NOTES ON READINGS Mod 3,4,5 -CICS 101
The Science of Climate Change-October 13
IPCC- Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change
For nearly 1 million years before the Industrial Revolution, CO
concentration in the air was between 170-280
ppm. Yet, now levels are far above that range at 387 ppm.
Article 2 of UN Framework Convention on Climate Change: attempt to keep emissions in controllable levels to
adapt naturally to climate change, ensure food production is not threatened, and enable economic development.
is this truly achievable?
Warming contributes to: droughts, floods, heat waves, intense rainfall
2 degrees Celcius is what the world needs to limit human-caused temperature increase
international agreement linked to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate
Change. Major feature = sets binding targets for 37 industrialized countries and the EC for reducing greenhouse
gas emissions (which are present in atmosphere)
Natural Greenhouse effect-
warming level created by the natural level of these gases. This effect warms the
world more, keeps most of the world’s water in the liquid phase, and allows life to exist from the equator to near
the poles. Humans speed up the greenhouse effect.
carbon is exchanged by atmosphere (movement of carbon to oceans, earth, soil, etc.
Concentrations of other heat-trapping gases have increased significantly as a result of
Most of the temperature increase is caused by human activity: stressors such as habitat degradation,
invasive species, and air and water pollution
Ecological services such as productivity of agriculture will be further affected as ecosystems change and climate
5 categories of reasons for concern:
Breadth of impacts
Total economic impact
Short Term Effects of climate due to warming (exceeding 2 degrees Celsius):
higher average air temperatures,
melting of snow and ice in Arctic and Greenland, increase in sea level, more floods and droughts, interiors of
content dry out although there is more rain (because of speeding up of water cycle + warmer climates)
rapid changes affect predator-prey relationship
Future/Long-Term Effects due to warming:
collapse of ecosystems, changing of timing of growing seasons,
coastal erosion, permafrost thaw, ocean acidification, water availability will be reduced (will lead to water
shortages in Africa and Asia), will lead to increased chance extinction of various plant and animal species
Oceans will become more acidic (lower pH) as Carbon increases in atmosphere
The effect is many
organisms such as corals and plankton make their shells out of calcium carbonate
will not be able to develop
(i.e plankton may not remain abundant and they are the base of the food chain)
most vulnerable to changing climate/atmosphere, they are global centers for biodiversity