The global warming: Scenarios of the Future
The U.S. scientists claim that the boarders of the country can be changed in the future. In fact, they have drawn a new map of the United States, expressing their views on how it will look in the future. However, this map does not include some cities. It does not possess the resort area around Miami as well as New Orleans and a dozen of other cities. The scientists claim that due to the global warming, the coastal strip will go under water and fertile land will become arid desert. All the abovementioned can happen in the following years (Goodell).
In fact, this statement is quite reasonable and it is proved by the changes in weather. For example, when the East Coast of the United States suffers from the prolonged oppressive heat, the other part of the country is attacked by the tropical storms born in the Atlantic Ocean. Moreover, the discussion about the weather and climate changes is not idle and pointless. Texas dies without water, while Florida dies from water. Chris Lengon, a professor at the University of Miami, predicts that Miami can have the fate of Atlantis (The Daily Catch). The city will disappear into the ocean and perish, if the average annual temperature rises by 2 degrees Celsius. According to Chris Lengon, these changes in global sea level will lead to the situation that the entire southern Florida will be flooded in several decades. Currently the scientists monitor how the water in the Oceans heats up. This is quite noticeable on the corals, which are very sensitive to the variations in the water temperature. Additionally, the chemical composition of water in the ocean is changing, which means that many clams will not live in this environment, if these changes continue to happen. The flood caused by the climate changes can drain more than 180 cities from the map of the United States.
There can be defined two scenarios of the future events (Fischetti).
The optimistic scenario implies that the global warming will be slow and barely noticeable. Due to the fact that the Earth is very large and complex system with a moving atmosphere, the heat will be distributed over all the latitudes. The oceans are supposed to accumulate 1,000 times more heat than the atmosphere, so the oceans will effectively prevent the sudden changes of climate while accumulating the heat and gases. It means that the centuries and millennia will pass before the climate will change radically.
However, there is also the pessimistic scenario. According to it, the concentration of carbon dioxide will rise, so the changes in the atmosphere will become irreversible, as the temperature will rise faster and faster. It means that whole regions or even the entire continents will turn into the uninhabited, flat, dehydrated deserts or will be completely flooded.
Professor Weiqing Han believes that such a pattern is associated with changes in the intensity of the main air flows over the ocean. He states that the intensity of the Walker circulation towards the poles and Hadley circulation in the direction from east to west increased in the last decades. These processes are also caused by the increase of the greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, which makes the global average temperatures raise. In fact, the intense circulation led to a change in the direction and intensity of the winds blowing over the surface of the ocean.
However, the scientists cannot say exactly how much more the level of the Ocean will change in the certain areas, providing just the comparative figures of more or less. The more accurate forecasts require the measurement of the height of the tides in a lot of different points on the coasts, as this is the only way to monitor the changes in the level of the ocean.
The scientists from the University of Pennsylvania found that the level of the Atlantic Ocean at the coast of the United States is rising faster than it has been previously thought. The most rapid process takes place at the coast of New Jersey. Throughout the twentieth century the sea level on the Atlantic coast of the United States increased three times faster than during the previous 4 thousand years (Braasch).
However, it should be mentioned that the sea level rises, not only because of the global warming and the melting of the glaciers at the North and South Poles, but also due to the changes in the ocean floor topography and land subsidence.
The Spanish scientists from the University of Seville believe that some parts of the world will be flooded by the rise of the oceans until the end of this century (Fischetti). They state that such countries as Iceland, Scotland, Denmark, the Netherlands and a part of the northern islands, as well as the costs of the United States will go under the water. The Island states in the Pacific and Indian Oceans also will be under water due to the melting of the southern glaciers. The studies of the scientists from the University of Toronto show that in a hundred years, the level of the Atlantic Ocean at the coast of New York may be higher at 1.3-1.5 meters than they are today. Due to the global warming, the undercurrents in the Atlantic and Arctic oceans go increasingly worse and shift to the south.
In other parts of the Earth the ice age is expected. This situation is supposed to be in the United Kingdom, Ireland and parts of Canada. According to the computer model, now in the oceans occur the similar processes to the changes which could be noticed in the last ice age 20,000 years ago.
Tal Ezer, a researcher at the University of Old Dominion in Norfolk, VA, and his colleague, Larry Atkinson, say that the computer models show that if this acceleration continues at the same rate, the rise in sea level along the East Coast, i.e. from North Carolina to Massachusetts, could be up to 5.3 feet (1.6 meters) by the year 2100 (Fischetti). Nowadays the level of water in this part of the coast rose by 1.5 inches (3.7 cm) per decade since 1980, while globally it went up to 0.4 inches (1.0 cm) in a decade.
Why growth is accelerating?
The researchers say that this happens due to the flooding of land in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean (Fischetti). This process is called immersion. In addition, the warming of the oceans has reduced the flow rate of the Gulf Stream current, which carries the warm water from the Caribbean Sea and the Gulf of Mexico to the north-east across the Atlantic Ocean. The less intense Gulf Stream causes the situation when the water is pumped to the shore, increasing the sea level. In fact, the differences in the coastal geography, temperature and salinity, i.e. the salt content, cause different growth rates along the East Coast.
Among the other causes of the predicted flood scientists define the melting of the ice in the Greenland. In particular, they predict that if the melting of the Greenland ice sheet will continue at the current pace, the increase in sea level on the North American coast will exceed the average level observed in other coastal areas of the United States at 30-50 cm. According to Aixie Hu from National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) in Colorado, the accelerating process of melting glaciers provide the large amounts of fresh water to the salty waters of the Atlantic Ocean, which leads to the changes in the usual scheme of circulation of ocean currents, i.e. the so-called meridional overturning circulation. It is supposed to be the quite important factor, as in the earlier studies the sea-level rise has been associated with the global warming, without taking into account the influence of the Greenland glaciers.
It should be mentioned that the flooding is a danger not only for the inhabitants of the cities of the northern coast, but also for the environment. This is due to the fact that while the salty ocean water hits the deltas of the rivers it can impair the functioning of the drainage system.
According to the scientists, since 1996, the rate of the Greenland ice melting accelerates annually by 7 percent. Nevertheless, it is difficult to say whether such growth will continue in the next 50 years, but the increasing emissions of the carbon dioxide, which contributes to global warming, do not exclude this possibility.
In such a way, the global warming is one of the main reasons of the possible flooding of the U.S. coasts. Can this process be stopped? Let us look closer at the main reasons of the global warming, as this is the only way to figure out how to prevent the tragedy in the future.
Unfortunately even until now, the scientists can not define the particular causes of the climate change with 100% certainty. In fact, the causes of the global warming put forward many theories and assumptions. Let us list the main hypothesis and theories that are worth of attention.
Hypothesis 1. The cause of global warming is a change in solar activity. As all ongoing climatic processes on the planet depend on the activity of our star, i.e. the Sun, even the small changes in the solar activity will certainly affect the weather and climate of the Earth. It is likely that the observed global warming is due to another increase in the solar activity, which may begin to subside in the future.
Hypothesis 2. The global warming is caused by the changes in the angle of the axis of the Earth rotation and its orbit. According to this theory, the cyclical climate change is largely due to changes in the orbit of the Earth around the Sun. Such orbital changes in the position and motion of the planet cause a change in the radiation balance of the Earth, and hence its climate.
Hypothesis 3. The global climate change is caused by the ocean activity, as the oceans are supposed to be the huge inertia battery of the solar energy. It largely determines the direction and speed of the warm ocean and air masses on the Earth, which strongly influence the climate on the planet.
Hypothesis 4. The volcanic activity causes the global warming, as it puts the sulfuric acid and the large amounts of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, which can significantly affect the climate.
Hypothesis 5. The global warming is caused by the unknown interaction between the Sun and the planets of the solar system. As the complete interaction between the Sun, the planets and the Earth is not yet known, it is possible that they have the significant influence on the processes occurring in the atmosphere and hydrosphere of the Earth. Therefore, it is possible that the relative positions of the planets and the sun can affect the distribution and strength of gravitational fields, solar energy, as well as other types of energy on the Earth.
Hypothesis 6. The climate change can occur by itself without any external influences and human activities. The theory implies that the Earth is such a large and complicated system with a huge number of structural elements that its global climatic characteristics can vary significantly without any changes in solar activity and the chemical composition of the atmosphere.
Hypothesis 7. The global warming and the climate changes are caused by the human activities. Nowadays this theory is supposed to be the most popular. The high speed of the climatic changes in the past decade can be explained by the intensification of the human activities that have a significant impact on the chemical composition of the atmosphere of our planet, causing the greenhouse effect.
However, it should be noted that the majority of the scientists believe that the present global warming is the result of the combination of many factors.
The prevention of the global warming requires the mutual efforts of all countries. One of the most obvious and effective ways to solve the problem of global warming is the rational use of energy and reduction of greenhouse gases emissions. The preventive efforts made by the international community imply the transition from the traditional methods of energy production, such as the burning of the carbon-related materials, to the non-traditional, i.e. alternative sources of energy. It implies the usage of the solar, wind and other types of eco-friendly sources of energy. The particular attention should be paid to the development and improvement of the regulations aimed at reducing the greenhouse gases emissions. Nowadays many countries adopted the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change and the Kyoto Protocol. In addition, the laws related to the carbon emissions are taken by the national governments.