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A

STUDY
ON
CLIMATE CHANGE
AND
GLOBAL WARMING

BY,
SATYA LAKSHMI MOUNICA CHENNA
1225116130

MBA 1ST YEAR (SECTION A)

Introduction:
Global warming is the term used to describe a gradual increase in the average temperature of
the Earth's atmosphere and its oceans, a change that is believed to be permanently changing
the Earths climate. Global warming and climate change are terms for the observed centuryscale rise in the average temperature of the Earth's climate system and its related effects.
Multiple lines of scientific evidence show that the climate system is warming. Although the
increase of near-surface atmospheric temperature is the measure of global warming often
reported in the popular press, most of the additional energy stored in the climate system since
1970 has gone into the oceans. The rest has melted ice and warmed the continents and
atmosphere. Many of the observed changes since the 1950s are unprecedented over tens to
thousands of years.

Trends in global climate change:


The global average (land and ocean) surface temperature shows a warming of 0.85 C in the
period 1880 to 2012, based on multiple independently produced datasets. Earth's average
surface temperature rose by 0.740.18 C over the period 19062005. The rate of warming
almost doubled for the last half of that period.
The average temperature of the lower troposphere has increased between 0.13 and 0.22 C
(0.23 and 0.40 F) per decade since 1979, according to satellite temperature measurements.
Climate proxies show the temperature to have been relatively stable over the one or two
thousand years before 1850, with regionally varying fluctuations such as the Medieval Warm
Period and the Little Ice Age.
The warming that is evident in the instrumental temperature record is consistent with a wide
range of observations, as documented by many independent scientific groups. Examples
include sea level rise, widespread melting of snow and land ice, increased heat content of the
oceans, increased humidity, and the earlier timing of spring events, e.g., the flowering of
plants. The probability that these changes could have occurred by chance is virtually zero.

Causes of global warming:


Scientific understanding of global warming is increasing. The Intergovernmental Panel on
Climate Change (IPCC) reported in 2014 that scientists were more than 95% certain that
global warming is mostly being caused by human (anthropogenic) activities, mainly
increasing concentrations of greenhouse gases such as methane and carbon dioxide (CO2).
Since the Industrial Revolution (i.e., 1750), the largest contributor to the increase in global
warming is carbon dioxide (CO2), followed by methane (CH4). CO2 concentrations have

increased from 278 parts per million (ppm) in 1960 to 401 ppm in 2015a 44% increase.
Human activities have led to carbon dioxide concentrations above levels not seen in hundreds
of thousands of years. Methane and other, often much more potent, greenhouse gases are also
rising along with CO2. Currently, about half of the carbon dioxide released from the burning
of fossil fuels remains in the atmosphere. The rest is absorbed by vegetation and the oceans.
The climate of the earth is affected by a number of factors. These factors include output of
energy from the sun (warming effect), volcanic eruptions (cooling effect), concentration of
GHGs in the atmosphere (warming effect), and aerosols (cooling effect). Water vapour has an
important indirect effect on temperature increases resulting from increasing GHG
concentrations. Increased global temperature resulting from GHGs increases the capacity of
the atmosphere to hold water vapour, thus acting as a positive feedback, as water vapour also
produces a greenhouse effect. An increase in global temperature by 1C results in
approximately a 7% increase in atmospheric water vapour. Therefore, although CO2 is the
main anthropogenic control knob on climate, water vapour is a strong and fast feedback that
amplifies any initial forcing by a typical factor of between two and three. Water vapour is not
a significant initial forcing, but is nevertheless a fundamental agent of climate change.9
Not all industrial emissions result in a warming bias. Aerosols resulting from industrial
emissions have worked to offset about 26% of greenhouse warming due to blocking solar
radiation from reaching the earths surface. There is, however, large uncertainty regarding the
extent of influence that aerosols have on climate, mainly due to aerosol interactions with
clouds.10
GHGs (particularly CO2) have a longer residence time in the atmosphere (~100 years)
compared to aerosols (only 10 days). As a result, the short-term effect of industrial pollution
can be cooling followed by long-term warming. Aerosols are expected to offset a lower
percentage of greenhouse warming in most future scenarios due to residence time, which
allows for the possibility of an acceleration of future warming even without an acceleration of
GHG concentrations.

Effects of global warming:


Changes in regional climate are expected to include greater warming over land, with most
warming at high northern latitudes, and least warming over the Southern Ocean and parts of
the North Atlantic Ocean. Future climate change and associated impacts will differ from
region to region around the globe. Anticipated effects include warming global temperature,
rising sea levels, changing precipitation, and expansion of deserts in the subtropics. Warming
is expected to be greater over land than over the oceans and greatest in the Arctic, with the
continuing retreat of glaciers, permafrost and sea ice. Other likely changes include more
frequent extreme weather events including heat waves, droughts, heavy rainfall with floods
and heavy snowfall; ocean acidification; and species extinctions due to shifting temperature
regimes. Effects significant to humans include the threat to food security from decreasing
crop yields and the abandonment of populated areas due to rising sea levels. Because the
climate system has a large "inertia" and greenhouse gases will stay in the atmosphere for a
long time, many of these effects will not only exist for decades or centuries, but will persist
for tens of thousands of years.

Future changes in precipitation are expected to follow existing trends, with reduced
precipitation over subtropical land areas, and increased precipitation at subpolar latitudes and
some equatorial regions. Projections suggest a probable increase in the frequency and
severity of some extreme weather events, such as heat waves.
Data analysis of extreme events from 1960 till 2010 suggests that droughts and heat waves
appear simultaneously with increased frequency. Extremely wet or dry events within the
monsoon period have increased since 1980.
Over the 21st century, the IPCC projects for a high emissions scenario, that global mean sea
level could rise by 5298 cm. The IPCC's projections are conservative, and may
underestimate future sea level rise. Other estimates suggest that for the same period, global
mean sea level could rise by 0.2 to 2.0 m (0.76.6 ft), relative to mean sea level in 1992.
Widespread coastal flooding would be expected if several degrees of warming is sustained for
millennia. For example, sustained global warming of more than 2 C (relative to preindustrial levels) could lead to eventual sea level rise of around 1 to 4 m due to thermal
expansion of sea water and the melting of glaciers and small ice caps. Melting of the
Greenland ice sheet could contribute an additional 4 to 7.5 m over many thousands of years.
It has been estimated that we are already committed to a sea-level rise of approximately 2.3
metres for each degree of temperature rise within the next 2,000 years.
In terrestrial ecosystems, the earlier timing of spring events, as well as poleward and upward
shifts in plant and animal ranges, have been linked with high confidence to recent warming.
Future climate change is expected to affect particular ecosystems, including tundra,
mangroves, and coral reefs. It is expected that most ecosystems will be affected by higher
atmospheric CO2 levels, combined with higher global temperatures. Overall, it is expected
that climate change will result in the extinction of many species and reduced diversity of
ecosystems.
Stabilizing the global average temperature would require large reductions in CO2 emissions,
as well as reductions in emissions of other greenhouse gases such as methane and nitrous
oxide. Emissions of CO2 would need to be reduced by more than 80% relative to their peak
level. Even if this were achieved, global average temperatures would remain close to their
highest level for many centuries. As of 2016, emissions of CO2 from burning fossil fuels had
stopped increasing, but the Guardian reports they need to be "reduced to have a real impact
on climate change". Meanwhile, this greenhouse gas continues to accumulate in the
atmosphere. Also, CO2 is not the only factor driving climate change. Concentrations of
atmospheric methane, another greenhouse gas, rose dramatically between 2006-2016 for
unknown reasons. This undermines efforts to combat global warming and there is a risk of an
uncontrollable runaway greenhouse effect.
Long-term effects also include a response from the Earth's crust, due to ice melting and
deglaciation, in a process called post-glacial rebound, when land masses are no longer

depressed by the weight of ice. This could lead to landslides and increased seismic and
volcanic activities. Tsunamis could be generated by submarine landslides caused by warmer
ocean water thawing ocean-floor permafrost or releasing gas hydrates. Some world regions,
such as the French Alps, already show signs of an increase in landslide frequency.
Possible societal responses to global warming include mitigation by emissions reduction,
adaptation to its effects, building systems resilient to its effects, and possible future climate
engineering. Most countries are parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on
Climate Change (UNFCCC), whose ultimate objective is to prevent dangerous anthropogenic
climate change
Public reactions to global warming and concern about its effects are also increasing. A global
2015 Pew Research Center report showed a median of 54% consider it "a very serious
problem". There are significant regional differences, with Americans and Chinese (whose
economies are responsible for the greatest annual CO2 emissions) among the least concerned.
In 1970, a paper by the Club of Rome pointed out that limited planet resources cannot
support unlimited exponential growth. Even renewable resources will be depleted if they
cannot be renewed fast enough. By some estimates, we are now using 50% more resources
than the sustainable level. The 8 billion population projected by 2030 is twice the 4 billion
the earth had to feed as recently as 1974. The pursuit of economic growth is compounding the
growth in demand. Global warming is exacerbating the sustainability challenge as it may
reduce agricultural production and will result in physical damage resulting from extreme
weather events, sea-level rise, etc.
Mitigating resource scarcity entails adopting new approaches such as a circular economy.
This refers to an industrial economy that is restorative by definition. It aims to rely on
renewable energy; favors recycling; minimizes, tracks, and hopefully eliminates the use of
toxic chemicals; and eradicates wastes through careful design. The mitigation strategy can be
guided by a new paradigm defining a planetary boundary framework providing a sciencebased analysis of the risk that human overuse of resources will destabilize the earth system at
the planetary scale.

Objectives of the study:


The objectives of the study are:

To understand the importance of climate change and its impact on the ecosystem.
To know the reasons of global warming and its effects on the environment.
To know the which part of the ecosystem is suffering majorly because of the green
house effect.

Methodology:

The research was done mostly based on secondary data. Data was collected from NASA and
various other climatic agencies. It was also collected from previous research by scholars on
the above mentioned topic.
The methodology followed for research is applied research. Applied research refers to
scientific study and research that seeks to solve practical problems. Applied research aims at
finding a solution for an immediate problem facing a society, or an industrial/business
organization. Applied research is used to find solutions to everyday problems, cure illness,
and develop innovative technologies.

Scope and need of the study:


The purpose of this research is to provide some background to these issues, identify some of
the current and future risks involved, the possible financial and other impacts posed by these
risks, and the worldwide efforts that are being made to minimize these risks. Global Warming
is really a big problem we have to deal with nowadays, because it has the potential to change
forever our lives and our planets environment as we know them, and this would affect the
whole mankind. There are huge social, political, and economic issues that will rise if we
dont do something to stop the skyrocketing rise of the temperatures.
In the past millions of years, climate changes have naturally occurred at slower paces,
permitting the ecosystems to adapt. However, in the 20th century many argue that we have
entered the Anthropocene. Species extinction rate has exceeded by up to 100 times the
normal pace (i.e., without anthropogenic impact). We are facing a major biodiversity crisis
and we might even be entering a sixth mass extinction. In the 21st century and beyond, the
risk of extinction that land and aquatic species are exposed to is higher under all RCP
scenarios. As early as 2050, the rapid changes that are currently taking place are expected to
jeopardize both land and ocean ecosystems, particularly under RCP 6.0 and RCP 8.5. It may
be noted that the changes in ecosystems involve much more than climate change. Massive
extinctions are caused by many factors including urbanization, increased world population,
etc. Of course, climate change has made its contribution which will amplify with time.
Even under RCPs projecting modest global warming levels (RCP 2.6 to RCP 6.0), the
majority of ecosystems will remain vulnerable to climate change. The increase in average
temperatures will cause a lot of terrestrial and aquatic species to migrate towards more
adequate climates, but many of them will not be able to do so quickly enough during the 21st
century under RCP 4.5 to RCP 8.5, thus jeopardizing biodiversity. This migration trend is
already being observed for vegetal and animal species in Canada.
Obvious climate change impacts on terrestrial food production can already be observed in
some sectors around the globe. In the past few years, climate extremes such as droughts have

occurred in major producing areas, resulting in many episodes of price hikes for food and
cereals. Although these effects are beneficial in certain areas, adverse consequences are more
frequent than favorable ones, especially, because key production areas (e.g. California) are
located in historically favorable areas which will become unfavorable. Many climate change
impacts will increasingly affect food securityparticularly in low-latitude regionsand will
be exacerbated by escalating food demand. Forecasted ocean-level rise will threaten crucial
food-producing areas along the coasts, such as India and Bangladesh, which are major rice
producers.
If climate change keeps occurring as forecasted under RCP scenarios, it will influence human
health in three different ways:
Extreme weather events have direct impacts such as increased risks of death and disability.
Alterations of the environment and ecosystems indirectly affect human health, such as a
higher prevalence of waterborne illnesses caused by higher temperatures or increased death
and disability rates during extreme heat episodes. Climate change will exacerbate current
illness loads, especially in regions with fragile healthcare systems and lesser ability to adapt.
Poor regionsespecially poor childrenare expected to be the most vulnerable to climaterelated health risks.
Other indirect consequences pertaining to societal systems will arise, such as undernutrition and mental disorders caused by stressed food production systems, increased food
insecurity and relocation resulting from climate extremes.
As there is huge impact on ecosystem, food and health of people there is urgent need to know
the importance of the issue and take appropriate action in the near future. The decisions
which we take now will impact our future generations as this issue of global warming is a
log-lasting issue.

Limitations of the study:


Though extensive research is done on this topic, the research papers consist of a few
limitations. They are:
1. As applied research deals with social science problems. It is difficult to systemize those
problems.
2. It cannot be solved with one solution. It requires multiple approaches to solve the problem.
3. The data collected is secondary data; it may not be necessarily reliable though care is taken
to collect data from reliable sources.

Analysis and Interpretations:


What is the Greenhouse Effect?
The term greenhouse is used in conjunction with the phenomenon known as the greenhouse
effect.

Energy from the sun drives the earths weather and climate, and heats the earths
surface;

In turn, the earth radiates energy back into space;

Some atmospheric gases (water vapour, carbon dioxide, and other gases) trap some of
the outgoing energy, retaining heat somewhat like the glass panels of a greenhouse;

These gases are therefore known as greenhouse gases;

The greenhouse effect is the rise in temperature on Earth as certain gases in the
atmosphere trap energy.

Many of these greenhouse gases are actually life-enabling, for without them, heat would
escape back into space and the Earths average temperature would be a lot colder.
However, if the greenhouse effect becomes stronger, then more heat gets trapped than needed,
and the Earth might become less habitable for humans, plants and animals.
Carbon dioxide, though not the most potent of greenhouse gases, is the most significant one.
Human activity has caused an imbalance in the natural cycle of the greenhouse effect and
related processes. NASAs Earth Observatory is worth quoting the effect human activity is
having on the natural carbon cycle
Another way of looking at this is with a simple analogy: consider salt and human health:

A small amount of salt is essential for human life;

Slightly more salt in our diet often makes food tastier;

Too much salt can be harmful to our health.

In a similar way, greenhouse gases are essential for our planet; the planet may be able to deal
with slightly increased levels of such gases, but too much will affect the health of the whole
planet.

The other difference between the natural carbon cycle and human-induced climate change is
that the latter is rapid. This means that ecosystems have less chance of adapting to the
changes that will result and so the effects felt will be worse and more dramatic it things
continue along the current trajectory.
Throughout Earths history the climate has varied, sometimes considerably. Past warming
does not automatically mean that todays warming is therefore also natural. Recent warming
has been shown to be due to human industrialization processes.

John Cook, writing the popular Skeptical Science blog, summarizes the key indicators of a
human finger print on climate change:

This graph, based on the comparison of atmospheric samples contained in ice cores and more
recent direct measurements, provides evidence that atmospheric CO2 has increased since the
Industrial Revolution:

The above covers hundreds of thousands of years and shows how atmospheric CO2 levels
have dramatically increased in recent years. If we zoom in on just the past 250 years, we
see the following:

NASAs Goddard Institute of Space Studies (GISS) tracks atmospheric global temperature
climate trends. As environmental engineer, D Kelly ODay, explained on
ProcessingTrends.com (link no longer available): To facilitate assessments of long term
trends, climatologists compare the mean for a base period with the annual mean. Differences
between the annual mean and baseline mean are called anomalies. GISS uses the 1951 - 1980
period for their baseline period. They use the difference between the annual mean and the
baseline mean to determine the global temperature anomaly for the year.

ODay originally produced a chart showing global temperature anomalies between 1800 and
2006 using data from NASA. The updated chart is provided to include recently updated data
up to 2014:

In the 1880 - 1935 period, the temperature anomaly was consistently negative. In contrast, the
since 1980 the anomaly has been consistently positive. The 1909 temperature anomaly (0.47oC) was the lowest year on record. Since 1909, global temperature has warmed, with the
most recent years showing the highest anomalies of +0.6 oC in the past 120 years.

Findings and suggestions:


Climate change is one of the most complex issues facing us today. It involves many
dimensions science, economics, society, politics and moral and ethical questions and is a
global problem, felt on local scales, that will be around for decades and centuries to come.
Carbon dioxide, the heat-trapping greenhouse gas that has driven recent global warming,
lingers in the atmosphere for hundreds of years, and the planet (especially the oceans) takes a
while to respond to warming. So even if we stopped emitting all greenhouse gases today,
global warming and climate change will continue to affect future generations. In this way,
humanity is committed to some level of climate change.
How much climate change? That will be determined by how our emissions continue and also
exactly how our climate system responds to those emissions. Despite increasing awareness of
climate change, our emissions of greenhouse gases continue on a relentless rise. In 2013, the
daily level of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere surpassed 400 parts per million for the first
time in human history. The last time levels were that high was about three to five million
years ago, during the Pliocene era.
Because we are already committed to some level of climate change, responding to climate
change involves a two-pronged approach:
1. Reducing emissions of and stabilizing the levels of heat-trapping greenhouse gases in
the atmosphere (mitigation);
2. Adapting to the climate change already in the pipeline (adaptation).
Mitigation reducing climate change involves reducing the flow of heat-trapping
greenhouse gases into the atmosphere, either by reducing sources of these gases (for
example, the burning of fossil fuels for electricity, heat or transport) or enhancing the sinks
that accumulate and store these gases (such as the oceans, forests and soil). The goal of
mitigation is to avoid dangerous human interference with the climate system, and stabilize
greenhouse gas levels in a timeframe sufficient to allow ecosystems to adapt naturally to
climate change, ensure that food production is not threatened and to enable economic
development to proceed in a sustainable manner (from the 2014 report on Mitigation of
Climate Change from the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, page
4).
Adaptation adapting to life in a changing climate involves adjusting to actual or
expected future climate. The goal is to reduce our vulnerability to the harmful effects of
climate change (like sea-level encroachment, more intense extreme weather events or food
insecurity). It also encompasses making the most of any potential beneficial opportunities
associated with climate change (for example, longer growing seasons or increased yields in
some regions).

Throughout history, people and societies have adjusted to and coped with changes in climate
and extremes with varying degrees of success. Climate change (drought in particular) has
been at least partly responsible for the rise and fall of civilizations. Earths climate has been
relatively stable for the past 12,000 years and this stability has been crucial for the
development of our modern civilization and life as we know it. Modern life is tailored to the
stable climate we have become accustomed to. As our climate changes, we will have to learn
to adapt. The faster the climate changes, the harder it could be.
While climate change is a global issue, it is felt on a local scale. Cities and municipalities are
therefore at the frontline of adaptation. In the absence of national or international climate
policy direction, cities and local communities around the world have been focusing on
solving their own climate problems. They are working to build flood defenses, plan for
heatwaves and higher temperatures, install water-permeable pavements to better deal with
floods and stormwater and improve water storage and use.
According to the 2014 report on Climate Change Impacts, Adaptation and Vulnerability (page
8) from the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, governments at
various levels are also getting better at adaptation. Climate change is starting to be factored
into a variety of development plans: how to manage the increasingly extreme disasters we are
seeing and their associated risks, how to protect coastlines and deal with sea-level
encroachment, how to best manage land and forests, how to deal with and plan for reduced
water availability, how to develop resilient crop varieties and how to protect energy and
public infrastructure.
Reduce emissions
We must significantly reduce the heat-trapping emissions we are putting into the atmosphere.
As individuals, we can help by taking action to reduce our personal carbon emissions. But to
fully address the threat of global warming, we must demand action from our elected leaders.
Stop deforestation
Tropical deforestation accounts for about 10 percent of the worlds heat-trapping emissions.
Reducing tropical deforestation can significantly lower global warming emissions and plays
an integral role in a comprehensive long-term solution to global warming.
Fight misinformation
Why has it been so difficult to achieve meaningful solutions to global warming? Media
pundits, partisan think tanks, and special interest groups raise doubts about the truth of global
warming. This barrage of misinformation misleads and confuses the public and makes it
more difficult to implement effective solutions.
Prepare for impacts

Certain consequences of global warming are now inevitable, including sea level rise, more
frequent and severe heat waves, and growing wildfire risks. Even as we work to reduce
global warming emissions, we must also prepare for this dangerous new reality.

Conclusion:
Increased greenhouse gases and the greenhouse effect has contributed to an overall warming
of the Earths climate, leading to a global warming (even though some regions may
experience cooling, or wetter weather, while the temperature of the planet on average would
rise).
Climate scientists admit that the chances of the world keeping average global temperature at
current levels are not going to be possible (humanity has done little to address things in the
past couple of decades that these concerns have been known about).
So, now, there is a push to contain temperature rises to an average 2C increase (as an
average, this means some regions may get higher temperatures and others, lower).
Even just a 2C increase can have impacts around the world to biodiversity, agriculture, the
oceans etc (detailed further below). But in the lead up to important global climate talks at the
end of 2009, some delegates are skeptical that temperature rises can be contained to a 2C
rise (or C0 2 levels of 350 ppm).

References:
The following are the various sources from which data is collected:

Research paper on climate change and resource stability.


An article from Global Issues on climate change and global warming.
Information from NASA website.
A few other articles from Wikipedia.