Climate Change and Greenhouse Gases

  • Created by: India.02
  • Created on: 30-05-19 10:45

Greenhouse Effect

- Carbon dioxide, methane and water vapour act as an insulating layer in the atmosphere, which allows the Earth to be warm enough to support life

- Greenhouse gases don't absorb incoming short wavelength radiation, from the Sun, but they do absorb the long wavelength radiation that gets reflected back off of the Earth

- It is then re-radiated in all directions, inlcuding back towards the Earth

- Long wavelength radiation is thermal radiation so it warms the surface of the Earth

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Human Causes of Climate Change

- Deforestation - fewer means less carbon dioxide is removed from the atmosphere by photosynthesis

- Burning fossil fuels - carbon that was stored in the fuels is then released as carbon dioxide

- Agriculture - more farm animals produce more methane throught their digestive process

- Creating waste - more landfill sites and more waste from agriculture means more carbon dioxide and methane released by decomposition of waste

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Increased Carbon Dioxide Links to Climate Change

- Recent average temperature of Earth ahs been increasing rapidly

- Most agree that the extra carbon dioxide from human activity is causing the increase, and that the increase in global temperature will lead to climate change

- Evidence has been peer-reviewed (examined by other scientists before publishing, to make sure there are no flase claims)

- Hard to fully understand the Earth's climate - complicated with many variables so it is hard to create a model that isn't oversimplified

- This has led to speculation about the link between carbon dioxide and climate change, particularly in the media, where stories may be biased and be lacking information

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Climate Change Can Have Dangerous Consequences

- Increase in global temperature could lead to polar ice caps melting, causing a rise in sea levels and, therefore increased flooding and coastal erosion in coastal areas

- Changes in rainfall patterns (amount, timing, distribution) may cause some regions to get too much or too little water, which, along with changes in temperature, may affect the ability of certain regions to produce food

- Storm frequency and severity may increase

- Changes in tmeperature and amount of water available in a habitat may affect wild species, leading to differences in their distribution

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