REM 100 Study Guide - Final Guide: Tropospheric Ozone, Kyoto Protocol, Solar Thermal Energy

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Section 9a Climate Change
1. Define climate change and explain mechanisms of climate change (human and natural)
2. Explain the particular role gas emissions (GHGs) in climate
3. Summarize the expected change under different warming scenarios.
4. Identify the main international relating to climate change
5. Explain challenges of mitigating climate change
6. Know IPCC
Lei et al.  desie liate hage as a supe iked pole ad a poli taged eause:
Time is running out
Those who cause the problem also solution
The central authority needed to address it is weak or non-existent
Policy responses are short-sighted disout the futue i iatioal a.
Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC)
Established in 1988 through UN Resolution 43/53
Open to all members of the UN and World Meteorological Organization (WMO). 195 countries are
currently members.
Consists of IPCC Panel, the secretariat and a series of working groups.
It reviews and assesses the most recent scientific, technical and socio-economic information produced
worldwide relevant to the under-standing of climate change.
Provide rigorous and balanced scientific information to decision makers (policy-relevant, yet policy-
neutral, never policy-prescriptive)
Climate is NOT Weather
Current state of the atmosphere (temp., rain, wind, sky cover)
Single events
what happens today
averaged weather over months, seasons, years
What you might expect to happen today
Climate change: Significant and lasting change in the statistical distribution (average and/or variability) of
weather patterns over long periods (years, decades, millennia)
Anthropogenic climate change: Climate change resulting from human activity (e.g. greenhouse gas emissions,
lad‐use change)
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Eah of the last thee deades has ee suessiel ae at the Eaths sufae tha a peedig deade
since 1850
Three ways to change the climate Radiative forcing (W/m
1. Changing the amount of incoming solar radiation (hard because at tu off su
2. Changing concentration of aerosols (particles in atmosphere that can trap heat) & GHGs
3. Changes in surface properties (surface albedo reflective capacity)
What changes the climate
Natural causes:
Sun: solar variability (sunspots), changing orbit of earth
Volcanic eruptions (put aerosols in the atmosphere)
Human causes:
Long-lived greenhouse gases (GHGs):
o Carbon dioxide (CO2)
o Methane (CH4)
o Nitrous Oxide (N2O)
o Halocarbons
Ozone (stratospheric and tropospheric)
Water vapour
Aerosols (minute particles in the atmosphere, from pollution, volcanoes)
“ufae aledo efletiit of eaths sufae due to lad use change)
Linear contrails (airplane emissions)
compare the relative impact of these factors
radiative forcing > one way to measure the amounts of warming that takes place as a result of these
individual factors
solar radiation is the only non-human (natural) one
CO2 is one of the main drivers of anthropocentric climate change
some factors can have both a cooling and a warming effect (i.e. halocarbons)
cooling effect is the result of the heat being reflected
just know general anthropogenic factors of climate change and that aerosols have a cooling effect
“eeal atue auses fo liate hage
MAIN IMPACT FO‘ ICE AGE“: Eaths oeet aoud the su hages i aout of sus adiatio
hitting earth
Volcanic eruptions dust and sulphate (1-2 yr effect)
Solar variability (sunspots) contributed to Little Ice age
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Human impacts are dominant:It is extremely likely (>95% certain) that human influence has been the
dominant cause of the observed warming since the mid-20th etury. 
Recent trends cannot be explained unless models include human- related causes (especially
Carbon Dioxide (CO2) is a particularly important GHG (contributor to climate change) positive correlation +
exponential increase
1. Unprecedented concentrations
2. Unprecedented rate of change
Very strong growth in developing countries (china and india)
Source of CO2 emissions Fossil fuels and cement; land-use change
Sinks for CO2 Land, atmosphere, ocean
Negative impacts if global temperature increase is not limited to 2 degrees per year (impacts to know)
Observed loss of glaciers, ice sheets, sea ice observe decreases occurred 30 years before predicted
Decrease in fresh water availability
Damage to coral reefs
Rising species extinction/biodiversity loss, and prevalence of some pests
Extreme Weather: Storms, forest fires, droughts, flooding, heat waves
Sea level rise 20 cm since 1900
Failing crop yields
Potential for unknown extreme events
Effects of increasing temperatures in canada and how they affect canadians
positive > easier to get oil from oil sands and mineral extraction
> higher temperatures = more agriculture
Future warming depends on our future choices about climate policy (aggressive reduction vs business-as-usual)
warming is more extreme near north/south poles
4 degrees of global warming may be different amounts in different parts of the world
Biosphere changes: Prevalence of some pests (e.g. Mountain Pine Beetle)
Winter cold spells used to kill off bark beetles
Temperatures now too warm to kill them off
16 million hectares affected in BC
Ocean acidification: CO2 is stored in the ocean, harms ocean ecosystems
Wide societal Impacts
Water resources
Human health
Resource and Service Industries
Global Security
Erosion threatens coastal communities
Economic and culturally significant fishing
Climate change impacts can be very costly to humans
Cliate hage osts fo Caada ould esalate from roughly $5 billion per year in 2020 less than 10
years away to between $21 billion and $43 billion per year by the 2050s.. 
This is not just about coping with climate change, but prospering through it
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