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  1. Warmer oceans will mean stronger hurricanes and tornadoes. Damage to countries and cities.
  2. The atmosphere will get warmer. Thawing of the permafrost in the sub-arctic regions will release huge amounts of carbon dioxide and methane gas, which is a 20 times more dangerous greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide.
  3. Droughts and heat waves will be common and water will become in very short supply. There may be wars fought over water, as large rivers flow through several countries.
  4. The developed food supplies of countries will be wiped out, as the land becomes too dry for the crops. Cattle and sheep won't have pasture to survive. The price of food will go up and many people won't be able to live.
  5. Economic cost of treating diseases, rebuilding cities after hurricanes, providing water for drinking and sewage disposal will do a lot of damage to the world's economies.
  6. Polar icecaps melting bring four problems:
  • Sea levels will rise from land-based ice melting (sea ice is already in the water so it won't raise the sea level if it melts). There are over five and a half million cubic miles of ice, glaciers and frozen snow. If this all melted at once, sea levels would rise by 230 feet, swamping many countries. Luckily nobody thinks this will happen all at once.
  • All that ice is fresh water, so if it melts it will desalinate the oceans. This may change the patterns of the ocean currents that will seriously affect the climate.
  • Warmer temperatures in the polar regions will cause serious problems to animal life, which may not be able to adapt to the new conditions.
  • At present the ice caps form an enormous white surface which reflects a lot of heat back away from the land. If the ice goes, then the dark land below will absorb heat more easily, speeding up the global warming process.

Major physical processes and events have been happening to the Earth throughout its long history and will keep on happening.

Some physical processes are continuous, taking place over a very long periods of time. Other physical processes take very little time by comparison: we humans have chosen to call some of those "catastrophic events" because they seem to have taken place with hardly any warning.

For the past 4,000 million years the outer crust of the Earth has been changing. Its tectonic plates, continually move around forming continents which then break up and re-form in other configurations. The friction caused by the sliding and subduction of the edges of plates against one another causes mountain chains to be thrown up and fiery volcanoes to spew out new soil and smokey, noxious gases which pollute the atmosphere.

65 million years ago the dinosaurs were wiped out by a major event. It was probably a huge meteorite from outer space which suddenly hit the Earth. The resulting air pollution caused thousands of years of continuing global darkness and bitter cold because heat and light from our Sun could not reach the surface until the pollution was eventually absorbed by the Earth.

An ice sheet on Antarctica began to grow some 20 million years ago. The current ice age, the Pliocene-Quaternary glaciation, started about 2.58 million years ago during the late Pliocene when the spread of ice sheets in the Northern Hemisphere began. Since then, the world has seen cycles of glaciation with ice sheets advancing and retreating on 40,000- and 100,000-year time scales called glacials (glacial advance) and interglacials (glacial retreat).

The Earth is currently in an interglacial, and the last glacial period ended about 10,000 years ago. All that remains of the continental ice sheets are the Greenland ice sheet, the Antarctic ice sheet and smaller glaciers such as on Baffin Island. It is likely that people lived in the temperate zones of the Earth before that last glacial period began, along with other animals and plants. After the maximum had occurred and the glaciers receded, modern humans were able to migrate from a belt of land around the Earth's Equator towards its poles.

Ø The fuel we burn, especially oil and coal, contributes to climate change, which has the potential to destroy our way of life.

Ø Global warming can be the cause of hurricanes, and droughts.

Ø More frequent and powerful cyclones and hurricanes, more frequent and intense floods and droughts are clear indications that climate change has already begun.

Ø global warming is also responsible for causing global glacier decline, sea level rise, scarcity of freshwater resources.

Ø Extreme weathers and weather related events such as flooding, drought, wild fires, heat waves, and tropical cyclones are expected to occur even more frequently and to become even more intense

Ø Extreme and rapid changes in temperature would affect the length of various seasons

Ø The fuel we burn, especially oil and coal, contributes to climate change, which has the potential to destroy our way of life.

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โˆ™ 2011-10-19 19:10:04
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Q: How might global warming affect the weather?
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