Learn about the causes and effects of global warming

This increase in the temperature near the Earth's surface and oceans is termed as global warming.

Climate Change and Global Warming - Space and Motion

There are two sides of the global warming argument: believers who think that global warming is a huge environmental threat, and skeptics who say that global warming doesn't even exist.

And if so, how can we prevent the catastrophic results that some scientists predict if global warming continues?

the relationship between photosynthesis and global ..

Global sea levels may rise by as much as 69cm during the next 100 years due to melting of glaciers and polar ice, and thermal expansion of warmer water.

Rising water levels will have serious impacts on marine ecosystems. The amount of light reaching offshore plants and algae dependent on photosynthesis could be reduced, while coastal habitats are already being flooded.

Rapid sea level rise will likely be the greatest climate change challenge to ecosystems, which require stable sea levels for long-term survival.

Global warming that is largely caused by deforestation further endangers plant and animal life, thereby disturbing the balance in nature.

Rainforests play a vital role in locking up the carbon in their vegetation via the process of photosynthesis. But when forests are burned, cleaned or degraded, large amounts of carbon are released into the atmosphere in the form of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases.

Deforestation - Global Greenhouse Warming

Most scientists believe that global warming will herald a new era of extreme and unpredictable weather.

Tropical storms and heavier rainfall may increase and so too would the consequent physical damage to coral reefs, other coastal ecosystems, and coastal communities. Hurricanes Hugo and Marilyn hit the US Virgin Islands National Park in 1989 and 1995, respectively, and did massive damage to coral ecosystems.

Global Warming: Overview and Causes - ThoughtCo

Because the potential consequences of global warming in terms of , , change in weather patterns, etc are so great, it is a major societal concern. On the other hand, proposed measures to reduce human contributions to greenhouse gases can also have great consequences. The large potential impact combined with the ambiguities of the science has given rise to many passionate extremes.

Cal Poly BIO 502: Photosynthesis and Climate Change

An 18-year study of 27,000 individual trees by -funded scientists finds that tree growth and fecundity - the ability to produce viable seeds - are more sensitive to climate change than previously thought. The results, published, identify earlier spring warming as one of several factors that affect tree reproduction and growth.

They also show summer drought as an important but overlooked risk factor for tree survival, and that species in four types of trees - pine, elm, beech, and magnolia -are especially vulnerable to climate change. The findings may help scientists and policymakers better predict which species are vulnerable to climate change and why.

"In a sense, what we've done is an epidemiological study on trees to better understand how and why certain species, or demographics, are sensitive to variation and in what ways," says James Clark of , lead author of the paper.

To conduct the study, Clark and colleagues measured and recorded the growth, mortality and fecundity of each of the 27,000 trees at least once every three years, ultimately compiling an archive of more than 280,000 tree-years of data. Using a specially designed bioinformatic analysis, they quantified the effects of climate change on tree species over time.
"This work demonstrates the limitations of current modeling approaches to predict which species are vulnerable to climate change and illustrates the importance of incorporating ecological factors such as species competition," says Alan Tessier, program director in NSF's , which funded the research.

The approach allowed the scientists to calculate the relative importance of various factors, alone and in combination, including the effects of localized variables such as competition with other trees for light, or the impact of summer drought. The problem is, the models scientists have used to predict forest responses focus almost solely on spatial variation in tree species abundance - their distribution and density over geographic range. If all trees of a species grew in the same conditions--the same light, moisture, soil and competition for resources--this generalized, species-wide spatial analysis might suffice. Then scientists wouldn't need to worry about demographic variables and risk factors when trying to predict biodiversity losses due to climate change.

Trees are much more sensitive to climate variation than can be interpreted from regional climate averages. The trees studied included 40 species, located in eleven different forest stands in three geographic regions of the Southeast - the southern Appalachians, the Piedmont and the coastal plain. They were subjected to both natural and experimental variations.
"By quantifying the effects and relative importance of competition ," says Clark, "including impacts on fecundity, over both time and space, the model we've developed addresses this need and can be used to guide planning."

What do photosynthesis and climate change ..

More importantly, perhaps, global warming is already putting pressure on ecosystems, the plants and animals that co-exist in a particular climate zone, both on land and in the ocean. Warmer temperatures have already shifted the growing season in many parts of the globe. The growing season in parts of the Northern Hemisphere became two weeks longer in the second half of the 20th century. Spring is coming earlier in both hemispheres.