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Chapter 18 vocab Envr 1402
Terms in this set (51)
The pursuit of strategies to protect ourselves from the impacts of climate change.
Very fine liquid droplets or solid particles aloft in the atmosphere.
A permit trading system in which government determines an acceptable level of pollution and then issues polluting parties permits to pollute. A company receives credit for amounts it does not emit and can then sell this credit to other companies. A type of emissions trading system.
Technologies or approaches that remove carbon dioxide from power plant or other emissions, in an effort to mitigate global climate change.
The cumulative amount of carbon, or carbon dioxide, that a person or institution emits, and is indirectly responsible for emitting, into the atmosphere, contributing to global climate change. Compare ecological footprint.
The state in which an individual, business, or institution emits no net carbon to the atmosphere. This may be achieved by reducing carbon emissions and/or employing carbon offsets to offset emissions.
A voluntary payment to another entity intended to enable that entity to reduce the greenhouse gas emissions that one is unable or unwilling to reduce oneself. The payment thus offsets one's own emissions.
Technologies or approaches to sequester, or store, carbon dioxide from industrial emissions (e.g., underground under pressure in locations where it will not seep out) in an effort to mitigate global climate change. We are still a long way from developing adequate technology and secure storage space to accomplish this.
See carbon sequestration.
A fee charged to entities that pollute by emitting carbon dioxide. A carbon tax gives polluters a financial incentive to reduce pollution and is thus foreseen as a way to address global climate change. Compare fee-and dividend.
The pattern of atmospheric conditions found across large geographic regions over long periods of time. Compare weather.
A computer program that combines what is known about weather patterns, atmospheric circulation, atmosphere-ocean interactions, and feedback mechanisms, in order to simulate climate processes.
A program of carbon taxes in which proceeds from the taxes are paid to consumers as a tax refund or "dividend." This strategy seeks to prevent consumers from losing money if polluters pass their costs along to them.
Any of a suite of proposed efforts to cool Earth's climate by removing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere or reflecting sunlight away from Earth's surface. Such ideas are controversial and are not nearly ready to implement.
Global climate change
Systematic change in aspects of Earth's climate, such as temperature, precipitation, and storm intensity. Generally refers today to the current warming trend in global temperatures and the many associated climatic changes. Compare global warming.
An increase in Earth's average surface temperature. The term is most frequently used in reference to the pronounced warming trend of recent years and decades. Global warming is one aspect of global climate change and in turn drives other components of climate change.
The warming of Earth's surface and atmosphere (especially the troposphere) caused by the energy emitted by greenhouse gases.
Greenhouse gases Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC)
is a scientific and intergovernmental body under the auspices of the United Nations, set up at the request of member governments, dedicated to the task of providing the world with an objective, scientific view of climate change and its political and economic impacts.
An international agreement drafted in 1997 that called for reducing, by 2012, emissions of six greenhouse gases to levels lower than their levels in 1990. It has been extended to 2020 until a replacement treaty can be reached. An outgrowth of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change.
One of three types of variations in Earth's rotation and orbit around the sun that result in slight changes in the relative amount of solar radiation reaching Earth's surface at different latitudes. As the cycles proceed, they change the way solar radiation is distributed over Earth's surface and contribute to changes in atmospheric heating and circulation that have triggered glaciations and other climate changes.
The pursuit of strategies to lessen the severity of climate change, notably by reducing emissions of greenhouse gases.
The process by which today's oceans are becoming more acidic (attaining lower pH) as a result of increased carbon dioxide concentrations in the atmosphere. Ocean acidification occurs as ocean water absorbs CO2 from the air and forms carbonic acid. This impairs the ability of corals and other organisms to build exoskeletons of calcium carbonate, imperiling coral reefs and the many organisms that depend on them.
Climate in the geologic past.
A source of indirect evidence that serves as a proxy, or substitute, for direct measurement and that sheds light on past climate. Examples include data from ice cores, sediment cores, tree rings, packrat middens, and coral reefs.
The amount of change in thermal energy that a factor (such as a greenhouse gas or an aerosol) causes in influencing Earth's temperature. Positive forcing warms Earth's surface, whereas negative forcing cools it.
United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (FCCC)
An international treaty signed in 1992 outlining a plan to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases. Gave rise to the Kyoto Protocol.
The greenhouse effect is defined as __________.
a warming of Earth's atmosphere by greenhouse gases that trap reflected heat rather than allowing it to escape into space
The predominant greenhouse gas produced by human use of fossil fuels is __________.
A substance that contributes to atmospheric cooling is _______.
aerosols (particularly sulfur compounds) and dusts
The concentrations of greenhouse gases present in the past have been evaluated using _______.
gas bubbles trapped in ice
What is the role of the Energy Star program in energy conservation?
the Energy Star is given for electrical appliances with energy efficiency that meets certain standards for low energy consumption
Which greenhouse gas is produced by the raising of cattle?
How can the actions of packrats serve as proxy indicators of climate change?
The packrat middens preserve plant parts for centuries.
How are the citizens of the Maldives in trouble?
eighty percent of their land area is less than 1 meter above sea level
The first document that called for voluntary reductions of greenhouse gas emissions to 1990 levels by the year 2000 was _______.
the 1992 U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change
What is the justification that the proponents of the Kyoto Protocol offer for developing countries having different requirements than developed countries?
developed countries created the current problems, so they should make the sacrifices necessary to clean them up
Which lifestyle choice would cause the greatest reduction in greenhouse emissions?
riding a bike
Which phenomenon causes the greatest amount of radiative forcing expressed as a cooling effect?
Which is a predicted impact of climate change in the United States?
an increase in the rate of melting permafrost in Alaska
If the scientific community is convinced of the evidence for global climate change, why is there still debate?
the debate continues over how to address climate change in political and economic arenas
What is the value of using models in science?
models have predictive capabilities and can forecast different scenarios
Which of these would be an example of mitigation rather than adaptation for global climate change?
building more wind turbines to generate energy from renewable sources rather than fossil fuels
According to Pacala and Sokolow, which of these strategies will be enough to stabilize carbon emissions?
implementing at least 7 of the 15 they recommend
When a forecaster predicts that the entire week will be sunny and 70 degrees, he is predicting the __________.
Which of the following statements about the sun's energy is true?
30% of the sun's energy is reflected off the Earth and back into space.
Why are over one-sixth of the world's people at risk for running out of drinking water?
Glaciers in many areas are melting.
Why are warming temperatures causing a vicious cycle that leads to more warming?
Ice and snow reflect light and as they melt the Earth absorbs more of the sun's rays.
Which is the main reason that sea levels have risen recently?
How is global warming most significantly affecting coral reefs and sea life?
Increased concentrations of carbon dioxide are being absorbed by the oceans.
Which of the following is an example of mitigation?
Making legislation to reduce our use of fossil fuels
Which of the following statements about the United States is correct regarding the Kyoto Protocol?
The United States is the only industrialized nation to refuse to ratify the Kyoto Protocol.
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