Use the resources provided in class discussions, any other reputable sources you may find to support your arguments — i.e., from NASA, NOAA or other government agencies, published scientific journal articles, or from published articles in reputable news sources to completely answer the following five (5) questions regarding global climate change. Each essay must be identified individually (e.g. Essay 1, Essay 2, etc.) and should be at least 500 words in total (but no more than 700), for a grand total of at least 2500 words; staple all together. Get ready to think like both a physical and a cultural geographer!
1) Consider the various examples of evidence that show that global climate is changing, and that humans (including their greenhouse emissions) are primarily responsible for this change. The United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) issues reports detailing how climate change will affect people globally. What evidence do scientists in this group use to support their predictions? On the flip side, what evidence exists to promote predictions which state that humans are not causing climate change?
2) Climate change, and the resulting rise in sea level, is likely to flood many parts of the world while generating weather extremes like extended droughts and heat waves in other places. You’ve been randomly assigned–your choice–a location on the planet. How will climate change affect this region, and how is it already affecting the region? How should the government prepare for these changes, and what kinds of climate change preparedness plans are already in place?
3) Climate change is happening right now, and many experts say this is the time to prepare and take action both here in the United States and around the world. Using the same location you used in #2, propose realistic ways to prepare for the projected effects of climate change (i.e., increased drought and wildfire, spread of insect-borne diseases, etc).
4) Many of the world’s poorest nations contribute the least to the fossil fuel emissions largely responsible for climate change, yet these places will bear most of the consequences due to their physical and societal vulnerabilities. Do nations whose emissions contribute the most to climate change have a moral responsibility to pay for the effects of those emissions? And if so, how would they pay, and who would determine the kinds of damages those nations should be responsible for?
5) Read this op-ed piece from the New York Times (Links to an external site.). Do you agree with the following statement?
“Perhaps now the deniers will cease their attacks on the science of climate change, and the American public will, at last, fully accept that global warming is a danger now and an even graver threat to future generations.”
Why or why not? Fully back up your opinion with sources and well-informed points.
**Adapted from suggestions by the New York Times/Jennifer Cutraro/The Learning Network