Chapter 7, we learned how the build-up of heat-trapping pollution
caused by human activities is destabilizing Earth’s climate. This
phenomenon – referred to interchangeably as “global warming” and
“climate change” – has more recently been called “climate disruption”
and even (by sustainable business guru, Hunter Lovins) “global
weirding”. Primary human causes of heat-trapping or “greenhouse gas”
pollution include the burning of fossil fuels (e.g., coal, oil, natural
gas), detailed in Chapter 6. They also include land use changes such as
the conversion of forest ecosystems to industrial agriculture, as
detailed in chapters 3 and 4.
this lab you will use a computer model to explore how human activities
are creating a blanket of heat-trapping pollution in Earth’s atmosphere.
The model illustrates sources of top heat-trapping pollutants and their
general impacts on Earth’s temperature. In the lab questions, you will
reflect upon how destabilizing Earth’s climate not only impacts
ecosystems and biodiversity, but also critical elements of human
well-being such as fresh water supplies and agricultural production.