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The consequences of global warming

Group discussion : the impacts of global warming

In groups of 3-4, read the following extracts and then answer the questions that follow.

By 2050 Warming to Doom Million Species, Study Says

By 2050, rising temperatures exacerbated by human-induced belches of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases could send more than a million of Earth's land-dwelling plants and animals down the road to extinction, according to a recent study. "Climate change now represents at least as great a threat to the number of species surviving on Earth as habitat-destruction and modification," said Chris Thomas, a conservation biologist at the University of Leeds in the United Kingdom.

The researchers worked independently in six biodiversity-rich regions around the world, from Australia to South Africa, plugging field data on species distribution and regional climate into computer models that simulated the ways species' ranges are expected to move in response to temperature and climate changes. According to the researchers' collective results, the predicted range of climate change by 2050 will place 15 to 35 percent of the 1 103 species studied at risk of extinction.

National Geographic News, 12 July 2004

Global Warming May Dry Up Africa's Rivers, Study Suggests

Many climate scientists already predict that less rain will fall annually in parts of Africa within 50 years due to global warming. Now new research suggests that even a small decrease in rainfall on the continent could cause a drastic reduction in river water, the lifeblood for rural populations in Africa.

A decrease in water availability could occur across about 25 percent of the continent, according to the new study. Hardest hit would be areas in northwestern and southern Africa, with some of the most serious effects striking large areas of Botswana and South Africa.

To predict future rainfall, the scientists compared 21 of what they consider to be the best climate change models developed by research teams around the world. On average, the models forecast a 10 to 20% drop in rainfall in northwestern and southern Africa by 2070. With a 20% decrease, Cape Town would be left with just 42% of its river water, and "Botswana would completely dry up," de Wit said. In parts of northern Africa, river water levels would drop below 50%.

Less river water would have serious implications not just for people but for the many animal species whose habitats rely on regular water supplies.

National Geographic News, 3 March 2006

Discussion questions

  1. What is meant by 'biodiversity'?
  2. Explain why global warming is likely to cause a loss of biodiversity .
  3. Why do you think a loss of biodiversity is of such concern to conservationists?
  4. Suggest some plant or animal species in South Africa that you think might be particularly vulnerable to extinction if temperatures were to rise significantly. Explain why you chose these species.
  5. In what way do people, animals and plants rely on river water?
  6. What effect do you think a 50% drop in river water level in some parts of Africa would have on the people living in these countries?
  7. Discuss some of the other likely impacts of global warming that we can expect (e.g. sea level rise, melting of polar ice caps, changes in ocean currents).

Questions & Answers

How do hydrogen and chlorine atoms bond covalently in a molecule of hydrogen chloride?
Tiny Reply
what is the parallel circuit
Philani Reply
how many moles of H2O can be formed if 12,5 moi CH4 reacts with sufficient NH3 and O2
Nomcebo Reply
what atoms form covalent bond
hehe Reply
The combination of two non metals
Ndumiso
combined two non-metals 😊
Trudy
what is a mole
Thandeka Reply
a mole is a measure of large quantities of small entities such as atoms, molecules etc
DINEO
what does STP stand for?
Deeco
STP stands for Standard Temperature and Pressure.
Dolly
A car drives straight off the edge of a cliff that is 54m high. The police at the scene of the accident observed that the point of the impact is 130m from the base of the clif. Calculate the initial velocity of the car when it went ovet the clif.
hanyani Reply
wat happens to current if resistors are in parallel connection
Mosima Reply
more current flows from the source that would flow for any of them individually,so the total total resistance is lower
Theoo
In the parallel circuit the current is divided among the resistors
Ndumiso
what are the isotopes
Tlotlisang Reply
are different types of the same elemant but with different mass or atomic no.
Ayanda
i sotopes are different type of element with same atomic number but different mass number
Tareskay
yes i forgot some details😁
Ayanda
next quetion plz
Tareskay
why don't we insert the negative sign for 5 × 10 - 9 when substituting
Mpho Reply
Why does an enclosed gas exert pressure on the walls of a container
Palesa Reply
State the gay lussacs law
Anna Reply
what is the coefficient of Na in order to balanced the equation?_Na + MgCl2=2NaCl+Mg?
Arcel Reply
2
Okuhle
2
Tlotlisang
2
Praise
2
Anna
2
Anelehr
2
Liyema
the combining power of an element, especially as measured by the number of hydrogen atoms it can displace or combine with.
Dealon Reply
Thanks
REJOYCE
download periodic table from play Store...it will explain everything to u
Dealon
what are orbitals
Sphe Reply
examples of atoms whose Valence energy levels are not full and more to bond and become more stable
Sphe
What is a valency
REJOYCE
What a lone pairs...
Ndumiso
Valency is the number of electrons than an atom must gain, lose or share to achieve noble gas configuration.
Mcebisi
what is vacuum
Njabulo Reply
Vacuum, space in which there is no matter or in which the pressure is so low that any particles in the space do not affect any processes being carried on there. It is a condition well below normal atmospheric pressure and is measured in units of pressure (the pascal).
Khayalethu

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Source:  OpenStax, Siyavula textbooks: grade 11 physical science. OpenStax CNX. Jul 29, 2011 Download for free at http://cnx.org/content/col11241/1.2
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