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Biodiversity, Climate Change and the Economy

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You learned about the negative impact of economic growth and human utilization of resources that can lead to global climate change and extinction. In this Case Assignment, you reviewed many pieces of evidence and developed your own conclusions about the relationship between human activities and global climate change. Now review the conclusions that have been drawn by NASA regarding this information at http://climate.nasa.gov/evidence/.

Part I: A Closer Look at the Evidence

For the first part of this assignment answer these questions using the NASA website:
1.Describe the graph on this page. What does it show us about the concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere?
2.The facts about climate change are grouped into different categories on this page. How are these groups labeled? What is considered "not in dispute"?
3.Select the "Effects" tab on the left-hand column of this webpage. Summarize the effects of climate change listed here in one paragraph. Be sure to address the effect of climate change on our weather and water resources.

Part II: How Can Economic Growth Become Part of the Solution?

Read this article from the Economist:

The outlook: Averting the sixth extinction. The Economist Sep 14, 2013; Vol 408 (8853): 15.

Now answer the following questions regarding economic growth and climate change discussed in this article in paragraph format. One paragraph should be sufficient.
1.How does economic growth negatively impact other species?
2.What is described as the principal threat to biodiversity as the global economy and human population grows?
3.Is economic growth necessarily bad for our planet? What points suggest that economic growth can benefit biodiversity?
4.Conclude your paragraph with 1-3 sentences that draw connections between economic growth, climate change, habitat loss, and biodiversity.

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Solution Preview

Part I

For the 400,000 years prior to 1950, the concentration of carbon dioxide in the air has been cyclical, with each cycle lasting about 100,000 years, and the maximum concentration not exceeding 300 parts per million. Within the past 64 years, however, the concentration of carbon dioxide in the air has been above 300 parts per million, and has continued to increase steadily. In 2014, the concentration was approximately 400 parts per million.

The groups have the following labels:
• Sea level rise
• Global temperature rise
• Warming oceans
• Shrinking ice sheets
• Declining Arctic sea ice
• Glacial retreat
• Extreme events
• Ocean acidification
• Decreased snow cover

There ...

Solution Summary

The expert examines what the graph about the concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere. The effects of climate change listed are summarized. All questions have been answered in 445 words.