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Global Warming - Paper 1

  • Date Submitted: 03/10/2012 12:53 AM
  • Flesch-Kincaid Score: 52.7 
  • Words: 657
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Introduction:
The phrase global warming refers to the documented historical warming of the Earth's surface based upon worldwide temperature records that have been maintained by humans since the 1880s. The term global warming is often used synonymously with the term climate change, but the two terms have distinct meanings. Global warming is the combined result of anthropogenic (human-caused) emissions of greenhouse gases and changes in solar irradiance, while climate change refers to any change in the state of the climate that can be identified by changes in the average and/or the variability of its properties (e.g., temperature, precipitation), and that persists for an extended period, typically decades or longer.
According to the World Meteorological Organization (WMO), the decade of 1998-2007 is the warmest on record. The global mean surface temperature for 2007 is currently estimated at 0.41°C/0.74°F above the 1961-1990 annual average of 14.00°C/57.20°F. WMO states that among other remarkable global climatic events recorded in 2007, a record-low Arctic sea ice extent was observed which led to first recorded opening of the Canadian Northwest Passage.

The United States National Climatic Data Center (NCDC), found that in 2006 "Globally averaged land temperatures were +0.78°C (+1.40°F) and ocean temperatures +0.45°C (+0.81°F) above average, ranking 4th and 5th warmest, respectively. The land and ocean surface temperatures for the Northern and Southern Hemisphere ranked 2nd and 6th warmest, respectively," since global temperature record monitoring began in 1880. The NCDC report states that "during the past century, global surface temperatures have increased at a rate near 0.06°C/decade (0.11°F/decade) but this trend has increased to a rate approximately 0.18°C/decade (0.32°F/decade) during the past 25 to 30 years. There have been two sustained periods of warming, one beginning around 1910 and ending around 1945, and the most recent beginning about 1976."
The...

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