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Environmental Science - Global Climate Change

From Chp 18 - Environment - Withgott (AP Edition)

Jeanne Schumacher

on 18 February 2013

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Transcript of Environmental Science - Global Climate Change

Change Central
Case -
Rising Seas and
The Maldives The Maldives -
located in Indian Ocean
residents fear islands will be submerged by rising seas
80% of land (1200 islands) lies less than 1 m above sea level 20th century - oceans rose 10-20 cm (4-8")
current projections - sea will rise 18-59 cm (7-23") by 2100. Higher Seas
contaminate drinking water
storms intesify - erode beaches
damage coral reef http://themaldivesbug.com/article/454/read/regeringsmote-pa-havets-botten Our
Climate What is Climate
Change? Sun & Atmosphere
Keep Earth Warm Greenhouse Gases
Warm Lower
Atmosphere Carbon Dioxide
Greenhouse Gas
Of Concern Other Gases Aerosols May Exert Cooling Effect Factors that
Influence Climate Studying
Change Proxy Indicators tell
About Past Direct Atmospheric
Sampling Tells
About Present Models help us Understand Current and Future
Trends and
Impacts IPCC Summarizes
Evidence Temperature
Increases will
Continue Changes in Precipitation
Vary by Region Melting of Ice and Snow
Have Far- Reaching
Impact Rising Sea Levels
Will Affect Millions
of People Climate Change
Affects Organisms
and Ecosystems Climate Change
Exerts Societal Impacts Responding
to Climate
Change Mitigation or
. Electricity Generation
Largest Source of
US Greenhouse Gas Transporation
2nd Largest Source
Greenhouse Gas Can reduce emission
in other Ways Government Mandate
Market Incentives? International
Treaty State/Cities
Change Policies Carbon Offsets
Vogue long term atmospheric conditions
(temp, pressure, precipitation, ect describes trends & variations in Earth's climate Sun -
without it, Earth would be dark & frozen
provides most energy Without atmosphere
We would be much
colder! Oceans -
Shape climate by storing
and transporting heat
and moisture Ozone (O3),
Carbon Dioxode (CO2)
Nitrous Oxide (N2O)
Methane (CH4) Greenhouse
Effect radation trapped in atmosphere
and warms it Cause
buring fossil fuels
removal of trees
trees absorb CO2 Methane
release of fossil fuels
raising livestock
growing certain crops - rice Nitrous Oxide
byproducts of feedlots, chemical plants, fertilizers Ozone
risen 36% since 1750
due to photochemical smog Water Vapor
most abudant
concentrations vary locally
concentration hasn't changed
not viewed as a driving force of global change Cool atmosphere by reflecting sun's rays
SO2 enters atmosphere - creates haze
reduces amount of sunlight getting through Milankovitch Cycles:
peridic changes in Earth's rotation
trigger long term climate variations
glaciation Solar Output
sun varies in amount of radiation
11 year solar cycle Ocean Circulation
ocean water exchanges a lot of heat with atmosphere
warm water rises, cold sinks
El Nino/ La Nina Ice Core determine
atmospheric conditions,
greenhouse gas concentrations,
temp trends
solar activity
frequency of forest fires (trapped soot) Tree Rings
records precipitation
fire history Coral Reef
take in trace elements
"barometer" of the ocean Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change
Estab by United Nations 1988 Problem:
data/stats must be "approved" by all
some groups reluctant to move away from fossil fuel based economy concludes
av surface temp increased 0.74 C
from 1906 to 2005
most occuring in last few decades Temp changes
greatest in poles
ice sheets melting RSPB Mull Officer, Dave Sexton, got the shock of his life while out on a routine wildlife survey early yesterday [Wednesday 31st March 2010].

“We rounded a headland on the west coast of the island and saw a large, white shape lying by some rocks in the distance. As we got closer, I was staggered to see that it was a Polar Bear. At first I felt sure it was dead, but then I realised it was still breathing. Scarily, it opened its eyes as we got next to it, but didn't show any other signs of moving. We grabbed a few photos and went off to get help.” Expect average surface temp to rise 0.2 C per decade Sea Surface Temps Increasing
water absorbs heat
more frequent storms in general
will increase at high latitudes
will decrease at low and middle latitudes
will magnfy differences in rainfall that already exist since 1980 - World Glacier Monitoring
estimates glaciers lost avg of 9.6 m of verical thickness
many glaciers on tropical mtn tops have disappeared Ginnell Glacier 1938, 2009 Impact
sudden floods as ice dams burst
reduction of meltwater
darker, less relective surfaces are exposed
more sun's rays absorbed Worldwide - 20th century
sea level rose 17 cm (6.7in)
1961-2003 - avg. 1.8 mm/yr
2003-2006 - avg 3.1 mm/yr Higher Sea levels
Beach erosion
coastal flooding
saltwater into aquifers end of 21st century
predict 18-59 cm (7-23") higher
does not take into account accelerated ice melting - greenland As warming happens
modifies temp dependent phenomena
birds migrate sooner
have a mismatch in timing
organisms can move, adapt, die
expect 20-30% extinction Agriculture
earlier spring - greater growing season
more CO2 available for plants
rainfall will shift - causing droughts/floods Forestry
increase in insect & disease outbreak
catastrophic fires
increase CO2 facilitates growth
counteracted by drought/fire Health
increase heat - cause heat stress
respiratory ailments from pollution
expansion of tropical disease
disease and sanitation problems (floods and sewage)
hunger related ailments Economics
widen gap between rich/poor
poor do not have technology or resources to deal change
will cost 1-5% Gross Domestic Product (GDP) actions that reduce greehouse emissions accept climate change and look for ways to minimize impact Mitigation examples
improve energy efficiency
switch to renewable energy
preventing deforestation Adaptation Examples
building a seawall (People on Maldives)
move - island people - New Zealand
restricting coastal development
modifying water management practices produces 40% carbon dioxide emissions
fossil fuel 69% of electricity
reduce: encourage conservation & switch to clean renewable energy cars - very inefficient Driving Less & using public transportation Agriculture
land management practices that protect integrity of soil
enables land to store more carbon
techniques developed to reducde methane from rice and cattle
reduce nitrous oxide from fertilizer Forest Management
rapid reforestation of cleared areas
pulls carbon from the air
can reverse carbon dioxide emissoin from deforestation Waste Management
recovering methane seeping from landfills
treating wastewater
generating energy from waste in incinerators governmental policy - vital in safeguarding environment
mandates are often resisted by industry
market incentives can be more effective in driving change UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (FCCC)
created Kyoto Protocol
seeks to reduce emission of 6 greenhouse gases to levels below 1990.
US refuses to sign - only requires industrialized nations to reduce emissions, but not China or India, whose emissions have increased over 50%
other say it is justified, as industrialized nations caused problem
Apart from Russian block (following breakup) - all other countries have showed an increase in emission by 11% from 1990-2004. California
Global Warming Solutions Act
Regional Greenhouse Intiative (RGGI)
10 NE states
Set up cap and trade program for carbon emissions voluntary payment to another entity to reduce emissions that one can't or is unwilling to reduce in principle, sounds great
but in practice fall short
w/o oversight to spend $$ correctly, it becomes a way to assuage guilt 60 minutes -Watching the World Melt Away
http://www.cbsnews.com/video/watch/?id=3183010n&tag=contentMain;contentBody http://www.weather.com/news/east-coast-rising-seas-slower-gulf-stream-20130213
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