Advocates for Change

Forecasting the Future of Global Warming

If people knew what kind of future global warming would actually bring, they would likely want to do more to help the environment. The problem is that predicting the future of global warming is a very complex task. Just as the local weatherman does not always get it right, neither can the predictor of global warming.

Some of the difficulties inherent in forecasting future global warming have to do with those same factors that every meteorologist faces. Winds can cool the air or warm it depending on the direction they take. Cloud cover can cool a hot day. Air masses move in to cause storms as cool fronts and warm fronts are generated.

Ocean currents can change the temperature of the land on which they strike. The earth's atmosphere is constantly in a cycle of evaporation and precipitation. The nature of this cycle will affect global warming. At the same time, all these variables will be affected by global warming in return.

It is hard to predict the future of global warming when little is known about the actions people will take to prevent it, or not. Underdeveloped countries will strive towards development. Generally, in the past, this has meant using the cheapest industrial equipment available, even if it is the most polluting. However, these countries may decide to put emphasis on preventing global warming instead.

It is not known at this time how fast the population of the world will grow. Statisticians can make educated guesses, but a number of factors can always change the dynamics of population growth. Biological factors, as well as governmental policies and economics, can all play a part. The more people on earth, the greater the chance for global warming.

Fuel-efficient cars have already been developed, and the research continues to make them even better. There is a question, though, as to whether the people of the world will embrace these technologies. At least at first, the cost might prevent poor people from having a hybrid or other fuel-efficient cars. The extent to which this technology is made available to all people will affect the amount of global warming that can be expected.

As the ice melts in the Polar Regions, the ocean temperatures are affected. This is due to global warming. However, it also can perpetuate global warming by changing the evaporation rates of the sea. The courses and speeds of the currents of the ocean cannot be predicted with accuracy, but they will have an effect on global warming.

The proliferation of dark areas can lead to global warming. The trouble with using this fact to predict global warming is that it is not known how many dark areas will be uncovered by melting ice. As long as there is enough ice to maintain a light colour, a good deal of the heat will be reflected off into the atmosphere.

While it is nearly impossible to predict the future of global warming with complete accuracy, it is good to explore the subject. It is important to estimate the damage that will be caused by global warming in order to make the concept of global warming more concrete.

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