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Questions for expert regarding Climate Change.
1.What are a couple of examples of how animals have changed because of climate change?
2. What is some evidence that proves that climate change is happening?
3. Can people die because of too much carbon in the atmosphere?
4. Where is climate change effecting in the world the most?
In your opinion, can climate change be stopped?
5. What year is climate change going to stop?
We are in an investigation project for school and are trying to get these questions answered by Tuesday, May 31. If you are able to answer them, we would REALLY appreciate it and were wondering if we could also add a picture of you as our expert that we asked questions from. If that is fine, can you also send a picture with your answers. We are using our teachers email because we do not have one. Thank you sooooo much.
Answer 1:

1. What are a couple of examples of how animals have changed because of climate change?
A: Insects are moving the time that they come out of overwintering earlier. Birds are changing their migration patterns. Polar bears are moving back into the encroaching forest and mating with brown bears to create hybrids. Plants are also changing the time that they flower, fruit, etc. which affects when food becomes available for animals.

2. What is some evidence that proves that climate change is happening?
A: Glaciers are retreating (almost) all over the world. Thermometers in weather stations are measuring increasing average temperatures with each passing decade.

Contrary to popular belief, year-to-year changes in weather are NOT climate change. The variability in weather from one year to the next are larger than the change in climate from one year to the next.

3. Can people die because of too much carbon in the atmosphere?
A: No. Carbon dioxide is not toxic to humans at the levels that we are putting it into the atmosphere (although volcanic eruptions can kill humans with carbon dioxide!). What is dangerous to humans is changes in the climate and, thus, the weather. Life in the ocean may be a different story, though, as carbon dioxide in water does make the water more acid.

4. Where is climate change effecting in the world the most? In your opinion, can climate change be stopped?
A: Climate change affects different areas differently. In parts of the world that are cold, it raises temperature. In parts of the world that are warm, it changes rainfall patterns.

Climate change itself is a natural process and cannot be stopped. We humans are making it worse through our actions, however.

5. What year is climate change going to stop?
A: Climate will continue to change for as long as the sun continues to shine - about six billion years. This is because the sun is a variable star and changes in the power of the sun will change climate on the planets that orbit it.


Answer 2:

2. What is some evidence that proves that climate change is happening?

This is a great and important question. There are several lines of evidence for climate change. The most direct one is from simple temperature measurements. Temperature is measured at many places in the world, and in some places temperature has been measured continuously since the 19th century. The record shows that the average air temperature across the surface of the earth as increased by ~0.8 °C (1.4°F) over the last 100 years. The effect of that warming on ocean temperatures is more complicated but it is clear that ocean temperatures are also rising.

In the Arctic (the region around the North pole) sea ice extent in the summer has decreased by nearly a half since 1970. In addition many glaciers are shrinking. Finally, there may be an increase of extreme weather events because of the warming – but that is still very much a subject of discussion because we have not observed such events for a long enough time.

It is important to note that climate change has happened in the past. For example temperatures have naturally increased by 4 – 5 °C over the past 7000 years. One of the most rapid temperature changes in the recent millions of years. Now you can calculate (given 0.8 °C increase in 100 years) how much faster the temperatures have risen recently.


Answer 3:

Today (May 26th, 2016) on NPR "on point" they had a really great segment on climate change. They were discussing the conditions that lead to the fire in Canada that started May 1st (2016) and that is nearly 375 miles wide. It may be helpful to point the teachers into this direction, they may be able to share the program with their students. Here are my answers from the info I heard on the segment:

On May 1st (2016) a fire started in Alberta Canada that has lead to the evacuation of 80,000 people and has destroyed land nearly the size of Rhode Island. The conditions that lead to the intensity and scale of the fire (nicknamed "The Beast") are likely due to climate change. Alberta had an usually dry winter and record breaking heat this spring. Dry leaves and trees in the forest are a fuel source for the fire. The start of the fire is thought to be from humans but the weather conditions currently and over the past year have promoted it's spread and intensity. There are numerous species of animals who's homes have been destroyed by the fire including; squirrels, reindeer, wolverines, foxes, and bald eagles. Smoke from the fire has reached as far as Spain emphasizing that the fire can have a global impact.

The first 3 months of 2016 were the warmest months on Earth every recorded;strong evidence for climate change. It is difficult to say where climate change has the biggest impact; you can find evidence of climate change anywhere in the world (see link below). While climate change is inevitable, we can slow the progression by minimizing our use of fossil fuels.

click here to see
Hope this helps!


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