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Climate Change and You


altered weather and seasonal patterns - habitat and biodiversity loss ... and Seasonal Patterns ... III. Seasonal Shifts. Spring is arriving sooner now ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Climate Change and You

"Climate Changeand You"
  • Introduction
  • Summary Lesson
  • In More Detail I
  • In More Detail II
  • Conclusion

III. Population and the U.S. Coasts
  • Theres a high concentration of Americans who
    live and recreate in coastal areas
  • 53 of Americans live within 50 miles of U.S.
  • There are also higher growth rates on the coasts
    than the inland areas of the U.S.
  • More people are then vulnerable to the effects of
    climate change
  • Sea level rise
  • Strong weather events like storms

Coastal Vulnerabilities
  • U.S. coastal zone represents a hot spot for
    population and climate change vulnerability
  • Coastal vulnerabilities include
  • Sea level rise
  • Shoreline erosion
  • Flooding
  • Coastal storms
  • Degradation of coral reefs and marine ecosystem
  • These affect the dense fast growing coastal
    populations in the form of
  • Health
  • Accessibility availability
  • Property

Coastal Vulnerabilities
If global warming continues as is, major coastal
urban/metropolitan areas built near sea level
will be at risk from the expected sea level rise
of 18-20 inches above current levels by 2100.
IV. Population Composition Age and Income
  • The "composition" of a population, including
  • -Age
  • -Education Level
  • -Income
  • can determine where and how people live, move,
    vacation, and develop land.
  • These demographic factors can be linked to
    climate change.

  • Youth uniquely positioned to make key choices
    that will affect the nations future with regard
    to climate change
  • Both individual and collective choices like
  • Fertility - how many children to have
  • Resource energy consumption - including energy,
    vehicle, transportation, land use, recycling,
  • As consumers, voters, business industry
  • all determine population and climate change
    trends in the future.

  • Baby Boomers a key demographic for resource
    energy and consumption - 26 of the total
  • Represent a large percent of the population and
    high energy consumption
  • They are an important factor because they
  • Are wealthier
  • Spend more money
  • Consume more resources
  • Have more homes per capita
  • Move more often (especially for retirement)

  • Resource energy consumption is often associated
    with level of income, or affluence

More affluent consume more energy resources
generate more waste
A rising income brings about greater motor
vehicle use, resulting in more road-building, air
pollution CO2 emissions.
HOWEVER affluence can allow people to consume
goods that are environmentally sound
People with more disposable income are more
likely to purchase more expensive, energy
efficient goods.
hybrid vehicles energy efficient light
bulbs energy efficient appliances or
ganic foods solar panels recycled
Climate Change and Population Effects and Impacts
  • In simple terms U.S. population contributes to
    both the causes (accumulated land use changes,
    high per capita energy use greenhouse gas
    emissions) and effects of climate change

Effects include - altered weather and seasonal
patterns - habitat and biodiversity loss -
rising sea levels - less available freshwater -
human health threats
I. Altered Weather and Seasonal Patterns
  • One weather-related change currently occurring
    and expected to continue is an altered water
    cycle resulting from higher atmospheric

With higher temperatures, more precipitation will
fall as rain, and less as snow, which could
reduce river stream flows in spring summer,
when it is needed the most. ALSO reduced ice
cover will mean more heat is absorbed rather than
Greater fluctuation in rain also leads to a wider
disparity between wet and dry seasons.
Altered Weather and Seasonal Patterns
More rain can also increase pollutant runoff from
both agricultural fields and pavement in urban
areas into water systems.
Warm, wet conditions also foster carriers, or
vectors, (like mosquitoes) that spread disease
like West Nile Virus, malaria, and dengue fever.
Altered Weather and Seasonal Patterns
Extreme weather events will be more common.
Climate change is associated with more frequent
and intense hurricanes, as the number of Category
4 and 5 hurricanes has nearly doubled worldwide,
from the 1970s to 1990s.
Source NOAA
One cause of this is rising ocean temperatures,
since warm waters are a source of energy for
II. Habitat and Biodiversity Loss
The main cause of biodiversity loss in the U.S.
is habitat loss from land use changes for
development or energy extraction across the
This is linked to increases in population
numbers and peoples consumption of land and
85 of species known to be at risk for extinction
in the U.S. are from habitat loss and alteration.
Habitat and Biodiversity Loss
Climate change impacts the biological diversity
of plant animal species in the U.S., including
the composition and range of the nations forest.
An increase of as little as 2F can force some
tree species ideal range to shift about 200
miles northward.
Increasing temperatures and moisture levels can
cause forests to expand, while drier soil
conditions can decrease the range and density of
some forests.
Increased precipitation could spur the growth of
trees and vegetation, but heat could spur the
loss of nutrients.
Habitat Fragmentation
The sprawl of development fragments or breaks
up wildlife habitat, and makes less habitat
available for organisms living within the
It will be especially hard for wildlife to
adjust, in the face of human population and
development, when their habitat is fragmented.
Further, this developed land prevents migration
to new habitats.
III. Seasonal Shifts
Spring is arriving sooner now than in the past.
Changes in freshwater temperature reduce the
habitat of coldwater fish, cause the death of
coral reefs, and cause the growth of algal blooms.
Source NOAA
  • Whether and how species adapt to climate change
    will depend on
  • the pace and geography of the climate shifts
  • how the composition and location of the habitats
    are altered
  • the availability of habitat

The polar bears are the first species ever to be
placed on the U.S. Endangered Species List due to
climate change.
Source NOAA
IV. Rising Sea Levels
  • The sea level rise due to global warming is the
    result of
  • higher water temperatures (which expands water
  • addition of freshwater from melting glaciers and

Studies predict a one foot rise in sea level by
2050, and as much as a four foot rise in the
coming century.
Rising Sea Levels
The greatest sea level changes are expected along
the heavily populated U.S. Mid-Atlantic and Gulf
In the next 60 years, 25 of buildings within 50
feet of the U.S. coastline could be lost because
of coastal erosion.
V. Freshwater Resources
  • Climate Change is affecting freshwater through
  • increased temperature and evaporation rates
  • decreases in the volume of snow pack and
  • (a critical supply of freshwater during melting)
  • decreased rainfall and increased drought

The nations driest states, have become some of
the fastest-growing.
Water, not land, is the limiting resource in some
places, and rapid growth continues in those areas
where experts say there is already a lack of
water to sustain the current and expected future
population influx.
VI. Human Health Threats
Major health issues associated with climate
change are - increased frequency of heat
waves - extreme weather events - migration of
vector-borne and zoonotic diseases - more severe
air pollution due to higher temperatures
DIRECT THREATS occur when weather associated
with a changing climate produces a health
effect - extreme temperatures (heat island
effect) - greater risk to children and the
INDIRECT THREATS health impacts caused by
climate change through an intermediary pathway -
higher average temperatures rain could prolong
disease transmissions seasons in locations
where diseases already exist (West Nile virus,
Lyme disease) - asthmatics may suffer from air
quality problems - warmer temperatures could
increase the formation of smog
"Climate Changeand You"
  • See the companion book "US Population, Energy
    Climate Change" for more detail. To download or
    order the book free, contact

Produced by Briane Sorice, CEP School Curriculum