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Climate Change. Temperature trends. We’ve seen a lot of record-breaking temperatures in the past decade. The average temperature across the world has risen by 0.76°C since 1880 (when detailed temperature data was first recorded).

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Climate Change

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temperature trends
Temperature trends
  • We’ve seen a lot of record-breaking temperatures in the past decade. The average temperature across the world has risen by 0.76°C since 1880 (when detailed temperature data was first recorded).
leading causes
Leading causes
  • Carbon dioxide (CO2), methane (CH4), and nitrous oxide (N2O) emissions.
  • CO2 – this is a by-product of fossil fuel combustion (oil, natural gas and coal).
  • CH4 – produced mostly by livestock (during digestion) and by manure management.
  • N2O – produced from industrial activity and fertilizer use.
how it works
How it works
  • Greenhouse effect
the future
The Future
  • According to predictions, average earth temperatures could rise by 3°C to 5°C by 2100.
  • This could have disastrous meteorological, geographical, and biological effects.
impact of climate change
Impact of climate change
  • Melting ice in the north:
  • We have an enormous amount of water trapped in the form of ice in the polar ice caps.
  • Melting the ice caps could raise the sea level by several feet.
  • Florida would be submerged.
impact of climate change1
Impact of climate change
  • The threat of malaria:
  • Malaria is a parasite transmitted by mosquitoes. It infects humans and destroys our liver.
  • The parasite can only tolerate specific temperatures. With increasing temperatures across the world, the parasite could spread.
impact of climate change2
Impact of climate change
  • Drought-stricken farms:
  • Higher temperatures lead to higher rates of evaporation.
  • Less water for farmers growing our foods.
more impacts
More impacts
global solution
Global solution
  • United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change  (1992, Brazil) 154 countries and the EU decided they needed to take action.
  • Five years later during their 3rd meeting, taken place in Kyoto , Japan, they signed the Kyoto Protocol.
  • The countries agreed to lower their greenhouse gas emissions to levels 5% below their 1990 levels. These levels were to be measured in about 10-15 years (2012).
  • Canada’s emissions are still on the rise.
  • What’s the average global increase in temperature since 1880?
  • What are the three leading causes of the greenhouse effect?
  • Concerning the impact of climate change, what were the three repercussions discussed?
  • An agreement was signed by several countries pledging a decrease in greenhouse gas emissions. What was the agreement called?
drinking water
Drinking Water
  • We need 1.5L/day to live. Just 4 days without water and we die. It’s very important.
  • Despite covering 2/3 of the world’s surface, only 2.5% of this water is fit for human consumption. The rest is too salty.
    • Unfortunately, most of this 2.5% is inaccessible: trapped in glaciers and underground aquifers.
water quality
Water quality
  • There are several criteria which are examined in order to ensure the quality of our drinking water:
  • Sensory properties: colour, clarity, odour, taste.
  • Physical and chemical properties: pH and salinity.
  • Toxic substances: heavy metals, pesticides.
  • Microbiological parameters: bacteria, viruses, fungi.

Unfortunately, every year contaminated water claims five million lives.

threats to the water supply
Threats to the water supply
  • Pollution: most common pollutants include:
  • pesticides and fertilizers used on farmlands
  • heavy metals discharged from in wastewater from factories
  • bacteria from sewage water.
  • Climate change itself: rising temperatures cause increasing evaporation.
    • This could lower the level of the St. Lawrence. Water from the Gulf would come in increasing the salinity of the water, making it unfit for consumption.
excessive human consumption
Excessive human consumption
  • In homes, individual Canadians use an average of 335L of water per day.
    • This is an average over the year: includes filling swimming pools, car washes, and lawn watering.
smart homes
Smart homes
review questions
Review questions
  • What are the criterion used verify the quality of our water?
  • What percent of the world’s water is drinkable?
  • What are some of the threats to our water supply?
  • Forests are important for a variety of reasons.
  • They’re home to a large proportion of plants and animals.
  • They capture carbon dioxide.
  • Prevent soil erosion (loss of soil due to floods or wind).
  • Reduce risks of natural disasters (floods, avalanches, and desertification).

Net change in forest area, 2005-2010 (ha/year)

causes of receding forests
Causes of receding forests
  • Clearing land for farming.
    • In some areas, forests are cleared by fire and crops are planted until the soil is no longer fertile.
  • Logging.
    • Harvesting forests for the pulp-and-paper or lumber industries.
  • Monoculture.
    • A practice which involves planting one type of crop or species of tree. These are more vulnerable to disease and insects because of reduced biodiversity.
    • Also causes soil depletion as the monocultures draws constantly on the same nutrients.
causes of receding forests1
Causes of receding forests

4. Urbanization.

  • As populations grow, the need for more space will increase.

5. Air pollution.

  • Fossil fuel combustion releases pollutants into the air.
  • Sulphur dioxide (SO2) and nitrogen oxides (NOx) contribute to ACID RAIN.
  • Soil exposed to acid rain cannot retain its nutrients.

6. Natural factors.

  • Fires, landslides, or diseases caused by insects.
impact of deforestation
Impact of deforestation
  • On biodiversity:
    • Forests harbour ~70% of living species, including birds, insects, plants, fungi and microorganisms.
  • On the water cycle:
    • Trees reduce surface runoff, as they absorb much water.
    • Trees reduce soil erosion.
    • Trees release water into the air through evapotranspiration (maintains air humidity).
  • On the climate:
    • When cut, the carbon in the trees is released as CO2 as the trees decompose. This is responsible for much greenhouse gas emission.
    • By acting as windbreaks and maintaining air humidity, trees help regulate temperatures in certain areas (think of drier areas like deserts).
d eforestion
  • In Barbados:
main stages of the water cycle
Main stages of the water cycle
  • Evaporation
  • Condensation
  • Water storage in the atmosphere
  • Precipitation
  • And repeat…
we can damage certain parts of the water cycle
We can damage certain parts of the water cycle…
  • Hotter weather  more evaporation but less condensation.
  • Clearing trees  less humidity and less evapotranspiration.
  • Less plants and trees less water absorbed from the soil, more remains trapped in the earth.
review questions1
Review questions…
  • Why are forests so important?
  • What is causing them to recede?
  • Is the loss of forest a bad thing? And why?
effect of greenhouse gases
Effect of greenhouse gases
  • Warming climate: sunlight going through the atmosphere heats up the earth’s surface. The greenhouse gases in the atmosphere prevent the heat from being lost. Analogy: the interior of a car on a sunny day.
  • Also, we get the depletion our ozone layer because of halocarbon compounds we use as refrigerants: CFCs, freon, etc.
  • The ozone layer is a layer of O3 that protects us from the electromagnetic radiation of the sun.
  • Consumption:
  • North Americans have a very unhealthy appetite for luxury items requiring enormous amounts of energy to make, i.e. the automobile.
  • The automobile has helped urbanization become a reality because people can live farther from where they work.
classical sources of energy
Classical sources of energy
  • Problems with these energy sources: greenhouse gases are emitted and they’re not renewable.
  • Sources:
  • Wood: in some parts of the world, people use wood for cooking and heating purposes.
    • This can lead to desertification due to deforestation.
  • Coal: This was a popular means of producing electricity in Canada up until the 20th century.
    • Burning coal releases SO2 and NOx causing acid rain.
    • Also, produces mercury emissions which returns to earth in the rain. This is absorbed by fish, which are consumed by humans.
classical sources of energy1
Classical sources of energy

3. Oil: this is unearthed from deep wells in the earth. Oil is refined into all sorts of products, like gasoline.

  • Burning oil also generates gases responsible for acid rain.
  • Its combustion isn’t the only process that is harmful: it’s extraction from tar sands and transportation are also very polluting.
classical sources of energy2
Classical sources of energy

4. Natural gas: these are combustible gases which burn cleaner than oil or coal. Mainly composed of methane (CH4). We also find ethane (C2H6) as well.

  • We use it to heat homes and generate electricity.

5. Nuclear: When a uranium atom breaks apart, it releases a lot of energy in the form of heat. This spins turbines to generate electricity.

  • No greenhouse gas emissions, but you’re left with nuclear waste.
renewable energy
Renewable energy
  • Hydroelectricity  using water from rivers to spin turbines.
  • Wind power  largest ones can generate enough power to supply 200-300 homes with electricity.
  • Solar energy  photovoltaic (solar) panels generate a current when they’re hit with sunlight.
  • Geothermal energy  capturing heat from inside the earth to generate electricity.
  • Tidal power  using the movement of water in tides to spin turbines.
reducing consumption
Reducing consumption
  • Minor changes: turning off lights or heating and using energy-efficient light bulbs.
  • Major changes:
  • Energy-efficient cars
  • Energy-efficient industries (released water vapour can heat building in winter)
  • Energy-efficient homes
renewable energy1
Renewable energy
  • So what types of classical energy sources exist?
  • What types of renewable energy sources exist?
  • Are there common problems between the two?
  • Ultimately, what can we do to reduce our carbon footprint?
food production
Food production
  • In order to keep up with the high food demand, we’ve had to revolutionize our agricultural practices.
  • This includes the use of machinery in growing and collecting food.
  • The main idea is mass production.
problems with mass production
Problems with mass production
  • Soil compaction: heavy machinery compacts the earth. This reduces arable land because the land doesn’t absorb water as easily.
  • Soil depletion: intense farming doesn’t give soil time to renew its supply of nutrients.
  • Fertilizers: chemicals can runoff into water supply.
  • Pesticides: can be very harmful to humans over time.
global food crisis
Global food crisis
  • Rising food prices all over the world:
  • Genetically-modified foods.