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Measuring Air & Land Surfaces Offers Insights to Climate Change

10/17/2023 Activity

Climate change has always been discussed everywhere in the last few years. Because we are experiencing more frequent disasters and extreme weather. But it affects more, temperature, polar ice sheets, sea level, agriculture, biodiversity.  On October 17, we had a lab activity with Professor Abdou, it was to collect both air and land surface temperatures around Columbus Park. By measuring air and land surface conditions in an actual park can provide valuable data and insights related to climate change. While it may not provide a comprehensive understanding of global climate change, but it can offer localized information and contribute to the broader understanding of climate-related processes.

Why do we need these activities?

As mentioned, we are experiencing more frequent disasters and extreme weather. Here are the proofs.    From the “Number of natural disaster events worldwide from 2000 to 2022” graph, we can clearly observe an increasing trend in the numbers. If we compare 2022 to 2002, the number of natural disasters increased by about 10%. By looking at the global temperature line graph, it remains the increasing trend and it is about 1 Celsius up compared to the 20th century. Even 1 Celsius only, but a worldwide range, causes melting ice sheets and sea level rise problems.

When we check the data, it might be too general for us. For instance, climate change is the world’s responsibility, so we individuals don’t take it seriously. But the fact is we living on the same planet, no one can escape. That’s why we keep doing these activities and relate them to routine life, to visualize how the changes are happening. The most important goal is to strengthen people’s awareness of climate change.

Number of natural disaster events worldwide from 2000 to 2022 from Statista, published by AON. January 2023

Annual anomalies in global land and ocean surface temperature from 1880 to 2022, based on temperature departure  from Statista, published by National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, 2023

What did we do? & What did we get?

The equipment for the measuring are thermal cameras, infracted thermometers, and air thermometers. The thermal camera is a professional equipment in examines the temperature distribution through the display color on the screen and measures the precise data. The infracted thermometer has the same usage but is more common. The air thermometer detects the air temperature.

The weather condition at the time was cool, cloudy, and breezy. So, we were not able to measure the sun’s surface temperature. Based on the shade measurement data, the air temperature was 17.7 Celsius. We also used the thermal camera to measure the different places in the park to collect data.     The average temperature of the pavements, cement, dirt, and grass is 17.03C, 16.16C, 13.9C, and 13.53C, respectively. As we can see the human build part is clearly higher than the nature part.    That’s also a factor in overall temperature increases. Our lands and plants are being removed for the implementation of urbanization, then the buildings absorb more long-wave energy than nature, which increases the temperature and may cause more wildfires to burn the forests. As the city size grows, it brings more human activities, and surely the air temperature will go high until people cannot be tolerant. It is a vicious cycle, and we should let more people see the difference, that is also the purpose of the activity.

Furthermore

Climate change activities are essential to address the increasingly urgent and global issue of climate change. We need to aim at mitigating the causes of climate change, adapting to its effects, and promoting sustainability. We all know it is a difficult long-term plan, but there are different pathways.  There are scientists working in different areas but with the same goal, which is to use clean energy that is sustainable and controllable. For instance, superconductive materials, controlled nuclear fusion. The impact of these solutions may be too far in the future for us to experience, but one day we can stop using fossil fuels and the climate change problem will no longer exist.

 

References

First graph:https://www-statista-com.citytech.ezproxy.cuny.edu/statistics/510959/number-of-natural-disasters-events-globally/

Second graph: https://www-statista-com.citytech.ezproxy.cuny.edu/statistics/224893/land-and-ocean-temperature-anomalies-based-on-temperature-departure/

https://www.epa.gov/climateimpacts/climate-change-impacts-energy

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