Links between water and carbon cycles

  • Created by: MrAltaf
  • Created on: 07-04-18 15:51
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  • Links between the water and carbon cycles
    • Increasing atmospheric carbon storage
      • 10 of the last 13 years were warmest on record
      • Natural: Orbital variation
      • In 2015, Global Mean Surface Temperatures (GMST) reached a new record high of +0.87'C
      • Technological advances led to increased consumption of natural resources
        • Released more GHGs
        • Since 1750, Europe's Industrial Revolution
          • CO2 emissions: 280ppm to 406ppm in 2017
        • Deforestation, population growth, economic development, burning of fossil fuels, cement manufacturing and enhanced methane emissions from livestock
    • Impacts of rising GHG emissions on the water cycle
      • Ocean acidification
        • Definition: Rise in ocean's acidity as a direct result of CO2 reacting with salt water
        • Calcifying species e.g. oysters, clams, coral are at risk
          • Affects ecosystems
            • Affects the 1 billion people relying on oceans as source of protein
            • Impact metabolic rates, reproduction and immune systems
          • Shellfish have thinner and weaker shellls
        • Causes rising sea levels
          • Thermal expansion
          • Melting land ice
          • Flooding of coastal regions
        • Approx 1/3 of all CO2 from human activities has dissolved into the oceans
        • CO2 in the water creates carbonic acid
          • Since 1750, the pH of the ocean's surface has dropped by 0.1 (a 30% change in acidity)
      • Changes to weather patterns
        • A warmer climate means greater rates of evaporation
          • Disturbs rain patterns e.g. El Nino
            • Causes droughts in SE Asia, E.Aus, Central America
            • Greater rainfall across East-central and Easter Pacific Ocean
        • UK winter rainfall has fallen in heavier events than usual
        • Extreme high intensity rainfall in the UK
          • e.g. Ramsbottom Boxing Day 2015
          • e.g. Worcestershire  recorded 252mm of rain (588% above the average)
      • River discharge
        • Since 1980, flooding has increased in size and duration during winter
        • Lower river discharge levels may become more common in southern England as a result of less frontal rainfall in summer
        • High intensity convectional rainfall can be expected in summer seasons
          • May lead to infiltration-excess overland flow
            • Soil and ground water stores are not recharged
              • Reduces total water available
      • Sea level rise
        • In the future, a warmer climate is predicted to bring a positive eustastic sea level change
          • Thermal expansion
          • Melting land ice
        • Global sea level rise = 3mm per year
        • Total sea level rise has risen by 200mm since 1900
        • IPCC projection of world sea level rise of 260 - 820mm by 2100
        • Significant glacial and permafrost meltwater run off will produce another metre of sea level rise by 2200
        • Loss of Greenland and Antarctica will result in 70m eustatic rise
    • Climate change definition: Lon term change in Earth's overall temperature with permanent ramifications
    • Increasing carbon emissions and the energy budget
      • Definition: Energy budget is the state of balance between incoming solar radiation and the re-radiated heat or reflected energy
      • Earth's climate is driven by incoming shortwave solar radiation
      • The energy budget is changing as more heat is being retained resulting in warmer, more energetic blankets
    • Water and carbon - Local scale
      • Interaction when carbon is transported in solution by river water
      • Ecosystems function as stores of both water and carbon
        • Influence carbon and water flows which occur
      • Deforestation
        • Increased overland flow
      • Increasing atmospheric carbon concentrations are changing global climate and water cycle flows and stores

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