Science Flashcards.txt

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Science Flashcards.txt
2010-03-09 00:09:37
Climate Change

Climate Change Flashcards
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  1. What is the 1st layer of the atmosphere?
  2. The troposphere, the layer nearest the Earth, which reaches up to an altitude of about 8 km (about 5 miles) in the polar regions and up to 17 km (nearly 11 miles) above the equator. This is where the weather we experience takes place and it is the densest of all the layers of the atmosphere and it contains about 80% of the mass of the atmosphere and almost all of the water in the atmosphere.
  3. What is the 2nd layer of the atmosphere?
  4. The stratosphere, it lies atop the troposphere and reaches an altitude of about 50 km (31 miles). Chemicals in the stratosphere absorb and scatter the
    ultraviolet radiation coming in from the sun.
  5. What is the 3rd layer of the atmosphere?
  6. The mesosphere, it extends from the top of the stratosphere up to 80-90 km. Chemicals
    • in the mesosphere absorb and scatter the ultraviolet radiation coming in
    • from the sun.
  7. What is the 4th layer of the atmosphere?
  8. Thermosphere, temperatures increase the higher you go up in the thermosphere because of the incoming energy from the sun. Temperatures can reach over 3,140 degrees F (1,700 degrees C).
  9. How many layers are in the atmosphere, and describe it?
  10. Based on temperature the atmosphere is divided into 4 layers. The atmosphere is about 372 miles. While this may seem like a lot, when compared to the size of the earth, the atmosphere is a relatively thin layer of gases.
    Define the greenhouse effect
  11. A general warming effect on Earth’s surface, produced by greenhouse gases. They allow incoming solar radiation to pass through the Earth's atmosphere, but trap heat by preventing some of the infrared radiation from the Earth’s surface from escaping to outer space. This process occurs naturally and has kept the Earth's temperature about 60°F warmer than it would be. However, the greenhouse effect is becoming stronger as a result of human activities, which is causing the warming we have observed over the past century.
    Name the greenhouse gasses
  12. Greenhouse gases include water vapor, carbon dioxide (CO2), methane (CH4), nitrous oxide (N2O), halogenated fluorocarbons (HCFCs), ozone (O3), perfluorinated carbons (PFCs), and hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs).
    What are the ways we can help with global warming?
  13. Save electricity by turning off lights, the television, and the computer when you are done, taking the bus, riding a bike, carpooling, or walking, plant trees, recycle, buying products with the energy star symbol.
    What is the difference between climate and weather?
  14. Climate refers to long-term patterns in the earth’s weather. Tendencies for large areas of the planet to be wet, dry, hot, or cold are examples of climate. Weather, on the other hand, refers to short-term events, such as daily or weekly temperature and precipitation.
    Define deforestation
  15. The change of forested lands to non-forest uses. This is often cited as one of the major causes of the enhanced greenhouse effect for two reasons: 1) trees that are burned release carbon dioxide; and, 2) trees that are cut no longer remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.
    Define Energy Budget
  16. The earth’s energy budget is the overall description of the processes that regulate the energy received and emitted by the planet. The energy of sunlight heats the earth, and the earth absorbs some of this energy and radiates the rest of it back into space. Properties such as the earth’s albedo and processes like the greenhouse effect affect the planet’s energy budget.
    Define ice core
  17. An ice core is a section of ice drilled from a glacier or ice sheet. Ice deposits contain samples of the atmosphere at the time the ice formed; they also record seasonal fluctuations of temperature and dust. That’s why ice cores are extremely valuable sources of paleoclimate data(data on the earth’s climate in the distant past) Researchers drill sections of ice cores hundreds of meters long and then match sections at different depths with particular eras in the earth’s past. These sections can then be analyzed for clues about atmospheric gases and temperatures from hundreds of thousands of years ago.
    Define the carbon cycle
  18. The carbon cycle is the global process by which the element carbon is stored and exchanged between the air, oceans, earth, and living things. Through photosynthesis, carbon dioxide is removed from the air by plants and phytoplankton and converted into living tissue. When the plants are eaten, or when they burn or decay, the carbon is released back into the atmosphere as carbon dioxide. But human activities (such as the burning of fossil fuels) add additional carbon dioxide to the air. The increase in atmospheric carbon dioxide contributes to the warming of the planet through the greenhouse effect.
    Define the greening hypothesis
  19. This controversial theory suggests that increasing levels of atmospheric carbon dioxide will not necessarily result in serious increases in temperature because more carbon dioxide will promote greater plant growth. In turn, the additional vegetation will consume excess carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. In effect, this hypothesis proposes that natural processes will alleviate the effects of human-caused increases in atmospheric greenhouse gases.
    Would green house gasses exist without humans?
  20. Yes, they are natural.
    Describe the World Wildlife Fund (WWF)
  21. The Goal… By 2020 WWF will conserve 19 of the world's most important natural places and significantly change global markets to protect the future of nature. On September 11, 1961 World Wildlife Fund Prince Bernhard of the Netherlands became the organization’s first president. Since 1985, the WWF Network has invested over $1.165 billion in more than 11,000 projects in 130 countries. The President & CEO is Carter S. Roberts

  22. When did direct atmospheric measurements of CO2 concentration begin?
  23. In 1957
    What is evapotranspiration?
  24. Even though the total amount of precipitation is projected to increase in the Arctic, precipitation may come at times of the year when plants do not need it, or it may come in extreme events where most of it runs off to the rivers quickly. Also, as the temperatures get warmer, more water will evaporate and plants will transpire more water. Both processes acting together, known
    • as evapotranspiration, send water back into the atmosphere.
    • What helps keep the earth cool by reflecting 60-90% of solar energy?
  25. Snow and ice
    What are some of the potential impacts of climate change?
  26. Sea-level rise, flooding, droughts, major hurricanes, and it effects the biosphere.
    What is the “Exploratorium” about and what do they think?
  27. They think the climate is growing warmer and it’s about the atmosphere, hydrosphere, cryosphere, and biosphere.
    What is “is there global cooling” about and what do they think?
  28. They say are temperatures have been cooling in the last 11 years, the ice is growing, the oceans are cooling, and polar bear populations are at a high
    Describe the Nature Conservancy
  29. The leading conservation organization working around the world to protect ecologically important lands and waters for nature and people. Founded in 1951. They have protected more than 119 million acres of land and 5,000 miles of rivers worldwide and we operate more than 100 marine conservation projects globally. They think global warming is happening because of humans adding to the green house effect.
  30. What is the BBC weather centre and what do they think?
  31. They think that the climate change is from human behavior rather than natural changes in the atmosphere.
  32. Define detection research
  33. Meant to establish only that an unusual change in climate has occurred
    Define attribution studies
  34. Try to find the likelihood that humans are involved.
    What are the 4 major reports the IPCC put out?
  35. 2nd Assessment Report (1995) “The balance of evidence suggests a discernable human influence on global climate.
    • 3rd (2001) “There is new and stronger evidence that most of the warming observed over the last 50 years is attributable to human activities.”
    • 4th (2007) “Human induced warming of the climate system is widespread.”
    • What is the IPCC?
  36. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change – a unique team that draws on the work of more than 1000 scientists, was set up in 1988.
    What are the 5 factor components of climate that can affect global warming
  37. 1. volcanoes
    • 2. sulphate aerosol pollution
    • 3. solar activity
    • 4. greenhouse gases
    • 5. ozone depletion
    • How does the destruction of rainforests affect climate change?
  38. Accounts for 1/5 of recent human produced CO2 emissions. Tropical forests hold nearly half of the carbon present in vegetation around the world. When they’re burned to clear the land, the trees, soils, and undergrowth release CO2. In addition, bacteria in the newly exposed soil may release more than twice usual amount of another greenhouse gas of nitrous oxide.
    How do rainforests affect the cooling of the climate?
  39. Rainforests cool the climate on a local level because their canopy helps trap moisture and allows it slowly evaporate, providing a natural air-conditioning effect.
    Who will be hardest hit by climate change and why?
  40. People who live in poverty, they are more dependent on natural resources, and have less of an ability to adapt to a changing climate. They are also the least responsible for climate change and contribute only 10% global CO2 emissions.
    How many greenhouse gasses do we add to the atmosphere?
  41. More than 30 billion metric tons per year.
    Will nature take care of global warming in the long run?
  42. The human enhancements to the greenhouse effect could last the better part of this millennium. Assuming that it takes a century or more for humanity to burn through whatever fossil fuels it’s destined to emit, it will take hundreds more years for those greenhouse gasses to be absorbed by Earth’s oceans.
    What is the Kyoto Protocol?
  43. An agreement among the nations to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions. It took many years to ratify because the United States and Australia were not part of it. It came into force in 2005 after Russia’s decisive vote. 127 have ratified the treaty. Under this agreement industrialized nations pledged to reduce their yearly emissions of carbon but because the treaty did not become international law until more than halfway thru the 1990-2012 period, by that point the emission amounts had risen substantially in many countries. In Canada it increased by 20% and China has also skyrocketing numbers. The treaty was finalized in Kyoto, Japan in 1997.
    What is a VBD and how does it affect climate change?
  44. Vector-borne disease, the disease-causing microorganism is transmitted from an infected individual to another individual by an arthropod (e.g., mosquito, tick, etc.) or some other agent. Key VBDs of concern include malaria, Lyme disease, dengue fever, yellow fever, Hantavirus pulmonary syndrome, and several forms of encephalitis. Weather affects the timing and intensity of disease outbreaks. Within their temperature range of tolerance, mosquitoes will reproduce more quickly and bite more in warmer conditions. Warmer temperatures also allow the parasites within mosquitoes to mature more quickly, increasing the chances that the mosquito will transfer the infection. Several modeling studies have predicted that increasing temperatures will lead to the spread of malaria and other diseases into previously unaffected areas. Climate change may also affect the severity of the disease at a given location.
    How can climate change affect a species?
  45. Directly by constraining organisms to areas within their temperature tolerances, or indirectly by affecting food supply, availability of shelter, or other factors necessary for survival.
  46. What are the 7 principles of climate change according to Chevron?
  47. 1 Global Engagement
    • 2 Energy Security
    • 3 Maximize Conservation
    • 4 Measured and Flexible Approach
    • 5 Broad, Equitable Treatment
    • 6 Enable Technology
    • 7 Transparency
    • What is Global Engagement according to Chevron?
  48. It is the cumulative effect of GHGs in the atmosphere that affects the climate, and it will require integrated and flexible global carbon management to effect change. Most emissions come from a relatively small number of countries, with absolute levels currently highest in developed countries, but emissions rising the fastest in developing countries. Equitable sharing among all top emitting nations will promote the efficacy of GHG reductions and will help ensure that individual countries are not put at competitive disadvantage.
    What is the Energy Security according to Chevron?
  49. Reliable, affordable energy supplies are crucial to the development of strong economies, sustained improvements in the quality of life and the eradication of poverty. Even with accelerated development of low– and non–carbon energy sources, fossil fuels will continue to provide most of the world's energy needs. So future efforts must be twofold: advance the development of non–carbon alternatives and develop ways to reduce emissions from fossil fuels.
    What is Maximize Conservation according to Chevron?
  50. Energy efficiency and conservation are the most immediate and cost–effective sources of "new" energy with no GHG emissions. Government programs to promote energy efficiency and conservation must continue and should be enhanced. In addition, the private sector should increase efforts to enhance efficiency in everything from manufacturing and transportation to building management and construction.
    What is Measured and Flexible Approach according to Chevron?
  51. As we develop policies, we need to remain pragmatic, realistic and flexible about solutions. It took a century to create the modern energy industry and half as long to realize groundbreaking advances such as the computer industry and the development of the Internet. Addressing climate change in a meaningful way is a far more complex, long–term proposition, requiring implementation of multiple solutions.
    What is Broad, Equitable Treatment according to Chevron?
  52. GHGs are a function of many activities, from manufacturing and agriculture to how we power our homes and how much we drive. Policies should be implemented equitably across all sectors, so that all significant sources of emissions are addressed. This broadly shares the challenge of emission reductions, making it more likely to succeed, and creates a level playing field.
    What is Enable Technology according to Chevron?
  53. Emerging technology and as-yet-unknown technological breakthroughs have the potential to significantly reduce GHG emissions if they can be developed to commercial scale. At the same time, we should realize there is no "silver bullet," and climate change benefits will come from multiple solutions that will be developed over time. Having the right policies in place that encourage capital investment in technology and infrastructure will help. Energy Efficiency, Natural Gas, Biofuels and Renewables, Nuclear Energy, and Carbon Capture and Storage.
    What is Transparency according to Chevron?
  54. Developing solutions of the scale required by the climate change challenge will be a complex endeavor. It is vitally important to understand and fully communicate the economic and social costs of various policies and the projected environmental benefits, both in the near term and the long term, so we can agree on solutions that are fair, balanced and effective.
    What is Chevron's view on Climate Change?
  55. Climate Change is a complex subject, one that is evolving now, and one that will evolve for years to come. However Chevron believes that taking prudent steps now to lower Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions is the right thing to do, which is why we acted in 2001 to implement our Climate Change Action Plan.
    What is Chevron's position on The Kyoto Protocol?
  56. The Kyoto Protocol assigns mandatory emission limits of greenhouse gasses to signatory nations. We support the intentions of Kyoto in reducing greenhouse gas emissions and respect the individual countries that have made the decisions to sign. However, while we support the global engagement that it envisions, we believe it focuses on signing up many countries rather than truly engaging the 10 – 12 critical emitting countries. Further, we think it asks for emission reductions that are too aggressive too quickly, given the technologies that are currently available. Finally, we don't think the economic consequences are fully outlined.
    What are the biggest challenges to de-carbonize the world's energy structure?
  57. There are several challenges including the facts that: 85 percent of today's energy requirements are supplied by hydrocarbons and that mix is not expected to change substantially by 2030, according to the International Energy Agency (IEA). There is no single replacement for hydrocarbons — either for power or for transportation — at the scale needed to serve the world's energy demands. There is no 'silver bullet'. In other words, we need to rely on technology advancements across a wide spectrum of technologies for meaningful decarbonization; these advancements will take time (decades in some cases).
    What should government do to promote energy efficiency and conservation?
  58. Efficiency and conservation should be the highest priority and first order of business in any climate policy. Government can play a valuable role on a multitude of levels. They can: Remove barriers and/or provide fiscal incentives to improve energy efficiency in residences, commercial buildings, transportation systems and government offices. Provide continued support for existing national energy efficiency programs. Strengthen energy efficiency standards for appliances and commercial building sectors over time. Educate the public and introduce practices of energy efficiency and conservation into school curricula.
    Why should climate policy recognize the role of fossil fuels?
  59. Energy is needed to drive economic growth and to improve our quality of life. Today's energy requirements are huge and are expected to grow substantially larger as the world's population grows and economies develop further. About 85 percent of today's energy requirements are supplied by hydrocarbons (oil, natural gas and coal) and that mix is not expected to change substantially by 2030. The role of renewable and alternative energy will continue to help meet the rising demand; however there is no single replacement for hydrocarbons — either for power or for transportation — at the scale needed.