Increases in carbon dioxide cause
the earth to get warmer
Greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide (CO2) (plus
other gases like methane) in the atmosphere absorb
heat radiating from the earth.
This trapped heat increases the evaporation of water from
the oceans into the air to cause a greater increase in
warming of the atmosphere. CO2 has a forcing effect
The combined effect of water vapor, carbon dioxide and
methane controls the temperature of the earth.
Carbon dioxide levels in the
atmosphere are increasing
Carbon dioxide is produced from burning
wood, coal, gas, etc.
The amount in the atmosphere has risen
from 280 ppm (100+ years ago) to 370
This increase in carbon dioxide is the
atmosphere is increasing the heat being
absorbed from the earth.
Today’s atmosphere blanket is too
The increase in CO2 in the atmosphere
traps more heat and causes more water
vapor to evaporate into the atmosphere.
Our new blanket around the world is
simply making the earth too warm!
We need a thinner blanket for our earth!
What can happen if we don’t
produce less CO2 ?
Temperatures will get warmer.
Glaciers will melt, ice sheets in Artic will
melt (Polar Bears hunt on ice sheets)
Sea levels will rise. Utah will be on Pacific
More droughts in dry areas and more rain
and snow in wet areas.
More violent weather around the world.
2100 If nothing is done to slow
greenhouse gas emissions. . .
• CO2 concentrations will likely
be more than 700 ppm by 2100
• Global average temperatures
projected to increase between
2.5 - 10.4°F
Surface Melt on Greenland
into a moulin,
a vertical shaft
to ice sheet base.
Source: Roger Braithwaite,
University of Manchester (UK)
How can we stop the earth’s
“blanket” from getting us to warm?
We must start putting less carbon dioxide into
Most the CO2 in the air will be around for 100
We need to burn less gasoline in our cars.
Burn less coal (or burn it cleaner) for our
Use less gas to heat our homes.
Use less gas and electricity in our factories and
on our farms.
What can we use for energy to
replace carbon based fuels?
Nuclear Power (may be necessary
whether we like it or not!)
We can also use less fuel
Higher mileage cars
Live and work closer to home
Walk, ride bikes
Better insulated homes
Use more efficient lights (fluorescent/LED)
More efficient factories
What can you do about?
Discuss it with your parents, friends and
Conserve more yourself.
Write your elected officials
Go to college and find new and better
solutions for the future.
So what’s the bad news/good news
if we don’t act soon?
Bad news: We could lose control of the
temperature rise of the earth. CO2 and methane
from warm tundra and oceans could be released
to atmosphere. This could be beyond our
control. A “run away condition”
Good news: Schools would close. NOT!
Good news: Maybe global engineering could
save us! (reflectors in space, dust in space)
What can the future hold for you
More community spirit- we all must work
together to solve the global warming
A safer world with fewer enemies. GW
can only be solved with world cooperation.
Less proverty in the world. Solving the
world’s GW problem cooperatively will
require that proverty be reduced.
As my high school teacher used to
“Don’t be a carbuncle on the butt of
Get out there and make the world a better
place to live!
And also don’t forget to take care of the
elderly along the way (Myself included)
Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, www.ipcc.ch/
“The New Scientist.com”, A Special Report on Climate Change,
“Defusing the Global Warming Time Bomb” by James Hansen,
Scientific American, 290, no. 3, March 2004, pp. 68-77. (available
for download at http://www.columbia.edu/~jeh1/)
EPA global warming Website:
“Climate Change and Utah”, USEPA, EPA 236-F-98-007z. Sept.
1998, available at :
For young children (story book style):
Carbon dioxide in the atmosphere plays a key role in making our planet liveable. It allows sun light to pass through the atmosphere and warm the earth. It also traps or absorbs some of the heat which radiates from the earth back into space. The warming effect caused by carbon dioxide absorbing the radiant heat from the earth causes water vapor to evaporate from the earth. The water vapor in the atmosphere absorbs even more radiant heat than the carbon dioxide which helps make our planet liveable. This thin layer of atmosphere thus acts as a “blanket” to make the planet earth liveable
The Greenhouse Effect and Global Warming Greenhouse Analogy: Anyone who has visited a greenhouse for growing plants or sat in a parked car with the windows closed on a warm summer day has experienced the principle behind global warming. The sunlight goes through the glass and the heat is trapped inside. The gases in the atmosphere surrounding the earth act much the same way. Incoming solar radiation passes through the atmosphere to the earth’s surface, but most of the outgoing radiation emitted from the surface of the Earth is absorbed by the greenhouse gas molecules in the atmosphere and reradiated back towards the earth. In other words, the greenhouse gases trap heat as it is reradiated from the earth back to space. The effect of this is to warm the earth's surface. Water vapor and carbon dioxide are the 2 most abundant natural greenhouse gases. This natural greenhouse effect keeps the earth about 60°F warmer than it otherwise would be. Without the greenhouse effect, life as we know it would not be possible.
CO 2 Concentration and Temperature Change - Next 100 Years Second, if the world proceeds on what's called a &quot;business-as-usual&quot; path; in other words, nothing is done to slow greenhouse gas emissions and they continue to grow at their present rate of about 1% per year, atmospheric CO 2 concentrations will likely be more than 700 ppm by the year 2100, and they will still be rising. This is nearly double the current level and much more than double the pre-industrial level of 280 ppm. State-of-the-art global climate models, computer models used by scientists to study the effects of global warming, project that anthropogenic emissions driving this CO 2 rise will result in a significant increase in global average temperatures over the next 100 years, an increase ranging from 2.5 °and 10.4 ° F (1.4 - 5.8°C).