21 terms

APES iBook #14 Climate Change

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In what ways are humans involved in global change?
Human activity has placed increasing demands on natural resources such as water, trees, minerals, and fossil fuels. We have also emitted greater amounts of carbon dioxide, nitrogen compounds, and sulfur compounds into the atmosphere than we have historically. Our agricultural methods depend on chemicals, including fertilizers and pesticides. Finally, a growing population faces challenges of waste disposal, sanitation, and the spread of human diseases.
How is current global change different from historic global change?
Global temperatures, for example, have fluctuated over millions of years, with periods of cold temperatures causing ice ages. In modern times, however, the rates of change have often been much higher than those that have occurred historically.
How is climate change similar to or different from global change?
Global change includes a wide variety of factors that are changing over time. Climate change refers to those factors that affect the average weather in an area of the Earth.
How does the energy of the Sun cause Earth to heat?
The Sun emits solar radiation that strikes Earth. As the planet warms, it emits radiation back toward the atmosphere. Because the Sun is very hot, most of its radiated energy is in the form of high-energy visible radiation and ultraviolet radiation—also known as visible light and ultraviolet light. When this radiation strikes Earth, the planet warms and radiates energy.
What is a greenhouse gas? Which greenhouse gases are the most common on Earth?
The gases in the atmosphere that absorb infrared radiation. The most common is water vapor, (H2O). Others include CO2, CH4, N2O, and O3.
What determines the effect of a greenhouse gas? Which greenhouse gas has the strongest effect?
The effect of each greenhouse gas depends on both its warming potential and its concentration in the atmosphere. Carbon dioxide remains the greatest contributor to the greenhouse effect because its concentration is so much higher than any of the others.
What are the main natural sources of greenhouse gases?
Volcanic Eruptions: carbon dioxide, ash, other gases.
Termites, Grazing Antelopes: methane.
Nitrogen Cycle: nitrous oxide.
Hydrologic Cylce: water vapor.
What are the main anthropogenic sources of greenhouse gases?
Burning fossil fuels (CO2), agriculture (methane, nitrous oxide), deforestation (increase CO2), landfills (methane), and industrial production of chemicals (chlorofluorocarbons).
Which of the anthropogenic sources are the easiest to reduce? Why?
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Why do we rank the sources of greenhouse gases?
Ranking the sources of the greenhouse gases is an easy way to identify where the problem is coming from. Knowing what is creating the gases is the best way to find a solution to the problem.
Effects of Global Warming. Movie Notes.
Heat waves cause more deaths than tornados and hurricanes.
Greenhouse effect. Gases trap heat in our atmosphere and heat up the earth. Warmer weather causes more evaporation from oceans, leading to more water in the atmoshpere, which leads to heavier rains.
In dry areas, drought will become even more prominent.
Snowpack supplies 75% of the west with water. Without snowpack, farmers can't grow fruit, which supplies our nation.
Forest fires. Heat, drought, dead trees.
Bug driven disease. West nile from mosquitos. Spreads faster in warmer weather.
Less ice near the poles.
Rising sea levels.
Average intensity of hurricanes will increase.
Where do we begin to start reducing our impact?
Turn lights off. Purchase a more efficient refrigerators. Shift to hybrid cars. Using ethanol.
More notes from class.
Global climate change.
Climate, global warming, global climate change.
A region's long-term pattern of atmospheric conditions.
An increase in Earth's average surface temperature.
Changes in Earth's climate.
Natural factors that influence climate.
The sun, the atmosphere, the oceans.
Milankovitch cycles.
Wobble of Earth's axis. Variation of Earth's tilt. Variation of Earth's orbit.
Carbon dioxide increase.
Burning of fossil fuels. Deforestation. Release from oceans.
Impacts of Global Warming.
Higher temperatures will increase rainfall. Displacement of people. Increased glaciers melting.
Sea-level rise.
Storm surge: temporary and localized rise in sea level caused by high tides and winds associated with storms. Warmer water expands the oceans.
Climate change predictions.
IPCC predictions include: temperature rise 3-5 degrees celcius. Droughts, floods, snowpack decline, and water shortages.
Studying climate change.
Ice cores. Proxy indicators.