Course Climate Change And Environment PDF
Climate change is the measurable increase in the average temperature of earth’s atmosphere, oceans and landmasses. Scientists believe earth is currently facing a period of rapid warming brought on by rising level of heat trapping gases known as greenhouse gases in the atmosphere.
|Course Climate Change And Environment PDF
These greenhouse gases occur naturally in the environment and also result from human activities. By far, the most abundant greenhouse gas is water vapour, which reaches the atmosphere through evaporation from oceans, lakes and rivers. Carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide, and ozone all occur naturally in the environment, but they are being produced at record levels by human activities.
Environment on the other hand can be defined as all the external factors affecting an organism. These factors may be either living organisms (biotic factors) or non-living variables (abiotic factors) such as temperature, rainfall, day length, wind, and ocean currents. The interaction of organisms with both biotic and abiotic factors forms an ecosystem. Even minute changes in any one factor in an ecosystem can influence whether or not a particular plant or animal species will be successful in its environment.
This course as it is conceived here has to do with having the knowledge of changes in climate as it affects the environment. Basically, we are talking of climate change and the environment by studying earth’s atmosphere, its surface, oceans, sun and problems facing the environment like global warming and depletion of the ozone layer in the atmosphere, the destruction of the world’s biomes and other factors.
2.What you will learn in this course:
This course guide tells you briefly what to expect from reading this course material. The study of climate change is important because climate has profound effects on vegetation and animal life; including humans. It plays significant roles in all human activities. Human in turn, can affect climate through the alteration of the earth’s surface and the introduction of pollutants and chemicals such as carbon dioxide into the atmosphere.
The history of earth climate will be looked into so as to help us reconnect past climatic events and trends with what is being observed presently and this can only be done by using a wide range of evidences that exist to reconnect earth’s past climate and such evidences can be reconnected through; meteorological instruments records, written documentation and descriptive accounts of the weather, physical and biological data.
The atmosphere is a mixture of gases of which nitrogen is the most abundant followed by oxygen, water, argon, carbon dioxide, neon, helium, methane, hydrogen, nitrous oxide and ozone. All these gases are essential to life, for instance, oxygen is used by man for respiration while plants need carbon dioxide (which is the end product of respiration by man) for photosynthesis, water vapour is needed for heat energy redistribution on earth surface as well as precipitation that falls to the earth surface as a result of water vapour condensation.
Apart from being a mixture of gases, the atmosphere also contains different layers that can be defined according to air temperature. These are: troposphere, stratosphere, mesosphere and thermosphere. We also have the ozone layer that is found between 10 – 50 km above the earth’s surface and it is in this layer that most atmospheric gases are concentrated.
Urban areas tend to be warmer than the countryside or rural areas because of industrial activities that take place in the urban areas. Also, climatologist have measured about 10 per cent more rainfall in urban areas and due to the concentration of industrial activities in the cities or urban areas, acid precipitation is rampant.
Atmospheric carbon dioxide variations, volcanic eruptions and variation in solar output are the three principal causes of climate change. All these lead to greenhouse effect which is the result from the interaction between sunlight and the layer of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere.
Because of pollution effects of burning of fossil fuel which resulted to global warming, man may rely on renewable energy resources from the sun and plants that are less pollutant to the environment. In an attempt by man to shift energy demand from burning of fossil fuel to that of bio-fuel, man will tend to destroy the vegetation and biomass of the world thereby creating other problems ranging from habitat destruction to plantand animal extinction.
After going through this course, you should be able to:
- state the factors that influence the distribution of temperature on the earth surface.
- explain what the atmosphere is composed of and its structure.
- explain the atmospheric effects on incoming solar radiation and processes by which the earth surface is being heated.
- describe the climate of urban areas as it affects temperature, rainfall and wind distribution around the cities.
- give an account of causes and effects of climate change as well as explaining how greenhouse effects work.
- explain the processes of energy formation by plants.
- explain the distribution of world biomass and how plant succession takes place.
- explain the causes, types and climatic influence of ocean currents.
- account for the factors affecting the environment.