Climate change Flashcards Preview

ENVS2- the atmosphere > Climate change > Flashcards

Flashcards in Climate change Deck (23):

Ecological changes

Shallow rooted trees more likely to die
Hibernating species could feed more
Hibernating species could get disrupted more
Precipitation changes size of wetlands
Timings of ecological events eg. migrations change


Temperature rise

Plants grow faster=
More food is provided for herbivores eg. Butterflies=
Toxin producing plants can cause toxins to build up= Caterpillars die before reaching metamorphosis


Species distribution

Some new areas colonised while others die
Rate of colonisation could be slower than dying out rate
May not be new areas to colonise
Human land use could block colonisation
Not all species colonise at the same speed so species interdependence is interrupted


Difficulties in predicting climate change

Natural changes
Limited historical data
Limited accuracy of data
Interconnected processes
Rate of change
Global issue so very complicated
Lack of understanding of natural processes


Feedback mechanisms

A change in one environmental factor causes a change in another factor reducing or increasing the original factor


Positive feedback mechanisms

A change in one factor causes another change that increases the original factor
Raised temperature could cause increased decomposition, causing increased methane release, causing increased temperature rise


Negative feedback mechanisms

An environmental change causes another change which decreases the original change
Higher temperatures could increase photosynthesis, decreasing atmospheric carbon, decreasing temperatures


Reducing CO2

Energy conservation reduces use of fossil fuels
Use of alternative energy sources
Carbon sequestration via afforestation
Kyoto protocol


Reducing methane

Reduced landfill use
Reduced livestock protection
Better collection of gas from coal mines and oil facilities


Reducing nitrous oxides

Reduced use of internal combustion
Use of Catalytic converters
Addition of urea to power station effluents and diesel engine exhausts


Reducing chlorofluorocarbons

Use of alternative materials eg. HCFC's
Use of alternative processes eg. trigger and pump cleaners instead of aerosols


Reducing tropospheric ozone

Use of methods that reduce nitrous oxides


Kyoto protocol 1997

Legally bound MEDC's to reduce emissions of 6 different GHGs by 5.2% by 2012.
Failure to do so lead to further emissions reduced by 30%
EU did this by giving 12000 factories a CO2 quota which, were given a fine if exceeded.
LEDC's were not legally bound to allow development


Agricultural changes to cope with climate change

Cultivate warmer climate crops
Cultivate drought resistant crops
Abandon areas of unsustainable irrigation
Increase soil organic matter content for better water retention
Water storage in surplus months for use in drought


Building design changes to cope with climate change

Better ventilation and cooling systems reduce use of air conditioning
Paler materials to reduce heat absorption


Flooding defences coping with climate change

Riverbank defences
River barrages to cope with high tide
Less building on floodplains
Reduce runoff rates eg. reducing concreted areas
River regulation dams


Coastal erosion defences coping with climate change

Improved coastal defences
Managed retreat


Storm damage coping with climate change

Design of stronger buildings


Effects of UVB on Earth

Damages DNA
Cause skin cancer
Damage plant tissue
Cause cataracts
Damage marine plankton


Natural reactions for O3

O3 (+UV) =O2 +O
O +O2 (+UV) =O3


Ozone reactions with CFC's

Cl +O3 (+UV) =ClO +O2
ClO +O (+UV) =ClO2
ClO2 (+UV) =Cl +O2



Refrigerator fluid in 1920's
Aerosol propellants
Gas for expanded plastics eg. expanded polystyrene
High chemical stability allows them to reach stratosphere
Chlorine in CFC's breaks down O3 layer


Montreal protocol 1987

International agreement completely phased out the use and manufacture of CFCs and other O3 depleting substances
HCFC's have replaced CFC's due to lower chemical stability