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The Atlas of climate change: mapping the world's greatest challenge

Author: Dow, Kirstin ; Downing, Thomas E.Publisher: Earthscan, 2006.Language: EnglishDescription: 112 p. : Maps ; 24 cm.ISBN: 1844073769Type of document: BookBibliography/Index: Includes bibliographical references and index
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Item type Current location Collection Call number Status Date due Barcode Item holds
Book Europe Campus
Main Collection
Print GE105 .D69 2006
(Browse shelf)
001212269
Available 001212269
Total holds: 0

Includes bibliographical references and index

Digitized

The Atlas of Climate Change Mapping the World's Greatest Challenge Contents Foreword by Bo Kjellén Introduction Definition of Key Terms 8 9 14 PART 1: SIGNS OF CHANGE Warning Signs New records and observations around the world are consistent with scientists' expectations of climate change. Polar Changes Warming in the polar regions is driving large-scale melting of ice that will have both local and global consequences. Glacial Retreat Most of the world's glaciers are retreating at unprecedented rates ­ a clear sign of warming. Everyday Extremes Weather-related disasters are becoming increasingly common around the world. 19 20 22 24 26 PART 2: FORCING CHANGE The Greenhouse Effect The increasing concentration of greenhouse gases is trapping more heat. The Climate System The entire climate system is adjusting to an increase in the heat trapped in the Earth's atmosphere. Interpreting Past Climates Concentrations of carbon dioxide and methane are higher than they have ever been in the last 650,000 years. The Earth is warmer than in the past 1,000 years. Forecasting Future Climates Global temperatures are predicted to continue rising. 29 30 32 34 36 PART 3: DRIVING CLIMATE CHANGE Emissions Past and Present Most greenhouse gases have been, and are, emitted to meet the needs of modern industrial societies. Fossil Fuels The emission of greenhouse gases from the burning of fossil fuels is the major cause of climate change. Methane and Other Gases A range of greenhouse gases contribute to climate change. Transportation International trade, travel and a growing dependence on motor vehicles make transportation one of the main sources of greenhouse gas emissions. 39 40 42 44 46 Disrupting the Carbon Balance Carbon is essential in the natural environment, but changes in land use may release stored carbon and contribute to climate change. Agriculture Greenhouse gases are emitted in the production of food. While some agriculture meets basic needs, some simply provides wealthy consumers with the luxury of choice. 48 50 PART 4: EXPECTED CONSEQUENCES Disrupted Ecosystems Many species and ecosystems, already at risk from human development, may not be able to adapt to new climatic conditions and stresses. Threatened Water Supplies Water scarcity is already a growing concern. In some places climate change will make it even more critical. Food Security Climate change threatens food security, although crop yields in temperate regions may improve. Threats to Health Climate change threatens human health. The poorest regions are likely to be the hardest hit. Rising Sea Levels Thermal expansion of oceans and melting ice will lead to a substantial rise in sea level, threatening many coastal communities. Cities at Risk Coastal erosion, salt-water intrusion into freshwater supplies, and coastal storms all threaten coastal areas ­ often regions of high population growth and intensive economic development. Cultural Losses Damage to indigenous cultures, historical monuments and archaeological sites adds to the incalculable economic losses of climate change. 53 54 56 58 60 62 64 66 PART 5: RESPONDING TO CHANGE International Action Most countries have acknowledged the problem of climate change by signing the Convention on Climate Change. Meeting Kyoto Targets Many countries are making progress towards their Kyoto commitments, but even the agreed targets fall far short of stabilizing greenhouse gas emissions at levels considered to be safe. Carbon Trading Trading in carbon credits is one way to share the burden of reducing emissions globally 69 70 72 74 Financing Responses Current funding is inadequate to help countries respond to climate change. Local Commitment In many places, local and regional authorities are developing more aggressive emission reduction policies than federal governments. Carbon Dioxide and Economic Growth Economic growth can be achieved with lower greenhouse gas emissions. Renewable Energy Renewable energy sources could be the technological key to economically and socially sustainable societies. Adapting to Change The capacity to adapt to climatic hazards and stresses depends on a country's wealth, resources and governance. 84 82 80 76 78 PART 6: COMMITTING TO SOLUTIONS Personal Action People all over the world are taking measures to reduce the greenhouse gases emitted as a result of the way they live. Public Action The policies, practices, and investments of governments, businesses, and civic organizations will have the greatest impact on our future. 87 88 90 PART 7: CLIMATE CHANGE DATA Data table 93 94 Sources Index 102 111

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