54 terms

ES: Climate Change


Terms in this set (...)

What is the IPCC?
Organization that provides definitive scientific statements about the global climate change.
How fast is sea level rising?
3cm / decade
Emissions Scenario
A prediction about the amounts, rates, and mix of future greenhouse gases.
How long ago was the earth this warm?
Several tens of millions of years.
Greenhouse Gases
Gases that absorb radiated heat from the sun, which leads to the increase in temperature of the atmosphere.
Parts per Million (ppm)
way of expressing very dilute concentrations of substances
How does the biosphere store carbon?
When in contact with water that is acidic (pH is low), carbon will dissolve from bedrock; under neutral conditions, carbon will precipitate out as sediment such as calcium carbonate (limestone).
Infrared Radiation
Radiated heat from the sun.
Radiative Forcing
The capacity of various gases to affect the balance of energy entering and leaving the atmosphere.
Greenhouse Effect
Natural trapping of heat in the atmosphere
Enhanced Greenhouse Effect
Greenhouse gases accumulating in the atmosphere as a result of human activities
Aerosol Effect
Atmospheric cooling that occurs where and when aerosol pollution is the greatest.
What do climate model project?
To explore and analyze past climate events, to project the future warming.
Why are unpredictable and extreme climate changes important?
Because it could affect the Ocean Conveyor Belt.
How does melting ice have a positive feedback?
Water aborbs more heat, which causes more ice to melt, and have positive feedback.
How do melting ice and thermal expansion contribute to sea level rise?
Thermal expansion contributes to sea level rise, and ice melting creates more water, which absorbs more heat than ice.
How has climate change impacted precipitation?
It will cause some areas to have more frequent droughts
What other future precipitation changes do we expect?
Water shortages in the American West because warmer winter temperatures will cause more precipitation to fall as rain rather than snow.
What are some effects of climate change already experienced by organisms, including humans?
Populations of zooplankton had declined 80% since 1951.
List three ways climate change is affecting Northern California.
1) the decline in spring runoff to the Sacramento River 2)sea level along California's coast has increased by an average of 7 inches 3) The frequency of large wildfires (1000 acres and greater) and the length of the fire season are increasing in California. In 2003 there were four times as many large wildfires than in 1987
What does the black color indicate on a radar image of a hurricane?
Extremely strong winds
100-Year Storm
100-year storm refers to rainfall totals that have a one percent probability of occurring at that location in that year
50-Year Storm
rainfall totals that have a two percent probability of occurring at that location in that year
2-Year Storm
rainfall totals that have a fifty percent probability of occurring at that location in that year
How many 100-year storms have occured in New Hampshire since 2005?
What are the three factors that influence Earth's surface temperature?
Solar flux, the Earth's albedo, greenhouse gases.
Solar Flux
The amount of energy that passes through a unit area of the atmosphere
What does high solar flux indicate?
During a sunspot maximum, solar flux values will typically exceed 200 resulting in excellent long distance HF communications on the 20 through 10 meter amateur bands.
What do the Milankovitch Cycles explain?
describes the collective effects of changes in the Earth's movements upon its climate
What are the three Orbital Parameters?
the obliquity , the eccentricity (ecc) of the Earth's orbit around the sun, the climatic precession
What do the three Orbital Parameters predict?
Three parameters predict how much ice there will be during an ice age
Eccentricity (definition and time scale)
parameter that determines the amount by which its orbit around another body deviates from a perfect circle
Draw Eccentricity
Obliquity (definition and time scale)
the angle between an object's rotational axis and its orbital axis
Draw Obliquity
Precession (definition and time scale)
a change in the orientation of the rotational axis of a rotating body
Draw Precession
How do glaciers form?
formed from compacted layers of snow. When new layers of snow fall, previous layers compress into ice.
What is the best temperature situation for glacier formation (in terms of seasons)?
high snowfall in winter and cool temperatures in summer
What is the Vostok Ice Core and what does it tell us?
Ice in Antarctica. showed temperature and carbon in lock step moving at the same time. It made sense to worry that carbon dioxide did influence temperature
How do scientists use oxygen isotopes to determine global temperature? Explain using O-16 and O-18.
Water evaporates off the ocean and falls as precipitation over land -> When the water evaporates off the ocean, the lighter molecules get picked up first (16O) ->Once all the lighter molecules are picked up, that leaves the heavier molecules in the ocean (18O) -> The lighter molecules move to the polar regions (atmospheric circulation) and fall over the poles -> High 16O concentration in the frozen ice core indicates cooler global temperatures
What should be happening to global temperatures according to the Vostok Ice Core?
Cooler summers, warmer winters
What is actually happening to global temperatures?
Varies by seasons, Warmer summers, cooler winters
How do seasons affect the carbon dioxide concentration in the atmosphere? What contriutes to the fluxuation?
Solar flux values will typically exceed 200 resulting in excellent long distance HF communications on the 20 through 10 meter amateur bands.
Anthropogenic Climate Change
The production of greenhouse gases emitted by human activity
What are greenhouse gases?
Gases in the atmosphere that trap the energy emitted by the warm surface of the earth
What is the Earth's natural greenhouse effect?
Short-wavelength radiation from the Sun passes through the glass roof and heats the ground
Some of the heat from the ground then warms the air in the greenhouse
The rest of the heat is re-radiated back as infrared radiation
The IR Radiation is trapped by the glass roof, providing additional heating inside
The warmed air emits long-wavelength radiation which passes through the glass and escapes into the atmosphere
When a balance is reached, the incoming radiation equals the escaping radiation
Why is the Earth's natural greenhouse effect so important to life on Earth?
Because it makes Earth habitable
Where do trace gases naturally come from?
Volcanos, Chemical Weathering, Cellular Respiration, Photosynthesis, Geochemical Processes
Where do trace gases come from when humans make them?
What was the preindustrial level of CO2 (in ppm)?
280 ppm
What level of CO2 did we reach in the summer of 2013 (in ppm)?
400 ppm
What does the Keeling Curve show?
Measures carbon dioxide levels remotely every year
Why is the time frame of CO2 emissions crucial to understanding anthropogenic climate change?
Earth naturally cycles and balances itself out (energy budget wise). Humans just increased the amount of CO2 from 280 to 400 over the course of 150 years. All happens throughout millions