1- LECTURE NOTES:
In half a page, explain what is the most significant factor contributing to climate change and what do scientists say about reversing our impact on climate with regard to this factor? What is your own opinion? according to current practices, can we reduce our impact and reverse climate change?
2- ECOLOGICAL/CLIMATE BALANCE IN YELLOWSTONE SHORT VIDEO
The video explains sequence of events /phenomena occurred in the ecosystem after introducing the wolves. In half a page, describe the most significant and unexpected change occurred as a result to brining back the wolves.
3- READING MATERIAL
Bohannon, J. (2010) confirmed the climate threats occurring for the Nile Delta, explain the most significant one and then, using chapter (6) by Gondo, T. (2013), suggest reasonable strategies to mitigate climate issue around the Nile Delta (this part should not be more than 1 page)
Global Environmental Crisis
March 6, 2018
Climate Change Notes
The most significant contributing factor to climate change is the pollution and emissions that are produce through human activity and industrialization. The leading emission is Carbon Dioxide, which is a product from combustion. Plants are able to omit carbon dioxide through photosynthesis to lower the abundance, but through deforestation we are lowering the efficiency due to the decrease amount of vegetation. Scientists explain since the industrial revolution; the planets overall temperature has risen almost 1 degree Celsius, along with the rise of Carbon Dioxide in the atmosphere at 400ppm. Climate change is absolute, many people choose to remain ignorant of its significance to conserve their non-sustainable life style. I believe once everyone recognizes the truth and how deeply impacted the earth is by our actions, we can then behave more sustainable and protect the earth from further pollution and ozone depletion, but at our current rate, it will not get better, only worse.
The reintroduction of wolves into Yellowstone has balanced out the eco-system’s resources for other animals. With elk having a lack of a predator, the reproduction has over populated the area causing an absence of vegetation for all species to consume, thus lowering the population of the wildlife as a whole. Bringing the wolf back to its native land has lowered slowed the rate of elk reproduction through predation, thus allowing vegetation to recover for all species to consume which raised the wildlife population. Not only that, but the rivers became more stabilized due to the growth of the vegetation consuming the water. Overall it was proven that wolves were a keystone species to Yellowstone before they over hunted by humans, and by reintroduction, they are able to balance and sustain the ecosystem for all.
The Nile River in Egypt currently faces a crisis with solutions that are double edged, due to previous government actions of building dams, the river level has been dropping, which creates erosion and is limiting nutritious deposits for agriculture. Although, building the dam has prevented local settlements from being destroyed due flash floods, as well as providing electrical power. Though flood has caused devastating destruction to the locals all throughout history, it is what been the reason why the shore’s is so rich and great for agriculture. But without the river overflowing, the minerals never get deposited into the land which prevents the growth in agriculture. Much of the aquatic life is being forced to feed off sewage for they are being cut from food that flows from the other side. I understand why the Mediterranean Sea is rising due the ice sheets melting, but what I do not understand in the reading is why Egypt is sinking. If you could perhaps explain it better to me in a response email, I would really appreciate it Professor Gohar. I believe the best solution in my own opinion is to relocate the local settlements to a safe distance from a flooding zone, and keep the dam built but allow a constant flow to keep the Nile moving, as well still have power generating for electricity to its citizens. This will also prevent still water, since some of the water does not ever reach the Mediterranean. Having a constant flow keeps the water from building up harmful bacteria and keeps the sewage from piling up in the river, which all results in possible hazards for multiple species. Unfortunately citizens may not enjoy having to travel the distance to tend to their crops, but realistically it is better than constantly having rebuild the settlements, or having no food to consume.
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1- Lecture Notes
Climate change has been brought on by human activities that contribute to the perturbed greenhouse gas effect. The greenhouse effect is a natural cycle within our planet’s atmospheric structure which keeps the earth’s average temperature suitable for life. Incoming solar radiation is either absorbed or reflected off of the earth’s surface. Reflected solar radiation turns into infrared radiation. This infrared radiation then travels back into the atmosphere where it has a chance to be bounced back towards the earth’s surface again, if it comes to contact with a greenhouse gas. Greenhouse gases are generally characterized by having three or more atoms capable of vibrating when they absorb heat. Therefore the greenhouse gases within our atmosphere act as a ‘blanket’ which traps some incoming heat and lets some go. The greenhouse gas effect is necessary for keeping our planet’s climate conditions suitable for liquid water to exist, which is the basis of almost all life on earth.
Unchecked industrial activity, since the dawn of the industrial revolution in the late 18th century, has contributed to humans throwing the greenhouse gas effect’s natural cycle off balance. Our economic system is dependent on constant growth, and constant growth within our economic system is often dependent on the exploitation of natural resources. Human activities have thus increased the concentration of greenhouse gases within our atmosphere, causing our planet’s natural systems to absorb more greenhouse gases than is optimal for climate stability. Increased emissions are responsible for rising global temperatures, as well as other climate change ills such as ocean acidification and an increase in extreme weather events. The environmental cost of conducting profitable economic activities such as oil drilling or logging is not accounted for in profit margins. Our primary methods of transportation are dependent on fossil fuels which increase the concentration of greenhouse gases in our atmosphere. Modern life is dominated by a culture of consumption and the pursuit of profit at the expense of a healthy ecology.
If we wish to remedy the effects of climate change and begin to make efforts to reverse the damage we have made to our ecology, then we must drastically cut greenhouse gas emissions. Our economic practices must begin to account for ecological degradation in the cost of doing business. Conversely, projects that promote ecological restoration should be backed by economic policy efforts of all world governments. We can no longer rely on fossil fuels to provide our energy. Efficient and environmentally friendly transportation could be one of the greatest challenges we will face, but is another important factor that must be addressed. There has been significant developments in the electric vehicle market; however, current renewable energy technologies do not exist in a form that is easy to transport in large quantity. Battery technology has a long way to go before it can be considered practical to power large tanker ships and cargo airplanes with electricity generated by wind and solar energy. Our society must focus on consuming and polluting much less than we currently do, if we are to seriously address the global environmental crisis which we are facing.
2- Ecological/Climate Balance in Yellowstone Short Video
Introducing the wolves back into their ecosystem revitalized the natural processes within their ecosystem, to the point of even stabilizing riverpaths. In their absence, the ecosystem lacked an important predator, causing the ecological cycle in that area to be slightly more unfavorable to biodiverse conditions. Reintroducing the wolves meant that they were able to once again perform their role within their ecosystem, and restore the ecological cycle which provides the most optimal conditions for a healthy ecology.
From this case we can observe how ecosystems are dynamic interwoven systems which are extremely sensitive to changes. Natural systems have been in place on this planet long before the anthropocene; so, by causing rapid changes to ecosystems, humans are altering natural processes that have been in place for hundreds of thousands of years.
3- Reading Material
The Nile Delta region is suffering from a downgrade in soil quality, paired with general ecological degradation in the area. This can largely be attributed to the damming of the river and an increase in urban developments in the surrounding region. Paired together, those two factors have significantly reduced the benefits which the region receives from its ecosystem services.
Mitigating this issue will require changes in how the dam is operated in addition to urban planning practices which promote healthy ecosystem services. The structure prevents farmland downriver from flooding properly, meaning the soil quality is significantly lowered for local crop production. Furthermore, this causes agricultural practices to become less ecologically friendly, as farmers opt increase their use of artificial fertilizers to make up for the lost soil quality. The dam can’t simply be shut down because it is the largest source of electricity in the region, thus countless people are dependent on its operation. Rendering the dam non-functional could revitalize the deltas ecosystem, but would leave millions of residents without power; thus, it is not a sound solution. Instead, the engineers responsible for the dam’s operation should consider altering flood patterns, bypass flow, and reservoir accumulation. Essentially, accounting for ecological stability over energy generation capacity. Unfortunately, this solution will decrease the abundance of electricity produced by the dam, and increase the price of electricity. However, that could potentially be mitigated by ramping up other renewable energy projects preferably backed by wind and solar energy.
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IR331 “Climate Change”
1. LECTURE NOTES
According to the lecture, climate change is a change in global or regional climate patterns, in particular a change apparent from the mid to late 20th century onward and attributed largely to the increased levels of atmospheric carbon dioxide produced by the use of fossil fuels. The significant factor contributing to the climate change is caused by human practices. I think like this because human activities will lead to another cause, like is greenhouse gas and that will gradually result in global warming. In detail of human practices, the process of burning coal, oil and gas will produce tons of carbon dioxide (CO2). Furthermore, human also cuts down forests that functions as absorbing CO2 from the atmosphere. So the excess amount of CO2 will remain in earth. As the solutions, foregoing fossil fuels will be an idea. It is difficult to eliminate the use of fossil fuels since human still relies on it. However, if human could quit using fossil fuels, climate change could be improved in certain aspect. We have to work on this in long term. In the short term, people can start by unplug when they are not using.
2. ECOLOGICAL/CLIMATE BALANCE IN YELLOW STONE
The most significant and unexpected change occurred as a result to bring back the wolves is that they actually give life to many others. In 1995, when the wolves were reintroduced in the Yellow Stone national park, it started to have a remarkable effect on radically changing the behavior of the deer, and also the rivers. The reduction and the change of their behavior regenerated the valley. Bare valley sides quickly became forest, as soon as that happen, the number of birds and other species started to increase. These change the shape of the land too. It is a physical geography. From this, it reminds us that natural food chain is essential when thinking of planning the landscape.
3. READING MATERIAL
According to the article written by Bohannon, J. (2010), the most significant climate threats for the Nile Delta is coastal erosion and subsidence. Hydroelectric dam causes this and changed life dramatically in the delta. The purpose of the dam was to deliver fresh sediments along with its fresh water. However, the dam blocks the sediments far upstream of Cairo, which resulted delta sinking. Bohannon says that 30% of the land is less than a meter above sea level. The cost of control is difficult because now that the Nile no longer floods the delta owing to the dam, but pollution in connective canals and coastal erosion are growing problems. Predicting the future location of Egypt’s coastline is especially complex because of the uneven sinking of the land. Furthermore, for the canals are polluted, the fellahin use this naturally filtered water for drinking. Now. A salt wedge is creeping in, rendering well water as far as 30 kilometers inland too salty to drink. From all above, it is obvious that artificial things cannot only make human life convenient, but also can make negative impacts.
For the reasonable strategies to mitigate climate issues around Nile Delta, Gondo, T. (2013) suggests using a climate lens in urban planning will certainly require better understanding of the problem context. In order to solve the issues in erosion and sinking, Egypt can refer to Ethiopia’s management strategies, which is trained by myriad of challenges that includes lack of integration with other policies, separation of planning, environmental agencies and the disaster management unit.
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Tina c. Adewunmi
Climate Change/Global Warming
1. LECTURE NOTE:
According to the lecture, climate change is a change in patterns, that describes an area’s long term atmospheric conditions, including temperature, precipitation, wind, humidity, barometric pressure, solar radiation, and other characteristics. The inter governmental panel on Climate Change reports that physical, biological, and economic evidence exists confirming global climate change due to human produced greenhouse gas. Although the United States emits most of Earth’s carbon dioxide, its environmental effects. The United States failed to ratify the Kyoto protocol, as an international agreement signed by other developed nations to reduce carbon dioxide emissions. However, requested on voluntary reductions of carbon dioxide emissions that have not been effective in reducing greenhouse gases. In revisions to the 1970 clear Air Act, called the “Clear skies initiative”, were proposed to limit mercury, nitric oxides, and sulfur oxide emissions from power plants. This proposal did not specifically address emission of carbon dioxide, and its loopholes precluded older power plants from modernizing, seemingly supporting polluting industries with political influence. Environmentalists are arguing for immediate action, including stricter laws to limit power plant carbon dioxide emissions and provide subsidies for renewable energy. They favor “portfolio standards,” requiring electric companies to provide clean energy alternatives to consumers and “green tags” Wind certificates and green pricing to support the use of alternative fuels. This shows United States should enact laws slowing global climate change because the major producer of greenhouse gases. Furthermore, if human begins can used fossil fuels, that will be an impression to climate change and it will improve certain work on long terms. If one factor contributing to U.S resistance to legal intervention regarding global climate change is the political influence of the petroleum, coal and automobile industries.
2. ECOlOGICAL/ CLIMATE BALANCE IN YELLOW STONE
In 1995, was the most significant and unexpected however, wolves were reintroduced to Yellowstone, this gave biologist a unique opportunity to study what happens when a top predator returns to an ecosystem. They were brought into manage the rising elk population that had been over grazing much of the national park. Their effect went far beyond that lightening struck and created a fire that spread because of high winds and a very big drought they didn’t plan on. It burned about 36% of national park. In fact, it was significant because that is what created the new policies and fire management. These change the shape of the land and it physical and unexpected changes occurred as a result to bring back wolves to geography life.
3. READING MATERIAL
According to the article watched in class, written by Bohannon, J. (2010), and the confirmed the climate threats for the Nile Delta rates of flu vial deposition exceeded rate of marine erosion for over thousands of years which change recently due to physical and human factors. Nil Deltas is one of the longest on the world with mean annual rainfall in catchment 600mm, average discharge is less than 30 km of salty drinking water. From predicting the future location of Egypt’s coastline is specifically complex due to pollution and irregular sinking land.
However, the purpose of the dam was to deliver fresh sediments along with flow originates in Ethiopia and from central Africa as far as south as Rwanda carries a huge sediment load. Sediment loads 30 per cent clay. Delta split into distributaries at Cairo, more than 160km inland was sinking as well. To understand the strategies to climate issues around Nile Delta, Gondo, T suggests that using a climate planning will cause many problem that including lack of environmental management.
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The most important factor that has contributed to climate change is Human practices. I believe that the burning of fossil fuels and other human activities are the main factor in climate Change. There is significant proof from scientists around the globe that have form a consensus that anthropogenic causes has contributed significantly to climate change. The most important is the ice cores that contained co2 that were extracted from Antartica and Greenland that can further testified to the changes in climate . From these ice cores you can measure the past concentration of gases like carbon dioxide and methane to help study climate variability through time. We can reverse some damage but not all it that has been caused but we must do a lot of work together with all nations of the world agreeing together for the reduction of greenhouse gases globally. This Idea of nations coming together to discuss laws, policies or agendas will help in the reversal and control in climate change.
2) The most significant change that the wolves did is the change in the rivers by eating the roaming deer the whole ecosystem started changing around them, birds, beavers and other species started come and accumulate in the area due to having more green space to eat and roam around. The rivers had less erosion due to the heavy vegetation near the banks. This change was very surprising to see in the video and to me the most impactful.
3)The most significant change in the nile river is that of coastal erosion caused by the creation of dams around the river. The dams provide energy to the surrounding areas but to a heavy cost due to the damage in the soil and nearby banks that has been caused through the years. The river is not overflowing causing minerals to get lost and not reach the soil that is in desperate need of them. This also hurts the agriculture of the area.
I believe that the best solution for this is the restitution of the deltas to its original state by either removing the dams and using alternative methods for power for the settlements like solar or wind.
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Since the industrial revolution, CO2 being released into the atmosphere has increased from the burning of fossil fuels to meet the energy and transportation needs of a growing population. With CO2 being a greenhouse gas, it acts like glass in a greenhouse and traps in the suns heat and prevents it from escaping out of the atmosphere, thus contributing to global warming. Not only has the burning of coal, oil and gas increased over the years, but deforestation removes trees that are vital to the regulation of climate by absorbing CO2 from the atmosphere and replacing it with oxygen. Unsustainable farming practices with heavy use of fertilizers and pesticides, along with an increased demand of livestock in factory farm situations are releasing addition greenhouse gases such as methane and nitrous oxide, which are far more effective at trapping in heat than CO2. Things that need to be done to reduce our impact on the environment are a shift from fossil fuels to clean energy on a global scale and to move away from a consumer society to a sustainable one. While switching to clean energy is possible, it will not be easy with the sheer size of the project along with political and existing corporate disputes along the way. Another huge challenge will be to educate everyone to live more sustainable and consume less. Just with practices such as consuming less, and using less, we could save on the amount of resources need to make products and all the energy that goes in to make them. Also, if more people were educated on the current impact of climate change, there would be more of a demand to move to cleaner alternatives and a more sustainable future.
Wolves in Yellowstone
One unexpected change was the amount of wildlife the wolves brought back to the ecosystem of Yellowstone. By reintroducing wolves, they were able to control the deer population that was growing out of control, grazing and trampling everything in the park. This allowed fields to grow back and even the chance for new trees to grow. With more trees and plants, birds, bears, beavers, and small rodents were all given an environment to thrive in again. Not only did wolves help other animals reclaim their place, but they also helped the structure of the rivers. With more vegetation allowed to grow, it made the banks of the river less susceptible to erosion and made for a more controlled river.
Some of the negative impacts the dam is having on the delta is coastal erosion and the compacting of delta soil called subsidence. Before the dam, the Nile had a natural process of delivering fresh sediment along with fresh water, but now with sediment being blocked by the dam the land is shrinking and being eroded away by the Mediterranean Sea. With the Mediterranean Sea due to rise from global warming and sea level rise, this intensifies the issues. Another problem is all water from the Nile is used up for irrigation of crops and doesn’t even make it to the sea. So, not only does the Nile not flood anymore and bring fresh sediment to replenish the soil, but no water is being allowed to seep down and replenish the aquifer. Instead salt water from the sea is intruding into the aquifer as a salt wedge and rendering well water too salty to drink. On top of all that, without annual floods, sewage, fertilizers and industrial waste are not flushed from the delta and the canals are too polluted to drink from. Of course, better urban planning practices will need to be implemented to further reduce the impacts of the dam, and environmental management needs to be heavily applied.
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1. Lecture Notes
According to the lecture, climate change is a change in global climate patterns which humans have been closely analyzing an increase in since the late 20th century till present day. Climate change is largely brought on by an increase of many things such as carbon dioxide produced by the use of fossil fuels, and evidence has time and time again proven that climate change has been amplified by human activity. CO2 is a greenhouse gas that is contributing to almost 64% of global warming today since CO2 is a greenhouse gas, it will get trapped in the planets lower atmosphere which. Along with CO2, there are more greenhouse gasses that are put into the atmosphere as well as methane, and nitrous oxide. It is safe to say that the most significant factor that is contributing to climate change is human activity and practices. The increase of livestock farming of cows and sheep release methane into the atmosphere, deforestation, and the burning of coal and oils are all the recipes for the disaster we call climate change. Scientists believe that the increases in temperature will lead to dangerous and catastrophic phenomena’s in our Earth. We can reduce our impact and reverse climate change if we work towards making drastic changes, such as reducing gas emissions, enforcing more policy, have a bigger push on educating the population on the severity of climate change, and dramatically reducing the need to cut down forests. Especially the education, we need to promote sustainable living and express the positive impacts of sustainable goods.
2. Reintroducing Wolves
The video was extremely interesting to learn how one animal would have such a large impact on the ecosystem of the Yellowstone national park. It was surprising and unexpected to see how the wildlife transformed once the wolves were reintroduced back into the ecosystem and how all sorts of animals were brought back into the Yellowstone parks. Animals such as mice, rabbits, sea otters, ravens, hawks were all starting to thrive once again once the wolves were reintroduced, as well as the deer population was controlled.
3. Reading Material
The Delta Nile is, unfortunately, experiencing a great deal of coastal erosion and subsidence, which is affecting the delta’s soil. The Nile is home to almost 50 million people and because of global warming; sea levels are beginning to increase, meaning that 2050 almost one-third of the delta might suffer a great loss. It is unfortunate to see how the dams that were created decades ago was for the intention to provide electricity and control flooding to protect all the people who were living in these areas, and now we see the dams being the primary cause of the destruction of the Nile. As in, the dams are now blocking sediments, and as a result, the delta is sinking leaving an almost 30 percent of the land above sea level. John Bohannon explains in this article explains how Egypt and the United Nations are trying to launch a five-year strategy to devise plans to protect the delta from the rising sea levels. From the reading of chapter 6 by Tendayi Gondo, suggestions that would help the Delta Nile’s problems include research and policy action. It is important for proper planning in cities in developing areas, creating climate analysis maps and having strong climate planning in order to avoid disasters.
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1- LECTURE NOTES:
The most significant contributor to climate change in the past two hundred years has been the release of greenhouse gases by humans into the atmosphere. Greenhouse gases are a collection of gases in the atmosphere that absorb and redirect outgoing heat back to the Earth’s surface, causing temperatures to rise. Although they are helpful to life on Earth in moderation, recent human activities such as the burning of fossil fuels and deforestation have caused an increase in carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide, and fluorinated gases. The average global temperature has risen in the past two centuries by about 0.85°C, and carbon emissions from fossil fuels are estimated to have caused over 80% of this change. Fortunately this presents a direct solution: reducing use of fossil fuels will effectively curb global warming. Unfortunately this direct solution is not nearly being put into action on a broad enough scale. Legislation concerning carbon emissions, if it exists at all, is generally not restrictive enough to reverse climate change in time. And individual contributions, such as buying an electric vehicle or shopping locally, are too few and far between, as well as often being impossible for lower-income citizens.
2- ECOLOGICAL/CLIMATE BALANCE IN YELLOWSTONE SHORT VIDEO
Wolves were re-introduced to Yellowstone National Park after being absent from the ecosystem for 70 years. They were brought in to control the deer population, which had grown to an obnoxious level. Not only did they control the deer by killing some of them, but they also changed the behavior of the deer, which in turn affected the entire landscape. Deer began to avoid valleys, where they were easy prey. Land that had been stripped clean of vegetation, increasing erosion and reducing the number of ecological niches for birds, beavers, and rabbits was allowed to grow trees and bushes without hindrance from deer. The new plant life allowed more different kinds of animals to live, but it also unexpectedly changed the hydrology of the region. The rivers in Yellowstone became more stable, due to regenerated forests on the river banks. Instead of an unsettled, collapsing river, it became a reliable habitat for river species.
3- READING MATERIAL
The Nile Delta is greatly threatened by sea level rise in the coming century. Situated on the coast of the Mediterranean sea, it faces the same threat that all coastal communities do in the coming years, but water management practices have worsened the problem. The Aswan High Dam was built on the Nile in 1970, providing hydroelectricity for Egypt and controlling the frequent flooding of the river. At the time, it was not considered an environmental threat, but the massive amounts of sediment that the river used to carry to the Delta are sorely missed. As sea levels rise, the ground is sinking. The government is attempting to create a new place for farmers to live, on higher land with less danger of succumbing to the sea. However, creating an artificial oasis in the middle of the desert is expensive and often unsustainable. Other attempts to mitigate the crisis include building artificial wetlands and dunes. Currently scientists find it difficult to predict how fast-approaching the issue is, and aren’t sure what the best steps are to take. Relocation seems inevitable, however, since access to fresh water is also being compromised with sea level rise. Developing new farmland and cities away from the coast may be worth the investment, but only if it is approached with environmental impacts and resilience as the most crucial factor. Haphazard, unresearched construction will likely lead to similar environmental crises in the future, even if inhabitants are safe from sea level rise. A well-planned, efficient infrastructure is crucial to the health of any new city Egypt builds.
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Today we know that the question on Climate Change is much more complex, risky, and closer to us: there are many apparent signs of the changing climate. The we live in is warming and will continue to warm up in the coming decades. Human activities, in particular the burning of coal, gas, and oil, are the main cause. Floods, droughts, heat waves, or what experts call extreme events, are intensifying in different parts of the world and in an irregular way and jeopardizing the idea of stability we are accustomed to: we need to recognize that it could destroy our communities, bring a drastic economy damage to people and the entire production systems as we have today. Men are steadily increasing the influence on the climate and the earth’s temperature with activities such as burning fossil fuels, deforestation and livestock breeding. All of these activities add a huge amount of greenhouse gases to those already and naturally present in the atmosphere, intensifying the greenhouse effect and thus global warming (European Commission, 2017). In my opinion, the most contributing factor to Climate Change and Global Warming is human action. Every single change in the climate can be connected to our negligent actions.
According to 97% of climate scientists, current climate changes are mainly caused by human activity, despite a stubborn minority who insist on supporting the contrary by going against the evidence provided. The identification of the causes of global warming is studied through global climate models that use our physical knowledge of the functioning atmosphere, the ocean, and other parts that make up the climate system. All these models attribute to human action, and in particular to the emission of greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide (CO2) connected with the increase in temperatures in the last half century. Since these models are very similar to each other, Italian scientists and researchers Pasini, Racca, Amendola, Cartocci and Cassardo, have created and shown a new model: this model is able to demonstrate how models of networks of artificial neurons, the so-called neural networks, are able to understand the complex relationships between the various human or natural influences and climate behavior. The researchers compared this model to a brain of a child – adjusting to his neural circuits and learning simple rules of cause and effect relationships that regulate the environment where he lives, to live harmoniously in it. The model they developed works in a similar way: this artificial “brain” has studied the available climatic data and has found the relationships between natural or human factors on climate changes. These are the findings, which confirmed my previous thesis: the fundamental cause of global warming over the last 50 years is the increase in concentration of greenhouse gases, mainly due to our fossil combustion and deforestation (Pasini, Racca, Amendola, Cartocci and Cassardo, 2017). Nevertheless, this is not a negative point: this means that we can act to limit our emissions and deforestation, consume consciously and less, and use new technologies and infrastructure to use renewable sources of energy.
This does not mean that we are the only ones changing the ecosystem and the climate. A great example is shown by what occurred in Yellowstone National Park in the United States with the reintroduction of Grey Wolves in the Lamar Valley in 1995. One usually thinks that wolves kill various species of animals, however, by doing so, they are able to give life to many others. While these wolves were not in the park, the population of deer grew and started to reduce much of the vegetation. With the reintroduction of the wolf, they not only killed a number of deer, but they also altered their behavior. Deer started to avoid certain parts of the park, leaving the vegetation to regenerate. This showed an enormous impact on the biodiversity of the park. Many new animals started to increase – birds, beavers, otters, fish, reptiles, amphibians, rabbits, mice, hoax, ravens, bold eagles, and bears. However, the most unexpected change that occurred is the change of the rivers. The regenerating forest and increased vegetation and stabilized the banks of the river. This is illustrative of the phenomenal balance of our natural eco-system.
The following example illustrates how human alteration of the eco-system affects not only the natural habitat of living organism and of the flora and fauna, but it also affects the livelihood of people and civilizations. This is shown by what is happening in Egypt. Egypt is a narrow strip of land between two deserts. Thanks for the water of the Nile River, which it stretches along 1500 kilometers, the land was and is made fertile and easy to cultivate. However, the government created a hydroelectric dam at the delta of the Nile. In the area around the delta, the lives of the population drastically changed, providing electricity and flood control. What people did not take into account are all the major threats from the creation of this dam. The fresh sediments that used to be carried with the water flow have been stopped by the dam, creating almost unfertile the land upstream of Cairo. This lack in fresh sediments, which helped the bed of the river, created a condition where the banks of the river are eroding, resulting into a sinking of the delta. The most significant threat of this occurring is that sea level rising and the problems created by the dam, brought to coastal erosion of the territory. By using Tendayi Gondo’s suggestions, what it needs to be done, to prevent such disastrous planning, destroying territory and populations, is to follow the strategies of “anticipating design” and “ robust decision making among others”. All the pros and cons need to be addressed with all the populations that might be affected by certain decisions. Ultimately, it is crucial to acknowledge that every action that we take, either small or big, has its consequences in the eco-system and its biodiversity, which in result affects both our livelihood and the one of every single living organism in the planet Earth.
• Abrantes, R. (2017, August 13). How Wolves Change Rivers. Retrieved from https://ethology.eu/how-wolves-change-rivers/
• Bohannon, J. (2010). The Nile Deltas Sinking Future. Science. Retrieved from https://globalenvironmentalcrisis.files.wordpress.com/2018/02/8_bohannon2010climatechniledelta.pdf.
• European Commission. (2017, June 28). Causes of climate change. https://ec.europa.eu/clima/change/causes_en
• Gondo , T. (2013). Adaptation for climate change. Comparative Urban Land Use Planning,84-100. https://globalenvironmentalcrisis.files.wordpress.com/2018/02/8_gondo2013climatechadaptation.pdf
• Pasini, A., Racca, P., Amendola, S., Cartocci, G., & Cassardo, C. (2017, December 15). Attribution of recent temperature behaviour reassessed by a neural-network method. https://www.nature.com/articles/s41598-017-18011-8
• Sustainable Man (2014, February 14). “How Wolves Change Rivers” produce. Narrated by George Monbiot. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ysa5OBhXz-Q
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Blog 7 Climate Change
1- LECTURE NOTES:
Historically, there have been natural cycles in the Earth’s climate because of naturally occurring greenhouse gases; however, anthropogenic activity has accelerated climate change. Human impact on the environment has significantly influenced climate change with the use of fossil fuels such as coal, oil and gas. These sources of energy produce carbon dioxide and nitrous oxide which have caused a consistent increase in global warming. According to climate scientists, in order to mitigate our impact on the climate we need to eliminate the use of fossil fuels in our production processes, energy and transportation needs. Although we need to shift from fossil fuels to renewables, the challenge will be developing nations’ desire to develop through traditional energy sources. The developed nations believe they have a right to develop. I agree that developed nations have a right to economically grow. Currently, I do not think that developed nations will be able to completely forgo the use of fossil fuels, but I do think they could implement the use of renewable energies in order to further develop their countries.
While developed nations have had a large amount of economic growth through the use of fossil fuels, I believe that developed nations should reduce their consumption levels by a significant amount and transition toward renewable energy. By developed nations reducing our consumption, this would lead to a reduction in our dependency on fossil fuels because we would use less energy, purchase less material goods, and lessen transportation needs.
2- ECOLOGICAL/CLIMATE BALANCE IN YELLOWSTONE SHORT VIDEO
Ecosystems and physical geography can be greatly influenced by certain species. For instance, the reintroduction of wolves in Yellowstone National Park had a significant impact on that area because the wolves had indirect interactions with the entire ecosystem. While the wolves preyed on species such as deer, they also facilitated life, as shown in the video, “How Wolves Change Rivers”, the video explained that the deer in the area had greatly reduced the vegetation. Once wolves were reintroduced into the ecosystem, they were able to control the deer population along with keeping deer away from certain areas to evade their predators. Since the wolves killed deer and kept deer away from certain areas in the park, they allowed for the regeneration of plant species which improved biodiversity and population sizes of other species. For example, aspen and willow trees began to grow which increased songbird and beaver populations and improved niches. An unexpected change in the area was the behavior of rivers. The regeneration of forests stabilized the river banks because the vegetation allowed for less erosion near river banks.
3- READING MATERIAL
As climate change intensifies, the Nile Delta will be increasingly affected. One of the concerns Egyptians face because of climate change is rising sea levels as coastal erosion increases on Egypt’s coastline. In the article, “The Nile Delta’s Sinking Future,” by John Bohannon, Bohannon explains that scientists predict the Mediterranean Sea will rise due to global increase in sea level (Bohannon, 5). Specifically, scientists have forecasted between 0.2 and 2 meters of sea-level rise. As the subsidence of the land increases the issue of sea-level rise becomes more severe for Egyptians.
In the reading, “Climate change adaptation through sound land use planning,” by Tendayi Gondo, Gondo explains that urban populations need to integrate land use planning into urban design. These approaches consist of inter-governmental and multiple disciplines which include science and urban planning. In addition to this, urban populations will need to integrate public and private land management. I agree with Gondo in regards to public management of land. As mentioned by Bohannon, hotels and apartment buildings were built near the coast of the Nile Delta, which I think does not benefit the people of Egypt and puts inhabitants at risk. The people of Egypt should participate in the decision-making processes of land use planning to build a resilient and sustainable environment along the Nile’s Delta.
Bohannon, J. (2010). The Nile Deltas Sinking Future. Science. Retrieved from https://globalenvironmentalcrisis.files.wordpress.com/2018/02/8_bohannon2010climatechniledelta.pdf.
Gondo , T. (2013). Adaptation for climate change. Comparative Urban Land Use Planning,84-100. https://globalenvironmentalcrisis.files.wordpress.com/2018/02/8_gondo2013climatechadaptation.pdf
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As discussed in the lecture notes, greenhouse gases (primarily CO2) which trap the Sun’s radiation within the biosphere are the primary cause of global climate change. These increased radiations are the reason for glacier melts, landslides, and record-setting wildfires. While there are several causes for human-produced CO2, I believe the primary factor that contributes to this is the burning of coal, oil and gas. Most of the world still produces electricity through the burning of coal, even more than that the world burns oil to power their cars.
When wolves were re-introduced to Yellowstone Park in the 1990’s, a trophic cascade occurred resulting in a dramatic change in lifestyle for all animals within the ecosystem. The wolves were introduced to help slow the reproduction and decrease the population of deer in the park, which were quickly depleting the region’s vegetation due to their unchecked population. Quickly, the deer modified their behavior so that they would avoid parts of the park where they could be hunted easily by wolves. This led to a remarkable growth spurt for the vegetation in the regions the deer avoided, which led to more birds living in these regions and beavers, which created dams, resulting in more animals living in the rivers that the beavers engineered. Pretty soon, these regions experienced immense biodiversity and supported many different life forms. And perhaps most important for the park, the increased vegetation helped the rivers to flow more easily and consistently. This is how the wolves managed to completely revolutionize the habitats of all animals within the park.
Bohannon’s article focuses around the damming of the Nile River and the negative environmental fallout as a result of these actions. The author states that the damming of the river has resulted in many regions of (and around) Cairo sinking due to sediment erosion caused by damming of the river, possibly to the point of being below sea level. Scientists are claiming that, should the Nile rise by a meter (which it is projected to by 2050 as a result of global warming), many of these regions near the city could be lost due to the water.
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1.) The most significant factor contributing to climate change is fossil fuels. By burning coal, oil, and natural gas, we are adding tons of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere, further trapping heat. The average person doesn’t even realize how they are using fossil fuels everyday, which makes it hard to cut down on consumption of the fuels. Everytime we drive a car, even if it is an electric car, there are fossil fuels used to power that car, there were fossil fuels used to get the fuel to the car, and fossil fuels used to create the car. With our food choices, there are fossil fuels used to grow, harvest, and transport the food. For every business, corporation, public and private entity, electricity is used which is most likely generated from fossil fuels. Scientists are saying that we need to greatly reduce our CO2 emissions, and they know that the increased CO2 in the atmosphere is due to human activity. I don’t think that problem is how much energy we are consuming, but rather the form of energy that we are consuming. Since as humans we are most likely not going to cut down on consumption, then we need to change the source of the energy that we are consuming from fossil fuels into renewable energy sources. If we ran completely off of renewable energy sources, we could drastically decrease the amount of greenhouse gases trapped in the atmosphere and help lessen the effects of climate change. Based off of our current fossil fuel dependence, I don’t think that we can reduce our impact and reverse climate change. I think that we are moving too slow, and that major change needs to happen right now if we want to prevent the worst case scenario, which we don’t even know of at this time. I do, however, think that we are moving in the right direction towards more renewable energy sources, we just need to move more rapidly to make major changes.
2.) With the reintroduction of the wolves into Yellowstone, I feel like every single change was unexpected. I feel like the most unexpected change was the changing of the rivers, due to smaller changes. When you hear it in the video, it makes sense how everything changed, but you wouldn’t necessarily think that reintroduction of the wolf would have had an effect. Because the wolf population helped to regulate the deer population, and then many shrubs and trees that the deer had overgrazed began to grow back. When the trees and plants and shrubs grew back, then birds became more populous and beaver populations grew. The wolves ate the coyotes, which allowed for more rabbits to survive. Also, because more shrubs were growing, bear populations grew because there were more berries to eat. Another impact of the trees and plants growing back was that the soil became more absorbent, and rivers and streams started to come back because valleys weren’t flooding. This video is really eye opening, and shows that when you pull on one string in nature, the rest of the world moves with it.
3.) I think one of the most significant climate threats that will affect the Nile Delta is sea level rise. If sea level does rise 1 meter by 2050 as expected, then 30% of the Nile Delta’s land surface would be covered with water. This would be catastrophic for the 50 million people who occupy the area, because not only would their homes be flooded, but also their crops, farms, and workplaces. The infrastructure around the area would be completely destroyed, and the economy would most likely crash, not to mention many people losing their lives due to flooding, loss of food and shelter, and loss of economic means of providing for themselves. A strategy for mitigating the effects of climate change on the region as suggested from Gondo would be “the integration of public and private land management.” As stated by Bohannon, much of the Nile Delta’s waters have been diverted to irrigate crops by local fellahin. However, due to a lack of knowledge about the area’s water regulations and a lack of enforcement by the government, a large percentage of the wells in the Nile Delta have are illegal. If more public and private entities worked together to legally and sustainably irrigate the land, perhaps the region could mitigate the effects of floods, water waste, and soil erosion that is expected with climate change. Bohannon also suggests that city planners incorporate sound use planning with climate change as the main driving factor. As the Nile Delta region has a population that is growing by an average of a million people per year, city planners must constantly be adding new structures to the city to support the expanding population and should plan these new structures by incorporating sustainable design while also preparing for the effects climate change.
Greenhouse gases are the most significant human related factor contributing to climate change. The burning of fossil fuels such as oil and coal produce carbon dioxide, which is the largest human contributor to greenhouse gases. Scientists recommendations for reducing fossil fuel emissions range from minor to large scale changes we can make. On the small scale, scientist recommend strategies like reducing consumption and increasing efficiency. If people lower their consumption of products, less fossil fuels will be used due to less production. If efficiency is increased in things like building construction, roads, and vehicle usage there will also be a reduction in fossil fuel usage. Large scale recommendations for reducing greenhouse gases include completely replacing fossil fuels with renewable energy sources. In my opinion, some reductions can be made in fossil fuel usage through reductions in consumption and increased efficiency, but believe we are unlikely to see any of the large scale recommendations implemented in the near future. Small scale efforts that increase efficiency generally mean increased savings for people and just make sense. On the other hand, there is currently no form of renewable energy capable of replacing fossil fuels. Any movement to replace fossil fuels as an energy source would result in increased energy cost. Therefore, I do not believe fossil fuels will be replaced until there is a cheaper alternative.
Ecological Balance in Yellowstone
Bringing back wolves to Yellowstone brought on a trophic cascade that saw many changes to the parks ecosystem. Reintroducing wolves to the park created changes in the deer populations behavior. Being afraid of the wolves, the deer avoided grasslands where they were vulnerable to attack. As a result, grasslands by the river began to regenerate. The return of the grasslands brought on a return of birds, beavers, and tree growth. However, the most surprising result was how returning the wolves changed the river system. As grass and trees strengthened the river banks, the river system began to flow in a more natural way, because erosion was reduced. The unexpected result of changing the river system by returning wolves to Yellowstone shows just how much one thing can change an entire ecosystem
The most significant threat faced by the Nile Delta is sea level rise from climate change. Damming of the Nile river has reduced sediment flows to the Nile Delta. As a result, the delta has experienced increased erosion as sediment is not replenished by the river. Deterioration of the Nile Delta coupled with the expected sea level rise of climate change could lead to increased flooding and further erosion of the delta. Therefore, the region will need to work towards mitigating further degradation of the delta and plan for the likely negative effects of climate change.
Tearing down the dam would be one strategy for countering erosion taking place in the delta. Removal of the dam would restore the river and sediment flows back to a natural state. However, due to the positive benefits of the dam this is unlikely to happen. The dam provides flood control, water for irrigation, and electricity. Sense removing the dam is not a likely option, other strategies will need to be adopted.
The region will need to identify risk and hazards that are associated with climate change and sea level rise. Even if the Nile River was allowed to flow freely, damage to the delta is already done and it would take years for the delta to recover. Therefore, areas at risk from sea level rise need to be identified, so planning for future development won’t include at risk areas. Furthermore, future planning will need to include all stakeholders involved in development to be successful. In my opinion, this can be best accomplished by educating the public on the negative effects of climate change and how those effects can be mitigated. If people understand the risk of climate change and why they should not build in certain areas, I think it will make the job of enforcement of environmental policy much easier for the government. Similarly, if people understand the benefits of having open spaces and green areas, it will be easier to incorporate such spaces into development without those areas being illegal used.
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Since the industrialization of humankind, studies with backed evidence have shown a dramatic increase in greenhouse gases and also have made several ties with increased emissions to climate change of our generation. For decades, humans have been producing emissions such as carbon dioxide into the air which is a necessary process in the development of human goods and products. Because of the global industrialization our planet has experienced, carbon emissions are at an all time high which places greater strain on climate change explained in processes such as the greenhouse effect. Although our planet has a natural method of managing carbon levels in the atmosphere through several means such as plant processes, humans have long practiced deforestation which further contributes to the greenhouse effect and global warming. Although action has been taken by humanity to negate or soften the effects of these processes, little change has been made as they are such integral practices for human happiness. Therefore, it is assumed that the most significant factor contributing to change would be human activity as it has been proven that our various habits such as carbon emission and deforestation have directly lead to an increase in the planet’s greenhouse effect which in turn greatly impacts global climate change. Scientists have concurred that green energy practices such as solar and wind energy can help offset the impact of carbon emissions; however, further research and development is necessary before humanity can fully move away from producing energy without any carbon emissions at all. As a resident of planet Earth, my hope is that regardless of what statistics say, I believe that humanity can change for the better to save our planet and ourselves. Recent trends have shown to favor environmental practices such as government carbon emission caps to prevent companies from producing overloading levels of carbon emissions and electric cars like those produced by Tesla. If human beings have the tenacity to cause an industrial revolution, then it is my believe that we can also cause an environmental revolution as well.
2-Yellowstone Short Video:
The most significant and unexpected change as a result or reintroducing wolves to the Yellowstone area would be that wolves actually facilitate life from other organisms contrary to the idea that wolves would kill many animals in the area they inhabit. It used to be that deer would have free reign of the area which lead to them consuming most of the vegetation of the area. Since the introduction of the wolfs, deer populations have changed their eating habit which has lead to rehabilitation of certain land plots. This in turn invited various smaller species to inhabit these rejuvenated lands as they had resources which the deer had previously depleted. Even further, the rivers themselves actually changed as a result of the wolves because of stabilization due to the rejuvenated land. This goes to show that all life in specific communities are connected and even one small introduction can lead to a ripple effect throughout the whole ecosystem.
There are various factors which influence the climate of the Nile Delta, but none are more pressing than the threat of coastal erosion seen prevalently in the area. Before, the Nile itself would distribute fresh sediments along with fresh water through the river. However, due to the development of the dam most of those distributed sediments now get stuck upstream near Cairo. This has caused the delta to collapse with it sinking a centimeter every year. The Nile is an integral part of land as practically all of its water is used for human processes such as irrigation. With the dam being such an integral part of the energy of the region, there is little chance of it being shutdown. Some reasonable strategies to reduce the climate issues around the Nile Delta would be to apply a climate lens during the beginning stages of urban planning to better watch out for impending environmental dangers that may stem from development.
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Climate change is every day increasing across the world. Specialized scientists believe that we humans are the first responsible for the 40% increase in the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere that’s mainly causing global temperatures to rise. Especially advanced economies, where our well-being seems to be every time more dependent on things containing or requiring CO2 for its production, this is the leading danger. Deforestation and consumption of fossil fuels, among others, are the principal human activities fostering this phenomenon, and also the activities that we most urgently need to decrease practicing. Among the solutions proposed by experts in this field there also is the investment on better infrastructure that help reduce the waste of fossil fuels we already consume, by allowing better insulation of enclosed spaces with improved wall materials, or making cars be more efficient building better roads. On our part, we must first reduce our use of private or heavily consuming transportation means. The use of public transportations must be enforced, as well as the use of harmless vehicles like the bike as a way to go to work more often when the geography allows us to. Second, stop consuming so much and being so careless about how much we individually waste. We must try to stop climate change in every small activity of our daily life, from choosing what we eat by attending at the processes required for its production, to switching off and unplugging every device we stop using. If we want to do a greater effort, population growth is also a driving factor, so considering having fewer kids is an option. Nevertheless, at this point I believe the damage done is not reversible. It can be reduced the pace at which we are increasing global warming, if we really do all the suggestions above. However, seeing all the conflicts of interests in the society with regard to this, as well as our dependence on fossil fuels, it is hard to believe that reversion is possible.
The reintroduction of wolves in the Yellowstone National Park in the US had remarkable effects in the environment. Firstly, by reducing the number of deers that had increased after their absence, as well as changing their behavior to a more alert one, the wolves contributed to the regeneration of some parts of the forests, such as the valleys, that had been damaged because of their excessive presence and consumption of the vegetation. Secondly, as a result of a healthier vegetation, birds increased in number, as well as other species like beavers, that at the same time fostered new species to grow. Also, wolves killed coyotes, provoking the resurgence of mice, or rabbits, or foxes and their eventual predators (hawks) and scavengers. And finally, they affected geography. By allowing vegetation to improve and grow, this affected the behavior of the rivers, which defined better their course, and decreased soil erosion.
In the Nile Delta, the High Dam constructed more than 50 years ago is now posing a real danger to the stability of the Delta. It is compacting the soil beneath it and sinking it deeper as time passes. This combined with the fact that global warming is causing the Mediterranean sea level to increase and its waters to reach higher temperatures poses the threat of losing one third of the current Delta. Besides, the levels of global warming in this specific area are uncontrolled due to the excessive population and the type of industrial activities carried out there, a fact that is reinforced by government efforts of populating the area. Experts predict between 0.2 and 2 meters of increase in the sea level. Anywhere between 1 and 2 meters represent an actual threat to the Delta. After the construction of the dam, the subsidence of the delta has been increasing. This is the major problem now.
The strategies proposed by Gondo to fight climate change around the Nile Delta consists on fostering climate change responsive urban space by means of sound land use planning. He focuses on the need of cities to boost their resilience and adaptive capacity, although he acknowledges the problems that Ethiopia has in order to seriously implement changes. As other developing countries, commitment to climate change is difficult and not credible, there is a significant lack of organization, and there is not enough scientific knowledge in place to make effective action.
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1. Lecture Notes
Climate change is occurring because of increased levels of carbon dioxide in the earth’s atmosphere mainly due to human activity. Through human activities such as: burning (coal, oil, gas), deforestation, livestock farming, and using fertilizers, these activities produce greenhouse gases that attribute to sixty-four percent of global warming. This works when concentrations of these greenhouse gases in our atmosphere are trapped along with the sun’s heat and creates a greenhouse effect. Since the pre-industrial era we have had a temperature increase of two degrees centigrade and scientists believe this will inevitably lead to catastrophic changes. Scientists have suggested various ways to help reverse our impact by eliminating the use of fossil fuels, replacing fossil fuel, upgrading infrastructure, being more effective with energy, and consuming less (to name a few). I feel there is more awareness now about effective practices for reversing climate change than there has been for decades, but I feel it will progress at a much more gradual pace than we hope for. I feel technology is evolving rapidly and that is both beneficial and detrimental. Current human practices lead me to believe it will be quite difficult to reverse climate change, but that doesn’t mean we can’t be more proactive and change our old ways.
2. Ecological/Climate Balance in Yellowstone Short Video
For as long as the wolves have been absent in the Yellowstone area, bringing them back changed the physical geography of the area and most importantly its rivers. The wolves changed the ecosystem in the area by killing deer which changed the behavior of deer in that area and allowed for that environment to regenerate itself. This led to more diverse species inhabiting the area in addition to more trees, forests, vegetation, and eventually more fixed rivers. Rivers are a significant part of the wolves coming back to Yellowstone, because of the issue of erosion that was occurring. Wolves play an important role in changing the ecosystem as well as the physical geography of Yellowstone.
3. Reading Material
Scientists believe the Aswan High Dam is responsible for coastal erosion causing the Nile Delta to sink to a lower level. Before the dam, the Nile had fresh sediments and fresh water that would treat such issues, but the dam has since interrupted those natural processes. Meanwhile, the Mediterranean Sea is rising at the same time due to global warming. According to Gondo, sound land use planning will help as a strategy for climate change adaption. I believe this would require the cooperation of the Egyptian government, scientists, and the United Nations to settle this debate once conclusive research allows them to do so.
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The most important factor causing climate change is increased levels of CO2 caused by human activity. Since the Industrial Revolution began, humans have increased atmospheric CO2 concentration by more than a third. Basic physics shows us that CO2 traps heat, thus explaining the correlation between the amount of CO2 released and the increase in average global temperature. Our reliance on the burning coal, oil, and gasoline is what this crisis stems from. That being said, a reduction in the amount of heat trapping emissions needs to be made. A global switch to clean energy such as solar, wind, and water needs to be put into motion. In addition, reducing tropical deforestation can significantly lower global warming emissions and – with efforts to reduce emissions from fossil fuels – plays an integral role in a comprehensive long-term solution to global warming.
The reintroduction of wolves in Yellowstone in 1995 was a perfect example of a top predator stabilizing an ecosystem, the opposite of what was believed to happen. The wolves were able to bring the elk population down drastically, protecting the valleys from overgrazing. New wildlife was introduced into the valleys, allowing smaller species to make their way into the ecosystem. With elk on the move during the winter, due to the wolves, willow stands recovered from intense browsing, and beaver rediscovered an abundant food source that hadn’t been there earlier. Beaver dams, which have a major impact on stream hydrology, were reintroduced to the rivers. Fish were able to then spawn in shady, deep pockets of water. This cascade effect continued, ultimately creating a more diverse ecosystem.
Coastal erosion and soil degradation are the main problems the Nile Delta is facing currently. The sediment that used to naturally wall up and protect the coastal areas from erosion, is now getting stuck upstream due to the dam. The Delta is ultimately collapsing due to the lack of sediment build up. A more efficient urban planning system needs to be put in place where the hazardous effects of sea level rise are taken into consideration. The removal of the dam seems like an immediate solution, although it does provide flood control and electricity to surrounding regions.
Scientists have been able to connect many causes to climate change. Most of these causes are human issues that we have done over the past 200 years of industrialization. By us utilizing fossil fuels, tearing down the forest, feeling we are not growing crops fast enough and other issues, we are making a large dent in emitting the green house gases that trap in the suns heat. By us doing these horrible things to the environment, we are creating damage we will not be able to change. While scientists say we have options to try to reduce our effect on the environment, I am not sure that any of this will be enough. By us stopping the use of fossil fuels, we will be able to cut down our greenhouse gas emissions, but we also have to realize how long this will take for us to be able to switch completely. By switching our infrastructure to “greener” options, we would be able to cut down, but convincing all governments to do these costly options would be very hard. By us moving closer to work we use less fuel, but many people do not have the money to move into the city. I could continue to go through the list, but to me, it seems like being “green” is not something for the poor. Most people in an impoverished situation do not have the ability to make these changes or have the options to make these changes to their situations. When something that comes wrapped in plastic is cheaper than the fresh options, most people only have the option to continue polluting and promoting global warming. According to our current practices we are not going to be able to change the effects we have done to the environment. It is too expensive and most people are not willing or able to make the change.
In the video about the wolves in Yellowstone Park, the most amazing change happened to the environment. When the wolves were reintroduced to the area after 70 years of being away, the landscape started to change. Instead of their being barely any green, the wolves ate the deer that had been depleting the green and therefore the foliage began to grow back. The deer made it so that areas that had become desolate were finding new growth. This was not all that happened. Due to the fact that these areas were regrown, other species were able to flourish. Animals lower on the food chain were able to reap the benefits of the wolves. They could grow without worries of the deer messing with them or eating their habitat.
Bohannon explains in his works about the Nile Delta that it is at a large increase for global warming affects due to its position and what has already been discovered. With the building of the dam, we can already begin to see what will happen with increased global warming to the issues of soil erosion. The river and its delta are not able to make the changes it naturally once did due to the fact that the dam prevents the redistribution of sediments. This is causing the flood plain to grow because the water levels are increasing. If this continues, millions of people will be displaced due to their homes now being filled with water.
1.The most significant factor contributing to climate change is the burning of fossil fuels: coal, oil, and gas which releases carbon dioxide and methane. Scientists champion the cessation of burning fossil fuels and replacing them with renewable energies like solar, wind, hydropower, biomass, and geothermal. These are renewable energies that can be constantly replenished without worrying about finite resources on Earth. As consumers, we can buy hybrid or fully electric cars, carpool or take public transportation to work, invest in solar panels for our homes, live closer to work or school, and can plainly be efficient with the things we use everyday. For instance, one can consume less and simply buy less things which require greater energy from fossil fuels. We can limit our trips by airplane and train, which release staggering amounts of carbon dioxide. With business as usual (BAU) conditions, we will not be able to reduce our aggregate impact and reverse climate change because we consume way too much, emit so much more than pre-industrial levels. Within the next quarter century, there needs to be significant and sustainable coordination by all countries to reduce their emissions or else there will be serious implications including: sea level rise that harms vulnerable coastal communities, spontaneous and extreme weather events, desertification, ocean acidification, and higher temperatures that will compromise agriculture and thus negatively impact food security.
2. As soon as the wolves were reintroduced into Yellowstone National Park, the deer that had been overpopulated and uncontrollable by both bears and humans alike, were killed off. This set off an entire chain of events that were so beneficial to the ecosystem. In response to the wolves constantly hunting them down, the deer had avoided the wide open spaces of the valleys and gorges, immediately regenerating the trees and vegetation. The ecosystem provided an increase in bison, bears, migratory birds, beavers, and for other species like river otters, fish, ducks, etc. Since the wolves killed the coyotes, there were more rabbits, mice, hawks, weasels, badgers, foxes, and ravens. These were all foreseeable due to the reintroduction of the wolves.
What was unpredictable, though, was the changed behavior of the rivers. The deer did not harm the river banks by their trampling and grazing of the vegetation surrounding them any longer. More pools and branches of the river were able to sustain new habitats. Less erosion and collapse was another effect. Furthermore, regenerating forests stabilized banks, so that erosion occurred less– the vegetation stabilized the land and made it more tough. Ultimately, the wolves changed the ecosystem, its inhabitants, and the physical geography of the Yellowstone region.
3. John Bohannon’s article The Nile Delta’s Sinking Future highlights three important climate threats for the region of the Nile Delta as: coastal erosion, subsidence, and sea level rise. These three threats are interconnected in many ways.
First, coastal erosion occurs in northern Egypt due to the eastward sea current flow. Without the sediment from the Nile River depositing onto the coast, the marine ecosystem is compromised. The coastal habitats require a constant supply of sediment in order to maintain equilibrium between erosion and deposition. When the sediment supply is cut off due to the construction of seawalls or dams, as in the case of Egypt’s High Dam, these beaches are often lost. Among sand dunes and driftwood, delicate plants grow and help to stabilize the shifting sand, which can act as natural barriers to sea level rise. Second, subsidence is defined as “the gradual sinking of landforms to a lower level”. The Nile Delta is only one meter above mean sea level and is subject to uneven rates of submergence. With an accelerating rise in world sea level up to one meter by 2050, approximately one-third of the delta will be underwater. Subsidence has induced many environmental changes, with respect to coastal erosion and salt water incursion. The uneven pattern of saline groundwater has serious implications for agricultural development in this intensively cultivated region that feeds nearly 50 million inhabitants. Before the Nile was dammed, the annual flood deposited fresh silt into the delta, providing beneficial nutrients for the crops. Additionally, the thickening of the soil countered subsidence. Finally, sea level rise in the Nile Delta has the most visibility in terms of climate change related threats. This affects millions of residents and their well-being. Relocation of the citizens will be required.
In order to mitigate these climate issues, there must be an expansive institution, ‘Great Delta Works’ that models off of the Dutch. Clearly, the Dutch have responded effectively to the North Sea’s storm surges and floods through their system of dikes and barriers. Although this is expensive, it will greatly aid in mitigating climate-related disasters.
Next, there should be a partial cessation to the dam. Some water should be dammed for electricity and power purposes. However, the natural process of the Nile River should not be stopped by manmade infrastructure. The Nile River is meant to deposit important ingredients for fertilization and coastal habitats, so the Egyptian government should ensure that this process is not undermined. A variety of factors should also be taken into account with the Delta region. Stakeholders such as the fellahin, local residents, power companies, urban planners, the environmental protection agencies, climate scientists, and the government should convene to partake in robust decision-making. The future design of the urban infrastructure, as cited by Tendayi Gondo, will require an inter-governmental approach, integrated with science and urban planning, facilitating private-public partnerships to fund an environmentally sound project. Utilizing a ‘climate lens’ is needed to mitigate potential environmental threats and can aid in solution-making.
The most significant factor contributing to climate change is the increasing levels of carbon dioxide and greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. The increase of carbon dioxide and greenhouse gases in the atmosphere has led to a steady buildup of heat and an increase of average global temperature. Regarding this impact, scientists believe that it could be reversible in different ways. One instance is by releasing the amount of emission we have from vehicles by switching to more environmentally-friendly means of transportation such as walking, commuting through public transport, and carpooling. Another way is by switching to more efficient and cleaner ways of energy such as solar, wind, and hydro-powered sources. I agree that these means can help reverse this factor. By making these switches, it is possible to slow down these increasing levels of carbon dioxide and greenhouse gases.
The most significant and unexpected change in the video occurred as a result of bringing back the wolves was the restoration of balance into the ecosystem. With the wolf species gone, the deer species thrived and survived. The increased amount of deer led to an unbalanced situation in the ecosystem. The unbalanced ecosystem led to the decrease of the deer population’s food source. Reintroducing the wolves back into the ecosystem led to a more facilitated and guided ecosystem. The natural order took place as the wolves began balancing out the deer population. With the deer population not thriving as much as they did without the wolves, the vegetation (their food supply) started thriving once again.
In the article “The Nile Delta’s Sinking Future,” Bohannon claims that the growing rate of erosion and increase in Egypt’s coastline is one of the most significant climate threats to the Nile. With the coastline increasing alongside the sea level, the Nile Delta is being threatened. As mentioned in the readings, the way this can be reversed is through dam building and coastline restoration. According to Gondo, planning development in the area based on climate and the local ecosystem will help preserve the coastline as well.
Carbon dioxide emissions are responsible for 64% of manmade global warming. The emissions from this and other greenhouse gases are causing drastic changes in the climate. There are many solutions that scientists say can help slow down climate change. First is reducing our dependence on fossil fuels and developing better infrastructures. Better infrastructure can be better highways and updated transmission lines. Another solution is consuming less by not purchasing unnecessary things, and choosing reusable over single-use/disposable. Other solutions are moving closer to work, becoming more efficient in our daily lives, stopping deforestation, eating smarter, fewer children, and replacing fossil fuel dependence with renewable energies. I think there is a lot that we need to do to reduce the strain on our planet. The problem is getting everyone to come to consensus about what needs to be done, and actually doing these things; whether it’s building better infrastructure or converting to renewable energy. Our current practices are not helping the situation and doing more harm to the planet.
The most significant change the wolves had was their presence not only had positive impacts on the ecosystem but also the physical geography of Yellowstone National Park. By preying on the deer, the deer began to avoid areas that they could easily be hunted. Thus, these areas; valleys and gorges, began to have more and more vegetation. This abundance of vegetation brought back a multitude of species. More trees meant more wood for beavers to build dams and more berries for the bears. Beaver dams create habitats for other creatures. All of this compounded and helped the rivers grow; more vegetation meant less soil erosion, beaver dams helped create pools and narrowed channels. By bringing wolves back to Yellowstone, it drastically improved the ecosystem and physical geography of the park.
The most significant threat to the Nile Delta is coastal erosion and subsidence. The hydroelectric dam was the primary reason. The dam blocked vital sediments upstream of Cairo, which caused the delta to sink. According to Bohannon, 30% of the land is less than a meter above sea level. Although this dam provides energy to nearby areas, it is at a significant cost to the immediate area surrounding the dam. The Nile doesn’t flood anymore and water doesn’t seep down to replenish the aquifer. Salt water is actually getting into the aquifer and making water from wells too salty to drink. There is also the issue with the fertilizers, sewage, and industrial waste which pollute the water in the canals and make it undrinkable.
In order to mitigate further problems, there needs to be better urban planning practices and stronger environmental management. There also needs to be more research done and planning ahead for potential disasters.
Climate Change is infused by many factors, including humans, we alter the effects with the large amount of consumption in our environment. However, the most significant factor that contributes to climate change are greenhouse gases. Greenhouse gases trap the sun’s heat and stops it from going into space; retaining the heat increases the concentrations of these gases and contaminates the public. Greenhouse gases are produced by any kind of vehicle, through the feces of cows/horses and by human activity. The most common and problematic greenhouse gas is Carbon Dioxide, it’s concentrated in the atmosphere and emitting strong pollution.Scientists have presented to us an increase in temperature over the decades, which has altered the occurrence of catastrophic events. Scientists have also realized that as our population increases these environmental changes are drastically impacting the public. This explains to us that humans and human activities are the main cause of constant global warming. Fortunately, there are some ways to control our pollution and save the environment. We can start reversing this climate change by resisting from using fossil fuels. As a nation that depends a lot on fossil fuels it’ll be difficult, but it’ll minimize the products that release the burning of oil and coal into the environment. Another solution is upgrading infrastructure, consuming less, eating smart, not cutting down trees and being effective. My personal opinion regarding reversing climate change is that it’s definitely possible with the contribution from all the public. Not everyone is aware and educated on environmental issues and how it affect us,but if the public is taught and they all make initiative to make changes in their habits to reduce climate change it will be reduced!
The most significant and unexpected changes that occurred as a result to bringing back the wolves were the increase in diversity of animals and resources. Animals depend on nature and on other animal species for survival, while humans depend on biodiversity to have resources. For instance, in a plantation all the vegetation could be almost nothing, but as soon as the wolves arrived you could see the effect on the vegetation. The behavior of the prey changed as they attempted to save themselves from being hunted, the surrounding plants increased in diversity, welcoming more birds and dispersing more food around the environment. These are all great changes, but some of them were very unexpected such as the the immigration of the beaver, but the reason the beaver decided to join the wolves was that the wolves helped he beaver have food.
The climate issue around the Nile Delta could be mitigated if organized properly. Some strategies that could be used to explain and fix this important issue treating soil and coastal erosion. It is facing multiple threats but shares it with other coastal communities the issue of water management. The way they structured the dams to connect water wasn’t successful and the ground was sinking.
The Largest factor to the destruction of the environment is the releasing of greenhouse gases and fossil fuel emissions. There is talk and solutions being made all over the world but little is to be known that can make a difference. The gases are causing unhealthy air quality and thickening of the lower atmosphere. It is shown to be contributing 64% of the global warming to the world. Other factors such as deforestation, burning of fossil fuels and industrial farming are causing natural events to occur at a much faster rate. Such events include rising atmospheric temperature, rising sea levels, lack of trees causing a decrease in oxygen rates. Ways that have been practiced slowing the process is through policy to enforce a decrease in emission output. In any way that you look at it all points to the negligence that people have in their practices.
The reintroduction of wolves in Yellowstone National Park had a significant impact on that area because the wolves had indirect interactions with the entire ecosystem. While the wolves preyed on species such as deer, control the environment. “How Wolves Change Rivers”, explained that the deer in the forest were killing a great amount of vegetation and because of the wolves, they were clearly controlling the population of deer. This caused a domino effect that resulted in influx of flora biodiversity and because of the plants protecting the land from erosion, the rivers began to change course and moved in different directions, hence the name of the video.
The article written by Bohannon, J. (2010), suggests the most significant threat to the Nile Delta is coastal erosion and lack of subsidence. The largest reason for this are hydroelectric dams. The purpose of the dam was to deliver fresh sediments along with its fresh water. This backfires and results in the keeping out sediments, causing significant sinking of the delta. Less than 30% of land is above sea level making it much more critical to act right away. There is a huge risk factor with the lack of flooding of the Nile to dilute the pollutants in the delta from local areas. With erosion at the unpredictable speed, it is difficult to measure how much land there will be in the future. The drinking water in the canals are currently beginning to be polluted, allowing salt to merge, making it unhealthy to ingest. Using this as an example, we can see that using man made machines to mimic nature isn’t always the best idea for improvement. Ways to improve for future changes would be to look at other regions and how they are handling the situation. Ethiopia has many different management techniques that were developed over a long period of time through trials and difference in policies. Another way to handle it would be to shut down or reduce dam flow but because of the dam producing a majority of the power to Egypt, it is not ethical, for the dam is critical to the function of society.
Some may argue that Climate Change is not real but there are plenty of studies that prove those people wrong. I would say that the most significant factor in Climate Change would be the changes in greenhouse effects. The Earth’s temperature depends on the balance of energy entering or leaving the Planet. When the energy is absorbed by the Earth’s system the earth begins to warm. Factors including both natural and human can cause changes in the Earth’s energy balance. There are changes in reflectivity when reaching the Earth’s atmosphere and surface. These changes include greenhouse effects and the heavy amounts of heat associated with the Earth’s atmosphere. These factors can cause the Earth’s climate to change dating back to thousands of years. By analyzing the number of measures in climate like glacier lengths, tree rings, ocean sediments and more you can see how much the Earth was affected by climate change. The record shows the climate system varies over a wide range of scales. In the Industrial Revolution, in the 1700’s natural causes can be explained by volcanic eruptions, natural greenhouse gases, and solar energy. Recent climate changes however cannot be explained by this because it is extremely likely that human activity has been the dominant cause of warming in the mid 20th century. Greenhouse effects have its ways of effecting the Earth as well. Like when the sunlight reaches the Earth’s surface it can be reflected back into space or absorbed by the Earth. When the planet releases some of the energy back into the atmosphere as heat also known as infrared radiation, greenhouse gases like water vapor, CO2, and methane absorb energy slowing down the loss of heat to space. This way GHGs act like a blanket to make the Earth warmer than it otherwise would be known as the Greenhouse Effect.
In the past GHG levels varied. During warm interglacial periods CO2 levels were higher , and during cool periods CO2 levels were lower. Heating or cooling of the Earth’s surface can cause changes in the natural sources and sinks of these gases and thus can change the concentrations in the atmosphere and cause long-term shifts in the Earth’s orbit. There are ways we can fix this even though the time for change is way past due. Taking time out of your day to write to city officials and political representatives to tell them to take immediate action is a must. Voting for effective climate policies and helping the community to build healthier communities is a way to build a more sustainable future. Some ways to be energy efficient are switching off your lights when they’re not in use, changing light bulbs to LEDs, unplugging any electronic equipment, choosing renewable power and more. Buying organic food from local gardens can also help against the war on greenhouse gas emissions. Avoiding store bought processed items can reduce the 18% of GHGs that come from meat and dairy production.
In the book climate change by Bohannan, the author believes that people can change the climate problem by creating an engineering effort. Maintaining the GDP growth to the end of the century to keep the atmospheric temperatures below 500 parts per million. The author stresses that society is moving in the wrong direction by investing in the wrong infrastructures of the world.
The ecological downfall in Yellowstone, has to do with the amount of snow that falls there. The intensity and timing of the spring runoff can effect everything in the park living downstream. Yellowstone’s climate is one of the primary drivers of the ecosystem and its functionality. The change in climate can greatly affect the ecosystems. Scientists have been monitoring it for years but have been difficult to predict. Average temperatures in the park are higher now than they were in the spring and have been increasing rapidly by daytime temperatures. In the past Yellowstone’s temperature, precipitation, and snow water have been greater which was found by the climate analyzer. The climate has affected the composition of plants and animals throughout the park , while also altering the vegetation growth from spinning out of control. Yellowstone needs to protect its biodiversity especially animals who are at risk of extinction.