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Lecture 2

Lecture 2 Global Change.docx

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Life Sciences
Luc Bernier

Global Change: Earth: A Changing World  Changing faster today than throughout most of its history  Ex. atmosphere, forests, coral reefs  Land use, deforestation, world's oceans are all impacted due to human activity Anthropogenic Impacts:  Humans have generated local pollution since they developed agricultural societies  Is this something that is a source of concern in the future?  Demise of Easter Island 700 years ago (picture)  Technology of today will cause a lot of damage in the future The Greenhouse Effect:  Pollution becomes global  GHG illustrates how it contributes to global warming  This is something that on goes naturally, but we have induced it  Incoming solar radiation is absorbed by the Earth's surface and it is reflected in the form of long wave radiation and some comes through the atmosphere and some is trapped - contributing to the warm climate  The levels of carbon, and methane are much higher than the end of the 18th century  Volcanic activity, decay of organic matter are all natural processes that release carbon dioxide Impacts on the Ozone Layer:  Layer that blocks UV radiation that can be damaging  The chemistry of the stratosphere has changed and the thickness has been impacted (by natural processes too) by the emission of gases that can lead to damages - ex. CFCs, methane  Thickness has been reduced, especially near the poles, and the south pole more than the north pole Loss of Biodiversity:  Accelerated deforestation is leading to massive losses in the number of species in certain areas  If the rate of biodiversity loss continues at the rate it is now, losses will be widespread in the world  Will this impact human society? Impacts on Human Societies?:  Shows surface temperature differences  Yellow, red, orange indicate warmer weather  Implications are global The Earth System:  A group of components that interact What are Forcings?:  These are the pressures on certain components of the system that will lead to more global warming  Solar radiation is an external pressure Climate Change and the IPCC:  Reports highlight an unequivocal warming of Earth's climate  Work done by IPCC from the early 90's  Produce predictions of the outcomes we may see depending on the emissions of carbon dioxide  If we stop carbon dioxi
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