Environmental Issues Final

Terms in this set (91)

- create better more suitable biomes for some animals but then other animals in other biomes would suffer
under sever climate change would be a likely trigger of an extinction episode - can't adapt to changing atmospheric conditions

Food and Water Supplies - climate changes will shift the climate belts polar - making equatorial areas less productive as they become drier and potentially more northern areas more productive as they are getting more rainfall - more productive for agriculture - could we shift the North American Bread basket into Canada, and have more northern areas in relation to the equator produce more of the agriculture - could reorient the food production system in such a way to make sure that food output continues coming out - the problem is that the areas that are getting the ideal climate might not have the proper soil conditions or surrounding conditions to grow the same food - you can't do that - in general scientist and other believe that food supplies would be significantly effected by the change in temperature - the places that are already struggling with food and water supply would be in an even worse situation - Abandoned cities? widespread migration, starvation, disease, war? Collapse of agricultural economies?

Rising Sea Levels- changes in avg. sea levels over the past 250,000 years base on data from ocean cores -melting ice (1/3 Polar Ice & Glaciers) 20% loss in Arctic Sea once since 1979 - - ice serves to reflect radiation back into space - more heat energy absorbed - loss— and the biggest factor - thermal expansion of water - water expands when heated (2/3 of sea level increase) - flooding out of low lying coastal zones - human displacement - destruction of cities - forced adaptations - coastal areas contain 1/3 of the world's populations - huge population centers would be devastated - lots of the world's arable land would be lost - pollution from flooding - biodiversity impacts - coastal estuaries, wetlands, coral reef loss

Biodiversity Impacts - if we shift climates we shift biomes - the majority of the world's biomes would change - animals would shift themselves into new climate belts assuming they could get up and move themselves - animals that could not move quickly enough would die out - Northern migrations of forests would have to occur - ecosystems already under threat would be most disrupted - mass extinctions - warming would reduce biodiversity

Extreme Weather Changes - more heat on the Earth's source would create higher wind speeds and more clashing warm and cold air - increase intensity in the number of damaging weather events like hurricanes, tornadoes, blizzards - violent, extreme, weather - more people would be dying from this - then the economy would also be impacted like the insurance industry

Human Health Impacts - more people dying of heat exhaustion, more violent weather that would kill people, if we disrupt food and water supplies there will be more starvation and diseases