25 - Unknown how rapidly ice sheets will melt cause sea...

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1 Lecture 25: Climate change: rate, impacts, solutions Unknown how rapidly ice sheets will melt, cause sea level rise Winners and Losers? • Residents of extreme northern areas would enjoy warmer temperatures and longer growing-seasons. • Plant growth patterns may be altered. • One-third of population lives in areas likely to be flooded by rising seas. • More evaporation may cause severe storms. – Infectious disease likely to spread faster. The Climate is Changing • Temperatures are rising • Sea levels are rising • The ocean is acidifying • Climate change is reflected in water cycle changes and in extreme weather Temperature rise, indicated by color (red=higher rate of increase). Earth’s surface temperature has risen ~1.3˚ F since 1850. Image courtesy of the Joint Institute for the Study of the Atmosphere & Ocean, U. of Washington. National Academy of Sciences National Academy of Engineering Institute of Medicine National Research Council Ecological Impacts Living things are intimately connected to their physical surroundings. Ecosystems are affected by changes in: – temperature – rainfall/moisture – pH salinity (saltiness) activities & distribution of other species …many other factors National Academy of Sciences National Academy of Engineering Institute of Medicine National Research Counc Ecological Impacts As a result of climate change, species and ecosystems are experiencing changes in: – ______________ – timing of biological activity – growth rates – relative abundance of _________ cycling of water and nutrients the risk of disturbance from fire, insects, and invasive species National Academy of Sciences National Academy of Engineering Institute of Medicine National Research Council
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2 Range Shifts Species are relocating to areas with more tolerable climate conditions. Range shifts particularly threaten species that: – cannot move fast enough – depend on conditions that are becoming more rare (like sea ice) Plant hardiness zone maps, 1990 and 2006. Most zones shifted northward in this period. Map courtesy of the National Arbor Day Foundation. National Academy of Sciences National Academy of Engineering Institute of Medicine National Research Counc Timing of Biological Activity Some seasonal biological activities are happening 15-20 days earlier than several decades ago: – Trees blooming earlier – Migrating birds arriving earlier – Butterflies emerging earlier Changes in timing differ from species to species, so ecological interactions are disrupted. European pied
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25 - Unknown how rapidly ice sheets will melt cause sea...

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