List of information that could be incorporated into a climate change model
- Bogs – The drying out of bogs leads to an increase in greenhouse gases released (bogs store methane and carbon dioxide, which are mostly trapped in permafrost).
- Clathrates – These large stores of frozen methane found in the deep sea may be dissolved into oceanic waters by way of changes to ocean chemistry.
- Deep-sea communities – Methane-using communities that live around mud volcanoes are known to filter out 99% of the methane that escapes to the ground.
- Deforestation – Trees use carbon dioxide to build tissue; removing forests reduces the number of trees that can absorb carbon dioxide.
- Electricity – The electricity that we use everyday for lights and appliances can be produced in many ways. Some places still burn coal for power, adding to the greenhouse effect by burning fossil fuels. Less carbon-intensive sources of power include hydroelectricity, wind farms and other lower impact technologies.
- Freshwater – As the ice packs and glaciers melt around the world, more freshwater is draining into the saline waters of the oceans. This will affect ocean currents that are density driven.
- Forests – Different forests, grasslands, savannahs etc. are known to absorb or give off carbon dioxide.
- Fossil Fuel consumption – Burning fuels creates greenhouse gases and contributes to abrupt climate change.
- Garbage dumps – Methane gas is released as materials breakdown in the landfill. Waste removal vehicles burn large amounts of fossil fuels.
- Global dimming – The cloud pollution that is created around many urban centres may actually act to decrease warming, reflecting more of the suns rays and heat.
- Imported products – All products that must be transported over long distances have a large carbon footprint. Cargo ships, airplanes and transport trucks burn large amounts of fossil fuels.
- Livestock – Ruminant livestock such as cows and sheep consume large quantities of grasses and produce methane as a by-product of their digestion. They burp and fart this gas into the atmosphere, increasing greenhouse gas levels.
- Mud volcanoes – These volcanoes belch out methane gas into the atmosphere if they are on land, or methane that eventually makes its way to the surface of the oceans if underwater.
- Permafrost melting – The melting of ice releases large stores of carbon dioxide and methane trapped in the ground.
- Plankton – Phytoplankton absorbs large quantities of carbon dioxide during photosynthesis but many plankton species may be in trouble if ocean pH continues to drop.
- Tectonic plate shifting – The shifting of tectonic plates releases gases, such as methane, stored beneath the surface.
- Volcanoes – Volcanic eruptions release large amounts of gases, including methane, into the atmosphere.
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Author: Jennifer Provencher, 2007. All content has been created by the Bamfield Marine Sciences Centre, or used with permission of the owner where indicated. Material may be used for education and teaching purposes, but not for resale or paper distribution without permission from BMSC or the owner of the image.