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Global Warming Pictures


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Global Warming is described in the Merriam-Webster dictionary as: an increase in the earth's atmospheric and oceanic temperatures widely predicted to occur due to an increase in the greenhouse effect resulting especially from pollution. Although there is no "scientific consensus" that global warming will cause damaging climate change, there are three basic facts that scientists generally do agree on: 1) global average temperature is about 0.6°Celsius—or just over 1° Fahrenheit—higher than it was a century ago; 2) atmospheric levels of carbon dioxide (CO2 ) have
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Fractured sea ice
risen by about 30 percent over the past 200 years; and 3) carbon dioxide, like water vapor, is a greenhouse gas whose increase is likely to warm the Earth’s atmosphere.

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Polar Bears on melting sea ice

However, the concept of Global Warming remains controversial; one side claiming that Global Warming is indeed occurring at an alarming rate and largely caused by a rapid increase of CO2 emissions while the other side claims that although there may be an overall rise in temperature happening, there is no proof that it is nothing more than a cyclic trend and the predicted results and catastrophes by alarmists couldn’t possibly occur.  The official stand of the National Academy of Sciences is “Because of the large and still uncertain level of natural variability inherent in the climate record and the uncertainties in the time histories of the various forcing agents…a causal linkage between the buildup of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere and the observed climate changes during the 20th century cannot be unequivocally established.” Because there is no consensus about Global Warming, the new buzzword seems to be "climate change" and is adopted by many scentists because the term Global Warming doesn't encompass the whole phenomenon.

Despite the controversy, it is undeniable that changes are occurring in Arctic, Antarctic and Polar Regions of the Earth – including Alaska. Although Alaska Stock does not claim any image specifically documents Global Warming, we do have a large collection of images that do represent the concept of Global Warming and our changing climate along with information gathered regarding potential dangers for specific areas and wildlife of Alaska.

The Arctic is expected to experience the greatest rates of warming compared with other world regions. In part, this is because ice has greater reflectivity (also known as albedo) than the ocean or land. Melting of highly reflective snow and ice reveals darker land and ocean surfaces, increasing absorption of the sun's heat and further warming the planet, especially in those regions. There is evidence that climate change is already having observable impacts in the Arctic:

  • Average temperatures in the Arctic have risen at almost twice the rate as temperatures in the rest of the world over the past few decades.
    Anchorage Alaska Photos
    Wildfire in the Arctic
  • Melting of glaciers is a contributing factor to sea-level rise around the world.
  • Reduction in sea ice is very likely affecting polar bears, ice-dependent seals, and Alaskan Natives for whom these animals are a food source.
  • Arctic ice is rapidly disappearing, and the region may have its first completely ice-free summer by 2040 or earlier.
  • Arctic impacts will have implications for biodiversity around the world because migratory species depend on breeding and feeding grounds in the Arctic.
  • As frozen ground thaws, many existing buildings, roads, pipelines, airports, and industrial facilities are likely to be destabilized.

For more information on Global Warming, its effects, and the different sides of this controversy, please visit some of the links below:

http://www.epa.gov/climatechange/effects/polarregions.html#arctic

http://www.globalwarming.org/

http://www.globalwarming.net/

http://www.nrdc.org/globalWarming/f101.asp


Downtown Anchorage
Walrus on sea ice

Books of Interest

An Inconvenient Truth - Al Gore

Shattered Consensus: The True State of Global Warming

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