The Impact of Climate Change: "Climate has changed on all time scales throughout Earth's history. Some aspects of the current climate change are not unusual, but others are. The concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere has reached a record high relative to more than the past half-million years, and has done so at an exceptionally fast rate. Current global temperatures are warmer than they have ever been during at least the past five centuries, probably even for more than a millennium. If warming continues unabated, the resulting climate change within this century would be extremely unusual in geological terms. Another unusual aspect of recent climate change is its cause: past climate changes were natural in origin (see FAQ 6.1), whereas most of the warming of the past 50 years is attributable to human activities." See full text article at IPCC AR4 2007.
Sources: "Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Fourth Assessment Report Climate Change 2007," http://www.ipcc.ch/publications_and_data/ar4/wg1/en/faq-6-2.html Last accessed 1/5/2012.
The Impact of Climate Change: Pt. 1Go to video
The Impact of Climate Change: Pt. 2Go to video
The Impact of Climate Change: Pt. 3Go to video
Discovering Human Influence:Go to video
Source: Video clips: by Worldwide Media Home Video, www.mediahomevideo.com (select the Pt number to view); Discovering Human Influence: by EarthReport © TVE – Television for the Environment – http://www.tve.org, http://video.answers.com/discovering-human-influence-on-the-climate-change-495322304. All video clips are delivered via Answers.com.
"Climate change and forests are intrinsically linked. On the one hand, changes in global climate are already stressing forests through higher mean annual temperatures, altered precipitation patterns and more frequent and extreme weather events. At the same time, forests and the wood they produce trap and store carbon dioxide, playing a major role in mitigating climate change. And on the flip side of the coin, when destroyed or over-harvested and burned, forests can become sources of the greenhouse gas, carbon dioxide. ..." See the full text of the article at Food & Agricultural Organization (FAO)
Source: Food and Agriculture Organization of the United States - Forests and Climate Change http://www.fao.org/newsroom/en/focus/2006/1000247/index.html, Last accessed 1/5/2012; Image: "Forests Ecosystem Management: Basic Facts," by United Nations Environment Programme/DEWA/GRID-Geneva, July 2009, http://geodata.grid.unep.ch/download/Ecosystem%20Management%20-%20Forests.pdf, Last accessed 1/5/2012.
Agriculture can impact climate change in several ways. To the extent that farming replaces carbon sinks such as forests and grasslands, agriculture can contribute to carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. For livestock farming, particularly cattle, methane production is a concern – as methane is a potent greenhouse gas. Farming methods can influence the extent to which carbon sinks are maintained and the extent to which methane is produced and captured.
"Livestock are produced throughout the world and are a significant contributor to global methane (CH4) emissions. Methane, a greenhouse gas, is produced from the decomposition of livestock manure under anaerobic conditions. These conditions often occur when large numbers of animals are managed in a confined area (e.g., dairy farms, beef feedlots, and swine and poultry farms) where manure is typically stored in large piles or disposed of in lagoons. Nitrous oxide, also a greenhouse gas, is produced during the nitrification-denitrification of nitrogen contained in livestock waste." (Source: CH4 and N2O Emissions from Livestock Manure, IPCC. Last accessed 11/29/2012)
Source: Part X: Annex 1 Global maps, Livestock's Long Shadow: Environmental issues and options, Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. Rome, 2006.
"The impacts of climate change include too little water in some places, too much water in other places, and degraded water quality. Some locations are expected to be subject to all of these conditions during different times of the year. Water cycle changes are expected to continue and to adversely affect energy production and use, human health, transportation, agriculture, and ecosystems." See the full text article at United States Global change Research Program - Water Resources.
Source: United States Global change Research Program - Water Resources http://www.globalchange.gov/publications/reports/scientific-assessments/us-impacts/climate-change-impacts-by-sector/water-resources Last accessed 1/5/2012.
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Source: Illustration by J. Kleypas, S. Cooley, A. Dickson, and D. McCorkle, 2010. Frequently Asked Questions about Ocean Acidification, http://www.whoi.edu/OCB-OA/page.do?pid=40276&tid=441&cid=103589&ct=61&article=69327, Last accessed 1/5/2012.
"... Since the beginning of the industrial revolution, sea surface pH has dropped by about 0.1 pH units (corresponding to a 30% increase in the H ion concentration). The expected continued decrease may lead within a few centuries to an ocean pH estimated to have occurred most recently a few hundred million years before present (Caldeira and Wickett, 2003; Key et al., 2004; Box 7.3, Figure 1).
According to a model experiment based on the IPCC Scenarios 1992a (IS92a) emission scenario, bio-calcification will be reduced by 2100, in particular within the Southern Ocean (Orr et al., 2005), and by 2050 for aragonite-producing organisms (see also Figure 10.24). It is important to note that ocean acidification is not a direct consequence of climate change but a consequence of fossil fuel CO2 emissions, which are the main driver of the anticipated climate change. ..." See full text article at IPCC AR4 2007.
Source: "Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Fourth Assessment Report Climate Change 2007," http://www.ipcc.ch/publications_and_data/ar4/wg1/en/ch7s7-3-4.html Last accessed 1/5/2012.
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