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UNIT 3 - Climate Change
Transcript of UNIT 3 - Climate Change
Climate vs. Weather
Photosynthesis (a review)
V. The Carbon Cycle
Standard 3, Objective 3: Utah State Core, Earth Systems
Climate can tell you what to expect in a certain area of the globe.
Utah's climate: mid-latitude steppe climate (semi-arid)
We expect hot summers and cold winters. Because we are a desert we also do not expect a lot of precipitation.
We have specially adapted plants, animals, and insects that can survive the hot, cold, and dry environment.
What about some other climate?
Utah vs. Amazon rain forest
The climate of the Amazon is much different than Utah.
Here we expect:
warm, humid, and we expect it to rain....
Plants in the Amazon, just like in Utah, are well adapted to life in the rain forest. They would not survive here!
II. What factors can affect your local climate?
A. Two most important factors affecting your climate:
(most important factor)
a. determines what direction prevailing winds are blowing, how much solar radiation you get a year, if you are in a high pressure or low pressure belt determining much of your precipitation.
a. lower = more greenhouse gases overhead; higher = less greenhouse gases overhead;
B. Other factors affecting climate
Nearby bodies of water (regulates temperature, adds moisture to air)
Terrain (ups and downs of the land, ex: mountains)
Kind of vegetation nearby
Earth's global climate
We often refer to Earth as having a climate too. When we do this we are taking an average of all of Earth's temperature into one temperature.
Earth's Global Climate
How Earth's climate is today is not necessarily the same way as it was in the past.
The Earth, our Earth, has been much colder AND warmer in the past than it is now.
This is a climatologist.
He studies our climate as well as past climates know as paleoclimates.
Climatologists gather data and study present climates and paleoclimates in a few ingenious ways.
III. How do we know about Earth's past temperatures? (PALEOCLIMATES)
Historical temperature measurements
Using a thermometer
Since we don't have reliable temperature readings past 120 years or so, and we lack a man and his little blue box to take us around through time we have to get creative.
Alpine glacier extent and arctic sea ice
We can use moraines to tell us how far a glacier has receded. Satellite data shows shrinking sea ice.
Arctic Sea Ice
3. Fossil data
Organisms are adapted to particular environments. If you find a particular climate and time period with no cold hardy plants and animals, but an abundance of warm adapted organisms, at high latitudes/altitudes this could be an indication of a warm time in Earth’s History.
These mud cores from the bottom of the ocean contain the shells of tiny organisms, usually the shells of dead plankton.
Past cold ocean temperatures will show shells with high concentrations of oxygen18 (because more oxygen16 is packed away in glacial ice) .
These records can reach back hundreds of thousands of years.
4. Mud Cores (sea-floor sediment)
5. Tree Rings
Thin growth rings can indicate dry years with little precipitation while thick rings can indicate wet years with much cloud cover.
hundreds to ten thousand of years
short to long term
6. Ice Cores
Drilling into a large piece of ice can give data from just a few years ago to hundreds of thousands of years ago.
Tiny air bubbles that are trapped inside the cores are examined for their concentrations of gases. High levels of CO2 and other greenhouse gases indicate a warmer climate.
A. What does all of this climate evidence tell us about the past?
Earth's global climate goes through natural periods of warming and cooling over long periods of time. It also tells us that carbon dioxide is linked with global temperatures.
Graph taken from Berry: Temperature and CO2 History
Earth’s temperature varies over time.
This change is influenced by thousands of interacting factors.
Graph taken from Berry: Temperature and CO2 History
IV. Why does Earth’s temperature change over time?
Two major reasons: natural cycles and rapid climatic changes (natural and unnatural)
A. Natural cycles
1. Milankovitch (Mill - an - co - vich) Cycles - Earth's orbit, tilt, and wobble change overtime. These are called eccentricity, obliquity (tilt), and precession.
Milkanovitch cycles (continued)
Moving continents changes wind patterns, ocean patterns altering temperature and precipitation and latitude.
B. Rapid climate changes- major climate changing events (global) (Rapid changes are very dangerous for life on Earth because they leave no time for organisms to evolve and tend to lead to mass extinctions).
Who can recall the formula for photosynthesis?
6CO + 6H O + energy --> C H O + 6O
What does this equation mean?
CO + H O + light --> C H O + O
A gas, carbon dioxide, and water are combined to create glucose. Glu... what now?
What is glucose?
Glucose is a type of a sugar that plants create for food.
So, photosynthesis takes in gas from the atmosphere named carbon dioxide. It makes food and builds cells with it. The waste product is oxygen!
Now, photosynthesis is what plants do.
What do you do?
Why do we breathe?
What is it for?
What is it your body is doing when you breathe?
Respiration is the process of taking in food creating energy out of it.
You take in sugars, burn it with the help of oxygen and create energy.
Does this sound familiar? What do you think this chemical formula might look like?
Respiration is the reverse of photosynthesis!
C H O + O --> CO + H O + energy
CO + H O + energy --> C H O + O
Before we jump into carbon, lets remind ourselves what makes up the air we breathe (troposphere).
21 % oxygen
fraction of a percent is other variable gases including greenhouse gases.
Carbon dioxide makes up only about 0.04% of our atmosphere, but it is the most abundant greenhouse gas.
Carbon dioxide isn't the only greenhouse gas containing carbon.
Greenhouse gases get into our atmosphere naturally and with human help.
Carbon enters the atmosphere through many means, it can also exit the atmosphere through many processes as well.
How does carbon leave the atmosphere?
The largest reservoir (storage place) for carbon is the lithosphere (ROCK). The second largest is the world oceans.
How carbon moves from the different spheres (atmosphere, biosphere, geosphere, hydrosphere)
VI. Burning fossil fuels
A. How can burning fossil fuels contribute to climate change?
Fossil fuels are hydrocarbons
(hydrogen and carbon)
that when burned combine with oxygen creating carbon dioxide.
Adding greenhouse gases to the atmosphere increases the greenhouse effect warming the Earth.
Current CO levels 406 ppm
What do CO2 levels indicate?
B. How does the burning of fossil fuels also add to pollution?
V. Burning of fossil fuels (continued)
1) Fossil fuels aren't just pure hydrocarbons (hydrogens and carbons bonded together).
When burned, can produce NON-POLLUTANTS like water and carbon dioxide.
They also produce toxic pollutants like: soot, carbon monoxide, nitrogen and sulfur compounds
J. How can we really tell that the carbon dioxide increase is actually from fossil fuel usage?
1) Fossil fuel is very old carbon mostly lacking radioactive carbon14
2) The carbon in the atmosphere has a much higher ratio of carbon12 to radioactive carbon14 than it should
3) This indicates that much of the carbon in the air is older carbon from fossil fuels
4) Lastly, the excess or extra carbon dioxide that is in the atmosphere nearly equals the amount of fossil fuels we've burned.
Carbon Cycle Concept Map - Answers
B. Ocean acidification
D. sea level rise
F. Habitat loss
G. Financial cost
H. Possible permanency of El Niño (1 in 5 chance)
- Melting glaciers and ice sheets add to water in the oceans
- Warmer oceans expand and take up more space
- Added freshwater from land ice could also disrupt ocean currents
Tens of millions of people are estimated to be displaced, according to GreenPeace.
Dry places will become drier causing grasslands to become desserts altering habitats and change their climate.
Huerfano Butte, Arizona
Climates change abruptly faster than organisms can adapt causing mass extinction
Trees remove CO2 for free
1. Increase in severe weather storms that destroy homes and livelihoods
2. Loss of forests (habitat loss & removes organisms that remove CO2 and clean the air for free)
3. Cost of relocation of people
4. Increase wildfires
5. Agricultural loss (farming)
Length of time:
120 years of reliable temperature readings
Length of time:
Last 100s years
Cold adapted animals and warm adapted animals can give us an idea of climate conditions and temperatures.
Really long term
Millions to billions of years
Length of time:
Length of time:
radioactive dating techniques of oxygen18 vs O16
hundreds of thousands of years
Length of time:
Oldest living tree
Bristle cone Pine, California, USA - 5,064
a) Eccentricity or shape of the Earth's orbit
1. 100,000 year cycle
b) Tilt of the Earth's axis changes
1. 41,000 year cycle
c) The planet wobbles (precession)
1. 23,000 year cycle
22.0 - 24.5 degrees
Volcanic Eruptions - prolonged eruptions can send large amounts of sulfur dioxides into atmosphere reflecting solar radiation cooling plant for weeks or even years.
burning of fossil fuels adds greenhouse gases & pollution to the atmosphere faster than can be removed. Results in rapid change of global temperature warming the Earth’s atmosphere resulting in mass extinctions.
Carbon Cycle - How carbon moves (modes of transfer)
2. Decay (plants and animals)
4. Weathering & Erosion
5. Burning of fossil fuel
8. Rock formation
9. Burning forests
Based on 2015 numbers
Removes carbon from atmosphere and puts into hydrosphere
Deforestation, heating homes, driving cars, using electricity
Moves carbon from rocks to atmosphere.
Moves carbon from soils and rocks to hydrosphere
If buried can be altered to become fossil fuels.
Moves carbon from biosphere into atmosphere.
Process of taking in food and burning it with oxygen to create energy and carbon dioxide.
Releases carbon from plants and animal bodies into atmosphere.
Moves carbon from atmosphere into biosphere.
Takes stored carbon from biosphere and lithosphere and puts into atmosphere.
Process of breathing carbon dioxide and making food.
Removes carbon from biosphere and puts into soils
W & E
Burning of fossil fuels and forests
Carbon dioxide pouring into the ocean from rain water causes shells to dissolve.
C. Ocean Temperature Rise
60% of all of the world's emissions come from these four.
China 29.57% 7.7
United States 14.34% 16.1
European Union 9.62% 6.9
India 6.81% 1.9
A. Increase of disease
- Loss of winter frost = increased insect infestations
- Fungus thrive and attack frogs & bat species
- Malaria thrives in mosquitoes
1) Coral bleaching - Kills off algae living in corals causing them to starve
2) Sea temperature releasing frozen methane deposits on ocean floor increasing greenhouse gases.
50 year possible
I. Increase of greenhouse gases due to permafrost melting in arctic.
J. Utah becoming drier due to alerting jet streams
Milankovitch Cycles Assignment
1. Examine the first graphs on the page.
a) Explain what each of the three graphs are showing.
b) What is the time scale here?
c)Explain for each of the three graphs, what the lines represent.
d) Around the time of approximately 135 thousand years ago, what was going on according to these three graphs?
e) How is carbon dioxide concentration related to global temperature?
2. Explain what these three terms mean in your own words. Use images if helpful.
a) obliquity (tilt)
b) precession (wobble)
3. Take a look at the graphs next in the document showing precession, obliquity, and eccentricity.
a) Explain what the lines mean in each of the three cases mentioned above.
b) Concentrate your attention on the years from present to 400,000 years. Locate the first two instances in which all three factors line up close with one another at their lows. What year are these?
c) Looking at the first graph in our document, what are the global temperatures at both of these times?
d) Go back to the graphs on obliquity, eccentricity, and precession. Locate two times during the past 400,000 years in which these three factors lined up at their peaks. What year are these?
e) Go to the first graph again. What are the global temperatures at both of these times?
4) Global climate change always involves a change in average temperatures worldwide. Explain the patterns that exist between obliquity (tilt), precession (wobble), and eccentricity and climate change.
Question for the day: If the change in Earth's orbit, tilt, and wobble can change the amount of solar radiation reaching Earth at different latitudes throughout the year, why does carbon dioxide (a greenhouse gas) change too?
5) Take a look at one more graph set. Scroll down to the bottom of the document. Examine the graph. Vocally discus/answer: what is this a graph of? What does the red line represent?
a) Is the Earth current warming or cooling?
b) Write: Eccentricity, precession, obliquity are predictable cycles and changes that Earth goes through in time. According to the predicted Milankovitch cycles, should the Earth currently be entering a cooling or warming period? Explain your answer.
Carbon dioxide rates then and now.
1790 - Pre-industrial revolution levle = 280 ppm (parts per million)
Effects of climate change (global warming)
Feedback Loop Assignment
Our air is made up of:
None of these are greenhouse gases because they do not re-radiate heat energy!
Other carbon based greenhouse gases:
CFCs (chlorofluoro carbons)
NOT ALL SCIENTISTS AGREE!!! Or do they?
70% of American public now agree that global warming is happening and exists, and is doing harm to the planet as well as human populations
54% of Republicans
76% of Democrats
Who's the authority? Who knows?
VII. What are the current consequences and possible consequences to climate change?
If it becomes warm enough so that Antarctica melts, sea rise will increase 216 feet.
Want extra credit? Do a full page write up summary of this video and hand it in.
I. What is climate?
Its the average or expected weather for a region of similar properties.
a) Milankovitch cycles cause a
change in the amounts of solar radiation received at different latitudes and by the Earth as a whole. They will cause climate change on a long term scale.
b) Maximum vs. minimum extents
When Milankovitch cycles line up at their maximums we have global warming, when they line up at their minimums we have global cooling.
2. Sun Cycle (Solar fluctuations)
11 year sunspot cycle; more sun spots = more solar energy sent to Earth.
Meteor impacts - large impacts can send up gases and dust into the atmosphere blocking solar radiation. Cools planet and changes climate abruptly causing mass extinctions directly and indirectly.
#4 is a lie... there is no 4.
Last year my kids wrote 400 ppm
the year before that 396 ppm... Each year I have to change the number because it isn't staying steady but instead steadily increasing.
definition: an initial change in a system that affects other parts which lead to an increase or decrease of the initial change.
POSITIVE Feedback Loop
MEANS AN INCREASE (NOT GOOD OR BAD JUST MORE); results in an increase or addition of an initial change or disturbance of a system.
This doesn't mean that a positive feedback is a good thing, BUT ONLY that it means there is an overall increase of the original change.
NEGATIVE Feedback Loop
results in an overall decrease (or subtraction) of an initial change or disturbance of a system; negative feedback loops are the most common type.
Negative doesn't mean bad, but instead just means there is a decrease.
Add these to the back of your notes
A positive feedback loop tends to intensify things.
Negative feedback loops tend to diminish things.
V. The carbon cycle
They also use carbon dioxide in their structure with lignin C9H10O2C10H12O3C11H14O4
We convert all of these into glucose that flows in our blood as food for our body.
V. The carbon cycle
Emissions by country as part of a whole
Emissions per capita (metric ton)
""The concept of global warming was created by and for the Chinese in order to make U.S. manufacturing non-competitive." - Donald J. Trump
Before the Flood