The Issue of global warmingPresentation Transcript
DP Environmental systems andsocieties Topic 6 The issue of global warming
Animations and simulations:Greenhouse Greenhouse effect Greenhouse gas photons to IRgases and Global warmingglobal warming Overview
CO2 the largest contributor to greenhousegases (not including water vapor)
Human sources of greenhouse gases
Effects of Global Warming Cause biomes to shift their distribution patterns (How could this occur with fragmented, isolated habitats moving across urban areas, agricultural systems, transport networks? Could it happen at the speeds of temperature change given?) Change the location of crop growing areas (what would be the geopolitical consequences of this?) Change Weather Patterns (Cyclones increase in frequency and intensity) Cause Coastal Flooding (Predicted sea level rise would swamp low-lying areas) Cause a change in the distribution of diseases limited by temperature (Such as Malaria)
Feedback systems – Negative Increased evaporation Global in temperature temperate regions Increased snowfall in polar icecaps
Feedback systems – Negative Global Increased temperature plant growth Decreased CO2 levels
Feedback systems – Positive Global Increased temperature ice melts Increased methane levels
Feedback systems – Positive Decreased Global ocean CO2 temperature solubility Increased atmospheric CO2 levels
Pollution management strategiesTHE KYOTOPROTOCOL The Kyoto Protocol emerged from the UN Conference on Climate Change held in Japan. Parties to the Protocol agreed to reduce the emission of gases like carbon dioxide and methane, which are thought to contribute to global warming. Initially, industrialised countries were to aim for a reduction of five per cent below 1990 levels, with further reductions to be agreed in 2012. Many countries negotiated special circumstances and in some cases arranged and increase in GHG emissions (eg Iceland and Australia.
Carbon taxes:• A tax related to how much fossil fuel is used (very successful in Britain)Carbon trading:• A market system where industry non- polluters can sell carbon permits to pollutersCarbon offset schemes:• Companies can invest in carbon decreasing projects
AND SEA LEVEL RISE… Carry on as usual Implement Kyoto (developed countries reduce emissions) Stabilise emissions at 2000 levels globally Reduce emissions globally 25% Reduce emissions globally 75%
KYOTO PROBLEMS General perception that it would damage the economy (The reason given by the president of one of the richest countries in the world and one of the biggest polluters) Difficult to monitor and police. How could this be done effectively in all countries signed up to it? How can it be fair to countries in different stages of development if the baseline is set at 1990 levels?
THE PRECAUTIONARYPRINCIPLE The principle of precaution changes the burden of proof so that those carrying out the pollution need to prove it does no harm. This was an argument put forward in the early days of the global warming debate to promote precautionary action. Do you think this is a sound principle? More recently the principle has been used in the global war on terror to invade Iraq and lock up suspects in America.
Arguments around global warmingMisconceptions on Global Warming • Ozone and CFC’s have very little to do with global warming! (However CFC’s do cause some warming, they are a detraction from the main issues and controlled fairly effectively under the Montreal Protocol.) • Global warming does not mean everywhere will get hotter. • Sea level rise is caused mainly by melting ice – thermal expansion • The green house effect is a bad thing.
MR. TATTERSALL’S LESSON – 1986A LEVEL GEOGRAPHY – The Ice Age is Coming
The other side:Global warmingis caused by theSun • Increasing temperature increases CO2 (release from the ocean due to decreased solubility) and H2O (increased evaporation) which is the real greenhouse gas • Increasing solar radiation also directly warms the globe (hence correlation of data)
Global warming caused by the Sun:Short time period Source: http://www.global-warming-and-the-climate.com
Global warming caused by the Sun:Long time period Source: www.ncdc.noaa.gov/paleo/abrupt/data2.html
Oceanic source of CO2CO2 solubility curve
Water vapor is by far the biggest greenhousegas Source: www.geocraft.com/WVFossils/greenhouse_data.html
• Can a gas that consists of less than 0.5% of the atmosphere (CO2) have any influence on global warming?• Could it be possible that the Sun (the climatic driver of the entire earth) and the ocean (70% of the face of the entire earth) be the cause?
Important videos• An inconvenient truth vs• The great global warming swindle
The Precautionary Principle• If an action or policy has a suspected risk of causing harm to the public or to the environment, in the absence of scientific consensus that the action or policy is harmful, the burden of proof that it is not harmful falls on those taking the action