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Chapter 6 and 10 - Class #25

Course Code
Caroline Starrs

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Class #25! ! Science & Society November. 4, 2011
Nets and Plastic Debris Endanger Marine Life
- Plastic dumped into the sea harms wildlife
- Sea Turtles mistake plastic bags for jellyfish
- Most plastic is non-biodegradable
- In US 60-80%of marine litter is plastic
- Drifts for decades
Chapter 10 - Climate Change
Climate Change
- The Earth’s climate system
- Human influences on the atmosphere and climate
- Methods of climate research
- Impacts of global climate change
- Ways we can respond to climate change
Our Dynamic Climate
- Climate influences everything around us
- The Fourth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change
(IPCC) made it clear that:
- Climate is changing, we are the cause, and this change is already exerting
impacts that will become increasingly severe
- Climate change is the fastest-moving area of environmental science today
What is Climate Change?
-Climate = an area’s long-term atmospheric conditions
- Temperature, moisture content wind, precipitation, etc.
- Weather = conditions at localized sites over hours or days
- Global Climate Change = describes trends and variations in Earth’s climate
-Global Warming = an increase in Earth’s average temperature
-Earth’s climate has varied naturally through time
-The rapid climatic changes taking place now are due to human activity: fossil
fuels, combustion, and deforestation
The Sun and Atmosphere Keep Earth Warm
-Three factors exert more influence on climate than all others:
-The Sun (supplies planet’s energy)
-The atmosphere (absorb 70% of incoming solar radiation)
-The oceans (shape climate by storing and transporting heat and moisture)
Greenhouse Gases Warm the Lower Atmosphere
-As Earth’s surface absorbs solar radiation, the surface increases in temperature and
emits infra-red radiation
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