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Environmental Awareness

How well do you know the world you are living in?
by

Rhiannon Morgan

on 26 February 2013

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Transcript of Environmental Awareness

Also known as climate change Global Warming Definition Our Unhealthy Earth Environmental
Awareness Global Warming and Penguins Global Warming And
The Polar Bear IUCN
(International Union for Conservation of Nature) helps the world to find pragmatic solutions to our most pressing environment and development changes This is a few of the animals off of a list they have made of the animals most affected by global changes (global warming in this case) The Emperor Penguin
Ringed Seals
The Arctic Fox
The Beluga Whale
Polar Bears Rainforests Global Warming is affecting Rainforests worldwide There has been shifts in rainfall patterns Meaning a lot less rain which is causing more droughts and a high risk of wildfires which is destroying vast expanses of our forests. In 2005, Scientists noticed that a drought in the Amazon region caused some of the largest Rainforest trees to die. These trees are very important because they make up the forests canopy. Without this large canopy the shadowy places of the forest floor are being exposed to sunlight causing further drying and forcing the shade-loving plants and animals to leave. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency definition of global warming:

“Global warming is an average increase in the temperature of the atmosphere near the Earth’s surface and in the troposphere, which can contribute to changes in global climate patterns. Global warming can occur from a variety of causes, both natural and human induced. In common usage, “global warming” often refers to the warming that can occur as a result of increased emissions of greenhouse gases from human activities.” Brazil houses 30 percent of the remaining tropical rainforest on Earth
50,000 square miles of rainforest were lost to deforestation (being clear of trees) between the years 2000 and 2005
Drought being a leading cause.
Some rainforests, including the Amazon, began experiencing drought in the 1990's due to deforestation and Global Warming Effecting The World Largest Land Predator and biggest member of the bear family. Polar Bears
Heavy fur
Blubber up to four inches thick
Black skin that absorbs heat from the sun
Are amazingly well adapted to the Arctic climate. They may be one of the first species lost in the warming world.
The loss of their sea ice habitat is making it extremely difficult for them to hunt prey, like seals, and find dens for their cubs. Greenhouse Gasses Natural: {80-90%} Water vapor makes up roughly 95% of all the Greenhouse gasses in our atmosphere {done though the evaporation of water which is a natural process}
{10-20%} CO2- 94% of this gas is produced do to the rotting of dead plants
or life forms that have died and are decaying. Human Made:
CO2- 6% of this gas released by us due to burning material that would rot on its own, burning fossil fuels. Used to fuel cars and airplanes, power electricity plants, and heat our homes.They are also used to make medicines, cosmetics, plastics, and synthetic fabrics. The remaining 0.28% is man made over half of this is due to our homes. Heating, air conditioning and power from our homes make up OVER 50% of what we create.
The other half from man (0.13%) is due to our transportation needs.
We also produce CO2 just by exhaling. 20 Deadliest Effects of Global Warming Greenhouse gasses can stay in the atmosphere for an amount of years ranging from decades to hundreds and thousands of years. No matter what we do global warming will always have an effect on our earth 1. Spread of Disease As northern countries get warmer insects that carry disease migrate north, bringing plague and disease with them. 2. Warmer Water and More Hurricanes As the temperature of the oceans rises so will the probability of stronger and more frequent hurricanes. 3. Increased probability and intensity of droughts and heat waves Although some areas of the world will become water due to Global Warming, other areas will suffer serious droughts and heat waves. Africa will receive the worst of it, with more severe droughts also expected in Europe. Water is already a dangerously rare commodity in Africa, according to the intergovernmental panel on climate change, global warming will aggravate the conditions and lead to conflicts and war. 4. Economic
Consequences Most of the effects of anthropogenic (Originating in human activity) Global Warming won't be good. all of these effects spell out one thing for the countries in the world: economic consequences. Hurricanes cause billions of dollars in damage, diseases cost money to treat and control and conflicts just aggravate all of these. 5. Polar Ice Caps Melting The ice caps melting is a four part danger. It will raise sea levels. There are 5,773,000 cubic miles of ice caps, glaciers, and permanent snow. According to National Snow and Ice Data Center, if all glaciers melted today the seas would rise about 230 feet. luckily that will not happen all in one movement. but sea levels will rise. Melting ice will throw the global ecosystem out of balance. the ice caps are fresh water, and when they melt they will desalinate the oceans or in plain English- make it less salty. The desalinization of the Gulf current will mess up ocean currents, which regulate temperatures. The stream shutdown or irregularity would cool the are around Northeast America and Western Europe. Temperature rises and changing landscapes in the Arctic Circle will endanger several species of animals. Only the most adaptable will survive. Global warming could snowball with the ice caps being gone. Ice caps are white and reflect sunlight, much of which is reflected back into space, further cooling Earth. If the ice caps melt the only reflector is the ocean. Darker colors absorb sunlight further warming the Earth. 6. More Floods Flooding represents one of the most dangerous hazards to human settlements and is one of the most potentially grave impacts of global warming. As the climate changes a warming of the seas creates 'Thermal Expansion' this is where warm water begins to take up more space that cool water, making the sea's surface level increase. Thermal expansion has already raised the height of the oceans by 4-8 inches according to national geographic. Steadily melting glacial ice also adds significantly to the elevation in water surface level. and many low-lying or coastal communities and facilities will be under threat of complete destruction should the sea levels continue to rise. An increase of just 3 ft would submerge considerable sections of the U.S. eastern seaboard, while one sixth of Bangladesh could be lost permanently by a rise of 5 ft. to name just two examples. The relocation of power stations, refineries, hospitals, homes and so on would become an expensive priority. Also, warmer air can hold more water vapor, increasing the level of rainfall and bringing flooding to inland areas. 7. Fires and wildfires As the planet continues to warm, dry areas of land that are already susceptible to wildfires are likely to be severely damaged by even more frequent and destructive episodes. In 2007, more than 3,000 fire brought destruction to southeastern Europe thanks to a long summer that created arid and parched conditions - a situation that would become normal as a consequence of the greenhouse effect.

The carbon dioxide and black carbon (a very fine soot) released by these large scale fires together with the deforestation they cause further compounds the problem of air pollution - as the gases that help create the greenhouse effect are supplemented and less mature trees survive to draw CO2 from the atmosphere. 8. Destructive Storms With ocean temperature being a huge factor for hurricane formation, the consequences of global warming will inevitably include the increased manifestation of storms and hurricanes with greater power and frequency.

The destructive power of hurricanes has increased about 50% in the last 30 years which is closely connected with the rising temperature of the ocean.Warmer water leads to greater evaporation which in turn helps to not just prime growing together of hurricanes and cyclones but also to maintain their vigor once present.

Simply put, warmer oceans make for more extreme weather including devastating storms. 9. Death By Smog A powerful combination of vehicle fumes, ground level ozone, airborne industrial pollution, and the stagnant hot air associated with heat waves, smog represents an immediate and chronic health threat to those living in built-up urban areas.

it causes pre-existing heath conditions that affect the respiratory system to get worse such as emphysema, bronchitis and asthma, and in general impedes the immune system's ability to fight against infection and disease.

A hotter climate tends to lead directly to an increase in the levels of ozone, with smog related deaths to increase by "about 4.5 percent from the 1990s to the 2050s," according to relevant studies undertaken by Columbia and John Hopkins Universities. 10. Desertification The process by which fertile land becomes desert, typically as a result of drought, deforestation, or inappropriate agriculture The way global warming affects desertification is not entirely understood, but it is clear that an elevation in atmospheric and ground-level temperature is likely to aggravate soil and vegetation loss in already hot climates.

An increase in evapotranspiration, or water loss, and the accompanying decrease in rainfall mean that already semi-arid and sub-humid areas found across the world would face future bareness that is almost irreversible. This would negativity affect biodiversity and have a major impact on local human cultures and wildlife. 11. Tsunamis Although Global Warming does not directly influence the formation of tsunamis, they can be generated by the events that are brought about by the amplifications of the planet's temperatures.

One example is the melting of the ice sheets. Being extremely heavy massive glaciers apply a considerable amount of pressure to the earths surface underneath them.

This anchorage decreases as the glaciers diminish, resulting in a freeing up of Tectonic masses that can lead to massive earthquakes and significant volcanic activity, both of which are capable of creating deadly tsunamis. Relating to the structure of the earth's crust and the large-scale processes that take place within it 12. Cold Waves A cold wave is characterized by a major drop in temperature over a 24 hour period. It can be a devastating shock for crops and commerce, and also bring death and injury to humans and animals through accidents, hypothermia and starvation. damage to pipelines and property can be costly, and particularly if snow accompanies the cold wave, transport systems will grind to a halt, adversely affecting the distribution of food, water and medical supplies.

More that 150 people lost their lives during the 2009 to 2010 winter after record low temperatures and abundant snowfall caused disruption to much of Europe – which doesn't take into account the many thousands more excess winter deaths that were caused indirectly. It was the UK’s coldest winter for three decades.

It may seem illogical at first to attribute harsher cold weather to global warming, but a change in atmospheric patterns brought about by receding glacial ice can lead to the redirection of polar air currents and the sun's rays being absorbed by the larger areas of dark blue sea, while critical phenomena like the Gulf Stream can be affected by changing ocean temperatures as well. 13. Increased Volcanic Activity As already noted, melting glaciations can usher in new, more frequent and more dangerous episodes of volcanic activity. The shifting pressures brought about by the lightening of the vast ice sheets allows the Earth’s crust to ‘bounce back’ and can cause eruptions in unexpected places – like the one experienced during Iceland's Gjálp eruption, where magma reached the surface at an unusual intermediary point between two volcanoes. Potent or sustained volcanic activity can have an immense impact on human life even if the activity is centered away from dense population centers. It also has the potential to affect the planet’s climate by injecting tons of gases and solids into the atmosphere that can remain there for weeks. 14. More Dangerous Thunderstorms A consequence of the increased amounts of humid air generated by global warming is that more thunderstorms will be triggered. Research into the dynamic between climate change and thunderstorm power and frequency suggests that by the end of the century the occurrence of major thunderstorms could rise by over 100% in some places. Not only that, but this increase would generally occur during the existing storm season and not at times when such storms might provide beneficial rainfall to arid areas. Thunderstorms are also a common way of starting the devastating wildfires mentioned above. 15. Migration,Conflict and Wars It is possible that future centuries could see increased friction between nations and ethnic groups as dwindling resources lead to migration and conflict. Countries and factions would seek to control precious, dwindling resources and provide safety and shelter for their own people – perhaps at the cost of others.

Simultaneously, previously heavily populated places would become uninhabitable due to heat or other factors, displacing millions of people. These refugee hordes might be corralled into semi-permanent camps, or even suffer at the hands of unwelcoming native groups.

Even now, relocation is taking place. Mumbai’s population is estimated to become swollen by a further 7 million people by the year 2050 as global warming renders villages and hamlets uninhabitable or unprofitable, either through flooding or drought. More land pollution would be an inevitable by-product of these changes in habitation and the availability of resources. 16. More outbreaks of deadly diseases As suggested, with warmth comes disease. Climate greatly influences some of the most deadly and widespread diseases currently affecting millions of people across the world. With disease-bearing insects such as mosquitoes able to multiply in staggering numbers thanks to even small rises in temperature, global warming looks set to facilitate the spread of diseases like Malaria, West Nile virus and Dengue fever to parts of the planet usually untouched. The increased number of sick people could even overwhelm public health services – especially in poor or unprepared countries.

The Deadly Dozen is a group of 12 diseases that have been identified as those most likely to spread due to global warming. It includes Avian ‘Flu, Cholera, Plague, Ebola and Tuberculosis. Other sources of serious illnesses are exacerbated by the effects of pollution and the release of CFCs that harm the ozone layer. 17. Loss of biodiversity and animal extinction Loss of habitat for polar-ice edge communities such as polar bears is perhaps the most obvious consequence of having a warmer climate. Animals that are entirely dependent on cold environments will retreat to more northerly locations as the planet heats up – leading to encroachment upon other eco-systems and displacement of other animals from their natural habitat. A strong connection between oceanic warming, declines in reproduction and increases in mortality rates among seabirds, seals and sea lions has already been observed.

Acid rain has also been identified as having an adverse influence. One example of this is the death of large amounts of snails in areas prone to acidic precipitation. Birds dependent upon the snails as a calcium-rich food source and, without a suitable replacement for this loss to their diet, lay eggs with a much higher amount of defective shells. 18. Death of
Ocean Life The world’s oceans absorb roughly 30% of all anthropogenic carbon dioxide that seeps into the atmosphere, and so inevitably, as more fossil fuels are burned, ocean life will continue to suffer the negative consequences of global warming.

One of the most critical changes brought about by global warming is the ongoing reduction of phytoplankton. These tiny plants are an integral food source for ocean life and are responsible for around half of the world’s photosynthetic activity. Essentially, they are the foundations of the oceanic food chain, so a reduction in their numbers creates a knock-on effect that ripples up the entire food chain, particularly affecting the predators at the top.

Additionally, ocean acidification and warmer surface temperatures increase the dangers to many aquatic animals, particularly crustaceans, molluscs and coral reefs. Coral reefs are very sensitive to temperature changes, with many of them already observed to have ‘bleached’ and died thanks to climate change. 19. Animal Attacks Animals that are driven from their natural habitats or normal migration routes by environmental factors could easily come into contact with human settlements, leading to many deaths among humans and already endangered animals.

During the serious, recent droughts that struck Kenya’s Amboseli National Park, lions began to venture out of the park in search of prey, resulting in attacks on the already decimated Maasai livestock and even trapping some people in their homes.

Attacks on humans by tigers in India are on the rise as climate change affects mangrove forests in India's Sundarban region. Similarly, sharks are moving into new areas to find stable food sources, and some of these are heavily populated by humans. Experts say there are now more sharks in the waters off California and Florida than ever before. 20. Diminished
food and water
supplies With greatly reduced rainfall, more severe droughts and loss of soil fertility, food and water supplies would soon diminish, resulting in higher prices, famine, disease, malnutrition, starvation and, ultimately, death. Politically unstable countries or badly affected areas might descend into various degrees of anarchy, with governmental collapses and shifts in authority as those in control of resources become more powerful.

Countries that still retain good food and water resources might be unwilling to part with these vital commodities or accept the millions of refugees that would seek new homes.

Ultimately these consequences would be catastrophic.
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