causes the sinking of homes, roads, and other infrastructures. The damage that the permafrost causes to roads alone costs the state almost 33 million dollars every year http: Instead of being defined by moisture content, overlying snow cover, or location, permafrost is defined and characterized by temperature.

Permafrost consists of several the effects of global climate change essay soils ranging from gravel to clay Heidorn, 2004. The ability for the water to move within the permafrost enables the water to migrate and accumulate, forming large bodies of ice called ice lenses Stidger, 2001.

There are two main types of permafrost. Continuous permafrost does not thaw at all during the year. Discontinuous permafrost's upper layers thaw during the warm seasons Glossary, 2004. Distribution of different permafrost types is shown in Figure 1. The continuous is located farther north than the other two types because the temperatures are cooler.

Discontinuous is not actually permafrost, but rather a frozen soil formation because is does not meet the exact definition of permafrost. Continuous permafrost has a top layer called the active layer which thaws every year. The melting of this ice-rich permafrost is extremely harmful to the earth's surface.

This has raised concerns for the stability of roads and other various structures, especially in the areas located in the Northern region of North America Impacts of permafrost. The idea of whether or not the temperature change in Alaska is being caused by greenhouse emissions or are raising naturally has been a great debate between many scientists and politicians around the world. Currently, our government is remaining quite ignorant to the problems that global warming causes and the idea that we are the cause of this problem.

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Organic material in thawing permafrost decays rapidly, releasing large quantities of carbon dioxide and methane. Methane and carbon dioxide are greenhouse gases, so the releasing of the gases makes the global warming worse and it will continue to get worse the more the permafrost thaws. If the melting of permafrost continues, the permafrost regions could change from a global carbon sink to a major source of carbon.

This, in turn, would act as a positive feedback loop to global climate warming Impacts of permafrost. The melting of permafrost has caused many problems. Currently there has been an increase in wave amplitude.

Global Warming: News, Facts, Causes & Effects

This is being caused by an increase in the amount of fetch off the sea. The larger waves are causing a problem for the whale hunters.

The State of Alaska Bureau of Land Management found that over 50 percent of the native's diet depends upon whaling http: Another problem caused by permafrost melting is an increase in coastal erosion. The study found that that the average costal erosion over the last five decades has been 20. Figure 2 shows an overhead view of Barrow, the red line represents the coast in 1948. The study found the average coastal erosion rate in Southwest Barrow to be.

Figure 3 shows the coast in 1948 in Southwest Barrow and Barrow and its yearly erosion rate. Another dilemma occurring in Barrow is the increase of east and west return winds.

A study done by Amanda Lynch and Ronald Brunner found the expected increase of return winds in the next 100 years. The current average return wind is 27 mile per hour. The projected return wind in 100 years is expected to be about 45 mile per hour. Figure 3 show the expected return winds. Another problem that could occur is the increase chance of flooding. A study performed by Amanda Lynch and Ronald Brunner found that with the expect return wind increase and current coastal erosion rate that is a flood were to occur the damage would be significant.

Figure 4 shows a house in Barrow being carried out to sea in the October flood of 1963. Another set back to Barrow is the thawing of ice roads. Ice roads allow the oil companies to move about the tundra. Many people of the community of Barrow depend on jobs with these oil companies. A study performed by the Alaska State Department of Energy found the days that the ice roads could be used in 1970 to 2002.

In 1970 the ice roads could be used for 200 days; in 2002 the ice roads could only be used for 103 days. That calculates to an average lose of three days a year. Ice Melting Rising temperatures have a dramatic impact the effects of global climate change essay Arctic ice, which serves as a kind of "air conditioner" for the whole world. Since 1978, the area covered by Arctic sea ice has decreased by almost nine percent each decade Handwerk, 2004.

Arctic max sea ice has been melting earlier and earlier since the Little Ice Age, which began in the 1500's and ended in the 1850's Glacier Change in the Upper Skagit River Basin.

The total ice cover season is 16 days shorter then it was in 1850. The melt and has lengthened at a rate of 5. The western Arctic ice is warming at least twice as fast as the rest of the globe is. In the year of 2004, a 13. Every the effects of global climate change essay in September, the sea ice decline is recorded.

With the sea ice covering an area approximately the size of the U. The reduction of these ice packs affects many animal species.

Opinion: Consequences of climate change are very real

Animal Species Adapting and Integrating Increased temperatures promote the invasion of foreign species and destroy the necessary habitats of native species.

According to some scientists, the arctic invasion is already underway. Deeper seasonal thawing has led to migrating vegetation populations. Predictions show boreal forests moving as much as 550 kilometers northward over the next century Climate Change, 2002and the tundra is expected to shrink by almost two thirds, as it is replaced by invading plant species.

The diminished tundra will wreck havoc on grazing populations such as the musk oxen and the caribou. These species rely on the plentiful tundra vegetation to survive. Spring in the arctic has arrived so early that when the herds reach their calving grounds their main source of food has already gone to seed.

The warming will also cause the vegetation zones to shift significantly northward, reducing the amount of food available for the caribou. The the effects of global climate change essay in the vegetation could cause a large decline in the number of caribou and reindeer, thus threatening the well being of many native households,and undermining the cultural significance of hunting Impacts of a Warming Arctic, 2004.

The expected affect of global warming on arctic ecosystems is astounding. Global warming will likely affect species at almost every level of the food chain, from plankton to polar bears. Arctic ecosystems already have a startlingly low number of species, and even small changes bring drastic results. According to Adam Markham, director of WWF's climate change campaign, "Arctic ecosystems are probably the most fragile and interdependent on earth" Reindeer, 1996.

As temperatures rise, there is an increase in the thinning and retreating of Arctic ice packs, which provide habitat for many animal species. Habitat loss for some animals such as: Polar bears live and hunt on arctic sea ice. Polar bears feed almost exclusively on the seals that they hunt on the ice edge or through the pack ice itself.

The summer ice-free period has lengthened as well.

The Effects of Global Warming on Barrow