Human Impacts on the biosphere: Climate Change

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Human Impacts on the biosphere: Climate Change

  1. 1. • Human activities are now changing the composition of the atmosphere in ways that most authorities conclude will be damaging or, in the long run, disastrous. • Global warming –Changes in atmospheric composition –Average temperature of the Earth’s surface is increasing
  2. 2. • CO2 strongly absorbs electromagnetic radiant energy at some of the wavelengths that are critical for the global heat budget. • Greenhouse gases – CO2 – Methane – Nitrous oxide
  3. 3. • Many insects and amphibians breed earlier in the year • Many plants flower earlier • Concerns: – The rate of warming today is rapid – Natural areas no longer cover the whole landscape – As temperature increases
  4. 4. Rising sea levels Other climatic effects Effects on agriculture Effects on human health Solving the problem
  5. 5. • Two effects of global warming – The melting of polar ice and glaciers, adding water to the ocean – The increase of average ocean temperature, causing an increase in volume because water expands as it warms
  6. 6. • Frequency or severity of extreme meteorological events – Heat waves – Droughts – Severe storms – Hurricanes – El Niño – Rainfall patterns
  7. 7. • Positive side – Warmer temperatures and increase atmospheric CO2 tend to increase growth of some crops and thus may increase agricultural yields. • Negative side – Droughts – Changes in rainfall patterns – Temperature – Pest distributions
  8. 8. • Loss of safe drinking water – Epidemics of cholera • Human diseases – Diseases transmitted by mosquitoes • Temperatures above 16⁰C – Malaria • Temperatures above 10⁰C – Yellow fever – Dengue fever • Higher temperature – Malaria pathogens mature more rapidly
  9. 9. • “green” technologies • Concerted efforts from: – Citizens – Corporations – Governments

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