ADLib Glossary (G)

More Information:

Global Warming

Global warming, usually referred to as the 'Greenhouse effect', is an unnatural world climate modification which is appearing to take place. Temperatures in the different climate zones around the globe are finely balanced. Very minor fluctuations of just one or two degrees may produce dramatic major effects. These include reduction in the Antarctic ice-cap and a resultant increase in the volume of sea water, which in turn impacts upon the land masses by causing flooding in low lying areas, such as Holland, much of Eastern England some reclaimed areas of the north-west etc..

The cause of the Greenhouse effect is directly attributed to the release of certain gases into the atmosphere, especially those from the combustion of vegetable and fossil fuels. Burning either recent vegetation such as trees and forests, corn stubble etc. or deposited vegetation of ancient origin such as coal, gas or oil produces the gas, carbon dioxide.

These greenhouse gases absorb infra-red radiation rather than allowing it to escape in to space. This acts as a blanket with an insulating effect consequently causing the earth to get warmer.

There may also be increases in the number of storms and coastal floodings. Areas particularly vulnerable in the UK include: East Anglia, Lancashire, the Yorkshire/Lincolnshire area, the Essex mudflats, Somerset, Sussex coastal towns and the Thames estuary.

The water content of soils would be likely to decrease in response to increase evaporation. Such changes may have significant effects on the types of crops, trees and other land uses that soils in a particular area can support. If summers were drier and warmer soils may shrink and their structural stability may decrease.

Warmer summers would reduce water availability but increase demand. Ground water levels could also be decreased in some areas.

ADLib logo Content provided by the Agricultural Document Library
© University of Hertfordshire, 2011