Climate Change


Climate Change



Course Code:

Has Climate Variability, or have Climate Extremes, Changed?

In the last few years, changes in climate extremes and variability occurrences have received immense attention. According to environmental scholars, the difficulty in understanding changes in climate extremes and climate variability is being caused by interactions between variability and the mean. It is important to note that such associations vary from one variable to another based on their distribution in terms of statistics. A good example is the fact that the distribution of temperature in most times appears in the form of a normal distribution. In this case, the non-stationarity of the distribution infers variations in the variance or mean. In the case of such a distribution, the rise in the mean results in fresh record high temperature; however, a variation in the mean does not infer any adjustment in the variability.

When the variability changes without changing the mean, it implies a upsurge in the possibility of both cold and hot extreme as well as the total value of the extremes. Other groupings of changes in both variability and mean would result in dissimilar outcomes. All the above mentioned changes can influence a number of aspects of precipitation extremes, especially the strength of precipitation (Jan & Van, 2003).

Why is Earth’s atmosphere dynamic?

The evolution of the earth’s atmosphere has been through volcanic outgassing and from the evolution of organisms that generate oxygen. This has occurred over the period of 3.5 billion years and has resulted in the change in the composition of the atmosphere from a planet that is oxygen-less to one that can support complex life. Human activities are among the major reasons why changes in the atmosphere are occurring today in a dominant manner. These human activities include the combustion of fossil fuel and change in land use, which have changes the climate of the planet through changes in the concentration of greenhouse gases, changes in the rainfall patterns and reflectivity of the atmosphere (Kshudiram, 2008).

Today, according to environmental scientists, the atmosphere is comprised of 78% nitrogen, 0.9% argon, 21% oxygen, approximately 0.04% carbon dioxide and a surfeit of other elements, particulate aerosol and compounds. The atmosphere of the earth is also held up to the planet by the gravitational forces and from thermo drive of the air molecules. As such, it is crucial noting that radioactive energy from the sun, the earth’s rotation and the distribution of water bodies and land, are the primary drivers for the physically dynamic atmosphere of the earth. Therefore, the temperature inclines and the earth’s rotation jointly create convective cells of atmospheric movement on the globe. These processes, as a result, produce latitudinal belts and prevailing winds of high and low pressure around the planet (Kshudiram, 2008).

Do you think global warming might bring us to an Ice Age? 

I am of the view that a warming planet is one whose probability of winding up in an ice age is very high. The reason for such a belief is that the earth is always experiencing cooling and warming and we have been in one of the warming cycles for roughly 12,000 years. Based on scientific findings on the same, it is indispensable that the earth will hit another huge chill sometimes in 100,000 year to come. If that occurs, most parts of the planet, especially North America and Europe, will have a thick cover of ice. Environmental research indicates that the heat that is stuck on the earth’s atmosphere from the greenhouse effect will come to counterbalance this cooling and essentially prevent the planet from experiencing another ice age. Though this sounds as good news, the findings still cautions that global warming is not a bed of roses, either. This is because it could result in severe and hostile effects on the planet, especially diminishing global food supply and the rise of sea levels (John, 2009).

How can a solid Earth be a dynamic and evolving planet?

It is true that over the years the solid earth has displayed enormous evolution as well as dynamism. This is mostly because a larger portion of the planet’s geophysical and geological activities happen due to the cooling of the planet to space. Thereby, the cooling effect results in the induction of currents of hot and rising as well as cold and sinking materials, which are referred to as conventions. In the earth’s mantle, conventions act as the engine of plate tectonics and provides rise to the formation of continents and ocean basins. A similar experience occurs to convention in the earth’s liquid-iron outer-core powers of the earth in the geomagnetic fields. In order to understand how the earth has been evolving in the above described manner, physics of the earth’s interior play a crucial role. Scholars and scientists employ numerous experimental, theoretical and observation methods to examine the dynamics and structure of the earth from atomic to global level (Joel, Smith, Klein & Saleemul, 2003).

Write up the water balance equation; explain every term in the equation

Within a watershed, all water that fall as rainfall can be stored in the soil, released from the watershed through subsurface flow or runoff or be returned to the atmosphere. The process explained above is normally simplified by the water balance equation demonstrated below.

Q = P – ET ± St


  1. Q = release of water outside of watershed through subsurface flow or runoff
  2. P = precipitation
  3. ET = evapotranspiration (both evapotranspiration and evaporation)
  4. St = soil storage

The equation is very crucial since it indicates that provided a steady amount of rainfall or precipitation, O will increase of ET is reduced. The implication is that if plant cover within a watershed is reduced, evapotranspiration may also reduce, thereby, increased runoff becomes the most likely thing to occur. The occurrence of these effects is at times desirable but in some other case not. In the same way, if more stream flow (Q) is desired, such as for recreational purposes, either ET or St must be decreased or P must be increased. This is in most instances achieved by adding up impervious surfaces such as roadway within a drainage basin (Warrick, 2001)

The main features of water budget for the arctic/northern rivers.

Precipitation is a considerable freshwater source for bionetworks at more southerly latitudes, happening for the most part during the protracted summer spell. Additionally, north, snowstorm dominates the yearly freshwater budget. High-latitude glacial deserts obtain low levels of rainfall and as such have a marked moisture discrepancy. Nautical locations commonly receive greater amounts of rain and snow than mainland regions. The most significant contribution of freshwater into marine ecosystems is often snowstorm. It accrues over winter, autumn and spring, and partially determines the greatness and harshness of the spring freshet (Warrick, 2001).

Give a short description about your carbon footprint.

My carbon footprint is defined by my daily actions in regard to their impact on the environment I live in. Acts such as eating, entertainment, commuting and sheltering contribute to my carbon footprint. These acts contribute to the overall greenhouse gas emissions in the planet, which have been blamed for climate change (Stuart, 2009).

Can you think about some ways to reduce the carbon footprint of your everyday life?

I have chosen to manage my daily actions to reduce my carbon footprint. During my daily commute, I prefer to use walk or use public transport instead of driving my car especially if the distance I have to travel is short. In my quest for decent and comfortable shelter, I have chosen to use energy efficient appliances in the house and switching off lights and appliances that are not in use (Stuart, 2009).

I have also installed solar panels to subsidize some of the electricity that I consume from the main grid, which is often produced using non-renewable energy sources. I also recycle consumer products as well as some of my non-biodegradable wastes. Everyone can apply these methods in their lives to make sure we all contribute in reducing and managing climate change.


Jan, C., & van, D. (2003). Impacts of Climate Change and Climate Variability on Hydrological Regimes. New York: Cambridge University Press.

Joel, B., Smith, R., Klein, J., & Saleemul, H. (2003). Climate Change, Adaptive Capacity and Development. New York: Imperial College Press.

John, H. (2009). Global Warming: The Complete Briefing. New York: Cambridge University Press.

Kshudiram, S. (2008). The Earth’s Atmosphere: Its Physics and Dynamics. New York: Springer Science & Business Media.

Stuart, S. (2009). The Carbon Footprint Wars: What Might Happen If We Retreat from Globalization? New York: Edinburgh University Press.

Warrick, A. (2001). Soil Physics Companion. New York: CRC Press.


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