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Introduction to Climate Change – Science and Impacts.

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Presentation on theme: "Introduction to Climate Change – Science and Impacts."— Presentation transcript:

1 Introduction to Climate Change – Science and Impacts

2 Greenhouse Gases Allow sunlight to pass through while trapping heat- opposite of sulfites (1970’s cooling) Allow sunlight to pass through while trapping heat- opposite of sulfites (1970’s cooling) 4 types of anthropogenic gases 4 types of anthropogenic gases Carbon dioxide (50%)Carbon dioxide (50%) MethaneMethane Nitrous OxideNitrous Oxide CFC’sCFC’s

3 Carbon Cycle

4 Effects of Industrialization Unearthed and burned sedimentary deposits of fossil fuels at an unnatural rate Unearthed and burned sedimentary deposits of fossil fuels at an unnatural rate 3 billion tons of CO2 a year 3 billion tons of CO2 a year If states can reduce to 1994 levels and maintain levels, CO2 concentration will still increase for at least 2 centuries If states can reduce to 1994 levels and maintain levels, CO2 concentration will still increase for at least 2 centuries

5 Carbon connection Avg. global temperatures already increased.6 degrees C since late 1800’s Avg. global temperatures already increased.6 degrees C since late 1800’s International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) predicts degree C increase by 2100 International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) predicts degree C increase by 2100

6 International Response UNEP and WMO formed the IPCC in 1988 to gain consensus on climate change – political will UNEP and WMO formed the IPCC in 1988 to gain consensus on climate change – political will - Working group I – science - II – Impacts and policy - III - Economic and social impacts IPCC’s assessments lead to UNCED framework and Kyoto targets and timetables

7 Impacts of Climate Change Most contentious part of debate – will they happen, when will they happen, how severe will they be Most contentious part of debate – will they happen, when will they happen, how severe will they be 2001 WG II IPCC – Impacts from climate change occurring by chance is negligible 2001 WG II IPCC – Impacts from climate change occurring by chance is negligible Hard to attribute regional and specific changes to particular causes (regional differences – north warming faster than south) Hard to attribute regional and specific changes to particular causes (regional differences – north warming faster than south)

8 Types of Impacts Sea level rise – 10 to 20 cm so far (9 to 88 by next century) Sea level rise – 10 to 20 cm so far (9 to 88 by next century) Greenland Ice sheet- over 1000 years, could result in 3-7 meter riseGreenland Ice sheet- over 1000 years, could result in 3-7 meter rise West Antarctic sheet (maybe- precipitation)West Antarctic sheet (maybe- precipitation) Coastal and Marine Ecosystems Coastal and Marine Ecosystems Erosion, increased salinity of freshwater, loss of delta Low lying areas flooded (New Orleans) Increased salinity affects organisms, bleaching of coral

9 Impacts Cont’d Weather impacts – increased storms, droughts, floods; very uncertain Weather impacts – increased storms, droughts, floods; very uncertain Public health – more insect borne disearses, water borne; north v. south Public health – more insect borne disearses, water borne; north v. south Agriculture and Food – regional – positive in north worst around equator – too hot to grow Agriculture and Food – regional – positive in north worst around equator – too hot to grow Forest loss – types of forests will change – increase in short term production, worst in high latitudes – beech, sugar maple (Adr.) Forest loss – types of forests will change – increase in short term production, worst in high latitudes – beech, sugar maple (Adr.) Deserts – increase in desertification Deserts – increase in desertification More precipitation – increased runoff and flooding More precipitation – increased runoff and flooding Loss of ice cover – Glacial National Park Loss of ice cover – Glacial National Park

10 Biodiversity Loss and Discussion Warm water fish will flourish, cold water may die out; changing habitats for terrestrial animals – will have to migrate – synergistic impacts with pre-existing habitat loss Warm water fish will flourish, cold water may die out; changing habitats for terrestrial animals – will have to migrate – synergistic impacts with pre-existing habitat loss All these impacts are speculative, and regional – how do you make a country with no coastal resources, or who may benefit try and reduce emissions All these impacts are speculative, and regional – how do you make a country with no coastal resources, or who may benefit try and reduce emissions Public perception – Page 606 question 5 – media impact – confusion of weather and climate – hot summer, a lot of coverage; climate cannot be effected by man – volcano’s Public perception – Page 606 question 5 – media impact – confusion of weather and climate – hot summer, a lot of coverage; climate cannot be effected by man – volcano’s Clinton’s meeting of weathermen – is that a good tactic to gain support? Regional effects v. national trends Clinton’s meeting of weathermen – is that a good tactic to gain support? Regional effects v. national trends


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