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Mathematical Problems in Engineering
Volume 2012 (2012), Article ID 971641, 12 pages
Research Article

Dynamical Analysis of the Global Warming

1Department of Electrical Engineering, Institute of Engineering of Porto, Rua Dr. António Bernardino de Almeida 431, 4200-072 Porto, Portugal
2IDMEC-Pólo FEUP, Faculdade de Engenharia, Universidade do Porto, Rua Dr. Roberto Frias, 4200-465 Porto, Portugal

Received 17 September 2012; Accepted 31 October 2012

Academic Editor: Clara Lonescu

Copyright © 2012 J. A. Tenreiro Machado and António M. Lopes. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Global warming is a major concern nowadays. Weather conditions are changing, and it seems that human activity is one of the main causes. In fact, since the beginning of the industrial revolution, the burning of fossil fuels has increased the nonnatural emissions of carbon dioxide to the atmosphere. Carbon dioxide is a greenhouse gas that absorbs the infrared radiation produced by the reflection of the sunlight on the Earth’s surface, trapping the heat in the atmosphere. Global warming and the associated climate changes are being the subject of intensive research due to their major impact on social, economic, and health aspects of human life. This paper studies the global warming trend in the perspective of dynamical systems and fractional calculus, which is a new standpoint in this context. Worldwide distributed meteorological stations and temperature records for the last 100 years are analysed. It is shown that the application of Fourier transforms and power law trend lines leads to an assertive representation of the global warming dynamics and a simpler analysis of its characteristics.