Explain why a small change in the average summer temperature is likely to cause a large change in the frequency of extremely hot days.
Subject: Biology / Biochemistry
36. Under a high emission scenario, how much CO2 will be emitted by fossil fuel
burning in 2100? How much will be emitted under a low growth scenario?
37. What are three separate variables that show substantial climate change over
the past 30 years.
38. What is the difference between an empirical model and a deterministic
39. Name three major components of a modern global climate model. What do
modern climate models predict well? What don’t they include?
40. Name a climate phenomenon that global climate models predicted long
before it was observed.
41. How are climate projections made for the 21st Century (what steps are taken
to produce the maps of projected changes)?
42. Given scenarios of future fossil fuel emissions, how much CO2 is expected to
be in the atmosphere in 2100? How many Watts per square meter of
radiative forcing would these ranges of CO2 produce?
43. What are “representative concentration pathways” used by the IPCC?
What do their numbers (2.6, 4.5, etc) mean? Where do they come from?
44. Depending on emission scenarios, what is our current best estimate of the
average amount of global warming by 2100?
45. Where in the world is warming likely to be strongest? Where is it likely to be
46. Is Colorado expected to warm by about the same amount as the global
average? If not, why not?
47. Explain why a small change in the average summer temperature is likely to
cause a large change in the frequency of extremely hot days.
48. How do natural plants and animals adapt to a changing climate? Why does
the rate of climate change matter so much for natural ecosystems?
49. As the Earth’s climate warms, what must happen to global average
50. Over what regions is precipitation likely to increase in a warmer world? Over
what regions is the precipitation likely to decrease?
51. Describe likely changes in temperature and water availability over the
central USA in the late 20th Century, as projected by climate models. What are
the main sources of uncertainty in these projections? 52. Explain how drought might become more of a problem in our region under a
warmer climate even if there is no change in precipitation.
53. How much is the sea level expected to rise in the 21st Century? Why is this
difficult to estimate?
54. In the geologic past, sea level rose and fell by tens of meters each time global
average temperatures changed by a few degrees, but IPCC projections of sea
level rise are much smaller for the 21st Century. Why?
55. Name three reasons why we expect more wildfires under a warmer climate
in the Rocky Mountain region.
56. In what regions of the world is climate change likely to increase crop yields?
In what regions are crop yields likely to decrease?
57. What is meant by the term “storm surge?” Why is this likely to get worse in a
58. If fossil fuel emissions were to completely stop, what would happen to the
extra CO2 in the atmosphere? Where would it go?
59. How long would it take for the CO2 to come halfway back down to
preindustrial levels? How long would it take to come all the way down to
60. Under a high emission scenario in which China and India industrialize their
economies using coal as a major source of energy, for how long will the
temperature remain more than 3 Celsius above current temperature?
61. If global temperatures reach 3 Celsius above preindustrial levels for
thousands of years, how much is sea level likely to rise? How do you know?
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