Unit 1B - Our Changing Weather and Climate Flashcards Preview

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Flashcards in Unit 1B - Our Changing Weather and Climate Deck (127):
1

2a) Study Fig.6 which shows a Stevenson Screen containing thermometers. Answer the questions which follow.

Thermometer are located in a box called a Stevenson Screen

i) State three reasons why this is the best location for thermometers. [3]

1. No direct heat interference from sunlight
2. Sheltered from the elements (wind, rain)
3. No interference from wildlife

2

What is weather?

Weather is the day-to-day state of the atmosphere. It is a dynamic process which is constantly changing.

3

What are the five main gases that make up our atmosphere?

Oxygen (O2)
Ozone (O3)
Nitrogen (N2)
Carbon Dioxide (CO2)
Water (H2O)

4

What is climate?

Climate is more long term. It is the average weather taken over a long period of time (usually over 35 years). Climate is a less dynamic process and does not change as quickly as weather.

5

What are the seven elements of the weather?

Temperature
Precipitation
Wind direction
Wind speed
Air pressure
Cloud types
Cloud cover

6

Give a description of temperature

Temperature is a measure of the amount of heat in the atmosphere around us.

7

Give the method of measurement and units of measurement for temperature

Max and min thermometer (instrument)
Degrees centigrade (°C)

8

Give a description of precipitation

This is the amount of moisture in the atmosphere and usually involves water in all of its states: liquid, solid and gas (vapour). It includes water, dew, hail, rain, sleet and snow.

9

Give the method of measurement and units of measurement for precipitation

Rain gauge (instrument)
Millimetres (mm)

10

Give a description of wind direction

Wind is the air in motion in a horizontal direction.

11

Give the method of measurement and units of measurement for wind direction

Wind vane (instrument)
8 compass points

12

Give a description of wind speed

The speed of wind can range from calm to hurricane force.

13

Give the method of measurement and units of measurement for wind speed

Anemometer (instrument)
Km per hour (kph)

14

Give a description of air pressure
What is normal air pressure?

Air pressure (or atmospheric pressure) is the pressure exerted by the weight of the atmosphere on the Earth's surface. Normal pressure is set at 1000 mb. Low pressure is defined as anything below this and high pressure is anything above.

15

Give the method of measurement and units of measurement for air pressure

Barometer (instrument)
Millibars (mb)

16

Give a description of cloud types
What is a cloud?

A cloud is a visible mass of tiny particles floating in the atmosphere, consisting of ice crystals or water formed from the condensation of water vapour.

17

Where are low clouds found?

0-2 km above the Earth's surface, within the atmosphere.

18

Where are middle clouds found?

2-4 km above the Earth's surface, within the atmosphere.

19

Where are high clouds found?

4-8 km above the Earth's surface, within the atmosphere.

20

What are the five main cloud types?

Cirrus
Nimbostratus
Stratus
Cumulus
Cumulonimbus

21

Give the method of measurement and units of measurement for cloud types

Observation

Cirrus
Cirrocumulus
Altocumulus
Altostratus
Nimbostratus
Stratocumulus
Stratus
Cumulus
Cumulonimbus

22

Give a description of cloud cover

Due to an international agreement, the amount of cloud cover (or amount) is reported as eighths (or oktas) of the sky covered.

23

Give the method of measurement and units of measurement for cloud cover

Observation
Oktas (eighths)
0/8 to 8/8

24

How does one measure temperature?

Maximum and minimum U-shaped thermometer.
Mercury/Alcohol pushes steel marker.
Markers stay at their highest point.
Use magnet to reset.

25

How does one measure precipitation?

Read the level of water in the measuring cylinder.
Reposition every 24 hours.

26

How does one measure wind direction?

Wind vane with four main compass points.
Arrow points to where the wind is coming from.

27

How does one measure wind speed?

Anemometer.
Small cups spin around with digital readouts.

28

How does one measure air pressure?

Aneroid barometer.
The pressure is measured when a small metal capsule is squashed when there is lower pressure and is allowed to expand when there is higher pressure. This is linked to a needle which then indicates the amount of pressure in millibars on the dial.

29

What does aneroid mean?

Without air

30

How does one measure cloud types?

Cloud type can be measured by determining the altitude of the cloud, and then determining its characteristics to classify it.

31

How does one measure cloud cover?

An observer should estimate the amount of the blue sky that is visible and identify how much of the sky is covered in cloud (in eighths or oktas).

32

What factors should be considered when locating a thermometer?

Put thermometers in Stevenson screen.
- Stevenson screen and thermometers should be placed in an area that is shaded from the sun.
- The surface of the screen is painted white to reflect any heat.
- Vents ---> Only the air flowing through the box is recorded.
- The shade within the box ensures that direct sunlight cannot give false readings.

33

What factors should be considered when locating a rain gauge?

- Made of plastic or copper to not rust.
- They need to be anchored securely so that they do not get blown over by the wind.
- The top section of the gauge (where the funnel for collecting the water is) needs to be more than 30 cm above the ground to avoid rain splash when the ground is saturated.
- The rain gauge location needs to be clear of any building, guttering or any other source of potential water that might affect the results.

34

What factors should be considered when locating a wind vane?

- Verify the position of the direction arrows using a compass
- Wind direction can be checked by throwing some grass into the air to see if it's movement correlates with that shown by the gauge
- Must be located on top of a roof or high enough for nothing to shelter it from the true wind direction (wind tunnels)

35

What factors should be considered when locating an anemometer?

- Requires more than 10 knots of airflow to be accurate
- Must be mounted at the top of a building, free from nearby obstructions which might cause shelter (wind tunnels)
- If being held by observer, must be held at arms length above head making sure that the flow of the cups is not disrupted in any way

36

Identify all five sources of weather data used to create a weather forecast

Land-based weather stations
Balloons
Buoys
Weather ships
Geostationary satellites and polar-orbiting satellites

37

A weather balloon is also known as a ...

Radiosonde

38

The weather balloon will carry a ...

Radiosonde package

39

At what altitude will a weather balloon burst?

20 km

40

What is an air mass?

An air mass is a large parcel of air (often thousands of kilometres wide) which stays still over a place for a long period of time, picking up the area's temperature and moisture characteristics.

41

Name the four air masses that affect the British Isles and broadly identify their moisture and temperature characteristics.

1. Tropical maritime - warm and moist
2. Tropical continental - warm and dry
3. Polar maritime - cold and (fairly) moist
4. Polar continental - cold and dry

42

The air masses are classed according to ...

- The latitude where they start, as this affects the temperature of the air.
- The surface over which they develop and move, as this affects the amount of moisture in the air

43

What is meant by polar?

Air masses from the cold north.

44

What is meant by tropical?

Air masses from the warm south.

45

What is meant by maritime?

Air masses that move over the sea will have a higher humidity and will produce more precipitation.

46

What is meant by continental?

Air masses that develop over a continental land mass will have less opportunity to pick up moisture.

47

Give a description of polar maritime (Pm)

• This is the most common air mass affecting the British Isles
• It originates over the North Atlantic Ocean
• It reaches the UK from the west or north-west
• It produces unstable air that creates cumulus and cumulonimbus clouds but has good visibility between showers
• It can also cause conventional rainfall in the summer months

48

Give a description of tropical maritime (Tm)

• This is a very common air mass over the British Isles
• Its air travels from the warm Southern Atlantic Ocean and moves over the south-west of the British Isles
• It brings mild conditions in the winter and warm but wet weather in the summer
• It is responsible for bringing dull skies (nimbostratus clouds), drizzle and fog (poor visibility)

49

Give a description of polar continental (Pc)

• This is more prevalent in the winter than the summer
• Its air originates over Northern Europe (Norway/Sweden) and moves from the east/north east
• It produces very cold conditions in the winter but milder conditions in the summer
• Its air can be unstable in the winter and can bring snow showers along the east coast of England
• It usually brings dry but cool conditions (with stratus cloud)

50

Give a description of tropical continental (Tc)

• This is the least common air mass affecting the British Isles and usually only in the summer
• Its air travels from North Africa and the Mediterranean
• It brings very warm and dry air from the south and south east
• It brings mild conditions in the winter but hot weather (heat wave) in the summer
• It can cause thunderstorms to develop if the temperature rises

51

What are the two separate weather systems that control our weather in the British Isles?

1. Depressions
2. Anticyclones

52

A low pressure system is called a ...

Depression

53

A high pressure system is called an ...

Anticyclone

54

What are isobars?
How often are isobars drawn on a synoptic chart?

These are lines that join places which have the same atmospheric pressure. They are usually drawn every four millibars.

55

What is a pressure gradient?

There is a pressure gradient from areas of high pressure to areas of lower pressure.

56

Describe and explain the Coriolis effect in relation to pressure gradient

There is a pressure gradient from areas of high pressure to areas of low pressure. The wind tends to blow along this gradient from places with high pressure to those with low pressure (however, they are deflected slightly due to the rotation of the Earth, which produces the Coriolis force and curves the winds a little to the right).

57

When isobars are close together the pressure is increased and this indicates ...

Strong winds

58

When isobars are far apart the pressure is decreased and this indicates ...

Weak winds

59

What is a weather front?

A weather front is simply the boundary between two air masses.

60

What are the three different types of weather front?

1. A cold front (blue)
2. A warm front (red)
3. An occluded front (pink/purple)

61

What is a synoptic chart?

A synoptic chart is a weather map that gives a snapshot of the weather across a region.

62

What is a plotted surface chart?

A plotted surface chart is a chart containing all the information that is generated from surface weather observations or from automated sites.

63

Give a description of a cold front
What weather changes will occur as the cold front passes?
What will happen to the atmospheric pressure before and after the cold front passes?

A cold front on a synoptic chart indicates that a block of cold air is moving, which means that the weather will change with a narrow belt of rain and clouds. After the front has passed, the weather usually settles further, becoming bright and clear, though sometimes accompanied by a few showers. The atmospheric pressure will fall before the front passes and then will start to rise after it passes.

64

Give a description of a warm front
What weather changes will occur as the warm front passes?
What will happen to the atmospheric pressure before and after the warm front passes?

As a warm front moves it brings a belt of cloud with some rain as a block of warm air is moving overhead. The rain will gradually increase as the front gets closer. Behind the front the rain will be lighter but it will still be cloudy. The warm front does not always bring a warmer temperature, especially in the summer as cloud will reduce the temperature. The atmospheric pressure will fall quickly before the front continues overhead but it will stabilise after it passes.

65

Give a description of an occluded front
What weather changes will occur as the occluded front passes?
What will happen to the atmospheric pressure before and after the occluded front passes?

This is a situation where warm air has already started to rise up over cold air. Usually the weather at an occluded front will be the same as at a cold front but without much cloud or rain. However, on other occasions it can bring a band of thunderstorms.

66

Explain the formation of a frontal depression

In the atmosphere air will always move from areas where the pressure is high to areas where the pressure is low. This horizontal air movement is called wind. Generally in the UK the depressions that we get are formed out in the Atlantic Ocean. Cold, polar maritime air from the north moves south and meets some warm, tropical maritime air which is moving up from the south.

The lighter, warm air will start to rise up over the denser, cold air. This creates a disturbance called a Baroclinic instability, which, if strong enough, will develop a front.

67

Explain the formation of an anticyclone

The high pressure system which makes up an anticyclone usually comes from the south of the UK. The tropical continental air mass brings warm and dry weather north into the British Isles. The air sinks from high altitude and as it descends, it absorbs any moisture and stops condensation from taking place (remember that clouds and rain can only be formed through rising air and not sinking). In addition, in summer dry air from the polar continental area often brings high pressure and sinking air.

68

Describe the changes in weather in the UK as a frontal depression approaches

As the warm front approaches light precipitation will occur (drizzle).
As the warm sector passes light/no precipitation will occur.
As the cold front and sector approaches heavy precipitation will occur (rain showers and thunderstorms).

69

For how long will a frontal depression last over the UK on average?

3-5 days

70

What are the key features of a depression? (Make sure to reference the pressure, temperature, cloud cover, wind speed, wind direction and precipitation)

Pressure = Low pressure and falling (below 1000 mb)
Temperature = Temperatures in a depression will vary depending on the type of air that is passing overhead.
Cloud cover = A wide and varied selection of clouds can be found as the depression passes. Generally, the same sequence of clouds will be evident as the depression passes overhead.
Wind speed and direction = Isobars can be quite close together, which indicates strong winds. Winds blow in an anti-clockwise direction. A typical depression will pass over the UK, moving in a NE direction (from the SW) and will usually take three to five days to pass completely over the UK.
Precipitation = Depressions bring a variable selection of precipitation. They often bring snow in winter conditions and can bring a lot of rain over a three to five day period. When the cold front passes, depressions can bring thunderstorms and lightning (especially in summer months), and can also cause hail.

71

What are the key features of a summer anticyclone? (Make sure to reference the pressure, temperature, cloud cover, wind speed, wind direction and precipitation)

Pressure = High and increasing (over 1000 mb)
Temperature = In the summer the temperatures can be warm, as air is coming from the warm south. The hot, sunny days (when there is a lack of clouds) allows the air temperature to be high (around 24°C on average).
Cloud cover = Sinking air means that there are very settled conditions with few clouds and clear skies. This lack of cloud cover allows daily temperatures to be increased. However, at night, clear skies mean that heat cannot be stored in the atmosphere and it will escape back into space, and overnight temperatures will drop rapidly.
Wind speed and direction = Isobars are far apart which indicates light winds and often leads to very calm conditions. Wind direction is clockwise around the high pressure.
Precipitation = There is little or no precipitation during the day but clear skies can sometimes result in dew and fog occurring, especially in the mornings.
Thunderstorms can be triggered on very hot days, when the hot air starts to rise and produces convectional rainfall in some parts of the British Isles.

72

What are the key features of a winter anticyclone? (Make sure to reference the pressure, temperature, cloud cover, wind speed, wind direction and precipitation)

Pressure = High and increasing (over 1000 mb)
Temperature = In the winter temperatures are much lower than during the summer, as the sun is low in the sky, reducing the heat received from it.
Cloud cover = Sinking air means that there are very settled conditions with few clouds and clear skies. This lack of cloud cover allows daily temperatures to be increased. However, at night, clear skies mean that heat cannot be stored in the atmosphere and it will escape back into space, causing overnight temperatures to drop rapidly.
Wind speed and direction = Isobars are far apart which indicates light winds and often leads to very calm conditions. Wind direction is in a clockwise direction around the high pressure.
Precipitation = There will still be very little direct atmospheric precipitation in a winter anticyclone, however, the rapid loss of any heat means that nights can be very cold and the temperature will dip below freezing. Condensation caused by a temperature inversion near the ground level can cause serious fog and frost is common first thing in the morning.

73

Name the limitations of forecasting

Range
Accuracy

74

Describe the limitations of forecasting

Range
The UKMET unified model can help to predict the weather for up to six days in the future and other models can be used to estimate the weather more long term. However, many scientists note that the atmosphere is very unpredictable due to its changeable nature.

Accuracy
No weather forecast model can 100% accurately predict the weather. There are far too many different aspects that come under consideration. The surfaces that the weather passes over, the temperature, the microclimate and the size of the settlement can all influence the local weather in one way or another and make the weather forecast less accurate.

75

What are the positive effects on people due to a depression?

• Depressions can bring fast changing weather so people do not experience the same weather all of the time.

• They bring warmer weather in the winter (and more cloud cover).

• They can bring water during the summer months when there might be drought conditions.

76

What are the negative effects on people due to a depression?

• Depressions bring long periods of 'bad' weather and excessive rain, which either limits outdoor activities or makes them less enjoyable.

• Often one depression is followed by another, extending these periods further.

77

What are the positive effects on the economy due to a depression?

• Depressions bring water, which is needed for the crops that farmers are trying to cultivate across the British Isles.

• Clouds allow temperatures to remain above freezing, which means that animals can remain outside for longer and increase the length of the growing season.

78

What are the negative effects on the economy due to a depression?

• As depressions pass, the high wind speeds can cause damage to crops, which will cost farmers money.

• Strong winds can cause the cancellation of flights and ferries, disrupting transport. This disruption can also affect supermarkets and other business, if stock arrival is delayed.

79

What are the positive effects on people due to a summer anticyclone?

• Summer anticyclones bring 'good' weather, which often has a positive effect on people. It encourages outdoor activities and makes them more enjoyable. It also generally improves people's mood.

80

What are the negative effects on people due to a summer anticyclone?

• Summer anticyclones can bring long periods of heat and dry weather which can increase the chances of drought, Josephine bans and possibly some soil erosion.

81

What are the positive effects on the economy due to a summer anticyclone?

• Anticyclonic weather is ideal for crops in the UK, as it allows maximum heat and light to encourage the crop to ripen.

• The longer the anticyclone lasts, the better this is for the local tourism industry, as more people will holiday at home in Northern Ireland and spend money in tourist resorts.

82

What are the negative effects on the economy due to a summer anticyclone?

• If an anticyclone stays for a long period of time, it can bring drought. Drought can spoil crops, causing farmers to lose money.

• Irrigation can be a solution. However, it is expensive and can damage the soil if not managed carefully.

83

What are the positive effects on people due to a winter anticyclone?

• Winter anticyclones can bring nice, clear, crisp days in the winter, providing a break from the wind and rain in a depression.

• They can bring freezing temperatures, which can help to remove bugs and bacteria in the soil that otherwise may have damaged crops.

84

What are the negative effects on people due to a winter anticyclone?

• People with respiratory problems like asthma find it more difficult to breathe in the very cold weather.

• Increased amounts of frost and ice can cause a hazard for older people, as they can slip and fall on the ice or suffer when heating fails.

85

What are the positive effects on the economy due to a winter anticyclone?

• In winter anticyclones generally only hinder the economy.

86

What are the negative effects on the economy due to a winter anticyclone?

• Temperature inversions can cause heavy fog, which can restrict transport, especially aircraft.

• Ice and winter conditions on the roads can cause traffic accidents, which can slow down the movement of goods during the winter.

• Older people might find it difficult and expensive to heat their homes in particularly cold spells of weather.

87

What is the greenhouse effect?

It is a process where thermal radiation from the surface of the Earth is 'bounced' back again due to 'greenhouse gases' (water vapour, carbon dioxide, methane, Nitrous oxide, CFCs and ozone). As a result, the temperature that surrounds the atmosphere will be made a little higher than if the sun was the only source of radiation.

88

Explain how greenhouse gases help keep the Earth a little warmer than normal.

1. The sun gives off energy in the form of visible light and ultra-violet (UV) radiation, which travel towards the Earth.

2. Some of the energy is absorbed by the atmosphere, some is absorbed by the Earth and some is reflected by clouds back into space. The rest of the energy helps to heat the surface of the Earth.

3. Some of the heat energy from the Earth is reflected (by seas and lakes) back into space.

4. The greenhouse gases that are in the atmosphere trap this infra-red (IR) radiation and the heat is reflected back towards the Earth.

89

What is global warming?

Global warming is the name given to the process where the average temperature of the Earth is rising.

90

What are the causes of climate change?

Name two of the natural causes of climate change.

Natural climatic cycles
Volcanic activity (sulphites and sulphur dioxide)

91

What are the causes of climate change?

Name two of the human causes of climate change.

Burning fossil fuels (carbon dioxide)
Motor vehicle pollutants (nitrous oxide and hydrocarbons)

93

What are the causes of climate change?
- Natural causes of climate change

What is volcanic activity?

When volcanoes erupt they send huge amounts of Sulfate gas, ash and dust (called aerosols) high into the atmosphere. When the tiny particles of Sulfur mix with water vapour in the atmosphere this can produce tiny droplets of sulfuric acid, which can reflect sunlight back into space. It also creates more sulfur dioxide.

The discharge from major eruptions can reach high into the stratosphere (about 19 miles high), where the aerosols can spread quickly around the world. Massive volcanic eruptions can actually cause the Earth to cool down.

95

What are the causes of climate change?
- Natural causes of climate change

What are natural climatic cycles?

Slow changes to the Earth's orbit can cause some small but important changes to the strength of the seasons over a long period of time.
The Earth's orbit varies a little between being circular and more elongated every 10,000 years. This change is called the Earth's 'eccentricity' and has been linked to some of the Earth's glacial cycles.

The sun can also affect temperature changes. As the source for the Earth's climate system, the sun's energy is not always constant.

Some scientists also reckon that the Earth goes through periods of relative warmth followed by periods of relative cooling.

96

What are the causes of climate change?
- Human causes of climate change

What does the burning of fossil fuels (carbon dioxide) have to do with climate change?

When the carbon is burned in the air, carbon dioxide is created as a by-product. Many scientists agree that carbon dioxide makes a bigger contribution to the increase in the greenhouse effect than any of the other gases.

97

What are the causes of climate change?
- Human causes of climate change

What do motor vehicle pollutants (nitrous oxide and hydrocarbons) have to do with climate change?

Most cars are generally known for the burning of oil, which contributes to increasing CO2 emissions and makes up about 20% of all carbon emissions within the EU. However, cars and other forms of transport are also responsible for the production of hydrocarbons, nitrogen oxide and nitrogen dioxide.

98

Case Study
Explain how rising sea levels, an effect of climate change, will impact the environment of the UK in the future.

Coastal areas will be flooded. Their ecosystems will not have enough time to adapt to climate changes and some species will become extinct.

99

Case Study
Explain how rising sea levels, an effect of climate change, will impact the society of the UK in the future.

Homes in low-lying areas will be flooded if new coastal defences are not built.

100

Case Study
Explain how rising sea levels, an effect of climate change, will impact the economy of the UK in the future.

Flood defences can be extremely expensive to build and maintain (over £20 million of government spending per year).

Insurance companies will have to pay out an increasing amount of money in compensation, which will push the price of home insurance up further.

101

Case Study
Explain how warmer temperatures, an effect of climate change, will impact the environment of the UK in the future.

As temperatures rise, both winters and summers will be warmer. Rare arctic plants and alpines will find it more difficult to survive (in upland areas of Scotland).

102

Case Study
Explain how warmer temperatures, an effect of climate change, will impact the society of the UK in the future.

There could be an increase in the influx of insects. Cold winters kill off insect larvae and keep insect numbers manageable. Warmer winters could allow more swarms of insects to gather. Some suggest that mosquitos which carry Malaria might be able to survive in the warmer climates.

UK houses are not designed for higher temperatures. People may want to invest in air conditioning (which also uses up more energy, further increasing energy demands).

High summer temperatures are already raising London Underground temperatures and Transport for London is spending more money on air conditioning units. This in turn will lead to increased travel prices to cover these costs.

103

Case Study
Explain how warmer temperatures, an effect of climate change, will impact the economy of the UK in the future.

The warmer, drier conditions will suit some crops. For example, wheat, maize and fruit will grow better and faster in the new climate.

As temperatures and weather improve, more people will want to stay in the UK for holidays rather than going overseas.

However, industries that rely on winter snowfalls, such as skiing in Scotland will be wiped out.

104

Case Study
Explain how extreme weather (reduced rainfall), an effect of climate change, will impact the environment of the UK in the future.

New species of plants will be able to establish themselves. Grapes could be grown in the south of England and lower rainfall levels would be good for fruit growth.

However, trees might find it difficult to survive, as they need a constant supply of water.

105

Case Study
Explain how extreme weather (reduced rainfall), an effect of climate change, will impact the society of the UK in the future.

Droughts will lead to water shortages. People will have to monitor and pay more for any water that they use and hose pipe bans will become more common.

The dry conditions will also cause more forest fires and lives, animals and property will be at a greater risk.

106

Case study
Explain how extreme weather (reduced rainfall), an effect of climate change, will impact the economy of the UK in the future.

Arable crop farmers will have to invest a lot more money into expensive irrigation systems. Water will be an increasingly valuable resource and there will be conflict between a priority for use between water for drinking and farming.

107

What are the four sustainable strategies that aim to deal with climate change?

Strategy 1: International Agreements (such as the Kyoto Protocol)
Strategy 2: The use of alternative energy sources
Strategy 3: Cutting down the use of private cars (investing in public transport and congestion charging)
Strategy 4: Slowing the rate of deforestation in tropical rainforests (encouraging sustainable practices)

108

Name three alternative uses of energy

Wind power
Solar power
Biofuel

109

What are the advantages of using wind power as an alternative energy source?

Advantages
1. Wind energy uses a naturally occurring, free source of energy.
2. Some people see wind farms as potential tourist attractions.
3. No greenhouse gases are produced.
4. They are sustainable and can last for a very long time, producing cheap, clean energy.

Summary
1. Free
2. Tourist attractions
3. No greenhouse gases
4. Sustainable, last a long time

110

What are the disadvantages of using wind power as an alternative energy source?

Disadvantages
1. Wind can be unpredictable - some days will be calm and others will be too windy for the turbines to turn.
2. Wind turbines can cause noise pollution and many people see them as eyesores.
3. It can cost a lot of money to build turbines (over £600,000) and it can take some time to reclaim the initial outlay.

Summary
1. Wind is unpredictable
2. Noise pollution, eyesores
3. Expensive, hard to gain profit

111

What are the advantages of using solar power as an alternative energy source?

Advantages
1. Solar energy uses a naturally occurring, free source of energy.
2. There is no pollution produced.
3. It can be used anywhere, not just in hot countries.
4. It is a very cheap and clean way of producing electricity.
5. It can easily be added to modern homes.

Summary
1. Free
2. No pollution
3. Can be used anywhere
4. Cheap and clean way of producing electricity
5. Easy implementation into modern homes

112

What are the disadvantages of using solar power as an alternative energy source?

Disadvantages
1. Solar energy cannot work at night.
2. It can be very expensive to build solar power stations.
3. It can be unreliable if you do not live in a sunny country.
4. Solar panels can be expensive to install and can be broken easily.
5. Although production of energy can be simple, the storage of energy for the night can be difficult, as electricity does not store easily.
6. It is not always appropriate when large amounts of energy are required.

Summary
1. Cannot work at night
2. Expensive to build solar power stations
3. Unreliable if not in sunny country
4. Solar panels are expensive, broken easily
5. Storage of energy is difficult
6. Not always appropriate when large amounts of energy are required

113

What are the advantages of using biofuels as an alternative energy source?

Advantages
1. Biofuel energy uses a naturally occurring, free source of energy.
2. It helps to get rid of waste products on farms, rubbish dumps, etc.
3. People can produce and use their own biofuel on a very small scale.
4. Burning waste to produce gas can use up rubbish that might otherwise take up space in a landfill.

Summary
1. Free
2. Gets rid of waste on farms, dumps
3. People can produce their own biofuel
4. Burning waste removes waste from landfill

114

What are the disadvantages of using biofuels as an alternative energy source?

Disadvantages
1. It can be expensive to set up.
2. It can be difficult to control the amount of gas produced and to use it effectively.
3. Biogas contains greenhouse gases that can cause climate change.
4. Some of the contaminants in the gas can actually cause problems for engines and machinery.
5. Production of biofuel oil can involve a huge amount of land, which means less land in agriculture being cultivated for food.

Summary
1. Expensive to set up
2. Difficult to control gas produced and use it effectively
3. Greenhouse gases, climate change
4. Contaminants, machinery and engine problems
5. Less land being cultivated for food

115

Name an international agreement that aims/aimed to deal with climate change.

Kyoto Protocol, Japan, December 1997

116

COP is the name given to the yearly meetings of the United Nations Framework on Climate Change (UNFCCC). What does COP stand for?

Conferences of the Parties

117

Name three methods used to cut down the use of private cars in an attempt to deal with climate change.

1. Investing in public transport
2. Congestion charging
3. Car sharing

118

Describe how investing in public transport cuts down the use of private cars in an attempt to deal with climate change.

The UK government is investing in the public transport network (such as trains, underground and bus services) to encourage commuters to use public transport rather than cars. Some estimates claim that the 'carbon footprint' of a diesel bus filled with 50 people is equal to 2 cars filled with 6 people. Public transport is seen as a cheap, fast (through the use of dedicated bus lanes), reliable and environmentally responsible mode of transport.

119

Describe how congestion charging cuts down the use of private cars in an attempt to deal with climate change.

It should be noted that most congestion charging schemes were not originally intended as a direct method to approach the issues of climate change. Transport for London explained that they started to consider congestion charging in London as a way of managing the amount of traffic in the city.

In London drivers pay £10 each day that they enter the congestion charging zone in central London. The effect has been that traffic levels are now 15% lower and there has been a 6% increase in bus passengers. In 2009/2010 the city of London raised £148 million through charges, which by law has to be invested in improving the transport in London. Other cities, including Belfast, are also starting to consider measures such as this, though cynics say that they are more interested in the revenue that charging brings rather than any environmental benefits.

120

Describe how car sharing cuts down the use of private cars in an attempt to deal with climate change.

Some car sharing schemes have been put in place across the UK to encourage people to share travel. Car sharing is when two or more people travel together for all or part of a trip. This can help to reduce travel costs and carbon emissions, and might even allow increased security. Some estimates suggest that on average cars in the UK each carry 1.6 people, with around 38 million empty seats. Car sharing organisations have even been set up, such as NCS (National CarShare), who aim to put people who wish to car share in contact with each other. In Bradford a section of the M606 has been converted to have a car-share lane, where people with more than one person on board have priority.

121

What is deforestation?

Deforestation is the cutting down of trees on a large scale.

122

How does deforestation (the cutting down of trees on a large scale) contribute to climate change?

1. If trees are removed, there will be fewer trees available for evapotranspiration and therefore there will be less water in the air.

2. The main method of removal in the tropical rainforests is to burn the trees. As the forest is burned, much of the stored carbon is released into the atmosphere. This combines with the oxygen and there is an increased amount of carbon dioxide created (a greenhouse gas).

3. Finally, the tropical rainforest is sometimes referred to as 'the lungs of the Earth', as they will usually take in carbon dioxide and give back oxygen. Fewer trees mean that less carbon dioxide will be recycled.

123

Give an example of an unsustainable method of logging

Clearfelling

124

What is clearfelling?

Clearfelling is a logging method which results in everything being removed from the area.

125

Give three examples of sustainable logging methods

1. Selective cutting
2. Integrated cutting
3. Strip cutting

126

What is selective cutting?

This is when single or grouped trees are selected for cutting. This means that a natural regeneration of the forest can take place quickly, though it can be quite expensive.

127

What is integrated cutting?

This is when several different types of tree are removed at the same time. It is economical as loggers remove all that is useful when working in an area. The down side is that the good trees are taken and the poor quality trees are left, making regeneration of the area quite difficult.

128

What is strip cutting?

This is quite similar to clearfelling but this method often means that trees are cut down along the path of contours in the land. This method of logging can help to stop soil erosion but still destroys the ecosystems of vast strips of land.

129

Why is it difficult to get international agreement on strategies to deal with climate change?

1. Some government and scientists do not believe that climate change is any more than a natural process.

2. Many countries find it difficult to set aside their own national interest, given the challenges being faced by their people on economic and social levels. Reducing greenhouse gases may cost a country a lot of money and damage their economy. This is unpopular, particularly in times of financial crisis and depression.

3. Some governments do not see climate change as a priority. They feel it is more important to improve standards of living and spend money on schools or hospitals.

4. Introducing strict environmental laws will cost industries a lot of money and this could lead to a loss of jobs.

5. It is a voluntary agreement. What will happen if countries fail to meet targets?