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GLobal change.docx

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Life Sciences
Luc Bernier

January 9 , 2013 Life Sci 2H03: Environmental Life Sciences Global Change Global Change - increase in greenhouse gases in the atmosphere leading to warming - accumulation of CFCs in the atmosphere impacting the ozone - environmental degradation and deforestation are also associated with decreases in biodiversity Earth: A Changing World - changing faster today than throughout most of its history - ex.: layer of gases enveloping the Earth impacting the Earth’s atmosphere, deforestation, and impacts on the Earth’s oceans Anthropogenic Impacts - humans have generated local pollution since they developed agricultural societies - ex.: Easter Island, process of deforestation led to the demise of the population 700 years ago - having all of these technologies makes it more important and more global The Greenhouse Effect - solar radiation absorbed at the Earth surface and reflected back in the form of long wave radiation - some pierces through the atmosphere but a lot is trapped in the atmosphere contributing to the greenhouse effect - natural processes: volcanic activity, decay of organic matter Impacts on the Ozone Layer - chemistry of the stratosphere has changed - volcanic eruption, emission of gases such as H O, CF3s, CH , N O 4 2 - thickness of the ozone (O ) has been reduced 3 Loss of Biodiversity - accelerated deforestation is leading to massive losses in the number of species in certain areas - is this going to lead to impacts on human societies? Impacts on Human Societies The Earth System - a group of components that interact - rate of interactions tends to be slower, but the magnitude of the changes can be dramatic - fuelled by solar energy - gradual loss of energy in the form of heat - change in one system impacts another system What are Forcings? - change in one system leads to changes in other systems - external pressure forces internal forcings - pressure being applied to certain systems which causes change Climate Change and the IPCC - reports highlight an unequivocal warming of Earth’s climate - produces predictions of the outcomes depending on the emissions of CO 2 - scenari
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