The final exam of GEOL1302: Introduction to Climate Change
1. Please choose incorrect description.
(a) Continents warm more than oceans because of the larger heat capacity of the oceans.
(b) High latitudes will warm more than the tropics. This is primarily due to the ice– albedo feedback.
(c) Adding greenhouse gases to the atmosphere tends to reduce temperature contrasts.
(d) Temperature variations in our climate are generally caused by variations in the distribution of sunlight (e.g., the high latitudes, nighttime, and winter are all colder because they receive less sunlight than the tropics, daytime, and summer).
2. Please choose incorrect description.
(a) As the abundance of greenhouse gases increases, heating of the surface from greenhouse gases becomes stronger while heating from sunlight remains about the same.
(b) Most of the warming is in the middle of the continent, far from the moderating influence of the oceans, and at high latitudes. (c) The warming over the next few decades is essentially already determined by past emissions and our present mix of energy technology
(d) In 2090, the warming for the high-emissions scenario is 4–5 °C, which is roughly twice the warming in the low-emissions scenario of 2–3 °C.
3. Please choose incorrect description.
(a) It is highly likely that the temperature is going up every decade and that the general distribution of the warming will be in accord with these model predictions.
(b) As greenhouse gases increase, Ein increases because of increased infrared radiation from the atmosphere falling on the surface. (c) We expect precipitation to increase in the high latitudes and decrease in most subtropical land regions as well as some parts of the tropics.
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(d) During a heavy downpour, the soil saturates before the end of the rain event, and the remaining rain therefore runs off. If you want to learn more check out What is the principle of the invariant speed of light?
4. Please choose the incorrect description.
(a) An increase in the fraction of rain falling in heavy rain events means that there will be less water available to use by the ecosystem (b) Combined with warmer summers, which will increase the rate at which water is lost from soils by evaporation, this will increase the frequency and intensity of drought.
(c) Less wintertime precipitation will fall as snow and more will fall as rain. Snow has the property that it does not run off until it melts, so changing the form of precipitation will change the timing of runoff, which has important implications for water availability.
(d) Precipitating clouds can be small (sometimes only a few kilometers across), and climate model grids are too coarse to simulate such small entities. As a result, precipitation must be parameterized in climate models.
5. Please choose the incorrect description. We also discuss several other topics like Compounds are substances made up of how many elements?
(a) Sea-level rise is one of the most certain impacts of climate change. (b) Sea-level rises in response to cooling temperatures for two reasons. First, as grounded ice melts, the melt water runs into the ocean. Second, like most things, water expands when it warms.
(c) The recent (2007) IPCC report predicted increases in sea level of several tens of centimeters over the next century.
(d) Ocean acidification is another certain consequence of continued emissions of carbon dioxide.
6. Please choose the incorrect description.
(a) In the liquid environment of the ocean, carbon dioxide reacts with water and is converted into carbonic acid, the same weak acid found in soda.
(b) Since the industrial revolution, the absorption of carbon has lowered the ocean’s pH by approximately 0.1.
(c) Tens of thousands of people who perished during the 2003 European heat wave. Extreme heat is the greatest weather-related cause of death in the United States.
(d) The benefits of less frequent cold temperatures are not equal to the costs of more frequent high temperatures.
7. Please choose the incorrect description.
(a) During the European heat wave, there was a one-third decrease in the yields of grains and fruits. We also discuss several other topics like What are the three objects that relate to utilitarianism?
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(b) Photosynthesis is more efficient at temperature between 20 °C -25 °C, yields declining dramatically above 30 °C.
(c) Carbon dioxide is plant food
(d) During spring, when energy demands are highest because lizards are reproducing, the warm temperatures reduce the amount of time that lizards can forage for food (if the temperatures get too high, cold blooded lizards have to rest)
8. Please choose the incorrect description.
(a) Removing lizards from an ecosystem may have important effects on the rest of the environment that we do care about, just like pulling a single thread on a sweater can unravel the entire thing.
(b) A significant fraction of plant and animal species will be at decreased risk of extinction if global average temperatures increase by a few degrees Celsius. We also discuss several other topics like What are the major parties in the history of the us?
(c) Some ecosystem types are likely to be lost entirely, such as alpine systems, coastal mangrove systems, and coral reefs (d) The area covered by sea ice has been decreasing over the past few decades in the Arctic as that region has warmed.
9. Please choose the incorrect description.
(a) We can expect sea ice to continue to decrease in the Arctic, and to begin to decrease in the Antarctic as temperatures there begin to increase.
(b) Advantages to the loss of sea ice, such as faster maritime transport of goods between Europe and Asia, as well as increased access to Arctic resources.
(c) Changes in precipitation, combined with increasing temperature, are expected to lead to changes in the availability of fresh water. (d) River runoff is projected to increase by 10% to 40% by mid-century at higher latitudes and in some wet tropical areas, including populous areas in East and Southeast Asia.
10. Please choose the incorrect description.
(a) Warming temperatures lead to less wintertime precipitation falling as snow and more as rain, and the snow that does fall will melt earlier. (b) In the mid-latitudes and dry tropics (e.g. the Mediterranean Basin, western United States, southern Africa, and northeastern Brazil), decreases in rainfall and increases in temperature will lead to a significant decrease in water resources.
(c) Reductions in the availability of fresh water will cause problems for food production.
(d) Increased sea level will increase the frequency of flooding from extreme sea-level events, so that a flood event that occurred, say, every 100 years, may occur after sea-level rise every few years.
11. Please choose the incorrect description.
(a) Organisms build shells or skeletons out of calcium carbonate, and their ability to will be strongly affected by increases in acidity. (b) Ocean acidification is just a theory – it has happened during the PETM.
(c) Some species will adapt better to increasing acidity than others. As a result, the mix of species in ocean ecosystems will shift. (d) Warming temperatures also increase the ranges of animals that transmit the diseases (e.g., mosquitoes) and shortening of the diseases’ incubation periods.
12. Please choose the incorrect description.
(a) Dealing with the impacts of climate change in this way, however, takes significant resources. This means that the ability to adapt is not evenly spread across the globe.
(b) For small climate change, these countries will likely find most effects of climate change to be manageable without too much social disruption.
(c) The warming predicted for the next century will be as much as 50 times faster.
(d) As the rate of warming goes up, the ability of the environment to gracefully adapt to the changes declines.
13. What is not our responses to climate changes?
14. Please choose the incorrect description.
(a) Adaptation means responding to the negative impacts of climate change. If climate change causes sea-level rise, an adaptive response to this impact would be to build seawalls or relocate communities away from the encroaching sea.
(b) Geoengineering refers to active manipulation of the climate system. Under this approach, our society would continue adding greenhouse gases to the atmosphere, but we would intentionally change some other aspect of the climate in order to cancel the warming effects of the greenhouse gases.
(c) One geoengineering approach is to intentionally increase the albedo of the Earth, thereby offsetting the warming of greenhouse gases. (d) Adaptation does not require a collective decision be made to adapt. When individuals realize they are being harmed by a changing climate, they will initiate action to reduce the harm.
15. Please choose the incorrect description.
(a) Government assistance could help a community adapt. For example, if sea-level rise submerges Miami, and the resulting economic disruption hurts the entire U.S. economy, then the U.S. government might be justified in paying for seawalls to prevent that from happening.
(b) Adaptation might also be considered a form of aid, whereby richer societies agree to help poorer ones pay for climate impacts. (c) Government could implement regulations to encourage citizens to adapt to a changing climate.
(d) Adaptation in advance is always less expensive than adaptation after an event.
16. Please choose the incorrect description.
(a) Many of the worst impacts of climate change will occur in the second half of the 21st century, adaptation allows us to wait for decades before we must start adapting.
(b) Another advantage of mitigation is that it does not require national or international intervention.
(c) Adaptations to address climate change could benefit society in other ways.
(d) The poor countries in the world are responsible for very little of the GHGs in our atmosphere today –which is why they’re poor –it also means that they are less capable of dealing with the impacts.
17. Please choose incorrect description.
(a) Because of lags in the climate system, as well as lags in the economy, some future climate change is unavoidable.
(b) If climate change is at the upper end of the range of predictions, then even rich countries may not have enough resources to adapt. (c) Adaptation-only policies are not seriously considered in the climate policy debate, and there is wide agreement that mitigation must be part of the solution.
(d) Mitigation efforts made today will significantly reduce climate change during the second half of the 21st century
18. Please choose incorrect description.
(a) Experts have made the judgment that warming of more than 2°C above pre-industrial temperatures would be considered dangerous. (b) Reducing emissions through population control would require a decline in the number of people on the planet.
(c) Like population, solving the climate problem through consumption would require not just stopping growth of consumption, but deep reductions in it.
(d) The technology term is a measure of how much greenhouse gas is emitted per dollar of GDP.
19. Please choose incorrect description.
(a) To stabilize the Earth’s climate with less than 2°C of warming and prevent dangerous climate change impacts, we need to reduce emissions by 50– 80% over the next few decades.
(b) Energy intensity need to decline by 6% per year or so to achieve the necessary reductions in emissions.
(c) Two different ways to generate energy from sunlight: solar photovoltaic or solar thermal methods.
(d) Solar thermal energy uses mirrors to concentrate sunlight on a working fluid (such as an oil, molten salt, or pressurized steam), heating it to several hundred degrees Celsius.
20. Please choose incorrect description.
(a) The amount of solar energy falling on the planet is more than 100,000 TW. Enormous compared to the energy humans consume, about 15 TW of primary power.
(b) To satisfy human energy needs would require, 1 million km^2 of solar energy collectors, corresponding to 0.2% of the Earth’s surface. (c) A single one can generate as much as 6 MW of power, which is approximately 1% of the power produced by a standard-size fossil fuel power plant.
(d) Wind also has the problem of intermittency. The wind does not blow everywhere nor does it blow all the time.
21. Please choose incorrect description.
(a) All human energy requirements would require covering 1.5% of the Earth’s surface with wind farms (a few million windmills). Note that putting up windmills does not preclude using the land for agriculture.
(b) Biomass energy refers to the process of growing crops and then burning them to yield energy. The CO2 released from burning biomass was absorbed from the atmosphere during growth, i.e., no net increase in CO2 in atm.
(c) Deforestation releases CO2 into the atmosphere, and causes other local environmental problems: loss of biodiversity and ecosystem degradation.
(d) Automobiles that run on gasoline can be modified to use ethanol with a few inexpensive and minor modifications to the engine, and some cars already sold are already capable of burning ethanol (so-called flex fuel vehicles).
22. Please choose incorrect description.
(a) Hydroelectric energy is the most widespread renewable energy source in the world today, providing 16% of the world’s electricity. (b) Many of the world’s big rivers are already dammed, and new dams often cause local environmental problems and therefore generate significant opposition from those individuals living in the area. (c) Carbon dioxide is captured and placed in long-term storage. The carbon capture and storage (CCS) is not a renewable energy source. (d) The captured carbon dioxide must be stored, usually injected deep underground into porous sedimentary rocks.
23. Please choose incorrect description.
(a) A power plant equipped with CCS needs 10-40% of the energy generated into capturing and storing the carbon.
(b) While CCS is a promising technology, it remains unproven because no large-scale CCS power plant has ever been built.
(c) An externality occurs when someone takes an action, and this action imposes involuntary costs on others.
(d) Emitting CO2 is an externality because it leads to global climate change and therefore imposes costs on everyone in the world.
24. Please choose incorrect description.
(a) Externalities and market failures occur frequently in environmental problems – and the costs of that degradation are paid for by everyone.
(b) When people degrade some common assets for free, then the result is that these assets tend to be over-utilized – resulting in a situation “the tragedy of the commons”.
(c) If a company decides to reduce emissions, then the entire cost of reducing emissions is borne by the emitter – while the benefits are spread throughout the society.
(d) This is described by the principle of “polluter pays”, meaning that emitters should pay for the damage they cause.
25. Please choose incorrect description.
(a) Adaptation – important part of response. Adaptation as only response to climate change is fraught with problems.
(b) Reducing greenhouse-gas emissions requires improvements in energy efficiency, and more importantly, converting our energy system to one that primarily utilizes carbon-free energy sources, such as solar, wind, nuclear, and CCS.
(c) Conventional approach to regulation requires all emitters in a particular economic sector to meet a single standard.
(d) The conventional approach has the advantage that it is clear and easy to understand. Today, many environmental regulations, including regulations on air pollution, fall into this category.
26. Please choose incorrect description.
(a) Conventional regulations provide no incentive for the development of new technologies for emissions reductions beyond the specified target. (b) Making emitters pay for their emissions is a market-based solution. It does not tell anyone how much they can emit, or what technology to use – it only requires them to pay for whatever emissions they do make.
(c) A carbon tax could be applied to the fossil fuel when it is extracted from the ground, such as excise taxes on coal and petroleum. (d) As part of a long-term policy, the carbon tax would start out relatively small and, over several decades, gradually increase until emissions reached the target level.
27. Please choose incorrect description.
(a) Under cap and trade, the government issues a fixed number of permits each year, with each permit allowing the holder to emit a fixed amount of greenhouse gas to the atmosphere.
(b) For the emitters, the economics of a cap-and-trade system are similar to the economics of the carbon tax. If the marginal cost of reducing 1 ton of greenhouse gas emissions is less than the cost of the permit, then the emitters will pay to not emit that ton.
(c) The cap-and-trade approach allows emitters to either avoid having to buy a permit, or if they already have a permit for this ton, they can sell it at a profit.
(d) The cap-and-trade approach has the advantage that permits go to those emitters who value the permits the most – and are therefore willing to pay the most. These will be the highest marginal cost emitters, for whom emissions reductions are most expensive.
28. Please choose incorrect description.
(a) Because permits are as good as money, this is equivalent to the government giving emitters money. Unsurprisingly, emitters favor this approach. (This is the way it was done for the European Union). (b) Giving these industries free permits essentially provides financial aid to help them adjust to a new world where emitting carbon to the atmosphere is no longer free.
(c) A carbon tax and cap-and-trade system are quite similar in many ways.
(d) The carbon tax and cap-and-trade system move emissions reductions to where they are cheapest: to the lowest marginal cost emitters. In both cases, the emitter reduces emissions until the marginal cost of reducing the next ton of emissions is equal to the cost of the tax or permit.
29. Please choose incorrect description.
(a) Under a carbon tax, the policy markers set the tax rate, which in turn sets the cost to society of the emissions reductions. But it is not exactly known what the economy’s marginal cost of reduction is, so this means there is uncertainty in exactly how much of an emissions reduction will occur given a particular tax rate.
(b) Under cap-and-trade, the policy makers set the total number of permits issued, and therefore the total emissions from the economy. However, the uncertainty in the marginal costs means that it is not known how much it will cost to reach the specified level of emissions. (c) For several political reasons, cap and trade has been the preferred climate policy for the last two decades.
(d) The European Union has a cap-and-trade system operating today. In the United States, however, political and economic events have made cap and trade a toxic commodity.
30. Please choose incorrect description.
(a) Actions taken to remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere are known as offsets, which can be thought of as “negative emissions.” (b) In much the same way that a carbon tax or cap-and-trade system are efficient because they encourage the lowest marginal cost emitters to make the reductions, offsets provide further flexibility in exactly how emissions are reduced.
(c) Additionality means that the offsetting action would not have taken place without the additional value given to the offsetting action by the carbon emissions regime.
(d) Offsets allow emitters to continue releasing greenhouse gases into the atmosphere by paying for reductions elsewhere.
31. What is not the incomplete knowledge?
(a) How much warming will we experience if we do nothing? (b) How bad will that much warming be?
(c) How much warming can we avoid?
(d) What kind of renewable energy
32. Please choose incorrect description.
(a) Reducing emissions is a reversible decision.
(b) Extinction of species are by definition, irreversible.
(c) The irreversibility of emitted carbon dioxide and its associated climate change tends to favor taking action to reduce emissions. (d) The deeper the cuts in emissions, the less climate change we will eventually experience – but the more expensive those cuts will be.
33. Please choose incorrect description.
(a) We do not at present have the ability to predict changes in temperature and precipitation at the regional scales required for detailed estimates of impacts.
(b) Converting estimated changed in climate into a dollar figure can be difficult and arbitrary.
(c) Estimating the costs of the impacts of climate change - and therefore the benefits of avoiding it – is even more difficult.
(d) Another problem in estimating the costs of climate change comes from the timing of climate impacts.
34. Please choose incorrect description.
(a) Climate impacts will not be distributed evenly across the globe, and some regions will be hit harder than other regions.
(b) The worst-case scenarios might include catastrophic outcomes such as abrupt climate changes and mass starvation.
(c) Less than 2°C of warming is a challenging target 0 we have already experienced 0.8°C of warming above the pre-industrial level, and we are
already committed to another roughly 0.5 °C of warming from emissions that have already occurred.
(d) Cut emissions by 50-80% in 35 years, so we would need to reduce emissions by, on average, 1–2% per year.
35. Please choose incorrect description.
(a) Estimates are that population growth over the next 50 years would be, 1% per year, and affluence will grow at 2–3% per year. (b) In order for emission to decrease at 1-2% per year while population and affluence are growing, we would need to reduce the greenhouse gas intensity (the T term in the IPAT relation) by 4–6% per year. (c) If it turns out that reducing emissions is too much of a hardship economically, then the policies can be reversed and we can return to consuming fossil fuels without regard for the climate.
(d) But if reducing emissions turns out to have an acceptable cost, then we will be on the road to heading off a potentially severe climate impacts.