Human Impact On the Environment

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Arslaan Asif

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Human Impact on the Environment CDA

Human Impact on the Environment

In this coursework I am going to investigate the impact of human activity on the environment. I am going to do this by looking at the possible link between changing carbon dioxide levels in the air and global warming.

Global Land Temperature 1860

The graph above shows the change in air temperature from 1860 to 2000. The rate at which the air temperature has increased has been constant because the change in air temperature is a straight line (line of best fit). This shows us that there is a linear relationship. The graph has a positive correlation because the line is going up and the temperature is increasing. As years go by the temperature rises with it. This is shown in the graph because in 1860 the temperature was -0.1°C whereas in 2000 the temperature was 0.7°C, this shows that there has been a increase of 0.8°C over the 140 years; this means that the surface air temperature has been gradually rising.

The graph has a curved line which means that the numbers don’t have a consistent rate of change and don’t follow a precise order. There is a link between the change in air temperature and the thickness of ice because as the temperature of surface air increases the thickness of ice in the arctic sea decreases. This is a linear relationship because as one increases the other decreases. An example for this would be in 1960 where the surface air temperature was 0.3°C and the thickness of ice in the Nansen Basin located in the Arctic Sea in the years 1958 to 1976 was 3.8 metres. Whereas 40 years after in the year 2000 the temperature of surface air was 0.7, this shows that the surface air temperature has increased by 0.5°C. Alongside this change the thickness of ice had decreased to 2.2 metres in the years 1993 to 1997. There is a decrease of 1.6 metres in ice thickness over this time. These years were the closest to 2000 which is why they have been used although they aren’t 100% accurate they were the closest possible to 2000. This proves that as the years have passed the surface air temperature has increased while the thickness of ice has decreased and will carry on decreasing if surface air temperature decreases further.

Global Concentration of Carbon Dioxide in the atmosphere since 1870

The graph above also reflects a positive correlation because the line is slightly curved and is going up. The graph is showing the global concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. The graph is showing that the levels of carbon dioxide have increased in the atmosphere since 1880. In 1880 there were 290 parts per million of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere whereas in 2000 there were 370 parts per million concentration of carbon dioxide. There has been an increase of 80 parts per million concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. The line of best fit is a non-linear relationship with the points on the graph.

There is a link between graph 1 and 2. In graph 2 the results reflect that the levels of carbon dioxide have increased, so the link is that in graph 1 the surface air temperature has increased with increasing carbon dioxide concentration in the atmosphere. An example to reflect the link could be that in 1920 the global concentration was 300 parts per million. Whereas in the year 2000 the global concentration was 370 parts per million, this shows that in 80 years the concentration increased by 70 parts per million. Similarly in graph 1 the surface air temperature was 0°C in 1920 whereas in 2000 it was 0.7°C. The surface air temperature has increased by 0.7°C over the 80 years. Both global concentration of carbon dioxide and surface air temperature have increased from 1920 to 2000. This suggests that as global concentration of carbon dioxide increases the surface air temperature in the atmosphere also increases.

This is bad for the environment because carbon dioxide is one of the factors causing global warming. The cause of carbon dioxide is the burning of fossil fuels. There is a lot of carbon dioxide because people want a high standard of living and to do so they need a lot of energy to power everything they use. As technology has developed the carbon dioxide levels have increased. A major factor contributing to these levels is the use of cars and planes basically transport vehicles. In the UK there is double the amount of cars registered as there are people in the UK. Cars are constantly adding more carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. The more carbon dioxide the higher the surface air temperature and the more decrease in thickness of ice. These are the causes of global warming.

Thickness of Ice in Areas of the Arctic Sea

This graph shows the ice thickness in 6 locations within the arctic sea at 2 different times; from 1958-1976 and 1993-1997. It shows the ice thickness at the Chukchi Cap, Beaufort Sea, Canada Basin, North Pole, Nansen Basin and Eastern Arctic. The first turquoise bar for each location shows the ice thickness in 1958-1976 and the second blue bar shows the ice thickness in 1993-1997. By comparing the two bars for each location we can see that over the years the ice thickness has decreased in every location within the Arctic sea by almost half. This can be shown with an example; in 1958-1976, the ice thickness at the Beaufort Sea was 2.1, whereas in 1993-1997 the ice thickness decreased by 1 metre as it is at 1.1 after this period of time. By looking at the Temperature variation of surface air temperature graph and this graph I can see there is a link because as surface air temperature increases the ice thickness decreases because it slowly melts because of the increase in surface air temperature. Because the earth is getting warmer, there is an increase in Surface air temperature all over the world meaning that the ice thickness in all of the locations within the Arctic Sea is decreasing. As the years go by the ice thickness is decreasing. Another example to prove this could be that at the Canada Basin in 1958-1976 the ice thickness was 3.5 metres; however several years later in 1993-1997 the ice thickness decreased to 2.1 metres which proves that the ice thickness is decreasing in all locations within the Arctic Sea.  

There is a link between the global concentration of carbon dioxide and the thickness of ice, as the carbon dioxide increases the thickness of ice decreases. An example to show this could be that in 1940 the global concentration was at 305 parts per million and the thickness of ice in the North Pole was 2.1 metres in 1958-1976. However both had changed over the years. The carbon dioxide in the atmosphere in 1960 was 320, this shows that the global concentration increased by 15 parts per million, the ice thickness also decreased as the carbon dioxide levels increased, In the North pole the thickness of ice decreased by 1.3 metres because in 1993-1997 the thickness of ice in the North Pole was 2.4. This proves there is a link because as the global concentration of carbon dioxide increases the ice thickness decreases as the years go by.

The ice thickness is decreasing because there is more global concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere which is causing the surface air temperature to increase which is causing the thickness of ice to decrease. There is a link between all three graphs. An example to show the link between the three graphs could be that in 1960 the global concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is 320 and the surface air temperature in 1960 was 0.3°c and the thickness of ice in the Canada Basin was 3.5 metres. However in 2000 the Global concentration of carbon dioxide was 370 parts per million and the surface air temperature in 2000 was 0.7°c. And the thickness of ice was 2.1 metres in 1993-1997. There is a link because as the carbon dioxide levels increase it makes the surface air temperature to increase making more ice melt which reduces the thickness of ice.  

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Global Warming

Global warming is when the earth’s atmospheres temperature increases or rises and it heats up. This happens because the rays from the sun are absorbed and trapped by the different layers in the earth’s atmosphere. Global warming happens when greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide, water vapour, methane and nitrous oxide trap heat into the earth’s atmosphere from light from the sun. This causes the temperature to rise and increase at a steady pace.  This can cause many species on this earth to become extinct as they cannot adapt to the changes made by global warming.

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