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Climate change


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Climate change

  1. 1. Climate change
  2. 2. Biomes <ul><li>Tundra - -0 degree C, very little vegetation, land covered in sheets of ice </li></ul><ul><li>Taiga – Cold winters, snows a lot,, Very humid conditions, plant growth is limited </li></ul><ul><li>Temperate Grassland – can often suffer from drought, only specific plants can grow </li></ul><ul><li>-Deciduous Forest – 4 seasons, Annual temp of 50f, Britain </li></ul><ul><li>Desert – little vegetation, hot, dry </li></ul><ul><li>Tropical rainforest – little vegetation below canopy, temp high= 93f, temp low= 68f </li></ul><ul><li>Savannah – soil not rich, hot summers, wet season is hot and humid </li></ul><ul><li>Mediterranean – precipitation limited to a few months, very hot climate </li></ul>
  3. 3. Causes of climate change <ul><li>Greenhouse effect </li></ul><ul><li>Natural </li></ul><ul><li>El Niño </li></ul>
  4. 4. Greenhouse gasses <ul><li>carbon dioxide- given off when fossil fuels are burnt, major cause </li></ul><ul><li>CFCs- caused thinning of ozone layer </li></ul><ul><li>nitrous oxide- agricultural fertilizers, destroys ozone </li></ul><ul><li>Ozone </li></ul><ul><li>Methane- emissions increased 4Xs of CO2, causes are burning vegetation, coal mining </li></ul>
  5. 5. Long-term cause <ul><li>Some argue that climate change is natural </li></ul><ul><li>Earths global temperature has always varied over time </li></ul><ul><li>Variations in Earths orbit – may cause changes in temperature due to the position of the planet </li></ul><ul><li>Cosmic collision + volcanic emissions – Mt St Helens eruption caused increase cloud cover and rainfall for the next 1-2 years </li></ul>
  6. 6. Impacts of Climate change
  7. 7. Changing Salinity <ul><li>The salinity cycle in now being changed </li></ul><ul><li>More freshwater is entering the Artic ocean, which melts ice </li></ul><ul><li>Melt water lowers the Salinity which decreases the density of the ocean, and slows down the rate at which the ocean sinks </li></ul><ul><li>This affects the global conveyor belt </li></ul><ul><li>Could turn of north Atlantic drift, resulting in Britain getting colder </li></ul>
  8. 8. Increasing river flow <ul><li>Caused by warmer surface air temperature, especially between Nov and April </li></ul><ul><li>Rivers would normally be frozen at this time – this creates significant increase in freshwater flowing into the Artic </li></ul><ul><li>Could slow down , or shut down the north Atlantic Drift </li></ul>
  9. 9. Carbon Sinks <ul><li>Cold dense sea water absorbs CO2, making it an affective way of removing CO2 </li></ul><ul><li>Carbon sinks have stayed the same since 1981 even though CO2 emissions have risen by 40%, this could lead to rising levels of CO2 in the atmosphere </li></ul><ul><li>Cause for this, is thought to be increased windiness </li></ul>
  10. 10. Impacts on the environment <ul><li>The tree line moving north, and also to higher altitudes </li></ul><ul><li>Tundra eco-systems in Artic areas being lost as climate warms and other plants take over </li></ul><ul><li>Permanently frozen ground thawing out </li></ul><ul><li>Spread of species such as the spruce bark beetle in Alaska – changing the food chain </li></ul><ul><li>Forrest fire increase </li></ul><ul><li>Polar bears going extinct – less time to hunt, losing weight making them more susceptible to diseases, reducing their ability to reproduce and feed their cubs </li></ul><ul><li>Inuit people suffering, harder to fish due to thin ice, villages being lost </li></ul>
  11. 11. Rising sea level <ul><li>Large-scale coral bleaching </li></ul><ul><li>Flooding </li></ul><ul><li>Rise by 6 meters </li></ul>
  12. 12. Falling agricultural yields + water shortages <ul><li>Are putting 200 million people of the poorest area’s of Africa, Europe, USA and Russia at risk from starvation </li></ul>
  13. 13. Case Study: The big Dry
  14. 14. Impacts on agriculture <ul><li>Water irrigation to some farms was cut </li></ul><ul><li>Production of irrigated crops – cotton lint, wine grapes and rice was reduced </li></ul><ul><li>Harvests were decimated </li></ul><ul><li>Not enough water to support annual crops </li></ul><ul><li>Farm incomes shrank </li></ul><ul><li>Farmers were forced to abandon their land </li></ul>
  15. 15. Social impacts <ul><li>Rural communities were suffering, people leaving area’s because of drought, </li></ul><ul><li>Services such as schools and shops closed because there were no longer enough people to support them </li></ul><ul><li>Suicide rates went up </li></ul><ul><li>Prices rose, due to more imported goods </li></ul><ul><li>Prices of energy and water went up </li></ul>
  16. 16. Saltwater <ul><li>Australia’s biggest permanent saltwater lake, Lake Corangamite, hit its lowest level for more than 60 years </li></ul>
  17. 17. Case Study 2: Hurricane Katrina <ul><li>The main threats from hurricanes are rain, wind, storm surges </li></ul><ul><li>The main impact in Florida was rain, some places had 380mm, which lead to flooding </li></ul><ul><li>Winds gusted over 160km/h, in New Orleans </li></ul><ul><li>An 8.5 meter storm surge hit New Orleans </li></ul>
  18. 18. Location <ul><li>New Orleans has always been a city at risk </li></ul><ul><li>It sits below sea level </li></ul><ul><li>Has the Mississippi river running through it </li></ul><ul><li>A system of levees and floodwalls around the city give some protection against flooding, these were however poorly designed </li></ul>
  19. 19. Dealing with climate change <ul><li>Mitigation – reduce or prevent further global warming </li></ul><ul><li>Adaptation – deal with current situation </li></ul>
  20. 20. Evidence of Global warming <ul><li>To prove the effects of global warming </li></ul><ul><li>Data was collected about the atmosphere </li></ul><ul><li>Measurements of greenhouse gas concentration </li></ul><ul><li>Super-computers to predict possible effects of global warming </li></ul>
  21. 21. ETS <ul><li>Aims: cut emissions, polluters to pay for the damage they cause by introducing credits for the greenhouse gases they emit, create incentives for companies to invest in cleaner technology </li></ul>
  22. 22. Carbon offsetting <ul><li>Allows companies to pollute but at a cost </li></ul><ul><li>Polluters have to pay in proportion to the amount they pollute </li></ul><ul><li>The cost encourages companies to find other ways of producing by polluting less or not at all </li></ul><ul><li>Shell – an example of success of carbon offsetting </li></ul>
  23. 23. Kyoto Protocol <ul><li>An agreement setting targets for reducing carbon emissions, 175 countries have signed up </li></ul><ul><li>Some countries delayed signing up, some never signed up, USA withdrew in 2001, </li></ul><ul><li>Many scientists believe that its targets are set to low </li></ul><ul><li>Change from coal to cleaner gas fired power stations, government taxed petrol higher </li></ul>
  24. 24. UK wasting <ul><li>65% of heat lost through chimneys. </li></ul><ul><li>Heat is also lost when hot water is released into rivers, energy is also lost when hot water is released into rivers </li></ul><ul><li>Energy is lost in electricity transmission over distance </li></ul><ul><li>Huge quantities of heat are lost through roofs </li></ul>
  25. 25. Nuclear <ul><li>Most controversial – how to deal with waste, accidents </li></ul><ul><li>Expensive to dismantle old stations </li></ul><ul><li>Will need more in future when fossil fuels run out </li></ul>
  26. 26. El Nino
  27. 27. Notes <ul><li>ENSO: El Niño-Southern Oscillation </li></ul><ul><li>The Pacific ocean signatures, El Niño and La Niña are important temperature fluctuations in surface waters of the tropical Eastern Pacific Ocean </li></ul><ul><li>name El Niño, from the Spanish for &quot;the little boy&quot;, refers to the Christ child, because the phenomenon is usually noticed around Christmas </li></ul><ul><li>El Niño is associated with warm and very wet summers </li></ul>
  28. 28. Effects of El Nino <ul><li>Because El Niño's warm pool feeds thunderstorms above, it creates increased rainfall across the east-central and eastern Pacific Ocean </li></ul><ul><li>along the coasts of northern Peru and Ecuador, causing major flooding whenever the event is strong or extreme. </li></ul><ul><li>Peruvian-Bolivian Altiplano is sometimes exposed to unusual winter snowfall events. </li></ul><ul><li>Drier and hotter weather occurs in parts of the Amazon River Basin, Colombia and Central America. </li></ul><ul><li>Direct effects of El Niño resulting in drier conditions occur in parts of Southeast Asia and Northern Australia, increasing bush fires and worsening haze and decreasing air quality dramatically. </li></ul><ul><li>West of the Antarctic Peninsula, the Ross, Bellingshausen, and Amundsen Sea sectors have more sea ice during El Niño. </li></ul><ul><li>East Africa, including Kenya, Tanzania and the White Nile basin experiences, in the long rains from March to May, wetter than normal conditions. </li></ul><ul><li>U.S. southwest are wetter and cooler than usual. Northwest tend to experience dry and foggy conditions. </li></ul><ul><li>Cases of double El Niño events have been linked to severe famines related to the extended failure of monsoon rains.. </li></ul>
  29. 29. Non-climate effects <ul><li>El Niño reduces the up welling of cold, nutrient-rich water that sustains large fish populations, which in turn sustain abundant sea birds, whose droppings support the fertilizer industry. </li></ul><ul><li>The local fishing industry along the affected coastline can suffer during long-lasting El Niño events - the world's largest fishery collapsed due to over fishing during the 1972 El Niño Peruvian anchoveta reduction </li></ul><ul><li>The ENSO variability may contribute to the great success of small fast-growing species along the Peruvian coast </li></ul><ul><li>It has been postulated that a strong El Niño led to the demise of the Moche and other pre-Columbian Peruvian cultures </li></ul><ul><li>A recent study of El Niño patterns suggests that the French Revolution was caused in part by the poor crop yields of 1788-89 in Europe, resulting from an unusually strong El-Niño effect between 1789-93 </li></ul>