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Drunken Forests of Siberia
Drunken Forests of Siberia Source: NASA Science blog

graph of annual Sea Ice Extent in the Arctic
2007 Sea Ice Extent in the Arctic Source: NASA Goddard Space Flight Center

The oceans’ response

Further dramatic changes brought on by recent warming have been observed by scientists concerned with the world’s oceans. Observations of the world’s coral reefs have revealed an alarming rate of coral bleaching (which is not caused by chlorine). As the oceans attempt to uptake the abundance of CO 2 and absorb nearly 80% of the heat added to the earth-atmosphere system from the enhanced greenhouse effect, the waters will inevitably warm. As these waters have warmed over the past 40 years, the delicate ecological balance within some of the world’s coral reefs has been upset leading to coral bleaching. Under warmer waters the rate at which the algae, which is an important part of the coral ecosystem, undergoes photosynthesis is too much for the coral to manage. As a result, the coral rids itself of the algae, which leads to an exposure of the white skeleton of the coral. Another consequence of warming oceans is an increase in sea level. Since 1880, sea level has risen 20 cm (8 inches). The rise in sea level is associated both with an increase in glacial melt water and in the thermal expansion of the seawater. An interesting consequence of this rise in sea level has been the disappearance of the long-disputed New Moore Island between Bangladesh and India. Both countries laid claim to the shallow, uninhabited island due to the speculation that oil reserves may lie beneath it, but in 2010, the sea swallowed it. Scientists at the School of Oceanographic Studies at Jadavpur University, Kolkatta , India suggest global warming played an important part.

Coral Bleaching
Coral Bleaching A part of coral that has experienced coral bleaching. Source: NOAA

Finally, as the planet has adjusted to warmer temperatures the proliferation of drought conditions in some regions has dramatically affected human populations. The Sahel, for example, is a border region between the Sahara Desert in the north of Africa and the tropical rainforests that occupy the central part of the continent. (see Figure The Sahel in Africa ) This region is experiencing desertification as the Sahara steadily expands southward. Since the 1970s, the amount of precipitation in this region has been steadily below normal. The combination of over irrigation and recent climate change has made the region uninhabitable and forced millions to relocate.

Map of The Sahel in Africa
The Sahel in Africa Source: NASA Earth Observatory

Graph of the Sahel Rainfall Index
The Sahel Rainfall Index Source: NASA Earth Observatory

Review questions

In Figure Northern Hemisphere Surface Air the dividing line on the graph is the 1961-1990 average temperature. Explain the relevance of this line to the data presented in this figure.

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Explain how deforestation can lead to both a warming effect and cooling effect for global temperatures.

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In Figure Atmospheric Transmission , which gas is contributing the most to the absorption of ultra-violet light? If this gas were removed from the atmosphere, how might global temperatures respond?

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If the surface of the Greenland Ice Sheet continues to melt, how will this impact the albedo of this region and what impact will this have on the air temperature there?

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When sea ice melts, what happens to global sea level?

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Walther, G. R., Post, E., Convey, P., Menzel, A., Parmesan, C., Beebee, T. J .C., et al. (2002, March 28). Ecological responses to recent climate change. Nature , 416, 389-395. doi: 10.1038/416389a

Questions & Answers

where we get a research paper on Nano chemistry....?
Maira Reply
what are the products of Nano chemistry?
Maira Reply
There are lots of products of nano chemistry... Like nano coatings.....carbon fiber.. And lots of others..
Even nanotechnology is pretty much all about chemistry... Its the chemistry on quantum or atomic level
no nanotechnology is also a part of physics and maths it requires angle formulas and some pressure regarding concepts
Preparation and Applications of Nanomaterial for Drug Delivery
Hafiz Reply
Application of nanotechnology in medicine
what is variations in raman spectra for nanomaterials
Jyoti Reply
I only see partial conversation and what's the question here!
Crow Reply
what about nanotechnology for water purification
RAW Reply
please someone correct me if I'm wrong but I think one can use nanoparticles, specially silver nanoparticles for water treatment.
yes that's correct
I think
Nasa has use it in the 60's, copper as water purification in the moon travel.
nanocopper obvius
what is the stm
Brian Reply
is there industrial application of fullrenes. What is the method to prepare fullrene on large scale.?
industrial application...? mmm I think on the medical side as drug carrier, but you should go deeper on your research, I may be wrong
How we are making nano material?
what is a peer
What is meant by 'nano scale'?
What is STMs full form?
scanning tunneling microscope
how nano science is used for hydrophobicity
Do u think that Graphene and Fullrene fiber can be used to make Air Plane body structure the lightest and strongest. Rafiq
what is differents between GO and RGO?
what is simplest way to understand the applications of nano robots used to detect the cancer affected cell of human body.? How this robot is carried to required site of body cell.? what will be the carrier material and how can be detected that correct delivery of drug is done Rafiq
analytical skills graphene is prepared to kill any type viruses .
Any one who tell me about Preparation and application of Nanomaterial for drug Delivery
what is Nano technology ?
Bob Reply
write examples of Nano molecule?
The nanotechnology is as new science, to scale nanometric
nanotechnology is the study, desing, synthesis, manipulation and application of materials and functional systems through control of matter at nanoscale
Is there any normative that regulates the use of silver nanoparticles?
Damian Reply
what king of growth are you checking .?
What fields keep nano created devices from performing or assimulating ? Magnetic fields ? Are do they assimilate ?
Stoney Reply
why we need to study biomolecules, molecular biology in nanotechnology?
Adin Reply
yes I'm doing my masters in nanotechnology, we are being studying all these domains as well..
what school?
biomolecules are e building blocks of every organics and inorganic materials.
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Source:  OpenStax, Sustainability: a comprehensive foundation. OpenStax CNX. Nov 11, 2013 Download for free at http://legacy.cnx.org/content/col11325/1.43
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