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Lecture 2 - Atmosphere

Lecture 2 - Atmosphere - Important Environmental Concepts...

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Important Environmental Concepts Risk perception and assessment How we think about possible events greatly affects our ability to evaluate and avoid undesirable outcomes Any possible catastrophe can be evaluated in advance in terms of the risk and outcome and cost of avoidance – higher risk suggests greater need for concern, or more disastrous outcome suggests greater need for concern, and both together suggest greatest need for concern, but high cost of avoidance can offset concern
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Reversible catastrophe vs. irreversible catastrophe Reversible catastrophes can be compensated for, recovered from, effects eventually alleviated or removed Irreversible catastrophes cannot be compensated for, and should be absolutely avoided Important Environmental Concepts
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Feedback cycles Negative feedback cycles result in status quo Push of variable in one direction results in counter-push to bring back to original value Thermostat raises temperature when it dips below certain threshold Positive feedback cycles result in runaway effect
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