9.f^Chapter 9 Ending^237^238^,,^8157^8221%
Practice Quiz
  1. What are the “stabilization wedges” suggested by Pacala and Socolow at Princeton University (see table 9.2)? How many wedges do we need to accomplish to flatten our CO2 emissions?

  2. What is the greenhouse effect, and how does it work?

  3. Why are we worried about greenhouse gases?

  4. What is the thermohaline ocean conveyor and what is happening to it?

  5. Describe the El Niño/Southern Oscillation.

  6. What gas, action, and country make the largest contribution to global warming?

  7. What has been the greatest air pollution control success in the United States since 1970?

  8. Define primary air pollutant, secondary air pollutant, photochemical oxidant, point source, and fugitive emissions.

  9. What is destroying stratospheric ozone, and where does this happen?

  10. What is the “new source review”?

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Critical Thinking and Discussion Questions

Apply the principles you have learned in this chapter to discuss these questions with other students.

  1. El Niño is a natural climate process, but some scientists suspect it is changing because of global warming. What sort of evidence would you look for to decide if El Niño has gotten stronger recently?

  2. One of the problems with the Kyoto Protocol and with the Clean Air Act is that economists and scientists define problems differently and have contrasting priorities. How would an economist and an ecologist explain disputes over the Kyoto Protocol differently?

  3. Economists and scientists often have difficulty reaching common terms for defining and solving issues such as the Clean Air Act renewal. How might their conflicting definitions be reshaped to make the discussion more successful?

  4. Why do you think controlling greenhouse gases is such a difficult problem? List some of the technological, economic, political, emotional, and other factors involved. Whose responsibility is it to reduce our impacts on climate?

  5. Air pollution often originates in one state or country but causes health and crop damage in other areas. For example, mercury from Midwestern power plants is harming plants, water, and health in eastern states. How should states, or countries, negotiate the costs of controlling these pollutants?

Data Analysis
Examining the IPCC Fourth Assessment Report (AR4)

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has a rich repository of figures and data, and because these data are likely to influence some policy actions in your future, it's worthwhile taking a few minutes to look at the IPCC reports.

The most brief and to the point is the Summary for Policy Makers (SPM) that accompanies the Fourth Assessment Report.

You can find the summary here: www.ipcc.ch/publications_and_data/ar4/syr/en/spms3.html. The full report is also available here.

Open the SPM and look at the first page of text; then look at the first figure, SPM1 (reproduced here). Look at this figure carefully and answer the following questions:

  1. What is the subject of each graph? Why are all three shown together?

  2. Carefully read the caption. What are the blue shaded areas? Why are they there?

  3. The left axis for all three graphs shows the difference between each year's observations and an average value. What values are averaged?

  4. What does the central trend line in each graph represent? In the third graph, what is the value of that line, in million km2, for the most recent year shown? Approximately what year had the lowest value shown? What does a decline in this graph represent on the ground?

  5. Why is the trend in the snow cover graph less steep than the trends in the other two graphs?

  6. Nearly every page of the IPCC report has graphs that show quite interesting details when you take the time to look at them. Choose two other graphs in the SPM document and explain the main messages they give.

See if you can explain them clearly enough to communicate the main idea to a friend or family member. Have different students select different graphs and explain them to the class.

See the evidence: view the IPCC report at www.ipcc.ch/publications_and_data/publications_ipcc_fourth_assessment_report_synthesis_report.htm.

For Additional Help in Studying This Chapter, please visit our website at www.mhhe.com/cunningham6e. You will find practice quizzes, key terms, answers to end of chapter questions, additional case studies, an extensive reading list, and Google Earth™ mapping quizzes.