27 terms

Effects of the changing carbon budget

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200 parts per million (ppm)
carbon dioxide concentrations during ice ages
Anthropocene
a proposed epoch dating from the commencement of significant human impact on the Earth's geology and ecosystems, includes anthropogenic climate change
400 parts per million (ppm)
concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere passed in 2013
60 percent
of fossil-fuel emissions stay in the air (NASA)
Cattails
plants found around wetland lakes in far northern regions, AKA Bullrushes
Positive feedback from cattails
Global warming results in more cattails growing, as cattails die and decompose next to lakes they get decomposed, releasing methane and causing even more warming
Tundra areas
are experiencing more melting of the permafrost allowing more decomposition and the release of methane
Increased temperature
have extended the growing season in many northern areas, taking in more CO2 but also more water
Carbon fertilisation
The larger amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere that has resulted from rising anthropogenic emissions should help the growth of plants, which use carbon dioxide during photosynthesis
70 percent
Amount of the greening effect observed by NASA over the past 35years attributable to increased CO2 in the atmosphere
Forced migrations and extinctions
Plants and animals are migrating to higher altitudes and latitudes because of warmer climates
Ocean acidification
Significant changes to the chemistry of the ocean. It occurs when carbon dioxide gas (or CO2) is absorbed by the ocean and reacts with seawater to produce acid.
Up to one half
Of the carbon dioxide (CO2) released by burning fossil fuels over the past 200 years has been absorbed by the world's oceans. Limits sea organisms ability to form hard parts like shells
Coral reefs
Are badly affected by ocean acidification as they cannot absorb the calcium carbonate they need to maintain their skeletons and the stony skeletons that support corals and reefs will dissolve.
Ocean warming
The US EPA state "Ocean surface temperatures increased around the world during the 20th century....sea surface temperatures have been consistently higher during the past three decades than at any other time since reliable observations began in the late 1800s"
Phytoplankton
Could decrease in abundance as the oceans warm as they require cooler nutrient rich waters for their growth. This could impact ocean food chains.
Melting sea ice
The Arctic is declining at a rate of 13.2 percent per decade, relative to the 1981 to 2010 average.
Sea level rise
The increase in height of the mean sea level due to global climate change
Decreased albedo
As sea ice decreases in extent the amount of reflected solar radiation from ice decreases and absorption of this energy takes place in the oceans instead. This creates a positive feedback loop enhancing global warming.
0.3 - 2.5 m
Range of global mean sea level rise proposed in a January 2017 NOAA report for the next century
3.4mm
amount of sea level rise per year since 1993 according to NOAA
Thermal expansion
Warming of the ocean causes it to expand as it warms
Increased melting of land based ice
cause of sea level rise as glaciers and ice sheets melt due to higher temperatures
Enhanced greenhouse effect
Impact on the climate from the additional heat retained due to the increased amounts of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases that humans have released into the earth's atmosphere since the industrial revolution
Radiative forcing
is the difference between insolation (sunlight) absorbed by the Earth and energy radiated back to space.
Climate Forcings
The influences that cause changes to the Earth's climate system altering Earth's radiative equilibrium, forcing temperatures to rise or fall.
Greenhouse gases
A gas that contributes to the greenhouse effect by absorbing infrared radiation. Carbon dioxide and chlorofluorocarbons are examples of greenhouse gases.
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