Global warming and its effects

The world is in the warming now, the concentration level of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is rapidly increasing due to fossil fuel burnings and deforestation, and have caused the increase in temperature around the globe. What are the consequences of global warming? How it affects our live and our environment?

Observed hottest year

Global warming is happening at a level that is much faster than any past warming in the history. It is also observed that the 10 hottest years are measured as:
1990, 1991, 1995, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, and 2005, with the year 2005 being the hottest among all! The hottest years were measured that they were over 100 F. This extreme weather condition had caused dead to many people, mainly the elders.


temperature map Mean surface temperature anomalies during the period 1995 to 2004 with respect to the average temperatures from 1940 to 1980
11 people in Phoenix die of heat-related ailments as temperatures soar, July 19, 2005

It is recorded that 11 people have died of apparent heat-related ailments in Phoenix. Phoenix has endured above average temperatures every day since late of June 2005, with the highest recorded to be 112 degrees. The coolest part of the day is recorded not lower than 91 degrees.

465 people in Chicago and 85 in Milwaukee dead of heat wave, July 1995

The heat wave that stroke Chicago and Milwaukee on July 1995 had caused 465 and 85 dealth respectively.

WHO says climate change killing 150,000 a year

Global warming killed 150,000 people in 2000 and the death toll could double in the next 30 years if global warming is continued, by the World Health Organization. One heat wave killed 20,000 people in Europe alone in the year 2003, further by the WHO. Temperature increase caused by emissions of greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide from cars and factories, is causing more frequent floods and droughts and melting ice caps.

Hotter Summers & Warmer Winters

Recent weathers also show that summers are much hotter than before, and winters are getting warmer and shorter in many countries such as China.

Recent 2006 / 2007 winter was the second warmest winter in England and Wales since three and a half centuries ago, where it recorded temperatures averaged at 6.5C (43.7F) this winter (December 2006 to February 2007). The only warmer winter since 350 years was 1868/69 where temperatures averaged 6.8C (44.2F).

"This winter has been the second warmest in England and Wales in three and a half centurie.
Michael Dukes of MeteoGroup UK said: "This winter's exceptional warmth is made even more remarkable by that fact the preceding autumn was the warmest on record. Indeed, the non-calendar year from 1 March 2006 to the end of February 2007 is the warmest 12 month period England and Wales have experienced since temperature records began in the 1650s. Although not proof of human-induced global warming, these records are yet more evidence in support of a rapidly warming climate."

Shanghai, China has also experienced a warmer winter in 2006 / 2007 where temperatures averaged at 8.1C (46.6F), which is 2.6C higher than its previous winter. China as a whole has an average temperature of -2.6C in this winter, 1.8C higher than normal.
"SHANGHAI (Reuters) - Shanghai, China's largest city, has experienced its warmest winter since records began in 1873, the official Xinhua news agency reported on Thursday.
The average temperature over the past three months was 8.1 degrees Celsius (46.6 Fahrenheit), 2.6 degrees warmer than the previous average, Xinhua quoted the Shanghai Meteorological Bureau as saying.
The warming trend could also have negative effects on human health and the environment, he said.
Earlier this week, Shanghai authorities said a particularly serious plague of mosquitoes was expected this summer after the warm winter helped them breed.
The winter was unusually warm for China as a whole, with an average temperature of minus 2.6 degrees, 1.8 degrees higher than normal, Xinhua said. Last year was the country's warmest in more than half a century."

Natural catastrophic

The ocean temperature has increased due to global warming and this has led to natural catastrophic events such as hurricanes, typhoons, and tornadoes. Higher ocean temperature will increase the wind velocity and moisture content. This will in turn increase the chances of hurricane, typhoons, and tornadoes formation that are much more aggressive and destructive.

Tornadoes have killed at least 20 people in the southern US states of Alabama, Georgia and Missouri.

"Victims included at least eight people killed when a tornado ripped through an Alabama school building, and two dead when a hospital was hit in Georgia.
The US federal government has said it is ready to help any areas affected by the storms.
Parts of Alabama and Georgia remain under tornado warnings, the National Weather Service has said.

At least 40 people were injured as the tornado, travelling at over 50mph (80km/h), swept through Enterprise. "

Tornado disaster in heartland kills 39 or more

Darlene Young reacts to the devastation around her house in Pierce City, Mo., Monday, May 5, 2003, the day after the town was hit by a tornado. Young says her house was spared destruction by a church next to it that took the brunt of the winds. (AP Photo/John S. Stewart)

"They came in a swarm: A raging storm of tornadoes ran across Tornado Alley on Sunday, May 4, 2003. One of the worst tornado outbreaks in recent memory killed at least 39 people, and obliterated towns in Missouri, Tennessee and Kansas."

15 Die as Typhoon Lashes Philippines

"MANILA, Philippines - A powerful typhoon swept across the northern Philippines on Monday, killing more than 15 people in a barrage of landslides, uprooted trees and flooding."
"Cimaron, the second major typhoon to hit the north in as many months, had maximum winds of 109 miles per hour and gusts of up to 130 mph when it came ashore."

"Five people were reported drowned or killed by falling trees and 15 were injured in the coastal town of Dinapigue in Isabela province. Mayor Renato Candido said 90 percent of the houses were damaged in the town of 5,000 residents."

98 die as Typhoon Saomai lashes China - 2.1 million people affected

WREAKING HAVOC: A woman stands among the debris after her house was struck by Typhoon Saomai in Heweiyang village in China's Zhejiang province on Friday.
"HANGZHOU (CHINA): Typhoon Saomai, the strongest storm to hit China in 50 years, has left at least 98 persons dead and 149 missing in the east of the country, according to local ment sources."

"Eighty-one of the dead and 11 of the missing were in Wenzhou, Zhejiang Province, where 2.1 million people were affected and 18,000 houses were destroyed, said the civil affairs bureau of Wenzhou on Friday."
"Saomai, the eighth typhoon to hit China, landed in Cangnan county of Wenzhou city on Thursday with wind speeds up to 216 kmph, bringing torrential rains and strong winds."
"In Jinxiang town of Cangnan, the bodies of 43 persons, including eight children, have been retrieved from the rubble of collapsed houses, where they had sought shelter from rains and high winds. Losses exceeded 4.5 billion yuan ($562 million) in Wenzhou."

Hurricane Katrina

Hurricane Katrina was the costliest and one of the deadliest hurricanes in the history of the United States. It was the sixth-strongest Atlantic hurricane ever recorded and the third-strongest hurricane on record in the United States. Katrina was formed on August 23 2005 and caused devastation along the north-central Gulf Coast of the United States. Areas affected included the city of New Orleans, Louisiana, and in coastal Mississippi. Due to its sheer size, Katrina devastated the Gulf Coast as far as 100 miles (160 km) from the storm's center. Katrina was the eleventh tropical storm, fifth hurricane, third major hurricane, and second Category 5 hurricane of the 2005 Atlantic season.

On August 23, 2005, it formed over the Bahamas, and crossed southern Florida as a moderate Category 1 hurricane, and strengthening rapidly in the Gulf of Mexico and becoming one of the strongest hurricanes on record while at sea. The storm rapidly intensified after entering the Gulf, partly because of the storm's movement over the warm waters of the Loop Current. The storm weakened before making its second and third landfalls as a Category 3 storm on the morning of August 29 in southeast Louisiana and at the Louisiana/Mississippi state line, respectively.

The storm surge caused severe and catastrophic damage along the Gulf coast, devastating the cities of Bay St. Louis, Waveland, Biloxi/Gulfport in Mississippi, Mobile, Alabama, and Slidell, Louisiana and other towns in Louisiana.
At least 1,836 people are dead in Hurricane Katrina, and the storm is estimated to have been responsible for $81.2 billion in damage, making it the costliest natural disaster in U.S. history.

Storm path
Flooding in Venice, Louisiana.
U.S. Highway 90's Bay St. Louis Bridge on Pass Christian was destroyed as a result of Katrina.
Damage to Long Beach, Mississippi following Hurricane Katrina.
Flooded I-10/I-610/West End Blvd. interchange and surrounding area of northwest New Orleans and Metairie, Louisiana
Surge damage in Pascagoula, Mississippi.
Global warming has also caused storms, floods and droughts to be more frequent and more aggressive.
Glaciers Warming

Glaciers around the world are shrinking and some even disappeared over the 20th century due to the world that is rapidly warming.

The Pasterze was Austria's longest glacier. It was about 2 kilometers longer in the 19th Century but is now completely out of sight. [1875 image, photographer unknown, is courtesy H. Slupetzky, from the University of Salzburg archives. Gary Braasch photo made Aug 14, 2004]
Portage Glacier, near Anchorage, Alaska, in about 1950 and in July 2001. The ice has pulled back nearly out of sight.
Mountain Hood Oregon has shown prominent lost of glacier in just about 18 years.
Effect at north and South Pole

Global warming has a very unpleasant effect at the earth's north and South Pole. The increasing temperature has caused the north and South Pole ice cap started to melt. This melting process has increased the water volume to the ocean and has caused flood to many cities around the world.
The ice cap melting will also cause the sea level to rise. The warmer ocean will expand and sea level will rise as the top few hundred meters of the oceans warm and swell. Measurements indicate that the oceans are warming, and the sea level is currently rising at a rate of 1/10 inch per year, and due to global warming, the sea level is projected to rise for many centuries to come. Continuous sea level rise will disturb the coastal ecosystems, flooding is more frequent, and increased storms and hurricanes will mostly happen.

Increasing temperatures at the Earth's polar ice caps threaten to raise sea levels

"As spring arrives in the Arctic, new research suggests average temperatures are rising and ice caps are quickly melting. The melting ice threatens to shrink glaciers. The shrinking could raise sea levels around the world."

Rising Waters

"The new research on the polar ice caps in the Arctic and Antarctic is outlined in the latest issue of the journal Science. What happens at the polar ice caps could affect the entire globe, said Bette Otto-Bleisner of the National Center for Atmospheric Research.
A large amount of polluting gases are produced when people burn fossil fuels such as coal and oil to produce power for cities, factories and cars and to heat homes.
According to the studies, an increase in the release of these gases could raise Arctic temperatures by 5 to 8 degrees within the next 100 years. That warmth could melt ice caps. The melting ice could then raise sea levels one to three feet over the next 100 to 150 years."

Ice Is Melting Everywhere

"Ice is melting everywhere - and at an accelerating rate. Rising global temperatures are lengthening melting seasons, thawing frozen ground, and thinning ice caps and glaciers that in some cases have existed for millennia. These changes are raising sea level faster than earlier projected by scientists, and threatening both human and wildlife populations.
Since the industrial revolution, human activity has released ever-increasing amounts of carbon dioxide and other greenhouses gases into the atmosphere, leading to gradual but unmistakable changes in climate throughout the world - especially at the higher latitudes.
Average surface temperatures in the Arctic Circle have risen by more than half a degree Celsius (0.9 degrees Fahrenheit) per decade since 1981.

The Arctic could be ice-free in the summer by the end of this century.
An estimated 15 percent of the Arctic tundra has already been lost since the 1970s - an area roughly three times the size of California.
The Greenland ice sheet is the largest land ice mass in the Northern Hemisphere. It holds enough fresh water to raise the earth's sea level by 7.2 meters (24 feet)
A conservative estimate of annual ice loss from Greenland is 50 cubic kilometers (12 cubic miles) per year, enough water to raise the global sea level by 0.13 millimeters a year."

Larsen B Ice Shelf Collapses in Antarctica

Global warming has caused the Larsen B ice shelf which is a large floating ice located at the eastern side of Antarctic Peninsula, has melted and shattered from the continent. The Larsen B ice shelf which was about 220m thick has disintegrated in just 35 days beginning from 31 January 2002, and a total shelf area of about 3,250 km2 has been shattered. Over the last five years, the shelf has lost a total of 5,700 km2 of ice shelf.

Flooded I-10/I-610/West End Blvd. interchange and surrounding area of northwest New Orleans and Metairie, Louisiana
17 February 2002 MODIS image courtesy of NASA's Terra satellite, National Snow and Ice Data Center, University of Colorado, Boulder.
23 February 2002 MODIS image courtesy of NASA's Terra satellite, National Snow and Ice Data Center, University of Colorado, Boulder.
05 March 2002 MODIS image courtesy of NASA's Terra satellite, National Snow and Ice Data Center, University of Colorado, Boulder.
Water World

Scientists have predicted that if further global warming is continued, the West Antarctic ice sheet would have been completely melted and raise the global sea level by 20 feet. If the East Antarctic ice sheet is melted, the global sea level would have been risen by 200 feet, which many of the cities around the world would be in water world.

U.S. East Coast
if West sheet melted (17-foot/5m rise
U.S. East Coast
if East sheet melted(170-foot/50m rise)
Florida
if West sheet melted (17-foot/5m rise)
Florida
if East sheet melted(170-foot/50m rise)
Northern Europe
if West sheet melted (17-foot/5m rise
Northern Europe
if East sheet melted(170-foot/50m rise)
Southeast Asia
if West sheet melted (17-foot/5m rise)
Southeast Asia
if East sheet melted(170-foot/50m rise)

 

The ice surface is capable of reflecting about 90% of direct sun light, and will help the earth cool down by reflecting the energy out of earth. However with reduced ice surface due to melting, the sun light will be going to the ocean where around 90% of the heat will be absorbed, and thus contribute more to global warming, that it will help warm the globe further.

Studies also showed that there is reduction of the ice cap thickness at the north and South Pole over the past years.

Global glacial mass balance in the last 50 years, reported to the WGMS and the NSIDC. The increased downward trend in the late 1980s is symptomatic of the increased rate and number of retreating glaciers.
Infectious diseases

The world is in the warming now, the concentration level of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is rapidly increasing due to fossil fuel burnings and deforestation, and have caused the increase in temperature around the globe. What are the consequences of global warming? How it affects our live and our environment?

Mosquitoes Rule in the Heat

Diseases relayed by mosquitoes - such as malaria, dengue fever, yellow fever and several kinds of encephalitis - are among those eliciting the greatest concern as the world warms. Mosquitoes acquire disease-causing microorganisms when they take a blood meal from an infected animal or person. Then the pathogen reproduces inside the insects, which may deliver disease-causing doses to the next individuals they bite.

Mosquito-borne disorders are projected to become increasingly prevalent because their insect carriers, or "vectors," are very sensitive to meteorological conditions. Cold can be a friend to humans, because it limits mosquitoes to seasons and regions where temperatures stay above certain minimums. Winter freezing kills many eggs, larvae and adults outright. Anopheles mosquitoes, which transmit malaria parasites (such as Plasmodium falciparum), cause sustained outbreaks of malaria only where temperatures routinely exceed 60 degrees Fahrenheit. Similarly, Aedes aegypti mosquitoes, responsible for yellow fever and dengue fever, convey virus only where temperatures rarely fall below 50 degrees F.

Excessive heat kills insects as effectively as cold does. Nevertheless, within their survivable range of temperatures, mosquitoes proliferate faster and bite more as the air becomes warmer. At the same time, greater heat speeds the rate at which pathogens inside them reproduce and mature. At 68 degrees F, the immature P. falciparum parasite takes 26 days to develop fully, but at 77 degrees F, it takes only 13 days. The Anopheles mosquitoes that spread this malaria parasite live only several weeks; warmer temperatures raise the odds that the parasites will mature in time for the mosquitoes to transfer the infection. As whole areas heat up, then, mosquitoes could expand into formerly forbidden territories, bringing illness with them. Further, warmer nighttime and winter temperatures may enable them to cause more disease for longer periods in the areas they already inhabit.

The extra heat is not alone in encouraging a rise in mosquito-borne infections. Intensifying floods and droughts resulting from global warming can each help trigger outbreaks by creating breeding grounds for insects whose desiccated eggs remain viable and hatch in still water. As floods recede, they leave puddles. In times of drought, streams can become stagnant pools, and people may put out containers to catch water; these pools and pots, too, can become incubators for new mosquitoes. And the insects can gain another boost if climate change or other processes (such as alterations of habitats by humans) reduce the populations of predators that normally keep mosquitoes in check.

Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS)

Severe acute respiratory syndrome or SARS is a respiratory disease in humans has been one of the major fearful epidemic which had stroke the world from November 2002 to July 2003. This SARS epidemic appears to have originated in Guangdong Province, China in November 2002.

The SARS is caused by the SARS coronavirus and had caused 8,096 known cases of the disease, and 774 deaths around the world.
Country or Region
Cases
Deaths
People's Republic of China
5327
349
Hong Kong
1755
299
Canada
251
43
Taiwan
346
37
Singapore
238
33
Vietnam
63
5
USA
27
0
Philippines
14
2
Germany
9
0
Mongolia
9
0
Thailand
9
2
France
7
1
Malaysia
5
2
Sweden
5
0
Italy
4
0
UK
4
0
India
3
0
Republic of Korea
3
0
Indonesia
2
0
South Africa
1
1
Macau
1
0
Kuwait
1
0
Republic of Ireland
1
0
Romania
1
0
Russian Federation
1
0
Switzerland
1
0
Total
8096
774
The coronavirus, the SARS virus
To control further SARS infections, quarantine was in charge and thousands of people were quarantined. Over 1200 were under quarantine in Hong Kong, 977 in Singapore and 1147 in Taiwan. Canada also put thousands of people under quarantine.
RARE VIRUS: Nipah Virus

"In January and February 2004, 47 people in Bangladesh became infected with Nipah virus in two outbreaks; 35 of them died (74% mortality rate). Infectious disease specialists were already familiar with the deadly Nipah virus. In 1998-1999 in Nipah, Malaysia, and soon after in Singapore, people began developing brain inflammation (encephalitis), and in many cases this quickly progressed to coma and death. In all, 265 people were infected and 105 of them died (40% mortality rate)."

West Nile Virus

"Most of the people infected with West Nile Virus don't realize they have it because they didn't have - or didn't notice - the symptoms," says Engleberg. "Between 350,000 and 400,000 people in the U.S. were infected in 2002. About 2,700 people nation-wide developed the full-blown manifestations of the viral infection, including meningitis or encephalitis. There was about 10 percent mortality, resulting in about 260 deaths last year."
"The bite of the mosquito is the primary mechanism for infecting humans with the virus."

There are many more infectious diseases including Ebola, Arena Virus, Hantavirus Pulmonary Syndrome, Lyme disease, and Avian Flu are the causes of global warming.