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Climate Change Final Exam Review
Terms in this set (140)
Anthropogenic Climate Change
The view of most scientists is that humans are causing most of the recent observed climate change
The sum total of all living organisms on the planet
The 2000 year temperature record is often referred to as the "hockey stick" because climate generally cooled for much of the period followed by a sharp rise in temperature.
We know that the observed warming since 1975 is not caused by sunspots because...
sunspot numbers have been very low, but global temperatures have risen dramatically since 1975.
The Medieval Climate Anomaly
warming period of around 1,000 years ago
Possible causes of the Medieval Warm Period
increased solar activity, decreased volcanic activity, and changes to ocean circulation
The Little Ice Age
cooling period that started around 400 years ago
The most likely cause of the end of the Little Ice Age
decreased volcanic eruptions and increased solar radiation
Carbon dioxide is known as a ______ because ______
greenhouse gas, it traps outgoing radiation from Earth
_____ is the strongest evidence that our climate is gaining energy
Increased ocean heat content
All of the following are evidence that our climate is warming, especially in the past 30 years:
-Melting ice in the Arctic
-Increased heat waves
-Increased frequency of drought
A negative climate feedback causes _____ while a positive climate feedback causes _____
Currently, the planet is in a climate period known as _____
the difference between incoming and outgoing radiation at the top of the atmosphere
A positive forcing (more incoming energy) does what?
warms the system
A negative forcing (more outgoing energy) does what?
ex: volcanic eruptions
Volcanoes emit sulfate aerosols and dust into the upper troposphere and stratosphere thus increasing albedo, which in turn causes
The impact of the eruption of Mount Pinatubo on climate was
cooling due to massive output of aerosols
Albedo refers to
_____ has the highest albedo
The El Niño Southern Oscillation (ENSO) is a natural climate cycle that causes climate change to occur
over a period of years
During El Niño cycles, the climate is expected to....
During La Niña cycles, the climate is expected to....
El Niño Southern Oscillation (ENSO) develops in the Pacific ocean and manifests in 2 ways:
El Nino and La Nina
El Niño events are characterized by....
warm water flowing eastward
During an El Niño, warmer water and lower pressure slide
eastward across the Pacific Ocean
During El Niño events, global average temperatures...
During La Niña events, global average temperatures...
National Climate Data Center (NCDC)
maintains the largest international data set
uses the longest base period for calculating global temperature anomalies
National Climate Data Center (NCDC)
20,000 years ago, at the end of the last glacial advance, sea levels were _______ than today
about _______ of the world's landmass is affected by permafrost
-Causes a positive feedback mechanism for warming
-Releases methane, a powerful greenhouse gas
A melting Arctic permafrost causes...
a positive climate feedback
A warming climate melts permafrost which...
releases methane gas
Milankovitch cycles influence climate over...
tens to hundreds of thousands of years
According to Milankovitch cycles, in the absence of humans, the climate should be...
cooling for the next 20,000 years
changes in the distance Earth is from the sun
*Cycle periodicity ~100,000 and 400,000 years
changes in the direction the north pole points in space
*Cycle periodicity ~24,000 years
changes in the tilt of the Earth's rotation axis
*Obliquity varies over 41,000 years
The set of conditions below will cause the greatest ice sheet growth in the Northern Hemisphere:
-Small tilt angle
-Aphelion during summer
About only ____ of the atmosphere , by volume, is comprised of greenhouse gases
The type of radiation primarily emitted by Earth is...
Greenhouse gases heat the atmosphere by _____ terrestrial (LW) radiation.
Of the carbon dioxide emitted today, as much as ____ will remain in the air for at least_____.
20%, 1000 years (millennia)
All of the following are greenhouse gases:
(Argon is not a greenhouse gas)
What is the primary control on seasons?
the tilt of the Earth
____ circulation keeps the Earth from getting too cold at the poles and too warm near the equator
Air and Ocean
The circulation cell that spans the 0 to 30 degree latitude belt
The circulation cell that spans the 30 to 60 degree latitude belt
The circulation cell that spans the 60 to 90 degree latitude belt
The region found between the Hadley & Ferrel cells
~ 30° N and S
The region found between the Hadley and Ferrell cells is featured by
sinking air and dry climate
The region between the Hadley and Ferrel Cells, about 30 degrees of latitude, features _____ due to sinking which suppresses cloud formation
warm and dry air
Most of the world's deserts are located around
the 30 degree latitude
The Coriolis effect
deflects moving air and water to the right in the northern hemisphere and to the left in the southern hemisphere
Ocean heat content in the past century has
the "engine" that drives global ocean circulation
The North Atlantic Ocean
water that has the greatest density
cold & more salty
The Gulf Stream ocean current is most responsible for....
for transporting heat from the tropics toward the poles
Volcanic Eruptions/El Niño Southern Oscillation (ENSO) affects the Earth's climate in....
Ocean Circulation affects the Earth's climate in....
hundreds of years
Earth's Orbit affects the Earth's climate in...
Tens to thousands to hundreds of thousands of years
Global Tectonics affects the Earth's climate in...
millions of years
Trace elements =
concentrations less than 1000 ppm
provide the longest record of climate change relative to most other proxy records
Geological observations and geochemical tools are...
are not perfect but together reveal a very good picture of past climate
Ice core data can determine climate as far back as...
Coal forms where....
where dead vegetation from tropical and temperate forests accumulates in swampy areas and is then rapidly buried
Unlike oil shales, limestone, and organic-rich clays, ____ does not form in marine environments
The 14C isotope is...
radioactive (not stable)
The half-life of a radioactive isotope ____ influenced by pressure, temperature or time, rather, ______
is not, it decays at a constant rate
The half-life of 14C is....
If the carbon found in a material contains 25% parent atoms and 75% daughter atoms, the material is...
11,480 years old (5740 * 2)
Fossil leaves with a larger surface area were formed in....
a wet climate
Fossil leaves with a large number of serrated edges are formed in...
Fossil leaves with large, rounded edges typically formed in...
The oldest living trees are ______ & Tree ring patterns can be dated back as far as _____
4000 years old, 10,000 years
The thicker band of tree rings occurs during....
Life has existed on our planet for approximately
3.8 billion years ago
The great Permian extinction caused ____ of marine species to disappear
The great Permian extinction caused ___ of land vertebrates to disappear
When anaerobic bacteria dominate the deep oceans, the deadly gas, ____ can be released
By the end of the Permian period, _____ existed
a large supercontinent known as Pangea
The Siberian Traps
the remnants of widepread volcanic activity that occurred in northern Pangea, about 250 m.y. ago.
** is a large region of volcanism
What caused the Cretaceous Period to end 65 million years ago?
A large meteorite that struck Earth
The ____ region of the world is warming the most rapidly
The ____ regions of the world's oceans are warming most rapidly (more than the tropical or mid-latitude regions)
The technical resources needed by a community to respond to climate change is known as....
It is difficult for poorer nations to cope with climate change because...
corruption, political conflict and poverty
_____ accounts for most of the world's water supply
The United Nations has projected that _____ of the world's population will experience water stress by 2025
Of industry, households and agriculture, _______ uses the most freshwater
In the Middle East, salt water intrusion into freshwater aquifers would be potentially the most damaging in the ____
With current global warming trends...
both drought and floods will increase
When humans emit carbon dioxide into the air, ocean water pH values ____
Trees are migrating northward in....
___ are migrating farther north as well
____ ecosystem is most vulnerable to even minor climate change
The Amazon Rainforest ecosystem
The Amazon Rainforest been fundamentally intact for nearly _____
____ of the Amazon forest might be lost to just a 2°C increase in global temperatures
The Amazon regulates climate by...
removing carbon from the atmosphere
The position of corporate stakeholders regarding anthropogenic climate change is...
that action should be delayed until there is more certainty
The position of the Union of Concerned Scientists regarding anthropogenic climate change is that...
the evidence is clear, and immediate action will create jobs
____ is a state that relies heavily on coal for its energy, so politicians there are under great pressure not to pass emissions laws
____ uses coal for only a small portion of their energy needs, while West Virginia, Ohio and Colorado are large users
The _____ accepted the reality that voluntary emission cuts were not going to achieve desired results
The ______ was NOT signed by the United States
When ______ was elected president, the United States withdrew from the Kyoto climate negotiations
George W. Bush
By _____, unchecked greenhouse gas emissions could increase by ____ due to population increases and changing consumer habits
_____ is the unit typically used to describe how much power is used globally
By 2050, ____ is the best-case scenario for the percentage of world energy needs that will be powered by clean, renewable sources
the term that describes lack of access to electricity or other modern energy services
The five current major global energy sources:
oil, coal, natural gas, nuclear, hydroelectric
______ people in the world still cook and heat their homes by burning wood and dung
The risks related to climate change are greatest for....
countries that emit the least carbon
The risks of climate change are not highest for countries that emit the most carbon dioxide. Rather, developing countries with low emissions are on the front lines, esp. those with land located near sea level
All of the following are increasing climate change risks:
-Rising out of energy poverty
-Higher carbon emissions
Developed countries most responsible for the historic rise in greenhouse gases are reluctant to reduce emissions because...
they fear that doing so will give developing countries a competitive edge
____ is the fuel source considered the cheapest, most abundant, and most readily available in the world
Coal is formed by....
plant material from swamps and bogs that gets buried and compressed
Clean coal technologies are not being used on most coal power plants because ...
they add to the cost of delivering electricity
cheap, abundant, and widely available. It is also dirty, its mining causes destruction, and it pollutes the atmosphere.
In the Asia-Pacific region, ____ is the energy source is used the most to power the region
All of the following are true about natural gas:
-Cleaner than coal
-More expensive than coal
-Burns more efficiently than coal
-Richer in energy than coal
Natural gas is formed by....
organic material that gets trapped in rocks
Hydraulic fracturing is...
a form of natural gas extraction that has become very controversial
In, Europe _____ is the energy source used the most to power the region
All of the following countries have a large supply of natural gas reserves:
(China does not)
_____ is the second most emitted greenhouse gas
Greenhouse gas intensity is defined as...
the rate of emissions per increment of economic growth
______ will NOT encourage the use of cleaner sources of energy
Lower gas prices
____ uses the most energy of any country
Greenhouse gas emission per capita measures _____
the emissions per person
_____ has the highest emissions per capita value
The United States
_____ has the second highest emissions per capita value
The average person in the United States consumes about _____ the energy as the average person in a developing country.
China and India now produce ____ more carbon dioxide emissions compared to their emissions in 1980
China is building a new coal-fired power plant
_____ consumes that largest amount of coal in the world
____ has increased its greenhouse gas emissions the most since the late 20th century
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