CARBON - Increasing human interference

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  • Increasing Human Interference
    • The Greenhouse Effect
      • Greenhouse gases; H2O, CO2, CH4, NO, O3. These absorb and emit solar radiation.
      • The climate is driven by incoming short-wave solar radiation-
        • 31% reflected back into space by clouds, GHG's and land surface (Albedo)
          • 69% is absorbed by the earth's surface, especially oceans.
            • most of this heat is re-radiated as long-wave radiation
              • a lot of this long-wave radiation is prevented from returning back to place by clouds and GHG's.
                • This trapped radiation is redirected back to the earths surface
    • Maintaining a balanced carbon cycle
      • Photo-synthesis
        • this keeps CO2 levels relatively constant and thereby help regulate the earth's mean temperature.
        • Net Primary Productivity is the amount of organic matter available for harvesting or consumption.This is the highest in the warmest parts of the world (less in tundra and boreal forests
      • Soil Health
        • depends on the amount of organic carbon stored in soil. This is determined by balance between inputs (remains and nutrients) and outputs (uptake by plants, and erosion).
        • organic carbon is concentrated in the outer layer of the soil. a large surface reservoir of available nutrients, meaning the productivity of ecosystems is conditioned.
        • This is why soil surface erosion has such a dramatic impact.
    • Fossil fuel combustion
      • Half the extra emissions of CO2 has remained in the atmosphere since 1750. rest is stored in oceans and ecosystems and soils via fluxes.
      • Fluxes have sped up due to the extra CO2 in the atmosphere, which is the cause of climate changes:
        • rise in mean global temperature
        • more precipitation and evaporation
        • sudden shifts in weather patterns
        • more extreme weather events (floods, storm surges and droughts)
        • some areas are becoming warmer and drier- others, cooler and wetter.
      • Secondary effects of climate change include:
        • rising sea level due to melting glaciers and ice sheets - leasing to threat of flooding on coastal cities.
        • decline in biodiversity and goods and services by ecosystems. marine organisms threatened by lower oxygen levels and bleaching of corals.
        • more moisture travels around the hydrological cycle as a result of rising temperatures and evaporation.


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