Global Warming

An Unwarned Warning for Generations

Greenhouse Gas: Too much of a Problem!

Although Earth's atmosphere is 90% opaque to long wave IR radiation, the vast majority of the atmosphere is not composed of gases that cause the greenhouse effect. Molecular nitrogen (N2) and oxygen (O2) make up roughly 98% of our atmosphere, and neither is a greenhouse gas. So, although the greenhouse effect is very powerful, a very small fraction of Earth's atmospheric gases generate the effect.


What are the main greenhouse gases?


Because of all the press coverage it has received in recent years, you may think that carbon dioxide (CO2) is "the big one". Though CO2's role is important, water vapor is actually the dominant greenhouse gas in Earth's atmosphere. Water vapor generates more greenhouse effect on our planet than does any other single gas. Water, in gaseous form (as water vapor) and in liquid form (as tiny droplets in clouds), generates somewhere between 66% and 85% of the greenhouse effect. After water vapor, what are the most important greenhouse gases? In rough order of importance

and size of effect, the major ones are carbon dioxide (CO2), methane (CH4) and ozone (O3).


There are a number of other gases that contribute to the greenhouse effect to a lesser extent. These "lesser greenhouse gases" include nitrous oxide (N2O), sulfur hexafluoride (SF6), hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), perfluorocarbons (PFCs) and chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs).


So, let's put it this way:


  • Water Vapor is the main (and the largest, in quantity) greenhouse gas, unlike what other people thinks, Carbon Dioxide.
  • Carbon Dioxide is also a main greenhouse gas. Together, H2O Vapor and CO2, makes up over 83% of our total greenhouse gas.
  • Other major gases are Methane (CH4), Ozone, (O3).
  • There are also some minimal gases, such as N2O, SF6, ...

Global Warming: Hidden Danger for Centuries! (Late 19th Century and Early 20th Century)

  • 1800-1870

  • Level of carbon dioxide gas (CO2) in the atmosphere, as later measured in ancient ice, is about 290 ppm (parts per million).

  • Mean global temperature (1850-1870) is about 13.6°C.

  • First Industrial Revolution. Coal, railroads, and land clearing speed up greenhouse gas emission, while better agriculture and sanitation speed up population growth.

  • 1824

  • Fourier calculates that the Earth would be far colder if it lacked an atmosphere.

  • 1859

  • Tyndall discovers that some gases block infrared radiation. He suggests that changes in the concentration of the gases could bring climate change.

  • 1896

  • Arrhenius publishes first calculation of global warming from human emissions of CO2.

  • 1897

  • Chamberlin produces a model for global carbon exchange including feedbacks.

  • 1870-1910

  • Second Industrial Revolution. Fertilizers and other chemicals, electricity, and public health further accelerate growth.

  • 1914-1918

  • World War I; governments learn to mobilize and control industrial societies.

  • 1920-1925

  • Opening of Texas and Persian Gulf oil fields inaugurates era of cheap energy.

  • 1930s

  • Global warming trend since late 19th century reported.

  • Milankovitch proposes orbital changes as the cause of ice ages.

  • 1938

  • Callendar argues that CO2 greenhouse global warming is underway, reviving interest in the question.

  • 1939-1945

  • World War II. Military grand strategy is largely driven by a struggle to control oil fields.

  • 1945

  • US Office of Naval Research begins generous funding of many fields of science, some of which happen to be useful for understanding climate change.


Global Warming: Walking on the Moon, a huge step of Mankind. (1950s to Late 60s)

  • 1956

  • Ewing and Donn offer a feedback model for quick ice age onset.

  • Phillips produces a somewhat realistic computer model of the global atmosphere

  • Plass calculates that adding CO2 to the atmosphere will have a significant effect on the radiation balance.

  • 1957

  • Launch of Soviet Sputnik satellite. Cold War concerns support 1957-58 International Geophysical Year, bringing new funding and coordination to climate studies.

  • Revelle finds that CO2 produced by humans will not be readily absorbed by the oceans.

  • 1958

  • Telescope studies show a greenhouse effect raises temperature of the atmosphere of Venus far above the boiling point of water.

  • 1960

  • Mitchell reports downturn of global temperatures since the early 1940s.

  • Keeling accurately measures CO2 in the Earth's atmosphere and detects an annual rise. The level is 315 ppm. Mean global temperature (five-year average) is 13.9°C.

  • 1962

  • Cuban Missile Crisis, peak of the Cold War.

  • 1963

  • Calculations suggest that feedback with water vapor could make the climate acutely sensitive to changes in CO2 level.

  • 1965

  • Boulder, Colo. meeting on causes of climate change: Lorenz and others point out the chaotic nature of climate system and the possibility of sudden shifts.

  • 1966

  • Emiliani's analysis of deep-sea cores and Broecker's analysis of ancient corals show that the timing of ice ages was set by small orbital shifts, suggesting that the climate system is sensitive to small changes.

  • 1967

  • International Global Atmospheric Research Program established, mainly to gather data for better short-range weather prediction, but including climate.

  • Manabe and Wetherald make a convincing calculation that doubling CO2 would raise world temperatures a couple of degrees.

  • 1968

  • Studies suggest a possibility of collapse of Antarctic ice sheets, which would raise sea levels catastrophically.

  • 1969

  • Astronauts walk on the Moon, and people perceive the Earth as a fragile whole.

  • Budyko and Sellers present models of catastrophic ice-albedo feedbacks.

  • Nimbus III satellite begins to provide comprehensive global atmospheric temperature measurements.

  • 1970

  • First Earth Day. Environmental movement attains strong influence, spreads concern about global degradation.

  • Creation of US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the world's leading funder of climate research.

  • Aerosols from human activity are shown to be increasing swiftly. Bryson claims they counteract global warming and may bring serious cooling.


Global Warming: Tech Evolution!

  • 1971

  • SMIC conference of leading scientists reports a danger of rapid and serious global change caused by humans, calls for an organized research effort.

  • Mariner 9 spacecraft finds a great dust storm warming the atmosphere of Mars, plus indications of a radically different climate in the past.

  • 1972

  • Ice cores and other evidence show big climate shifts in the past between relatively stable modes in the space of a thousand years or so, especially around 11,000 years ago.

  • Droughts in Africa, Ukraine, India cause world food crisis, spreading fears about climate change.

  • 1973

  • Oil embargo and price rise bring first "energy crisis".

  • 1974

  • Serious droughts since 1972 increase concern about climate, with cooling from aerosols suspected to be as likely as warming; scientists are doubtful as journalists talk of a new ice age.

  • 1975

  • Warnings about environmental effects of airplanes leads to investigations of trace gases in the stratosphere and discovery of danger to ozone layer.

  • Manabe and collaborators produce complex but plausible computer models which show a temperature rise of several degrees for doubled CO2.

  • 1976

  • Studies show that CFCs (1975) and also methane and ozone (1976) can make a serious contribution to the greenhouse effect.

  • Deep-sea cores show a dominating influence from 100,000-year Milankovitch orbital changes, emphasizing the role of feedbacks.

  • Deforestation and other ecosystem changes are recognized as major factors in the future of the climate.

  • Eddy shows that there were prolonged periods without sunspots in past centuries, corresponding to cold periods.

  • 1977

  • Scientific opinion tends to converge on global warming, not cooling, as the chief climate risk in next century.

  • 1978

  • Attempts to coordinate climate research in US end with an inadequate National Climate Program Act, accompanied by rapid but temporary growth in funding.

  • 1979

  • Second oil "energy crisis." Strengthened environmental movement encourages renewable energy sources, inhibits nuclear energy growth.

  • US National Academy of Sciences report finds it highly credible that doubling CO2 will bring 1.5-4.5°C global warming.

  • World Climate Research Programme launched to coordinate international research.


Global Warming: Harming or Really Fixing our Planet?

  • 1981

  • Election of Reagan brings backlash against environmental movement to power. Political conservatism is linked to skepticism about global warming.

  • IBM Personal Computer introduced. Advanced economies are increasingly delinked from energy.

  • Hansen and others show that sulfate aerosols can significantly cool the climate, raising confidence in models showing future greenhouse warming.

  • Some scientists predict greenhouse warming "signal" should be visible by about the year 2000.

  • 1982

  • Greenland ice cores reveal drastic temperature oscillations in the space of a century in the distant past.

  • Strong global warming since mid-1970s is reported, with 1981 the warmest year on record.

  • 1983

  • Reports from US National Academy of Sciences and Environmental Protection Agency spark conflict, as greenhouse warming becomes prominent in mainstream politics.

  • 1985

  • Ramanathan and collaborators announce that global warming may come twice as fast as expected, from rise of methane and other trace greenhouse gases.

  • Villach Conference declares consensus among experts that some global warming seems inevitable, calls on governments to consider international agreements to restrict emissions.

  • Antarctic ice cores show that CO2 and temperature went up and down together through past ice ages, pointing to powerful biological and geochemical feedbacks.

  • Broecker speculates that a reorganization of North Atlantic Ocean circulation can bring swift and radical climate change.

  • 1987

  • Montreal Protocol of the Vienna Convention imposes international restrictions on emission of ozone-destroying gases

  • 1988

  • News media coverage of global warming leaps upward following record heat and droughts plus testimony by Hansen.

  • Toronto conference calls for strict, specific limits on greenhouse gas emissions; UK Prime Minister Thatcher is first major leader to call for action.

  • Ice-core and biology studies confirm living ecosystems give climate feedback by way of methane, which could accelerate global warming.

  • Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) is established.

  • 1989

  • Fossil-fuel and other U.S. industries form Global Climate Coalition to tell politicians and the public that climate science is too uncertain to justify action.

  • 1990

  • First IPCC report says world has been warming and future warming seems likely.

  • 1991

  • Mt. Pinatubo explodes (Phillipines); Hansen predicts cooling pattern, verifying (by 1995) computer models of aerosol effects.

  • Global warming skeptics claim that 20th-century temperature changes followed from solar influences. (The solar-climate correlation would fail in the following decade.)

  • Studies from 55 million years ago show possibility of eruption of methane from the seabed with enormous self-sustained warming.

  • 1992

  • Conference in Rio de Janeiro produces UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, but US blocks calls for serious action.

  • Study of ancient climates reveals climate sensitivity in same range as predicted independently by computer models.

  • 1993

  • Greenland ice cores suggest that great climate changes (at least on a regional scale) can occur in the space of a single decade.

  • 1995

  • Second IPCC report detects "signature" of human-caused greenhouse effect warming, declares that serious warming is likely in the coming century.

  • Reports of the breaking up of Antarctic ice shelves and other signs of actual current warming in polar regions begin affecting public opinion.

  • 1997

  • Toyota introduces Prius in Japan, first mass-market electric hybrid car; swift progress in large wind turbines and other energy alternatives.

  • International conference produces Kyoto Protocol, setting targets for industrialized nations to reduce greenhouse gas emissions if enough nations sign onto a treaty (rejected by US Senate in advance).

  • 1998

  • "Super El Niño" causes weather disasters and warmest year on record (approximately matched by 2005, 2007 and 2010). Borehole data confirm extraordinary warming trend.

  • Qualms about arbitrariness in computer models diminish as teams model ice-age climate and dispense with special adjustments to reproduce current climate.

  • 1999

  • Criticism that satellite measurements show no warming are dismissed by National Academy Panel.

  • Ramanathan detects massive "brown cloud" of aerosols from South Asia.

  • Global Climate Coalition dissolves as many corporations grapple with threat of warming, but oil lobby convinces US administration to deny problem.

  • Variety of studies emphasize variability and importance of biological feedbacks in carbon cycle, liable to accelerate warming.


Global Warming: Red Alert!

  • 2001

  • Bonn meeting, with participation of most countries but not US, develops mechanisms for working towards Kyoto targets.

  • National Academy panel sees a "paradigm shift" in scientific recognition of the risk of abrupt climate change (decade-scale).

  • Warming observed in ocean basins; match with computer models gives a clear signature of greenhouse effect warming.

  • 2002

  • Studies find surprisingly strong "global dimming," due to pollution, has retarded arrival of greenhouse warming, but dimming is now decreasing.

  • 2003

  • Numerous observations raise concern that collapse of ice sheets (West Antarctica, Greenland) can raise sea levels faster than most had believed.

  • Deadly summer heat wave in Europe accelerates divergence between European and US public opinion.

  • 2004

  • First major books, movie and art work featuring global warming appear (An Inconvenient Truth (Al Gore book and movie))

  • 2005

  • Kyoto treaty goes into effect, signed by major industrial nations except US. Work to retard emissions accelerates in Japan, Western Europe, US regional governments and corporations .

  • Hurricane Katrina and other major tropical storms spur debate over impact of global warming on storm intensity.

  • 2006

  • In longstanding "hockey stick" controversy, scientists conclude post-1980 global warming was unprecedented for centuries or more. The rise could not be attributed to changes in solar energy.

  • "An Inconvenient Truth" documentary persuades many but sharpens political polarization.

  • 2007

  • Fourth IPCC report warns that serious effects of warming have become evident; cost of reducing emissions would be far less than the damage they will cause.

  • Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets and Arctic Ocean sea-ice cover found to be shrinking faster than expected.

  • 2009

  • Many experts warn that global warming is arriving at a faster and more dangerous pace than anticipated just a few years earlier. Excerpts from stolen e-mails of climate scientists fuel public skepticism.

  • Copenhagen conference fails to negotiate binding agreements: end of hopes of avoiding dangerous future climate change.

  • 2012

  • Controversial "attribution" studies find recent disastrous heat waves, droughts, extremes of precipitation, and floods were made worse by global warming.

  • Level of CO2 in the atmosphere reaches 394 ppm.

  • Mean global temperature is 14.6°C, the warmest in hundreds, and probably thousands of years.


Don't Worry, Global Warming can be STOPPED as easy as chewing a candy!

THESE GOALS ARE AS FOR YOU TO DO, NOT TO LOOK AT!


  • People should use less water. If they were making a soup and needs water, just fill in that water an turn off the faucet. If they were brushing their teeth, they should turn off the water immidiately, only turn on when they need it. Why? It will save you money, and wasting water means the clean water will have to be processed all over again, because it is mixed with dirty water in the river, and the chemicals used is mostly Chlorine, which is a very, VERY, VERY harmful greenhouse gas.


  • Cars engine should be all compatible to biofuel (methane, propane, water, solar power, ...), to release the amount of carbon monoxide, or carbon dioxide or methane emitted in the air, which makes up greenhouse gas.


  • Try to make safe, VERY safe nuclear plants, because nuclear plants will release no pollution in the air, but when they explode, it will be tragic.


  • Use compact fluorescent bulb, because it will cut back 75% of your carbon footprint (electricity factories releases it, and you’re using it.)


  • At shopping malls or grocery stores, charge people for plastic bags, or paper bags, give away free canvas bag for one period of time, so everybody can breathe cleaner air, since paper bag is made from virgin pulp, which can only be made from newly cut trees, and plastic bags take a very long time to decompose, and it releases pollution to process petroleum, the most basic form of plastic.


  • I will make posters to educate people about global warming, because people will have an understanding about our environment better.


  • Everybody should only use A/C if they need to (try to make it >6h/week, the lesser, the better). It will cut you off more than 50% of your electricity bill (compared to 10h/week). It also releases less carbon dioxide, and that can reduce global warming a whole lot if everybody do this!


  • We should change the school’s paper type (>30% post-consumer waste). It would be cheaper and more energy-efficient to use that, since the processes to producing paper creates a lot of CO2, so we don't have to cut down trees, as trees absorbs CO2.