The KU-based Center for Remote Sensing of Ice Sheets is the only center in the world dedicated to studying just ice sheets. The KU-based Center for Remote Sensing has partnered with five other schools, with the proceeds of a five-year, $19 million grant from the National Science Foundation.
The KU-based Center for Remote Sensing of Ice Sheets has developed a radar system that penetrates through three kilometers and thousands of years worth of ice. No other radar system can go as deep and map out images at such a high resolution. This is the best system in the world for gathering data on massive ice sheets.
With support from NASA, KU has been studying how to gather data through remote sensing, which uses radar, satellites and sound recordings to collect information. The information the radar collects lets researchers see what is at the bottom of all that ice, which is important for global warming studies in gauging how fast the ice sheets will melt. The center also uses satellite images and sound waves.
The KU-based Center for Remote Sensing of Ice Sheets mission is to get the data needed to build models that predict the speed at which the ice sheets melt. Those models will help governments around the world plan for the rising tides.
There is no doubt that the earth's climate is constantly changing. Some people feel that it is part of the normal cycle of events on this planet. Yet, most scientists agree that there are drastic changes occurring that are due to unnatural global warming.
The weather is getting decidedly warmer. For the most part, the United States has already warmed up some. In some places, the average rise in temperature is around four degrees Fahrenheit. However, all the states show some degree of warming.
The first and second warmest years on record were 1998 and 2006, respectively. In fact, every year from the first to the second warmest years, ranked within the warmest 25 years in the US. In 2006, the annual average temperature was 55 degrees Fahrenheit. Recent warm years point to a climate change being brought on by global warming.
Climate changes due to global warming can be seen in the prevalence of drought. Years are becoming drier in recent decades due to global warming. This is caused by the heat that is building up around the earth's surface. Excessive evaporation intensifies drought even more during the spring and fall.
Global warming has upped the level of drought. A major drought in the US lasted from 1999-2002. There were only two other droughts in the last forty years that were so widespread and devastating. Crops were damaged or would not grow at all, thus shortening the food supply.
There have been more and more frequent droughts in the West in recent years. The last 30 years in particular have seen numerous droughts. These droughts have spawned wildfires that set new records in 2006 for number of fires and of acres burned. Further proof of global warming is seen in these destructive wildfires.
While the overall effect of global warming is heat followed by drought, there are still storms. Since global warming energizes the atmosphere, these storms will be different. When all is going well, a gentle rain will soak into the earth gradually, causing no more than a minor inconvenience to people.
Because of global warming, storms are becoming more destructive. While there have certainly been droughts, rainfall totals have risen in the past century. This surprising fact is due to the fact that when the rain comes, it comes in rapid downpours. The sky opens up and dumps water on the earth very quickly in many cases. This is followed by dry periods.
The number of times it rains in a year has increased during the last 50 years due to global warming. What is more, global warming is causing storms to intensify. Storms which would have been ordinary thunderstorms in the past are morphing into raging tempests. Hurricanes have been rated higher in recent years as global warming affects their intensity.
Global warming is responsible for many climate changes. Often, people cause the increase in global warming that precipitates these changes. If people could make it a common goal to cut down on activities that promote global warming, the earth would be a much more stable environment.
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