Climate change

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  • Climate change
    • Causes
      • Atmospheric Forcing
        • Enhancement of the greenhouse effect due to human induced pollution
      • Solar Output
        • Amount of energy emitted by the sun varies due to sun spots
      • Global dimming
        • Pollutants reflect solar energy back into space, having a net cooling effect
      • Volcanic activity
        • Major eruptions eject material into the atmosphere - high winds distribute it
      • Climate forcing
        • Milutin Milankovitch (1924)
          • The earths surface temperature changes over time due to orbit and tilt of axis
    • Case Study
      • Arctic
        • Vegetation shifts - destabilize existing food webs
        • Thawing of Permafrost (40%) - large amounts of methane released and will effect species dramatically
        • Increasing fires and insects
        • Ultra violet impacts  - effects freshwater systems, so will destroy phytoplankton
        • Carbon cycle change
        • Many marine species will decline in numbers - polar bears, walrus. Geese will have to migrate to different areas
        • Loss of hunting culture
        • Decline in northern freshwater fisheries
        • More accessible and vulnerable to exploitation for oil, gas and fish
    • Evidence
      • Medium term
        • Tree rings
          • Wider rings reflect good growing conditions, narrower rings show stress
        • Historical records
          • Indicate past events, showing past periods of climate change
        • Retreating glaciers
          • They grow and shrink in response to the climate - shows retreat since 1850
      • Long term
        • CO2 Levels
          • Levels average between 180ppm and 280ppm but 2007 - 383ppm
        • Oxygen isotope levels
          • sampled from ice and ocean sediment cores - show sea level rise of 130m
        • Pollen
          • Extracted from sediment cores, compared with records from the past - show ecosystems have changed
      • Recent
        • Instrumental record
          • They showed that near-surface air temperature rose by 0.74 degrees between 1900 and 2000
          • Also show sea level rise - between 1961 and 2003 rise of 1.8mm per year
        • Ice response
          • Key indicator to show earth temperature rise
    • The future
      • Problems
        • Water shortages - 50% rise in demand
        • Food insecurity - stressed crops due to higher temperatures and rainfall
      • Solutions
        • Sustainable development
          • Green strategies - planting trees, renewable energy
        • Energy efficiency - redesigning houses, green transport
    • Strategies
      • The Kyoto Protocol
        • Redcuction taregst : USA - 6%, EU - 8%, Iceland - 10%
        • Aim - "Stabilize of greenhouse concentration and prevent dangerous anthropogenic interference"
        • 1992 Earth - summit Rio - UNFCC
        • Allow carbon sinks - planting forests - helps countries to offset emissions
        • Signed by 190 Countries
      • Adaption
        • Developing drought resistance crops
        • Changing our lifestyles to cope with a new enviroment
        • Enlarging conservation areas to allow for shifting habitat zones
        • Managed retreat of coastlines
      • Mitigation
        • Reducing output of greenhouse gases / increasing sinks
        • Capturing carbon emissions and stroing them
        • Switching to renewable energy
        • Setting targets to reduce CO2

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