What causes global warming?
It is now clear that the Earth is warming, and very likely due to man-made activity around the globe. The growing population, increased demands for energy, agriculture, and resources has resulted in a dramatic increase in greenhouse gases in the atmosphere over the last few hundred years. In fact since the industrial revolution, the concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere has increased from 280 ppm to 400 ppm today. The concentrations of methane have doubled, and other greenhouse gases have also increased (NO2, O3, CFCs, etc). By definition, these greenhouse gases absorb heat given off by the Earth, and act like blankets, warming the Earth's temperature. In our department we are interested in understanding why and how the climate of the Earth is changing, with special focus on the impacts in Israel.
The impacts of global warming will be many. Whether we are talking about more heat waves, more severe weather, changes in rainfall patterns or rising sea level, the impacts will be wide spread. They will affect everything from our personal health, to impacts on agriculture, water resources, forests, coastal regions, biodiversity, and even conflicts and migrations. Although the climate has changed in the past dramatically (ice ages), the population of the globe is now more than 7 billion, and we are more vulnerable than ever to the impacts of climate change and global warming. These issues are of great interest to researchers in our department.