Throughout my years in school climate change was always one of the major topics of discussion. Chapter 8 gave me the opportunity to not only understand it but also figure out my stance on the matter. In chapter 8 I was able to get grasp on climate change because I was able to divide it up into three categories based off the book. The first categories are past climate. In past climate I was able to learn about Paleoclimatology, Dendrochronology, Coral reefs, Ice cores, and Pollen Data. The second categories were the Cause of Climate Change. In the Cause of Climate Change, it talked about Atmospheric Aerosols, Solar output fluctuations, Variations on Earth-Sun relations, Green house concentration, Feedback mechanisms, and the oceans. And finally, the third category I divided the chapter in to was Evidence of global warming, Consequences of global warming and how we can address the problem.
One of the things in chapter 8 is Paleoclimatology. This is defined as the study of climate conditions in the past. Scientists can use very detailed instruments to figure out climates from hundreds of years ago. This is important to know because it helps to better understand the history of the earth’s climate. Next thing that the chapter talked about was Dendrochronology, this is the understanding of environmental change, and the growth influenced by using three ring analysis from trees. I found this very interesting and important. It helps humans better understand the influence that the environment has had on not only just tree growth but plants in general. Another reason I found this very interesting is because we have the opportunity to learn how old a tree is. Furthermore, learning about Coral Reefs also gave me a better understanding of the earth. Coral Reefs are built in tropical ocean regions by massive colonies of small coral polyps. They’re very important for the protection of the coastline from the damaging effect of waves and other tropical storms. Aside from Coral Reefs, Ice Cores are also something of interest.
Ice Cores are long cylinder of glacial ice. This is done by drilling through glaciers in countries like Greenland, but also can be obtained in the high mountains. Ice cores can tell scientists direct climate information and the amount of layer of snow collected in a certain area over a period of time. As I continued, I learned that they provide direct atmospheric composition measurements. Ice cores can also provide very detailed data on past cataclysmic events such as major volcano eruptions, this research can provide crucial insight on how these events possibly changed the earth. The last past climate category was Pollen Data. Pollen Date is the study of fossil. Pollen date allows for us to preserve pollen from trees and other plants from the bottom of lakes and oceans. Also, this gives scientists the opportunity to determine which plants and tress lived where and why they’re no longer living there or how they adapt to certain climates. The analysis can be used to manipulate plant traits. All in all, I assessed that gathering data from samples has giving us a greater comprehension of how our past and present climate differ, in addition it has given us a detailed understanding how or earth has change and how certain aspect of the earth have been manipulated.
The second category that I broke chapter 8 into was the causes of climate change. In this category one of the first things it talks about is Atmospheric Aerosols, this comes from result of volcanic eruption or asteroid impact that eject particles in to the atmosphere. This can drastically affect the atmosphere because it can modify the size of cloud particles, in turn this will affect how the clouds reflect and absorb sunlight which then effect the earth’s temperature. Also, if an asteroid impact ejects a large amount of dust into the atmosphere it too can alter global climate significantly. Next, Solar Output Fluctuation are the sunspot activity related to the solar output. This has many effects on our atmosphere. One, it changes the rate of solar heating of the earth. Two, it changes the cloud forming process leading to major changes in the earth. Additionally, Variation in Earths-Sun rotation can also alter climate.
This is simply considered as the shape of earth’s orbit. This is significant because the earth receives almost all of its energy from the sun’s radiation. The earth’s rotation around the sun and the changing of the seasons is largely associated with the orientations of that rotation, as most people now the rotation of the earth around the sun is very vital. Greenhouse gas Concentration also play a big role climate change. When talked about in class and in the book, was ultimately defined as the process in which radiation from the earth’s atmosphere warms the planet’s surface. This was an important point brought up in the book. This is critical and alarming for there is evidence of CO2 increasing. The figures of this rise allow scientists and regular people know that the earth is warming, which will not only effect humans but also animals and plants, by studying this scientist can alarm people about the dangers and give out suggestions of how to reduce this ultimately eliminating it.
In addition, water vapor can also be considered as a greenhouse gas. An increase in water vapor can lead to an increase in cloud cover. If cloud cover increases it can lead to both cooling and warming throughout the year causing an uncharacteristic trait among our four seasons. Additionally, this chapter talks about Feedback mechanisms, this is thought to be any change in the environment positive or negative. Knowing if the earths feedback is positive or negative is very important because it lets us know what we can continue to do and what we should stop doing. Lastly, this category talked about Oceans, the oceans make up 71 percent of our planet’s surface and cover 95 percent of the space available to life. They too play an impactful role in climate change, although it’s not a direct impact. For example, as our earth continues to get warmer so does the ocean with the increase of CO2, so when the ocean gets warmer Core Reefs start to dye off and can no longer support health ocean habitat for animals that rely on them. Many people don’t realize the involvement of the ocean in climate change. A big example of this is how the ocean transforms energy from high to low altitudes patters. As the ocean changes our climate will be significantly altered.
In finally, the last category I broke the chapter up in to talks about how global warming exist. The first topic of Evidences of global warming, this spoke on the statistic that from 1995 to 2006 were recorded as the warmest years in history. This is something that we should all be concerned about because the earth is only going to get worse. Next is the consequences of global warming. The many consequences of global warming such as melting glaciers, early snowmelt, and many droughts across the world.
As well as that, the temperature will continue to increase by 4 degrees every decade which will causing sea levels to rise. This will cost many economic problems and can make permanent damages to the earth that we may never be able to fix or reverse. Next, to express potential solutions between industrialized nations. The Kyoto Protocol, which is an international treaty among industrialized nations that sets mandatory limits on greenhouse gas emissions. Another example would be as countries start to expand in the industrial infrastructures many of them will start to increase greenhouse gas output. There are now requirements in place for all countries to meet same emission reduction practices to help slower the amount of pollution. This preventative action will in turn ease the damages we’re doing to the environment.
In conclusion I learned a lot about global climate change from chapter 8 by breaking it up in to 3 categories, past climate, cause of climate change, and evidence of global warming. Each chapter taught me something very unique and different aspects of global warming and its very alarming. Now more alert and informed, I’m eager to learn how to better understand how to dress the problem we maybe be facing in the near future from the knowledge we’ve gained from the past.
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