Global Warming Statistics
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Whether or not you agree with me that global warming is real, I’m sure you will agree that the entire global warming controversy and debate is confusing one. We have scientists claiming that the computer models of anti-global-warming advocates cannot be relied upon, while there are scientists who are exclaiming that global warming is so real we need to do something about it immediately.
Let us examine some of the global warming statistics that continue to be compiled on a regular basis. These global warming statistics take a look at the problem from several different angles.
One of the most important statistics comes from NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies. Their studies have shown that the average temperature around the world have increased by at least 0.8 degrees Celsius over the last century. And the rate of temperature increase continues to grow. Studies show that 2010 ties with 2005 as the warmest year on a 131-years (i.e. over a century) instrumental record.
One of the most significant global warming statistics is the reduction in the number of glaciers around the world. As temperatures worldwide continue to warm, the ice around the planet continues to melt at a staggering rate. For example, Glacier National Park used to be home to 150 glaciers in 1910. However, there are only about 27 glaciers or less left today.
Studies that examine the causes of global warming point to the increased emission of carbon dioxide gas into the atmosphere. In fact, carbon dioxide accounts for more than 77% of all green house gasses emissions in 2000. The figure has risen since then. The major contributor of carbon dioxide is actually the production of energy (>61.4%) for transportation, electricity and heat production and industries.
Another greenhouse gas is methane. Statistics here show that the methane concentration in the atmosphere has increased from 700 parts per billion in the mid 1700s to more than 1,800 per billion by 2010. Compared with carbon dioxide, it has a high global warming potential. As a result, methane is now a major player in global warming, accounting for more than 14% of greenhouse gas emissions today.
Some scientists point the cause of some of the extreme weather changes we are experiencing today to global warming. Some of the most glaring weather changes have been in the increase in the number and frequency of heat waves. An analysis of weather records revealed that the average number of heat-wave days in large U.S. cities each year had increased from nine in the mid-1950s to 19 by the mid-2000s.
Also, other scientists say that there are now more hurricanes than ever before thanks to warmer global temperatures. Global warming statistics released in the journal, Nature, suggest that the intensity of hurricanes has increased significantly over the last 30 years. Using results from current climate models, it appears that for every 1 degree Celsius rise in ocean temperature, the intensity of a hurricane will increase by 5%.
Global warming will also have a huge impact on the animal and plant kingdom. Global warming records with Earthwatch show that almost half of the planet’s original forest has been destroyed, mostly during the last three decades. Dr. Donald A. Levin, a botany professor at The University of Texas at Austin, said in an entry of the American Scientist magazine that the rate of wildlife extinction is occurring at a rate of 100 to1,000 times greater than normal. In fact, a distinct species of plant or animal becomes extinct about every 20 minutes.
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