Global Warming Topic Revision

My Global Warming notes for my ecology test.

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  • Created by: hgrattan
  • Created on: 07-12-15 21:56
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Global Warming
Physical causes of global warming and cooling include:
Variations in solar energy - sunspot activity raises global temperature.
Volcanic eruptions - large quantities of volcanic dust in the atmosphere shield the earth
from incoming insolation, lowering global temperature. For example, the eruption of
Mount Pinatubo in 1991 caused a dip in global temperatures in the early 1990s.
Milankovitch cycles or variations in the tilt and/or orbit of the earth around the sun.
Changing oceanic circulation such as the periodic warming (El Nino) and cooling (La Nina)
of areas of the tropical Pacific Ocean.
Melting permafrost releasing large quantities of methane gas.
These physical causes of global temperature change have always existed and have been
responsible for alternate heating and cooling cycles of the earth's temperature.
Human factors are the result of growing population and economic developments including:
The burning of fossil fuels for transport, industry and power, producing carbon dioxide.
World-wide deforestation, sometimes involving rainforest burning, which also produces
carbon dioxide.
Car exhausts and nitrogen fertilisers, producing nitrous oxide.
CFCs found in fridges, air conditioning and aerosols and as a by-product of the production
of polystyrene packaging, like pizza and burger boxes.
Methane, produced from rice fields, landfill sites, and from both ends of cattle.
Increasing industrialisation leading to air pollution, traffic pollution.
Rubbish dumps.
These different greenhouse gases- carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide - have caused an
enhanced greenhouse effect, trapping some outgoing infra-red radiation and keeping the earth
warmer than it might otherwise be.

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Disadvantages of Global Warming
Ocean circulation disrupted, disrupting and having unknown effects on world climate.
Higher sea level
leading to
flooding of low-lying lands and deaths and disease from flood
and evacuation.
Deserts get drier leaving to increased desertification
Changes to agricultural
production that can lead to
food shortages .
Water shortages in already water-scarce areas.
Starvation, malnutrition, and increased deaths due to food and crop shortages .
More extreme weather and an increased frequency of severe and catastrophic storms.…read more

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There is debate as to whether global warming exists, as it could merely
be another example of changes in temperature the world has seen over millions of years.
Major sources of greenhouse gases:
Way it increases
Gas: Source: Use:
global warming:
Water vapour and
clouds are
Oceans, lakes, rivers, Absorbs limited
responsible for
Water vapour reservoirs. Humans have outgoing
nearly 98% of the
little impact upon levels. radiation.
natural greenhouse
effect.…read more

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Many greenhouses gases exist naturally, and it is human actions that are increasing their
concentrations within the lower atmosphere. It is believed that as the amount of greenhouse
gases in the atmosphere increases, the amount of long-wave infra-red radiation in the lower
atmosphere also increases, thus raising temperatures.
Positive and negative effects:
Impact on: Effect: Negative: Positive:
More money needed
Malaria and cholera
to fight disease, strain
Health increase, due to
on medical services,
temperature increase.
and rise in death rate.…read more


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