Causes of climate change

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  • Created by: OctaviaL
  • Created on: 08-06-16 15:31
With the exception of what has recent research showed climatic trends on a variety of scales for?
Pleistocene ice age.
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What is the name of the climatic period after the Pleistocene?
Pre-Boreal.
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What happened at the end of the Pleistocene?
The climate began to warm up and has continued to do so since with the exception of some fluctuations.
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What is an example of a climate fluctuation?
The 'little ice age' from mid-sixteenth century to around 1800 when the Thames regularly froze over and fairs were held on the ice.
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What does an increase in solar activity cause?
An increase in Earth's temperature.
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What do more sunspots mean?
That the sun is more active and therefore giving off more solar energy.
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Why does variation of solar energy not support recent global warming?
Over the last 50 years there has been little change in the sun's output.
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How can volcanic activity affect climate?
Particulate matter, released by large eruptions, in the atmosphere, shields sunlight and therefore cause slight dips in global temperatures.
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What is an example of volcanic activity affecting climate?
Mount Pinatube released more than 20million tonnes of sulphur dioxide and ash into the atmosphere in 1991 and caused a small dip in global temperatures.
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When was the Lake Toba supervolcanic eruption?
75,000 years ago.
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How is Lake Toba thought to have affected climate?
Blocked out the sun for 6-8 years causing a 1000 year volcanic winter.
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What have recent studies of ash layers in Lake Malawi led some scientists to believe?
There was only a brief 1.5 C cooling for 20-30 years.
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What are the three Milankovitch cycles?
Cycles of the Earth's eccentricity, axial tilt and precession.
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What do the Milankovitch cycles create?
Alterations in the amount of solar radiation reaching Earth's surface.
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What is eccentricity?
The shape of Earth's orbit around the sun.
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What is axial tilt?
The inclination of Earth's axis in relation to it's plane of orbit around the Sun.
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What is precession?
The wobbling of Earth on it's axis.
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How may the 2011 Japanese earthquake and tsunami have had an impacted climate?
The earthquake altered Earth's axial tilt by enough to reduce the length of day by a microsecond so could have affected solar radiation.
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What are oceans?
A massive store of solar energy so short term variations can affect climate.
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What are examples of periodic warming and cooling of the oceans?
El nino, warming, and La nina, colling, of the tropical Pacific Ocean.
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How long do ocean variations typically last?
3-6 years.
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What can movement of plates explain?
Long-term geological climate change.
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What is the greenhouse effect?
The name give to the natural process that causes Earth to be warmer than it would be with the absence of an atmosphere.
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Why do sun's rays pass through the atmosphere without being absorbed?
They have a short wavelength.
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Why does the troposphere absorb heat given off by Earth?
The carbon dioxide rich troposphere absorbs some of the long-wave radiation. Some is radiated to space but to Earth causing warming.
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Which gases cause the greenhouse effect?
Carbon dioxide, chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs), methane, nitrous oxide and ozone).
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What keeps Earth's temperature in balance?
If the amount of gases and water vapour stay constant and the amount of solar radiatio is unchanged.
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What has happen to carbon levels since 2005?
Risen 25ppm (parts per million) from 378ppm to 403ppm.
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What is the estimated historical high of CO2 levels?
300ppm.
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What will happen if CO2 levels double?
A 2-3 C increase, with up to 7-8 C at higher latitudes.
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How does industrialisation enhance the greenhouse effect?
Burning of fossil fuels.
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What are fossil fuels mainly used to produce?
Energy (electricity, heat and transport).
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How much of global GHG emissions is energy responsible for?
74%.
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What percentage of UK's electricity came from fossil fuels in 2015?
54.6%.
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How much of the UK's emissions come from power stations?
31%.
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How much of the UK's emissions come from transport?
23%.
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How much of the UK's emissions come from business?
17%.
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How much of the UK's emissions come from residential use?
12%.
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How much of the UK's emissions come from agriculture?
9%.
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How much of the UK's emissions come from waste management?
4%.
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How does deforestation contribute to the greenhouse effect?
Rainforests act as carbon sinks and take up CO2 so less vegetation leads to less absorption.
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Why are rainforests rapidly diminishing?
Demand for space and resources in countries such as Brazil.
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What is large-scale cattle-rearing leading to?
Methane emissions.
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Other cards in this set

Card 2

Front

What is the name of the climatic period after the Pleistocene?

Back

Pre-Boreal.

Card 3

Front

What happened at the end of the Pleistocene?

Back

Preview of the front of card 3

Card 4

Front

What is an example of a climate fluctuation?

Back

Preview of the front of card 4

Card 5

Front

What does an increase in solar activity cause?

Back

Preview of the front of card 5
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