40 terms

Climate Change

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Terms in this set (...)

weather
The condition of Earth's atmosphere ata particular time and place including temperature, precipitation, wind and humidity.
climate
Overall weather in an area over a long period of time, usually 30 years.
atmosphere
Part of the climate system that includes all the layers of gas surrounding the Earth.
the greenhouse effect
A natural process by which infrared radiation is trapped within the Earth's atmosphere.
greenhouse gas (GHG)
Gas contributing to the greenhouse effect by absorbing radiation.
carbon dioxide (CO2)
A greenhouse gas that causes global warming. Humans create this by burning fossil fuels.
methane (CH4)
A greenhouse gas that comes from cattle (cows) and landfill sites. It is 30x more effective (better) at trapping heat than carbon dioxide.
ice age
any period of time during which glaciers covered a large part of the earth's surface
interglacial periods
Warmer periods when the ice retreats to cover less of the earths surface
eccentricity
The shape of the Earth's orbit around the sun varies from circular to elliptical over a cycle of about 100, 000 years
natural causes climate change (longterm)
Milankovitch cycles (changes in the Earth's orbit around the sun)
natural causes climate change (catastrophic)
volcanic eruptions, meteorite impacts
Carbon footprint
The total amount of CO2 released into the atmosphere by an individual, organisation, product or event
Positive feedback cycle
A feedback loop where the magnitude (size) of the impacts increase
albedo
a measure of how much of the Sun's radiation is reflected by a surface
albedo effect
the positive feedback loop in which an increase in the Earth's temperature causes ice to melt so more radiation is absorbed by the Earth's surface leading to further increases in temperature.
proxy records
inferred records used to determine past climate conditions. They do not use direct measurements; coral reefs studies, agricultural records, ice cores, sediment samples and dendrochronology
Paris Agreement
An international agreement where countries set the goal of keeping global temperature rise well below 2 degrees Celsius
IPCC
Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. The first international body to recognize Climate Change as being caused primarily by anthropogenic causes in 2007. They continue to publish reports and assess the impact of climate change.
Milankovitch Cycles
long term variations in the orbit of the Earth around the sun which result in changes in climate over periods hundred of thousands of years and are related to ice age cycles
emission targets
Goals set by governments and industry to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in order to mitigate climate change
Mitigation
to soften; to lessen; reduce the impact of
carbon tax
A price paid on carbon dioxide emissions designed to reduce them
deforestation
The practice of cutting down trees that increases carbon dioxide emissions both directly and indirectly
afforestation
The practice of replanting trees and regrowing forests
Sea level rise
An impact caused by melting glaciers and thermal expansion. This will cause more flooding in coastal areas.
Thermal expansion
A rise in sea level caused by the the water being warmer and taking up more space
Tropical storms
These will become more frequent and powerful as a result of warmer sea temperatures due to global warming
Flooding
As a result of more moisture in the atmosphere, many places will get more extreme rainfall events causing this impact
Food shortages
In some parts of the world, drought will become more common lowering reducing the output from farming therefore causing this impact
Adaptation
Accepting that climate change is happening and changing how we live to cope with the impacts. E.g. Adapting building designs to reduce the impact of flooding.
Implement
To start using a plan or idea. For example, it is challenging to implement climate change mitigation strategies,
Hockey stick model
The shape of a graph showing a long term stable-period or decline in temperature followed by an abrupt rise due to the enhanced greenhouse effect.
Enhanced greenhouse effect
The effect of increased levels of GHGs in the atmosphere preventing more heat from escaping
Fossil fuel
A natural fuel (coal, oil and gas) that is formed in the Earth from plant or animal remains over millions of years.
Impact
The effect that one thing has on something else
Glacial retreat
This is when glaciers (large areas of ice) melt faster than new ice is added making them smaller. It is an impact of global warming.
Coastal area
These are places that are near to the sea or ocean, they are by the coast.
Emissions
The amount of gases released into the atmosphere
Carbon-neutral
The total amount of carbon dioxide emitted (released) into the atmosphere (air) is zero.

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