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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

What is selmon
heath Reply
how long it takes for 25ml ethanol to be evaporated?
Kgaugelo Reply
how to calculate acceleration
Sphe Reply
It depends
Mbongeni
Please state the Newton third low
Malwandla
hy
Nelito
Newton's Third law states that to every force applied, there's an equal but opposite reaction
Lala
difference between a head and tail methods
Zenande Reply
difference between a head-to-tail and tail-to-tail
Zenande
head to tail you draw each vector starting head of the previous vector and tail to tail you construct a parallelogram whereas you started the two vectors from the same axis(from their tails)and the diagonal between the vectors is the resultant vector,tail to tail only includes two vectors
Mbongeni
what is a normal force
Zenande Reply
a normal force is the force that the surface applies on the object. The force is perpendicular to the surface.
Minaa
Lewis structure for C2H2
Mthokozisi Reply
what is the mathematical relationship between velocity and time?
Oyisa Reply
How do we find a resulted force of a vector
Dann-boy Reply
what is the formula for calculating tension
Kagiso Reply
You can use simultaneous equations or T=mg+ma
sibahle
- Which formula can you use if you want to calculate acceleration?
Pretty
to calculate acceleration you use formula Vf -Vi divided by the time (t)
sholan
What is the formula of calculating tension
sibahle Reply
I don't think there's a formula u just have to use all information in that type of situation
Gwebzi
can a mixture of atoms make a molecule
Keamogetse Reply
yes
Wandile
What is the different between Valence and Valency?
Lil
define the term "resultant"
Austin Reply
the sum of all the forces acting on an object
Think
carring out an investigation of the relationship of acceleration and net force with mass kept constant
Ronald
Fnet=ma
Wandile
Hi
Lil
The definition of Newtons Law of Universal Gravitation
Lil
how to calculate coefficient of kinetic force
Bhereza Reply
kinetic friction × Normal force
Murunwa
how to get a valency electron
Really Reply
how to calculate acceleration due to gravity
Mpho Reply

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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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