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Climate Change - an Hourglass representation...

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on 17 January 2016

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Transcript of Climate Change - an Hourglass representation...

Climate Change - an Hourglass representation...
By: Jenaifer R. Mistry Y11A
The past five years...
The year 2011...
Climate Change is forcing Polar Bears to swim longer distances:

Climate change is forcing polar bears to swim longer distances to find stable ice - with their cubs.

Biologists and researchers tracking polar bears found a 45% mortality rate among the cubs of whose adults swam 48 kilometers at a time - other cubs have an 18% mortality rate with other polar bears.

What is causing them to swim such long distances? Rapid loss of sea ice caused by global warming.

The farthest swim recorded was 686 km - this took 12.7 days. This requires large amounts of energy, therefore putting polar bears and their cubs at high risk of drowning
The year 2012...
Bird migration patterns are getting altered by rise in temperatures:

As the timing of bird migration is crucial for overall health of bird species, it is very important that their timing is correct.

Due to weather and temperature changes, migration of bird is getting pushed back earlier in the year, affecting birds.

The timings for specific birds, such as the Red-Eyed Vireo, are important, as if they arrive on breeding grounds too early there is a threat of severe winter conditions. This may cause death or no reproduction.

A change in migration patterns, caused by warmer temperatures (which means birds may migrate sooner/later) could lead to population decline - this could even lead to putting many species at risk of extinction
(University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill)
The year 2013...
Cyclone Phailin - one of the strongest cyclones India has ever seen
Cyclones get their energy from warm waters, but are not able to form unless the temperature is over 26.5 degrees Celsius. The recorded temperature in the Bay of Bengal was 28-29 degrees Celsius - exactly where Phailin developed.

According to various sources, it was one of the strongest cyclones India has experienced since the past 14 years.
Temperature variations on sea surface are showing an increasing trend - they are particularly more pronounced since 1992. It shows a direct relationship to global warming.

The cyclone in October 2013 caused over 800,000 people to evacuate - one of the largest evacuation in Indian history. 9 million people were affected by the huge losses to their crops and homes.
(Holthaus) (Kumar)
The year 2014...
NASA announced 2014 as the hottest year with highest carbon dioxide levels so far:
NASA and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) scientist announced 2014 the hottest year since 1880. The years previous to 2014 were the 10 warmest years in the record (with exception of 1998).

Majority of warming has occurred since the past three decades.

The Earth’s average surface temperature has risen 0.8 degrees Celsius since 1880 - a trend driven by global warming, which is caused by the increased in carbon dioxide among other greenhouse gases and human emissions.

The diagram on the right portrays the carbon dioxide readings in the year 2014 in ppm (parts per million)
The video on the right shows a ‘time series’ of global temperature averages between 1880-2014 - estimates by scientists at NASA.
A short informational video on 2014 as the hottest year:
The year 2015...
Severe Drought hits California
2015 has been California’s fourth year of minimal rainfall and record-breaking high temperatures.

It has also reached a record low of 5% of snow accumulation compared to historical averages, according to April 1 measurements when snow pack is usually at its peak of 71cm.

In 2015, 93% of the state is experiencing drought conditions which are ranked as “severe”.

The rising temperature and changing atmospheric patterns are diminishing rains . Furthermore, climate change is intensifying the drought and causing record breaking temperatures: The winter (December 2014 to February 2015) was the warmest winter on record, and February 2015 was California’s warmest February on record as well.

The intense heat is also melting the snow pack, which provides a third of California’s total water supply - this stood at/near record lows during the past three years.

Warmer conditions = mountain snows melt earlier, snow turns into rain & soils dry out even faster.
(Cole and McCarthy)
The probable future...
The preferable future...
The year 2020...
CO2 Emissions will continue to rise into an all time high
The year 2025...
2.8 billion people would be living in countries and regions with absolute water scarcity!
The year 2030...
There is a high probability that Polar Bears will be extinct
The year 2035...
1.7 BILLION cars in the world...
The year 2040...
The sea level continues to rise to very dangerous levels
The year 2045...
Ocean acidification would cause various species to become extinct - further global warming leading to extinction of various other animals and plants on land as well!
The year 2048...
As climate changes, the risk of it affecting health rises.
The year 2050...
Heat waves would be even more frequent and would be causing serious health problems for humans
By 2035 it has been projected that the number of vehicles worldwide will be 1.7 billion!

Most of the growth will happen in China as the country continues to develop and people earning enough to afford a vehicle. Even India is projected to have about 160 million cars by 2035.

For example:
- 2000: 4 vehicles per 1000 people
- 2010: 40 vehicles per 1000 people
- 2025: 310 vehicles per 1000 people

With this many cars on the road, the carbon dioxide levels will rise even more and even faster with the increased number of combustion engines.
(LeBeau) (Stein)
Each car produces an average of 6 tons of carbon dioxide emissions a year. This means, that on average with 1.7 Billion cars, 10,200,000,000 (10 billion and 200 million) tons of carbon dioxide will be emitted!
This number will keep rising for years to come as more and more people acquire vehicles with combustion engines. In these engines mainly diesel and petrol is used - these are made from the fossil fuel crude oil.
Climate change will cause water security to be difficult and quite costly to achieve, as it has introduced water challenges for countries that have previously enjoyed reliable supplies for many years. Also, many developed countries are facing droughts or risks of flooding.

Furthermore climate change would cause accelerated melting of glaciers, altered precipitation, runoff and groundwater recharge patterns, saltwater intrusion and even water quality changes.
Due to global warming the water being held in the atmosphere increases = more heavier rainfall when the air cools. Even though this rainfall adds to dearly needed fresh water resources, it speeds up movement of the water from the atmosphere to oceans, therefore reducing the ability for storage and usage.

The inland glaciers throughout the world would be melting, increasing water supply to rivers and lakes for a short amount of time.

However, the overall effect is an intensification of the water cycle, which means extreme floods and droughts globally.

("Water and Climate Change") ("How Will Climate Change Impact on Fresh Water Security?")
Due to burning fossil fuels as well as destroying forests, the release of greenhouse gases, including carbon dioxide, is increasing by the minute.

These gases trap heat and are warming up the our planet causing serious changes and affecting our world in many ways. These are already apparent in the previous 5 years, and the release of carbon dioxide is not slowing down.
According to various projections showing various scenarios, it is clear that carbon emission is going to continue to rise in 2020. The diagram above for example shows different scenarios of what could happen - they all however show that by the year 2020 the CO2 emissions continue to rise.
The two diagrams above show carbon dioxide emission in billion metric tons that are released from coal, liquids and natural gas. Once again it is clear that the emissions in 2020 are far greater than 2015 - and it also shows that these will continue to rise in the coming years!
Further projection also prove that not only will carbon dioxide emissions rise continuously to 2020, but will keep increasing more and more if no action is taking to reduce emissions.
(Al. et al.) ("Energy-related Global CO2 Emissions") (Reay)
As mentioned before, the increase of heat-trapping gases in the atmosphere are causing Earth’s surface temperature to rise, and 80% of this additional heat oceans absorb. This leads to:
Thermal expansion:
Water heats up -> it expands. Therefore warmer oceans occupy more space = sea level rise
Melting of glaciers and polar ice caps:
High temperatures are leading to more melting during summer and less snowfall and freezing during winter and spring = imbalance = increased run off = sea level rises
Ice less of Greenland and West Antarctica
: Increased heat is causing Greenland and Antarctica to melt at an accelerated pace

The consequence of this includes seawater reaching inland: flooding, contamination of agricultural soils, destructive erosion as well as loss of habitat for fish, birds and plants.

With higher sea levels come larger and more powerful storms which may lead to huge destruction.

Millions of people will become vulnerable to flooding.

Many projections are extreme, some stating that by 2040 there will be a sea level rise of 2.5 meters! However, others predict that by 2100 there will be a rise between 0.8 and 2 meters.
For example, this graph shows what could happen in an extreme case - it portrays a scenario where by 2040 the global mean sea level would rise to 2.5 meters.
("More than 2.5m Sea Level Rise by 2040?") ("Sea Level Rise")
The USGS has predicted that 2/3 of the polar bear population would be wiped out by 2050. However, this assumes that there will still be summer ice.

Some scientists predict that the Arctic might lose all of its ice by 2030 - so what effect does this have to polar bears?

Due to sea ice changes, the interactions between polar bears and their main prey seals will be reduced. So firstly their source of food will be impacted.

Secondly, as there is less ice, this would also lead to less reproductive rates. This is also because females will have lesser fat to invest in cubs during the winter fast.

This means that when the ice disappears, so will the polar bears.
As the levels of greenhouse gases would continue to rise, these would also be absorbed into the sea. This would cause the water to be too acidic for calcium based organisms to grow.
The Great Barrier Reef in the coast of Australia would be almost completely destroyed, with less than 2% remaining. The colorful fish near the reef would have also disappeared.

On another note, populations of animals and plants on land will also start dying.

It is predicted that 50% of Australia’s 400 butterfly species would have became extinct, as well as the Boyd’s forest dragon (a rare and colorful lizard).
In europe more than 20% of bird species would be lost, as well as 15% of plants.

30% of all animal species in Mexico would be critically endangered or even extinct.

The Indian elephant would also be on the brink of extinction, and in some projections the 70% of polar bears would have disappeared by now if they haven’t already!
These are all only some of the examples of how many animals and plants are going to become endangered or even extinct by 2045 due to their environment changing and them not being able to adapt quick enough!
("2045-2049: Major Extinctions of Animal and Plant Life")
Extreme heat / high temperatures with high relative humanity which continue for several days - also called heat waves - can be very dangerous to humans, especially if temperatures don’t drop during night-time.

Food shortages that could result from water contamination would lead to poor nutrition and malnutrition.
Increased greenhouse gases also means pollution = poor air quality. Sunlight, warm air and pollution from power plants and cars which burn fossil fuels such as coal and gasoline produce smog, or ground-level ozone. Increase in temperatures increases the smog which could lead to cardiovascular and respiratory disease. Current air pollution causes 1.2 million deaths per year, and this number would increase strongly by 2048.

Water-borne and diseases transmitted from insects will be greatly affected by climatic conditions. Due to the ‘warmer world’ insects that were stopped by cold winters will move to higher latitudes. Also, warmer oceans and other waters means that cholera outbreaks would be more severe and harmful bacteria could be found in seafood.

("Global Warming Effects on Health")
("Global Strategic Trends - Out to 2045")
Heat waves haves have increased throughout the Globe:

Some projections estimate, that Spain could face 50 degree Celsius heatwaves by 2050.

Furthermore, heatwave deaths in Europe may triple by 2050 as well. In regions such as England and Wales
the deaths by increase by 3.5 times its current number, which is 2000 deaths yearly.

Due to over exposure of hot weather people could suffer from hyperthermia.

650 Americans die every year from hyperthermia, which is a death toll greater other natural disasters such as hurricanes, floods and earthquakes combined.
("Spain Could Face 50 Degree Heatwaves by 2050") (Gholipour)
The year 2020...
Net carbon dioxide emissions should be cut by 80%.
It was not affordable to let the planet get any hotter. Massive Greenland and West Antarctic sheets are already melting at a rapid rate, and increasing the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere would have only increased the temperature even more.

Even though there still is a high concentration of carbon dioxide in the air, this huge reduction would at least keep it at a constant level.
Instead of an ever increasing level of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, 80% could be reduced by 2020. Once this is achieved the levels can decrease further and further. The diagram on the right shows an example of how the EU could decrease to 80% by 2020.
("Greenhouse Gas Emissions EU") (Al. et al.)
The year 2025...
Most people around the world have a stable and reliable water supply that fills their needs
It is important for organizations such as the World Bank to recognize the importance of water for millions of people throughout the world.

If proper action is taken, most people around the world should have access to the minimum water that they require. This may not include luxuries such as water sprinklers, but must account for basic needs.
("Water and Climate Change") ("How Will Climate Change Impact on Fresh Water Security?")
The year 2030...
Polar Bears will still be endangered due to previous global warming, but their habitat is reviving
The year 2035...
Advanced cars would be replacing old combustion powered cars and new fuels would be used instead of fossil fuels
What action needs to be taken?
2025: What action needs to be taken?
2025 Goal: Most people around the world have a stable and reliable water supply that fills their needs
Climate-risk management programs specifically designed and focusing on resilience of water shortages should be designed and carried out. These should focus on water-related investment projects. This would include two aspects: projecting climate change and its specific impacts on water use and then methods and guidelines that need to be incorporated.

Hydro power should become one of the main source of energy as well as other low-carbon energy producing ideas. This way energy efficiency will be achieved = reducing energy consumption of vital water services.

Other projects would include making reservoirs to store it, pipelines to transfer it quickly and even desalination which would be a new source of freshwater and largely available.

Water should also be reused and recycled using water saving technology, therefore needing more investments in research and education in this field.
What action needs to be taken?
The 2020 Goal: Cut carbon dioxide emissions by 80%
2035: What action needs to be taken?
2035 Goal:
Advanced vehicles must make up 70% of global car sales in order to limit the global temperature to increase by 2 degrees Celsius.
This will include hybrid cars (gasoline and diesel vehicles with internal battery), electric cars (battery power) and plug-in hybrids (two sources of power: gasoline + batteries).

Companies producing mass cars will need to adopt to climate change and produce cars that are environmentally friendly.

They should aim to double the efficiency of the vehicles from the average of 8 liters per 100km in 2005 to 4 liters per 100km, which will lead to reducing emissions.

Furthermore, instead of traditional fuels such as diesel and petrol being used, cars should switch to more efficient fuel source such as Bio-diesel or even hydrogen fuel cell cars. These produce 0 emissions when being used as a fuel in cars.
("FAQs: Transport") ("Zero Emissions, Full Emotions: Electric Vehicle") (Radka and Christensen)
By this year carbon dioxide levels should have been greatly reduced, therefore lowering global warming. This was the main cause of concern regarding the survival of polar bears.

However, this species will still be endangered due to previously high global temperatures melting the ice - their habitat should be reviwing due to lower carbon dioxide levels = gradually lower temperatures
Instead of having traditional combustion powered cars, more efficient and cleaner cars should be used. These can either be more efficient in using fossil fuels, but more preferably having found an alternative fuel replacing diesel/petrol.

Cleaner methods of transportation should also be introduced such as concepts of mass public transport. Other transportation options could include renting bicycles to reduce emissions.
("FAQs: Transport") ("Zero Emissions, Full Emotions: Electric Vehicle")
The year 2040...
Sea level rise has been drastically slowed.
Carbon dioxide emissions have been one of the main contributors to sea level rise as it lead to global warming.

As carbon dioxide emissions and other greenhouse gases have been cut drastically, the sea level is not rising any further. The ice caps as well as glaciers have stopped melting, therefore have stalled the rise of sea level.

Coastal cities are not in the danger of extreme flooding - no risk of erosion, contamination and loss of habitat.

Yet there is still a slow rate of water rising due to previously high levels of CO2 and previous global warming. These will be gone once the carbon dioxide in the atmosphere decreases over time.
The year 2045...
Ocean acidification has been completely avoided
Drastic changes should have been made before this year in efforts to reduce carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gas emissions.

For the preferable future it is hoped that these measures have been taken. This will lead to less / no ocean acidification, therefore preserving the life of thousands of plant and animal species underwater.

Not under any environmental stress of acidification, these will now be able to flourish in their habitat.
The year 2048...
Climate Change no long poses threat to human health
The year 2050...
Extreme weather due to climate change is
Extreme weather such as droughts, flooding or extreme weather is no longer existent, as the main cause for these have been acted against.

The climate and weather is having a consistent, normal cycle allowing humans, animals and plants to live peaceful and in a healthy life.
Extreme heat and high temperatures are not causing a threat to human health as heat waves and other threats have been abolished.

As high CO2 levels are not a threat any more, pollution has become less as well, also reducing poor air quality threats.

Due to no global warming water borne diseases don't have a high probability of surviving.

Therefore climate change poses no threat to human health.
So in the preferable future, what do we get?

We get a world in which plants, animals and humans live peacefully on a sustainable, more 'green' planet.
But....how do we achieve this?
By achieving the goal of cutting carbon dioxide emissions down by 80%, it will trigger a chain reaction preventing many disasters as shown in the probable future from happening:
Step #1: Identify areas that could reduce carbon emissions
In order to quickly cut down carbon dioxide levels, the world will have to work together in order to reach this goal. This will include engagement in different factors such as individual, local and global. Here people can help reduce CO2 levels as single individuals or go as far as countries coming to formal agreements about emissions.
Factors that need to be addressed:
Fossil fuel -> Renewable Energy
Transportation systems -> Renewable Energy
Ending deforestation
Step #2: Reducing energy consumption - efficient use of energy
In order to quickly cut down carbon dioxide levels, the world will have to work together in order to reach this goal. This will include engagement in different factors such as individual, local and global. Here people can help reduce CO2 levels as single individuals or go as far as countries coming to formal agreements about emissions.
Energy demand will not stop, and projections predict that it will grow another 30% by 2020. However, if energy would be used efficiently, it would actually reduce global demand.

There are several ways we ourselves can reduce energy by preventing waste of heat and electricity. This can be in homes and work spaces. It can be done by:

1. Switching to efficient lighting
- 15% of global electric power consumption is electricity used for lighting
- It accounts for 5% of worldwide carbon dioxide emissions
2. Replacing most appliances to newer models which are more energy efficient
3. Unplugging electronics if not is use
4. Investing in proper insulation
5. Using a programmable thermostat in order to control heating or cooling while asleep or when away
If energy efficient lamps and lighting would be used, it could
cut electricity bills by US$110
while also reducing fuel import, peak demand and frequent power outages.

It would also save US$210 billion as 200 new coal-fired power plants would not be made.

If countries were to switch to efficient lighting, then they would be able to reduce
CO2 emissions by an average of 35 million tonnes each year

Swapping conventional light bulbs with energy-efficient compact fluorescent lamps can cut energy use by 75%, and they have a life 10 times longer too.

If the whole world switched to these light bulbs in their home, office, industry, street lighting etc the whole world electricity use will fall by 12% = output of 705 coal fired power plants.
Step #3: Switching to energy efficient Light Bulbs
Refrigerators use up a lot of electricity. By switching to more energy efficient ones not only will a lot of money be saved, but electricity as well.

Furthermore, appliances that are in ‘standby’ mode adds to about 10% of total energy consumption of a person.
are therefore also able to eliminate unnecessary electricity usage by unplugging electronics.
Step #4: Shifting to efficient Appliances
If countries were to adopt ambitious efficiency standards, it has been predicted by scientists that it would reduce the global electric consumption by 1500 terawatt hours per year = annual CO2 emissions by 1 giga tonne.

This would include switching to efficient air conditions, fans, refrigerators, and other gadgets such as tablets, phones computers etc.
This is something that has to be done by large corporations all around the word.

Companies producing many things such as plastics, fertilizers, detergents, steel cement etc show great opportunity to reduce energy demand:

1. Recycle plastics and produce them more efficiently = cuts energy use by 1/3

2. Adopt to most efficient blast furnaces and boost recycling can cut energy use in steel production = cuts energy by 40%

3. China produces half of the worlds 2.3 billion tons of cement - shifting to most efficient dry kiln technology = cut global energy use in cement factor by 40%
Step #4: Industries invest in energy efficient appliances
Other things that the government needs to implement as quickly as possible:

1. Transportation systems:
Reconstructing urban transportation systems (rail, light rail, bus) as well as safety for cyclists and pedestrians
Mass transit is very important
Includes new construction for high speed rail lines: move quickly and energy efficiently -> reduces car and air travel

2. Personal vehicles
Governments should be starting to set rules allowing efficient vehicles to be manufactured
Plug in hybrid electric vehicles which run on emissions-free electricity generated by wind and sun = low-carbon & short distance car trips
Greatly reduce oil consumption and carbon emissions
Step #6: Government Action: Transportation
First priority -> Replace coal and oil-fired electricity with renewable sources
Step #7: Government Action: Renewable energy
WIND Energy
* Abundant
* Widely distributed
* Climate Neutral
* Inexhaustible

1991 inventory by US Department of Energy estimated that by harvesting wind energy from North Dakota, Kansas and Texas was enough energy to satisfy the national electricity needs.

Today’s turbines = twice as tall and more efficient than ever before -> they would be able to meet total national energy needs

1.5 million turbines of 2 megawatts each need to be installed in the US to get 3 million megawatts of wind power capacity by 2020 cut cut CO2 levels by 80%.

Even though this may be costly in the beginning, the invest will lead to a cleaner and safer future.
Energy from sun can be harnessed for heat and electricity.

Producing energy from the sun on a large scale can be profitable.
-> production of solar cells that directly convert sunlight into electricity is doubling every two years
-> large scale usage of producing energy from the sun can be very profitable

Solar rooftop water and space heaters -> major role in cutting CO2 emissions

In china 40 million rooftop solar water heaters have been installed for only $200 each. Collectively these harness energy equal to 54 coal-fired power plants.

Governments should set goals to increase solar harvesting so that the power gained can balance out using coal instead = less carbon dioxide emissions.
SOLAR Energy
The heat in the earth’s crust contains 50,000 times more energy as found in all the world’s oil and gas reserves in total!

Many countries are rich in geothermal power and have a lot of potential including Chile, Peru, Mexico, US, Canada, China, Japan, Indonesia, Australia and those close the the Great Rift Valley of Africa and around the Eastern Mediterranean

In 2006 the Massachusetts Institute of Technology did a study that found that if $1 Billion were invested in geothermal research and development in the US, which is roughly the cost of one coal-fired power plant could yield, 100,000 megawatts of electricity capacity from enhanced geothermal systems could be harvested, which is the equivalent of 250 coal-fired power plants.

Therefore more research and development should go into geothermal energy.
Therefore in order to accomplish the 80% reduction of Carbon dioxide emissions in the world, geothermal heat capture will need to be increased by a factor of five, and geothermal electricity production by 22 -> shut down even more coal-fired power plants
And once Carbon dioxide emissions and other Greenhouse Gases have been reduced, it sets off a chain of reactions....
Less Carbon dioxide and other Greenhouse Gases in the atmosphere


No (less) Global Warming
The melting of ice caps and ice glaciers will stop (reduce significantly):
If there is no global warming / less Carbon Dioxide and other Greenhouse Gas emissions then....
In turn this will then lead to lesser endangerment of Polar Bears (as they have their habitat) -> The year 2030.

Furthermore, with the ice caps and ice glaciers not melting anymore, the sea level will not rise either -> The year 2040

The weather will not be as extreme as it was before:

Droughts and/or extreme flooding will not be prone to happening as the temperature of the earth will start to cool down -> The year 2050.

Also, extreme weather causing health problems will not arise either, as extreme weather caused by global warming will be non-existent -> The year 2048.

As there will be lesser and lesser dangerous gases in the air, the ocean will not absorb as much:

This will lead to having healthy sea life -> The year 2045

As well as healthy human, plant and animal life as there will be less pollution -> The year 2048
(Al. et al.) (Radka and Christensen)
In order to stop rainforest destruction some of the major things that need to be done are:
- Reducing paper consumption
- Reducing wood consumption
- Encouraging / boosting recycling

By ending deforestation around the world by 2020, then the carbon dioxide emissions would be cut by 1.5 billion tons.

Also, planting new trees can help as well. If a tree is planted, it is able to remove 50 kilograms of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere each year.

Part of this needs to be done on a local scale, but can also be encouraged by individuals by recycling, joining a recycling club, planting new trees or plants in their garden and using less paper for print outs etc.
Step #8: Ending Deforestation
("How Will Climate Change Impact on Fresh Water Security?") ("Water and Climate Change")
In the end...
Full transcript