Chapter 16 Notes.docx - Chapter 16 Notes Chapter 16The Oceans and Climate Change A massive iceberg floating off the coast of Newfoundland Canada towers

Chapter 16 Notes.docx - Chapter 16 Notes Chapter 16The...

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Chapter 16 Notes Chapter 16The Oceans and Climate Change A massive iceberg floating off the coast of Newfoundland, Canada, towers over spectators in the town of Ferryland. Every spring, chunks of Greenland’s ice sheet break off and enter shipping lanes near Labrador and Newfoundland. Known as “Iceberg Alley,” these ice-strewn corridors are becoming increasingly more dangerous to navigation as global warming accelerates the melting of Greenland’s ice cap. Essential Learning Concepts AT THE END OF THIS CHAPTER, YOU SHOULD BE ABLE TO: 1. 16.1 Specify the components of Earth’s climate system, and the role of the carbon cycle. 2. 16.2 Examine the evidence that shows how Earth’s recent climate change is caused by human activities, not a natural cycle. 3. 16.3 Demonstrate an understanding of how the atmosphere’s greenhouse effect works. 4. 16.4 Specify the changes that are occurring in the oceans as a result of global warming. 5. 16.5 Evaluate options for what can be done to reduce greenhouse gases. “Human-induced climate change is a reality, not only in remote polar regions and in small tropical islands, but everyplace around the country, in our own backyards. It’s happening. It’s happening now. It’s not just a problem for the future. We are beginning to see its impacts in our daily lives. More than that, humans are responsible for the changes that we are seeing, and our actions now will determine the extent of future change and the severity of the impacts.” Jane Lubchenco , marine ecologist and NOAA chief administrator (2009) N ews related to climate change and global warming, which includes sea level rise, severe weather, heat waves, and drought-driven wildfires, seems to be reported daily. This has spurred intense debate on whether climate change is natural or human-caused, and what climate changes are likely to occur in the future. These topics have also become the subject of numerous international conferences and have spurred complicated discussions among journalists, policy makers, and scientists. Human-caused climate change continues to be one of the most studied aspects of climate science. Climate Connection
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Throughout its long history, Earth has experienced both warmer and cooler global climates, as compared to today’s climate. In fact, evidence from fossils, sea floor sediments, and rocks on land suggest that many places on Earth have experienced dramatic swings in climate over geologic time. For example, fossils such as corals and coal deposits that are indicative of warm temperatures are known to have formed at high latitudes. Alternatively, regions that are known to have been located at low latitudes have sediments likely to have been produced by glaciation. Even after the movement of tectonic plates over time is taken into account, evidence of past climate change remains.
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