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apes ch 19
Terms in this set (27)
In what ways are humans involved in global change?
Humans cause numerous amounts of environmental changes such as an increase of mercury due to higher emissions from coal fired power plants and waste incinerators.
How is current global change different from historic global change?
Historically, global temperatures have been fluctuating over millions of years in a steady pace. Currently, the rates of change is higher than historical rates due to human activity.
How is climate change similar to or different from global change?
Global change is change that occurs in the chemical, biological, and physical properties of the planet.
Global climate change is a type of global change, refers to change in climate of Earth
How does the energy of the sun cause Earth to heat?
A process called the greenhouse effect causes Earth to heat. The greenhouse effect is the absorption of infrared radiation by atmospheric gases and re-radiation of energy back towards earth, greenhouse gases radiate infrared energy back toward surface of planet trapping heat.
What is a greenhouse gas? Which greenhouse gases are most common on Earth?
Greenhouse gases are gases in the atmosphere that absorb infrared radiation.
The most common greenhouse gas on Earth is water vapor.
What determines the effect of a greenhouse gas? Which greenhouse gas has the strongest effect?
The three factors that determines the effect of a greenhouse gas include the amount of infrared energy it can absorb (Global warming potential), the duration in the atmosphere and the concentration.
The strongest greenhouse gas are CFCs.
What are the main natural and anthropogenic sources of greenhouse gases?
The main natural sources are volcanic eruptions, decomposition with methane as an end product, digestion by animals that eat a significant amount of wood or grass, denitrification and evaporation/evapotranspiration.
The main anthropogenic sources are fossil fuels, agriculture, landfills, deforestation and the industrial production of chemicals.
Which of the anthropogenic sources are the easiest to reduce? Why?
It's easiest to reduce a carbon dioxide emissions
Why do we rank the sources of greenhouse gas?
Ranking the sources of the greenhouse gases is an easy way to identify where the problem is coming from. Knowing what is creating the gases is the best way to find a solution to the problem.
What are the differences in CO2 emissions in developed and developing nations?
Developed nations produce about 75% of CO2. However, as developing nations become industrialized, their CO2 emissions would surpass developed nations due to a larger population and insufficient funds to reduce CO2 emissions.
How do scientists know the concentration of atmospheric CO2 or the average global temperature from the distant past? What are some challenges associated with them?
Change in species composition
They look at foraminifera, which are tiny, marine organisms having hard shells that resist decay after death. Scientists can tell how warm oceans were because different foraminifera liked to live in certain temperatures, so by finding the ones that correspond with the certain temperatures help them determine what temperatures were in the past.
Analysis of ice
Scientists take ice cores where they are able to find air bubbles of ancient atmospheres to determine the greenhouse gas concentration to find out how hot the world was.
Why are climate models important? What are some challenges associated with them?
Climate models are important because they give some idea of what to expect from the future. Challenges are that it will not always be the same.
What are positive and negative feedbacks?
Positive feedbacks are those that causes a system to change further in the same direction while negative feedbacks causes a system to return to back to its natural state.
What is an example of positive and a negative feedback loop?
Positive amplifies the system and negative inhibits the system (ice melting vs temperature increases so you sweat)
What is the benefit of identifying positive and negative feedbacks?
You can identify the cycle and try to stop it if you figure out the cause and effect
What is the evidence that global warming is affecting Earth?
Some evidence include the melting of polar ice and permafrost, the rising of sea levels, the more frequent heat eaves, the increase of storm intensity and the change of ocean currents.
What cahnges are predicted to occur as temprature increase?
Ice melts, less heat is absorbed, it heats up even more; ecosystems heat too much and biodiversity decreases
How will climate change affect humans? What are some examples of direct and indirect effects?
Less areas humans can survive, less food because plants can't survive, technology will have to advance
What is the Kyoto Protocol?
The Kyoto Protocol is an international agreement that stated that global emissions of greenhouse gases from all industrialized countries will be reduced to 5.2 percent below their 1990 levels by 2012.
How is the Kyoto Protocol an example of the precautionary principle?
It isn't too late to cut emissions of greenhouse gases but it is trying to prevent catastrophe
How will the Kyoto Protocol affect developing countries? How will it affect developed countries?
Developing nations like China, India did not have emissions limits imposed upon them.
In developed countries reductions in CO2 emissions would require major changes to manufacturing, agriculture, or infrastructure at significant expense and economic impact.
Distinguish among global change, global climate change, and global warming.
Global change: any change in global processes
Global Climate Change: change in the average weather patterns/temperature
Global Warming: the specific warming of the surface temp
Explain how solar radiation and greenhouse gases warm our planet.
solar radiation that is usually reflected out of the atmosphere is trapped and reflected back onto earth by greenhouse gases, not letting the earth cool down
Discuss how carbon dioxide concentrations and temperatures have changed over time.
as carbon dioxide increases, temperature increases
Describe the importance of feedback loops in the process of global warming.
Feedback loops are what increase global warming faster and faster
Identify how global warming is affecting people and the environment.
Global warming is taking away habitats of people and plants
Discuss how the Kyoto Protocol aims to reduce global warming.
The Kyoto Protocol wants to preemptively lower greenhouse gases so that the problem decreases or at least plateaus before causing serious damage
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