ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE PUBLISHED FOR EVERYBODY ROUND THE EARTH
1. Write a text
Some of the most serious problems caused by climate change will occur in 50 or 100 years time. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) estimates that by the year 2100:
- mean temperatures will have risen by between 1.4 and 5.8 oC
- sea level will have risen by between 9 and 88 cm
- precipitation will have risen by 5 to 20%
We probably won't be alive in the year 2100, but our children and grandchildren may be.
a) How will their lives will be different to ours, in terms of possible effects of a changed climate?
b) Do you think we should try to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases today to avoid problems in 50 or 100 years?
2. Question to be answered individually or in groups
In the text it is suggested that the Muthialappa family will suffer greater damage as a result of climate change than people living in central Europe. Why?
3. Write a text
The story goes that sheep farmers in North America were annoyed with the prairie wolves that took their lambs. Therefore they hunted the wolves, and the number of wolves decreased. Instead, however, the number of rabbits and small rodents increased, as these animals were the most important food for the wolves.
1. Wolf and rabbit (drawing by Linda Tam).
Gradually, the number of rabbits and rodents became so great that they did considerable damage to fruit and vegetable gardens. The farmers launched an extinction campagin against rabbits and rodents and the small animals became almost extinct in the area. After a while, the wolf population started to increase again, but now their normal food (rabbits and rodents) was scarce, so the wolves increasingly went after sheep and lambs.
This story is an example of how the number of individuals of a particular species is dependent upon the numbers of other species (plants and animals). Write a similar story about how species that are dependent upon one another may be affected if one species either dies out or gets extremely numerous as a result of climate change.
About this page:
Authors: Ellen K. Henriksen and Camilla Schreiner - University of Oslo - Norway.
Scientific reviewer: Andreas Tjernshaugen - CICERO (Center for International Climate and Environmental Research - Oslo) - Norway - 2004-01-20
Educational reviewer: Nina Arnesen - Marienlyst school in Oslo - Norway - 2004-03-10.
Last update: 2004-03-27.