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Science & Technology
In Pictures: Climate change
Scientists say climate change will cause ocean levels to rise and increase the likelihood of extreme weather.
At its highest point, the Maldives is only about three metres above sea level. Rising sea levels, blamed on global warming, jeopardise the country(***)s existence. Mohamed Nasheed, the Maldives(***) former president, was a vocal proponent of global action to fight climate change.
26 Nov 2012
Black carbon, a fine soot released into the atmosphere by forest fires, is a major contributor to global warming.
In nature, trees act like carbon dioxide filters, inhaling carbon dioxide and exhaling oxygen. When deforestation occurs, these natural filters disappear, leading to a rise in carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere.
Researchers from The Nature Conservancy, an environmental group, estimate that a one-degree Celsius rise in ocean temperature leads to a 31 per cent increase in Category 4 and 5 tropical storms. Today, the average ocean temperature is 0.5 degrees Celsius higher than in 1970.
Power plants and other forms of energy supply are responsible for 26 per cent of the world(***)s carbon dioxide emissions. At the moment, just 16 per cent of the world(***)s energy comes from renewable sources, such as hydroelectricity, wind power, solar power, geothermal, or biomass.
Scientists believe that climate change will increase the likelihood of extreme droughts over the course of the next century.
Studies suggest that the increase in greenhouse emissions in the 20th century has doubled the probability of flash floods around the world.
Transportation accounts for about 13 per cent of global carbon dioxide emissions, according to estimates from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change in 2007.
Increasing levels of carbon dioxide in sea water and rising water temperatures are causing bleaching and damage to coral. This eventually kills the coral, disturbing a delicate underwater ecosystem.
Livestock, especially animals such as cows and sheep, are a major source of methane emissions. After carbon dioxide, methane is the second-biggest contributor to climate change.
Scientists stress that climate change will not cause uniform warming throughout the world. While average temperatures will rise, weather patterns will be disrupted, causing unusually cold, wet, or dry weather in some regions. Above, a March 2012 snowstorm in Saudi Arabia.
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