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Flashcards in Living With Climate Change Deck (15)
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What is the style and value of climate chnage literature?

Fast moving field so books are often outdated
Several climate assessment reports based on peer reviewed literature
'State of the Climate' - American annual report that focusses on physical state of the climate and methods of observation
'US National Climate Assessment' - every 4 years, observed changes, projected national impact and mitigation preparation levels
'IPCC Assessment Report' - every 5-7 years, works towards scientific understanding


Describe the issues with the greenhouse effect terminology

Some believe its outdated
Greenhouse effect is a natural phenomenon
Keeps us alive
Greenhouses gases are not harmful in themselves


Where do greenhouse gases come from?

CO2 main probelm and comes from fossil fuels and land use
CH4 has a higher warming potential per molecule
Comes from agriculture, permafrost melting, enegy use
N2O comes from agriculture
HFC, PFC and SF6 come from industrial processes and refridgeration
HFC is the new CFC, but these are harmful too and a ban is bein debated


What is Global Warming Potential, and how can this be harmful?

Relative measure of how much heat a GHG traps, relative to CO2
Flourinated gases are produced in small quantities but have long half life
CFCs may be around for further 200 years


What is radiative forcing?

Change in energy in atmosphere due to greenhouse gas emissions
Aerosols, SO4 and deforestation by burning have cooling effects
Solar irradiance is warming
These factors are considered in climate modelling


How do graphs show temp changes in climate change?

Usually degrees away from the average
Surface and ocean temperatures are rising
N hemisphere warming faster than S hemisphere


How does Arctic warming work?

Air temp increases in all seasons esp Autumn and Winter
Warming is greatest in Arctic due to Arctic Amplification
Lots of research as climate changes appear here first


How does modelling depict climate change?

Different groups use different models
We have more proxy data now
Accuracy has improve
Models tend to agree


Is CO2 in the atmosphere increasing?

CO2 cycles, but not like this
Current highest for 650 000 years
We can measue this from bubbles that have been trapped in ice cores for millions of years
Repeated glaciations produce downward fluctuations
Today, CO2 is 400.3 pp/million
15-40% of emitted CO2 will remain in atmosphere for over 1000 years


How do we measure CO2 concentrations?

Muana Loa observatory in Hawaii, planes, and ships
Levels oscillate annually due to seasons
CO2 used up in summer - photosynthesis
CO2 and temperature are correlated


What predicitons are there for the future of climate change?

CO2 will rise
Surface temp. will increase by 1.5 degrees relative to 1850-1900
If CO2 doubles, 2.5-4.5 increase
Much anthropogenic climate change is irreversible in the short term
Will take 100s of years for temp to drop again
CO2 will remain for 1000+ years


Summarise Thomas et al, 2004

18-33% species might go extinct by 2050 due to climate change
Varies between location and taxa
More species needed to be studied
CO2 and land use should be considered in future studies
Extinction will be due to interactions between threats
Quick drop in temp could help


Summarise Brown, 2004

Based on Thomas et al, 2004
Much loss now cannot be stopped
Species in flatter areas most at risk
Results worse than researchers thought
Europe least affected
Other scientists have called these projections optimis


Summarise Painter, 2013

Using risk can help public understand dangers of climate change
Concept of scientific uncertainty not understood by public
Risk removes necessity of complex threats
Most journalistic messages are of disaster or uncertainty - both paralytics


Summarise Boykoff, 2013

If climate scientists refuse to talk to the media, they will get their information elsewhere
IPCC has shown archaic views towards science in society by advising not to communicate with the media
Media doesn't distinguish between sceptics of ideaology and evidence
Focussing on people brings focus away from context and social forces
New media can be better than traditional media at times