Causes of Global Warming

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Geography: causes of global warming

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Causes of Global Warming
1 Natural causes of climate change
1.1 Variations in solar output
1.1.1 The sun emits varying amounts of solar radiation due to changes in its magnetic field. When magnetic activity is high, there is more sunspots leading to higher global temperature. A magnetic activity cycle lasts about 11 years.
1.2 Volcanic Eruptions
1.2.1 releases vast amounts of sulphur dioxide, dust and ash.
1.2.2 Reflects solar energy back into space, causing a reduction in the amount of sunlight Results in global dimming which cools the earth
1.2.3 Eg: Mt Pinatubo, Philippines erupted in 1991 released 17 million tonnes of sulphur dioxide forming sulphur-based particles that reflected solar energy back into space Temperature dropped by 0.6 degrees Celsius in the northern hemisphere Effect lasted 2 years
2 Enhanced greenhouse effect [human activities]
2.1 Burning of fossil fuels
2.1.1 Fossil fuels: oil, coal, natural gas formed from dead organic matter decomposed over millions of years
2.1.2 produces energy when burnt
2.1.3 releases carbon dioxide when burnt due to high carbon content
2.1.4 carbon dioxide is a greenhouse gas which traps heat
2.1.5 used for industries, transportation, domestic and commercial activites
2.1.6 provides 80% of world's energy
2.2 Deforestation
2.2.1 Forests absorb billions of tonnes of CO2 each year via photosynthesis
2.2.2 the removal of forests will thus lead to an increase in CO2
2.3 Changing landuse
2.3.1 Agriculture Rice cultivation tractors used to plough padi fields releases carbon dioxide inorganic fertilizer used releases nitrous oxide into the air waterlogged conditions required for growth of rice promotes the rapid decomposition of organic matter Cattle farming Cattle releases methane as waste gas Each cow emits 1000-8000 litres of methane each day
2.3.2 Industries production of goods and services secondary industries involve high usage of fossil fuels to generate power produces high emission of carbon dioxide
2.3.3 Urbanisation process by which an increasing number of people live in urban areas urban areas are densely populated and uses high amount of energy to support the high number of activities
3 How does climate change affect people?
3.1 Sea level
3.1.1 an increase in the mean height of the sea's surface between high and low tide glaciers melt water in the seas and oceans expand
3.2 more frequent extreme weather events
3.2.1 refers to a severe and rare weather phenomenon that results in significant economic losses and the loss of lives Eg: floods, droughts, heat waves, tropical cyclones
3.3 spread of infectious insect-borne diseases
3.3.1 increased temperature and rainfall could cause certain insects to thrive trive in aquatic habitats, resulting in the spread of malaria and dengue fever
3.4 lengthening of growing season in certain regions
3.4.1 higher temperatures may result in longer growing season might be good/bad for crop growth, affecting agricultural production
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