Climate change signifies variations in the global or regional climates of the earth. It describes the changes in atmospheric states over time, ranging from hundreds to millions of years. Climate change can be due to earth’s internal processes and external forces such as varying intensity of sunlight and human activities. In recent years, the term “climate change” was linked primarily to global warming. A global condition where there is a rise in the average surface temperature of the earth.
NASA continually develops new ways to observe essential signs from the earth. This includes the air, space and land, from satellites to ground-based and airborne campaigns. Research teams perform studies and monitor the interconnected systems of earth with computer analysis tools and data records. This is done to observe how the planet is changing over the long term.
NASA Research Operations
The average global temperature has steadily increased over the recent few decades. In the Arctic region, the increase reaches up to three times faster than elsewhere. Three airborne research campaigns were carried out by NASA from Alaska. These campaigns are directed at gathering data on Arctic clouds and sea ice, observing the Alaskan glaciers and assessing concentrations of greenhouse gas close to the surface of the earth. These observations will help researchers better understand the reaction of the Arctic region to rising temperatures.
CARVE (Carbon in Arctic Reservoirs Vulnerability Experiment) is a 5-year airborne research operation handled by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in California. This research operation utilises C-23 Sherpa aircraft to gather a detailed picture of the way the atmosphere and the land interact with each other in the Arctic. This procedure is done 2 weeks a month between May and November.
ARISE (Arctic Radiation Ice Bridge Sea and Ice Experiment) is another NASA airborne campaign that measures atmospheric and cloud properties. It gathers data on thinning ice in the Arctic Sea to answer questions regarding the relationship between the Arctic climate and the diminishing sea ice. The goal is to better understand the causes of ice loss in the Arctic and how it links to the overall system of the earth. This campaign collects unique and timely data to identify the influence of clouds on the climate when changes occur in sea ice conditions.
Effects of Climate Change
According to recent studies that focus on the future effects of climate change, the US in particular will face great potential risk in their economy. The effects of climate change will significantly affect crop yields, jobs and energy production. Though business research does not present any new climate science, it highlights the dire effects on the economy if appropriate action is not taken. For example, concerns include crop yields that could fall by more than 70% in the Midwest and property worth billions of dollars on the East Coast literally underwater. A study by a bipartisan group of former prominent public officials, businessmen and entrepreneurs acknowledged the need for more research on climate change and a need for action from the investment community. The study influenced the business community to apply the science of risk management as a major tool for combating climate change.
The study revealed that by the middle of the century, there is a chance for more than $23 billion of prime property in Florida to go underwater. It also revealed that by the end of the century, there’s a one in a hundred chance that property worth as much as $681 billion will submerge. Threats are widespread across the US and a new report has found that climate change has already had a broad impact on the economy.
Cause of Climate Change
A realistic projection of what could happen is that agricultural yields in some parts of the US could fall by up to 50%. This is due to the temperatures that prevent farm workers from going outdoors for an appreciable part of the year.
According to scientists, carbon emissions are a major cause of climate change. It has been proposed to levy a tax on carbon emissions as an incentive to wean the US economy off carbon-based fuel. While a carbon tax is one way to let the market operate by placing a price on the pollution caused by carbon emissions, it is unlikely to pass in Congress soon enough to have the required impact. A requirement by the Financial Accounting Standards Board and the Securities and Exchange Commission for companies to disclose the potential risks of climate change on company assets and profits has been proposed, which does not need the approval of Congress.
There are hundreds of research projects ongoing worldwide. The main goal is to try to counteract the effects of climate change as people realise that we have to address the problem on all possible fronts. If this problem is not given great attention, there is a real possibility that life on earth, as we know it, is at stake. Emissions of carbon dioxide are the main contributors to global warming. And it is set to rise once more, probably reaching a record of 40 billion tonnes in 2014. Research shows that the CO2 emission quota remaining is in danger of being used up in the next generation and that more than 50% of the fossil fuel reserves will have to be left untapped. UK researchers at Tyndall Centre for Climate Change project a rise of 2.5% in the burning of fossil fuel, which will have a tremendous impact on global warming.