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ENV 1000

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1) According to Berg, Hager, Goodman and

Baydack(2010) Greenhouse gases are gases that
absorb infrared radiation, the most significant gases
are water vapor, carbon dioxide, which are
responsible for most of the natural heating influence
to Earths troposphere and surface. Other trace gases
that contribute to the greenhouses effect include
methane, Nitrous oxide, ozone, as well as entirely
human-made forms including chlorofluorocarbons
and carbon tetrachloride. The concentration of the
greenhouse gases indicates that concentrations are
generally increasing, mostly due to human activities.
Which points to the imbalance in the Earths energy
budget through what is called the enhanced
greenhouse effect. Humans activities are turning the
earths thermostat leading to positive radiating
forcing. Carbon dioxide (Source: the natural decay
of plant and animal life and also burning of fossil
fuels, deforestation and plant burning) molecules
remain in the troposphere from 100-120 years, but
the CO2 molecules are very poor absorbers of
inferred radiation and are assigned a global warming
potential (GWP) of 1. Methane molecules (Source:
natural decay of mater in an oxygen-free
environment, gas production and pipeline, natural
gas leaks, landfills, agriculture practices, coal
production) remain in the atmosphere for 12-18
years but are very effective absorbers of heat energy
and have a GWP of 23. Climate Science
Investigation (2016) says that Scientist are
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concerned about the concentration of methane

increasing in regions where the Arctic and alpine is
thawing and releasing methane and it warms. The
temperature of the atmosphere largely controls
water vapor. As air becomes warmer, it can hold
more moisture of water vapour, human activity does
not really affect water vapour. According to Berg,
Hager, Goodman and Baydack(2010) Carbon dioxide
dissolves in water and therefore the ocean
represents a major sink, other major sink include
forests and vegetation that utilizes CO2 in
photosynthesis to form glucose and organic matter.
The natural sinks of CO2 were able to reduce the
atmospheric concentration by about 57%, leaving
the excess in the atmosphere to contribute to
positive radiating forcing

2)According to Moses (2012) Carbon dioxide is a

gas that is contributing to global warming and
climate change. The clearing of vegetation that
serves as carbon sinks has increased the
concentration of carbon dioxide in the
atmosphere. Humans have interfered with the
carbon cycle where fossil fuel have been mined
from the earth crust and if fossil fuel had not
been discovered before industrial revolution, it
could have remained till now
3) i) According to Earths Observatory Particle
pollution (aerosols) which absorbs and reflect
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incoming sunlight. According to Berg, Hager,

Goodman and Baydack (2010) aerosols are fine
particles that are suspended in the atmosphere.
Aerosols influences climate in two ways: first it
contributes to a scattering effect on sunlight, which
enhances reflection back into the space and prevents
the energy form reaching the surface of the earth.
Second in the lower atmosphere aerosols modifies
the size of cloud particles, which changes how the
clouds reflect and absorb sunlight. According to the
University of Manitoba, Distance an Online Education
(2014) Aerosols have an overall cooling influence
which groups it as a factor contributing to negative
feed back
ii) According to the University of Manitoba, Distance
an Online Education (2014) the albedo of a surface.
According to Berg, Hager, Goodman and Baydack
(2010) Albedo is a measure of a surfaces ability to
reflect incoming solar radiation. Human activities
such as deforestation, logging, and farming alter the
Earths albedo by altering the amount of absorption
by the landscape. According to the University of
Manitoba, Distance an Online Education (2014) If
surface reflection is reduced by changing it from a
light to dark color, there will be positive radiative
forcing. Conversely, negative radiative forcing arises
when there is greater reflection either in the
atmosphere or land and ocean surfaces.
iii) Deforestation: According to Earth System Science
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Education Alliance after deforestation (2009)The

bare surface reflects more sunlight back to space,
creating a cooling effect leading to negative
radiative forcing. Green Field Geography says
Although soil may have a similar albedo to dark
trees they do cool temperature because they act as a
source of shade and cool temperatures through
evaporation and transpiration. Deforestation can also
lead to changes in the albedo. If we deforest more
the suns energy will be absorbed. The energy that is
reflected also has a higher chance of being trapped
by the atmosphere because less photosynthesis will
be taking place and there will be carbon dioxide in
the atmosphere enhancing the greenhouse effect.
iv) According to Earths Observatory Rising
concentration of atmospheric carbon dioxide and
other greenhouse gases, which decreases heat
radiates to space and leads to negative feed back
v) Changes in the suns brightness

4) a) According to Nelson et al(2007) Loss of

tropical or boreal forest: Deciduous tree species,
which may benefit especially form increasing
temperatures, may contribute to negative feedbacks
to warming through reduced albedo, increased
evapotranspiration and increased carbon uptake
(Chapin et al. 2000; Eugster et al. 2000). Also as
permafrost melts, newly thawed soil releases carbon
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through soil respiration. Although widespread

permafrost melt is likely given the rapid warming
across the boreal (Camill and Clark 1998). Intact
forest thus mitigates a serious positive feedback to
warming by reducing the rate at which greenhouse
gases are emitted from thawing soils. (Eugster et al.

b) United States Environment Protection Agency.

(2016) says Volcanic particles that reach the upper
atmosphere can reflect enough sunlight back to
space to cool the surface of the planet. The particles
are an example of cooling aerosols, which is a
negative feedback.

e) Fossil fuel combustion resulting in the release of

carbon dioxide into the atmosphere: According to
wiki The burning of fossil fuel increases the amount
of Carbon dioxide in the atmosphere which
contributes to global warming, causing the average
surface temperature of the Earth to riseleading to
positive feedback.

5) Ways in which the ocean reacts with the

environment to influence / moderate climate are:
i) According to National Ocean and Atmospheric
Administration The ocean currents act like a
conveyor belt, transporting warm water and
precipitation from the equator toward the poles and
the cold water from the poles back to the tropics.
Therefore the currents regulate global climate by
helping to counteract the uneven distribution of solar
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radiation reaching Earths surface.

ii) According to The Climate Change Factsheets of
information Unit on climate Change The Ocean
plays a role in storing heat. When the earths surface
cools or is heated by the sun the temperature
change is greater and faster over the land than the
ocean and because it is a fluid (the ocean), the ocean
diffuse the effects of temperature change for greater
distances via vertical mixing and convective
iii) According to The Climate Change Factsheets of
information Unit on climate Change The ocean and
the atmosphere are tightly linked and together form
the most dynamic component of the climate system.
Changes in external factors such as the suns energy,
the distribution of various plant species or the
emission of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere
can alter the temperature and circulation patters of
the atmosphere ocean system. Because the ocean
and the atmosphere are turbulent they can also
generate their own fluctuations and short term
fluctuation in wind or temperature can directly
influence the currents and the temperature if the
underlying ocean, while oceanic fluctuations can
magnify, diminish, or modify atmospheric
Two ways that increased greenhouse gas
concentrations are driving changes in the dynamic of
the oceans are: i) According to Berg, Hager,
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Goodman and Baydack (2010) The gases in the

troposphere absorb infrared radiation as it travels to
the outer space and some of the radiation travels
down to the planets surface where it is absorbed by
oceans and heats the surface in the process it is
increasing ocean temperature and ii) it is increasing
the sea level and acidity of the ocean. (United States
Environment Protection Agency, 2016)

6) Arctic Monitoring and Assessment Programme
(2009) says The Arctic sea ice has decreased over
the years, the ice cover has become thinner and the
loss creates a positive feed back to warming because
the open water absorbs far more sunlight and heat
than ice and snow. It gives us a direct evidence of
temperature change (Sjaak, 2012). Arctic Monitoring
and Assessment Programme (2009) says The
cryosphere has a major influence on the environment
and the living conditions in the Arctic and it has
significant global implications such as the sea ice
which contributes to cooling the earth and helps
drive global ocean circulation. Arctic is undergoing a
polar amplification due to the sea ice thinning and
loss, melting of the polar ice caps and the rise in sea
level (Berg, Hager, Goodman and Baydack, 2010).

7) a) Warming permafrost soils: Edward et al. (2008)

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says The increase of microbial decomposition due

to warming conditions is believed to be a major
source of carbon to the atmosphere. Nowinski,
Taneva, Trumbore, and Welker (2010) says that
Studies suggests that future warming and
permafrost degradation will increase the CO2 flux
from the soils. Tarnocai et al. says that A sudden
and steady release of carbon dioxide and methane
from permafrost soils may lead to positive feedback
cycle where warming releases carbon dioxide into
the atmosphere. The carbon dioxide cause
atmospheric concentrations to increase causing
subsequent warming
b) Ocean conveyor belt/thermohaline gradient:
According to National Geographic Climate change
can affect the oceans temperature which plays a role
in the conveyor belt. For example if cold water is not
lifted to the surface in upwelling, nutrients will not be
distributed to start the food chain and organisms
such as phytoplankton will need those nutrients to
thrive. A harsh climate change slows phytoplankton
from forming the first link in the marine food chain
and if this happens all life in the ocean is
threatened. According to New England Aquarium
increased precipitation and widespread melting of
ice can create a layer of fresh water that would slow
or prevent normal thermohaline mixing and would
affect the currents offshore. According to springer
Our industrial societies increases the concentration
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of CO2 in the atmosphere, we run the risk of raising

global temperature. The Greenland ice cap melts and
the ocean conveyor belt weakens. The discharge of
great quantities of fresh water into the North Atlantic
Ocean might weaken the conveyor belt force
resulting in change in ocean currents, which could
change the transfer of heat from the tropics to
northern latitudes, as well as disrupt the complex
interaction between the ocean and the marine
organisms. Current models suggest that this could
turn the oceans form a CO2 sink into a CO2 source
which in turn would set the stage for more warming
creating a positive feedback loop
c) Sea ice and Greenland ice sheet loss: According to
New York Times (2015)Climate change can result in
the complete melting of the Greenland ice.
According to the Cambridge university press (2004)
the melting of the Greenland ice can contribute
substantially to sea level rise and also to changes in
ocean circulation. Gartner (2015) says that the
The positive feedback in Greenland is known as
temperature elevation feedback which is at lower
elevations the temperature is warmer and as the
Greenland sheet melts, it gets lower in elevation.
8) According to National Center for Science Education
(2012) The society can support education efforts
(e.g. scientific information on the causes and effects
of climate change) that help individuals and societies
make informed decisions about climate change. This
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can be done by:

-reduce greenhouse gas emission through the
reduction and conservation of oil, gas, and coal and
fossil fuels that are used in transportation.
-According to Intergovernmental Panel on Climate
Change (2007) another way this can be done is by
switching to low-carbon energy sources, such as
renewable and nuclear energy, and expanding forest
and other sinks to remove greater amounts of carbon
dioxide from the atmosphere.
-Improving the insulation of buildings
(Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, 2007)
-Climate engineering (UK Royal Society, 2009).
According to my evaluation of my foot print the most
challenging to change will be the transportation as i
only use the bus to move around and I feel the one
that could be easily modifies will be food as I can
pick better options and make better decisions (like
purchasing locally grown foods) when i go shopping
for grocery.

9) a Water resources: According to Natural Defense

Council (2010) Snowpack, escalating size and
frequency of flood events, rising sea levels are some
of the impacts of climate change, way in which the
following mentioned can be stopped or reduced are
and some factors that need to be considered when
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devising an effective strategy. Also ways in which we

can improve the quality of water and supplies in the
environment to support the people and endangered
species. Adaptation strategies and things to
consider for effective strategy are according to
United Nations (2009) protective dams, educating
the society and capacity building, prevention of
urban development in flood-prone areas or the
development and implementation of water-efficient
methodologies in water-dependent sectors(such as
agriculture), measures to improve the retention of
water such as wetlands restoration/protection of
afforestation, measures to improve resilience target
long term development such as switching to crops
that er less water-demanding or are salt resistance,
conservation and restoration of ecosystems,
preparatory measures that aim to reduce the the
negative effects to extreme events on water
resources (such as, early warning system, emergency
planning, raising awareness, water storage, water
demand management and technological
developments), a response measure aimed at
alleviating the direct effect of extreme
events(response measures include evacuation,
establishing safe drinking water sanitation facilities
inside or outside affected areas during extreme
events and also human health
b) Agriculture and forestry: Factors to consider for
effective climate strategies according to Food and
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Agriculture Organization of the United Nations

(2007)are: the change in topography of land, the
use of artificial systems to improve water
use/availability and protect against soil erosion,
farming systems, timing of farming operations, use of
different crop varieties, research into new
technologies. According to the Food and Agriculture
Organization of the United Nations (2011) How to
maintain and enhance the level of biodiversity in
forests and across forested landscape by choosing
more suitable provenances and promoting adaptable
species, protecting mature forest strands, protecting
climatic refugee and most highly threatened species
outside of their own habitat. In some areas climate
change will have a positive impacts on forest, for
example through prolonging the growing season.
Positive impacts of climate change should be taken
into consideration.
d) Biodiversity: Things to consider for effective
climate strategies are: How to reduce habitat loss,
reducing pollution, the sustainable use of resources
and invasive alien species

10) Polar bears ranges mostly in the Artic circle and

the Artic sea ice is melting early than usual and
freezes later than usual polar bears are not able to
hunt their desired prey ringed seal pups and polar
bears are forced to spend more time on land. As
global climate continues to change the Polar Regions
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this makes the polar bear more susceptible. (AMNH,

2014). Polar bear should be under the Canadas
Species at risk because according to AMNH
(2014)"Climate warning is reducing the availability of
their ice habitat, especially in the spring when the
polar bear gain most of their annual fat reserves by
consuming seal pups before coming ashore in the
summer". Also climate change leading to habitat
loss can lead to malnutrition or starvation, and
changing in the sea ice affects the female polar bear
to but a suitable maternity den when pregnant.
(Schliebe, Thomas, Kurt et al., 2006).

Moses, M. (2012). Biogeochemical cycles. Retrieved
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Earths Observatory. Climate Forcing and Global

Warming. Retrieved from
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(2014). Global Climate Change. Retrieved from
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Permafrost Carbon to Climate Change: Implications

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