AP Environmental Science Chapter 19: Climate Change

Global change
Changes that occur over time in the chemical, biological, and physical properties of the planet
Global climate change
The change of the world climate as a result of global change
Global warming
A type of global climate change in which climates get warmer
The percentage of light reflected off of a surface
Greenhouse gases
Any gas in the atmosphere that traps heat, warming the earth
Greenhouse effect
The process through which the atmosphere traps heat and keeps the earth warm
Greenhouse warming potential
The amount of heat that a gas in the atmosphere can trap
CH4 - Produced by anaerobic respiration, 20 times more potent than CO2
Nitrous oxide
N2O - Nitrogen in the air that causes greenhouse effects
The process of converting nitrogen from nitrates/ammonia back into free, atmospheric nitrogen
Invertebrate species used to indirectly measure the levels of carbon in the atmosphere before we logged the data directly
Ice core
A tube of ice that can be tested indirectly for the amount of carbon in the past atmosphere
Positive feedback
A loop that amplifies a change
Negative feedback
A loop that negates (reverses) a change
Ice that is frozen year round
Kyoto Protocol
An international agreement that sets a goal for global emissions of greenhouse gases from all industrialized countries to be reduced by 5.2 percent below their 1990 levels by 2012.
Carbon sequestration
An approach to stabilizing greenhouse gases by removing CO2 from the atmosphere; some methods include storing carbon in agricultural soils or retiring agricultural land and allowing it to become pasture or forest.