What does climate mean in social studies

what does climate mean in social studies

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Climate change is the defining issue of our time. We have reached a pivotal moment in deciding our planet's future. Find out what climate change is, why it matters and what it could mean for our collective future.

Weather refers to atmospheric conditions, such as rain or snow, happening in a place at a specific moment in time. Climate is how much, on average, a type of weather will occur over a longer period. Dr Joeri Rogelj is a climate scientist at Imperial College London's Grantham Institute how to say my family tree in spanish has contributed to and led several major climate change assessments.

He explains, 'Climate change is how the characteristics of the weather we experience in a certain place change. All of that can be a result of climate change. Global warming is a term used interchangeably with climate change, although the latter is preferred because the warming atmosphere and oceans are just some of the effects we see.

Places are also becoming wetter or drier, and in some the seasons are moving. Most importantly, in a few regions and seasons, it may actually at times be cooler than we're used to. That's confusing if you just talk about global warming. This is Typhoon Utor, which affected the Philippines and China in It caused considerable damage and loss of life. Climate change influences most weather events, including tropical storms and hurricanes. The main driver of current climate change is the emission of greenhouse gases, most importantly carbon dioxide and methane.

These are primarily released when fossil fuels are burnt. Meat and dairy production, producing cement and some industrial processes, such as the production and use of fertilisers, also emit greenhouse gases. Greenhouse gases trap heat in our atmosphere. Since the mid-nineteenth centurythe world has emitted over 2.

Joeri explains, 'Energy from the Sun falls on our planet and what happens in a court gets reflected back as infrared radiation. But instead of escaping back out into space, this radiation gets absorbed by molecules of greenhouse gases, which then emit them in all directions. There are measuring stations all around the world that keep track of air and sea temperature. From these measurements it's clear that temperatures are rising.

For example, on a warming planet we would expect polar ice caps and glaciers to melt. It is clearly observed that those are melting,' explains Joeri. This is an ongoing airborne mission what is mascarpone cheese made of monitor changes in polar ice. We know that greenhouse gases are causing change. Thanks to studies that look at how carbon dioxide absorbs infrared radiation, for example, there is a scientific understanding of how the planet would warm as a result of emissions.

This has allowed climate scientists to discount the theory that global warming is being caused by an increase in the Sun's intensity, for example. The amount of oxygen that is in the atmosphere is reducing at exactly the right amount for the increase in carbon dioxide to be caused by combusting fossil fuels,' explains Joeri.

There is additional evidence in the ratios of how to refinish linoleum floors types of carbon. Fossil fuels are, essentially, ancient plants. Plants now and in the past preferentially take up carbon In normal conditions, the ratio between carbon and carbon is constant. Climate change does not have the same effects everywhere.

The planet is generally getting hotter, but some regions and seasons can at times be temporarily cooler. Some places will see drawn-out seasons, while others may experience concentrated bursts of extreme weather. Extreme weather events - such as hurricanes, heatwaves, drought, wildfires and floods - are predicted to become more intense and frequent. As scientists we can estimate how much climate change has made a certain event more likely or more intense than it would have been without climate change,' explains Joeri.

When the world warms, ice melts. Arctic sea ice could disappear entirely in a warming how to display silk scarves, and Greenland and Antarctica's ice sheets could be destabilised. This would result in large sections melting, which would add more liquid to the ocean. Ice also reflects the Sun's energy, so without ice, more heat is absorbed by the ocean. Water expands as it warms - this is known as thermal expansion.

This effect means that the ocean takes up more space, causing sea levels to rise. Even with rapid emission cuts, sea levels are expected to rise by around 26 to 53 centimetres by Along with melting ice sheets and glaciers, rising global temperatures could cause rainforests to die and widespread species extinctions.

Around million people currently live in areas that, due to rising sea levels, are expected to be under high tide levels by This could cause a massive displacement of populations. Low lying atoll nations such as Tuvalu and the Maldives are incredibly vulnerable to this change and could be lost to the sea.

Hundreds of millions of people rely on seafood as their main source of protein. Warming and more acidic waters could destroy marine food chains by affecting their base, such as krill or coral reefs. Longer-lasting drought how long to broil steak in oven medium rare devastate crops, threating food security.

Reservoirs drying upas well as the loss of glaciers, could make drinking water scarce. Pasterze Glacier is estimated to be receding at a rate of 10 metres per year. A sign shows where the glacier lay inwith the ice having since dramatically retreated up the valley. Increased precipitation can cause deadly flooding, as well as lowering indoor air quality.

This could affect our health as dampness benefits moulds and fungi. Around four billion people live in urban areas, and by this will have risen to an estimated 6. City dwellers are not exempt from climate change's effects. Urban populations usually rely on rural areas for inputs such as food and water. If climate change disrupts these important connections, it could heavily affect what is a pithy quote in urban areas.

Natural disasters impact poor and vulnerable populations disproportionately hard and clearly expose the consequences of ignoring social inequalities. With extreme weather increasing, these populations face a heightened level of risk. For example, the urban heat island effect amplifies the effects of temperature extremes in cities.

Those unable to afford to buy and run air conditioning may find their health compromised. Joeri says, 'We don't know what will happen when, exactly. It's really hard to anticipate, particularly for populations that are already on the edge every year. The natural world is delicately balanced.

No species - including ours - is completely independent of all others. A report confirmed that over one million animal and plant species are now at risk of extinction as a result of human activities. Differing rates of change could mean that species' lives are no longer synchronised with those they rely on. Many plants are flowering earlier.

Migrating birds arrive earlier, leave later and some even are getting smaller. Butterflies are emerging earlier. Birds and amphibians are laying their eggs earlier in the year. Some species are moving into new areas, such as kelps which form vital marine habitats. Seaweeds are important for many reasons. They act as vital habitats.

Some also help protect coastlines from erosion. Insects are one of the most vulnerable what does je t aime mean in english, with less ability than mammals or birds to escape warmer temperatures. Loss of insects, which are a primary food source for many animals, a key pollinator of plants and whose numbers are already plummetingcould cause the ecosystem to collapse.

In aquatic ecosystems, activities to mitigate the side effects of climate change, such as building hard flood defences, can have negative effects. As sea levels rise, sea walls reduce the space for intertidal ecosystems.

A rising sea could also damage important coastal habitats like sand dunes and cliffs. Joeri says, 'The ocean looks homogenous, but it also experiences variations.

There are ocean heatwaves, where if a particularly warm mass of water comes to an area like coral reefs, it induces loss and mass dieback. The loss of Arctic sea ice takes away a key habitat from animals including polar bears, seals and walruses. Climate change is just one of the stressors currently impacting nature. Sea use, invasive species, pollution and the exploitation of organisms are all factors in the threat to nature. Without drastic changesit's expected that there will be devastating changes in biodiversity and ecosystems.

Climate change has been a known problem for around 30 years. Starting to fix it earlier might have made this daunting task much easier.

John S. Dryzek, Richard B. Norgaard, and David Schlosberg

Studies show that gender diversity improves an organizations innovation and productivity. When women are given equal education (and as a result, equal job opportunities) compared to men, the businesses they join thrive. #2 Better economy. When women can participate in the economy in the same way as men, the economy does better. Find out what climate change is, why it matters and what it could mean for our collective future. What are weather, climate and climate change? Weather refers to atmospheric conditions, such as rain or snow, happening in a place at a specific moment in time. Climate is how much, on average, a type of weather will occur over a longer period. Climate change and polar bears. Temperatures in the Arctic are rising at least twice as fast as the global average and sea ice cover is diminishing by nearly four per cent per decade. The loss of sea ice affects polar bears ability to find food, studies show.

Climate change presents perhaps the most profound challenge ever to have confronted human social, political, and economic systems.

The stakes are massive, the risks and uncertainties severe, the economics controversial, the science besieged, the politics bitter and complicated, the psychology puzzling, the impacts devastating, the interactions with other environmental and non-environmental issues running in many directions. This article summarizes the entire work which brings together a representation of the best scholars on climate change and society. It introduces the key topics, themes, layers, and issues related to climate change.

It concludes with a discussion of the structure of the book. It begins with the science that first identified climate change as a problem, and how it is received by and in society and government.

Keywords: climate change , environmental issues , non-environmental issues , human system , climate justice. There are no precedents. So far, we have failed to address the challenge adequately. Problems will continue to manifest themselvesboth as we try to prevent and as we try to adapt to the consequences of climate changeso human systems will have to learn how better to respond. One of the central social, political, and economic questions of the century is: how then do we act?

In this Handbook we have brought together a representation of the best scholars on climate change and society. We identified the key approaches and selected authors to represent and engage with their literatures in a manner that would be informative and interesting to scholars in other areas and to newcomers as well.

We have encouraged authors to make linkages between approaches and to other chapters. We hope the Handbook will contribute to the integration of understanding needed to tackle so systemic and complex a problem as the relationship between climate change and society. At the same time, the Handbook is by no means a synthesis, nor does it provide a unified diagnosis of what is wrong and right with contemporary human systems, an integrated and coherent program for research, or a singular blueprint for collective action.

While we have views of our own on such questions, some of which will come through in this introductory chapter, there is no unified line followed by our authors as they address the complex relationship between people, societies, and the natural world.

Most not all agree on the magnitude and p. But there are substantial differences when it comes to identifying what matters, what is wrong, what is right, how it got to be that way, who is responsible, and, not least, what should be done. Climate change is, as Steffen explains in his opening chapter, a truly diabolical problem. It is additionally devilish in the mismatch between human capacities to act and the scale, scope, and immediacy of collective action seemingly demanded.

Nevertheless we have to start somewhere, and we have aspired in this Handbook to commission and compile the best available set of intellectual resources for the multiple tasks ahead. Given the complexity of what we face, no single volume can offer commentary on absolutely everything that is needed. Yet we have aspired to a measure of comprehensiveness in addressing the range of ways climate change plays out in the social realm.

Our main task is, then, to lay out the various ways that climate change affects society, and what society might do in response. The authors represent a variety of disciplinary understandings and intellectual frameworks that can be brought to bear. In this chapter we introduce the key topics, themes, layers, and issues, before concluding with a discussion of our chosen structure.

We begin with the science that first identified climate change as a problem, and how it is received by and in society and government. While the effects of climate changefloods, drought, heat stress, species loss, and ecological changecan be experienced very directly, their conceptualization as connected phenomena with common causes is due to climate science, which therefore plays a very basic part when it comes to climate change and society.

Natural scientists such as Steffen in his chapter tell us that there is now consensus in the climate science community about the reality of climate change, and near consensus on its severity and the broad range of attendant harms and risks. But that consensus does not of course mean the science is then accepted as the basis for policy. Climate science does not provide certain future projections of risks and damages. The projections are entangled in assumptions about how human systems respond over timeas well as natural ones.

Climate change, furthermore, is only one of a range of interacting phenomena of global environmental change caused or affected by human activity. Thus while the broad sweep of history shows climate change being taken ever more seriously as an issue within the scientific community and eventually far beyond see Weart's chapter , we are dealing with complex processes with uncertain outcomes rather than simple facts, and the public and politicians have difficulty seeing the drivers to collective action in any simple way.

The agendas of climate science are now affected by larger social and political processes see the p. Thus scientific findings and their action implications must seek validation not just within the scientific community itself, but also within the larger society, and different political systems have different means for validation see Jasanoff's chapter. But even getting to the point of taking science seriously can be difficult.

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change IPCC famously uses language seeped in uncertainty to qualify its predictions likely, very likely, virtually certain, etc. As Dunlap and McCright discuss in their chapter, a thoroughly organized campaign has successfully used such scientific uncertainty to create political uncertainty, with those who fund the case against the reality of climate change having a massive stake in the fossil fuel economy.

More insidiously, skepticism may also give the impression that it is empowering ordinary people to be able to question the assertions of a scientific elite. Science moves to the center of political controversy, and scientists respond in varied ways Schneider Unsurprisingly, scientists feel harassed by the attacks of organized skeptics and denialists.

To the extent scientists respond with further insistence on the consensus within the scientific community about the veracity of their claims, the more they play into their critics' hands. The net result is that science enters a spiral of politicization. Scientists themselves in many cases cannot avoid becoming political actors, as they fight for the credibility of what they do in the larger public arena. Not surprisingly, they can and do make many false steps in this arena, and much can be done to improve the communication of science to the public see Moser and Dilling in this volume.

They are also faced with the quandary over whether to admit to uncertainties in the range of their own findingsand so leave themselves open to critics who discredit the scientists' lack of confidenceor to claim certainty greater than that actually warranted by these findings. Admission of a degree of uncertainty is the norm among colleagues, but fodder for skeptics.

One thing we do know is that simply insisting on the rightful authority of science as the guide to action has failed. But the natural sciences are not the only politicized disciplines.

What do scientific findings mean in human terms? An answer is given by economics, which can attach cost estimates to the current impacts and projections of future impacts of climate change. One such set of estimates is provided in the chapter by Mendelsohn, who comes up p. Economists such as Nicholas Stern in his famous report to the government of the United Kingdom come up with much higher estimates.

A lot turns on seemingly technical factors such as the rate of discount used to calculate a present value for future costs. Depending on the discount rate chosen, we can end up with massive differences in the size of the present value of future costs, and so radically different implications for climate policy. The choice of discount rate turns out to be a major ethical issue, not just a technical economic matter see the chapters by Howarth and R.

Further contestation arises once we move beyond the confines of standard economic analysis to contemplate other ethical issues Dietz's chapter , pertaining for example to basic human needs, and the distribution of burdens and benefits of action and inaction across rich and poor, within and across national boundaries, as well as between generations.

Sagoff argues in his chapter that the asymmetry of burdens and benefits across generations means that economic thinking should not be at the core of climate policy analysis. Once we get past controversies over cost estimates and distributions, economics also provides a powerful set of analytics for thinking about the choice of policy instruments to achieve the desired level of mitigation expressed in terms of targets and timetables for total greenhouse gas emissions.

Emissions trading requires that some authority sets a cap on total emissions, then issues permits for quantities that add up to that cap. These permits can then be traded, such that companies for which reducing pollution is expensive can buy permits from those for which reductions are cheaper. The economic theory is very clear, but the politics and policy making is much murkier.

It informs many discussions of national policy instruments, and extends to global policy and emissions trading across national boundaries. The discourse affects the content of global governance arrangements, which can even be privatized as carbon traders seek to escape international governmental authority see Paterson's chapter.

Market logic extends too to offsets, whereby polluters can compensate for their greenhouse gas emissions by paying somebody else, for example, to plant trees that will absorb an equal quantity of emissions. What actually happens at ground level in countries where there is weak monitoring capacity is another matter entirely.

Unlike conventional markets where one party of the transaction can complain, or at least never transact with the other party again, both parties in offset transactions have every incentive to give misleading information to the public on the real number of trees planted and their actual effectiveness in p.

Again, complexity rules. But whatever their consequences for mitigation, new kinds of climate markets present many opportunities for traders to become wealthy, becoming a constituency pushing for further marketization see Spash's chapter. National governments are embedded in market economies that constrain what they can do, and the social realm is often limited by economistic frames and discourse.

However, markets are not necessarily just a source of constraint. Markets are made up of producers and consumers who might themselves change their behavior in ways that reduce emissions. The most important producers here are large corporations. Why might they change their ways?

Corporate responses to the challenge of climate change have been highly variable see Pulver's chapter , and there is little reason to suppose a significant number of corporations will play a leadership role if governments do not. The only corporations that do have a clear financial incentive to take the risks of climate change very seriously are insurance companies. This is especially true of the big reinsurance companies with potentially high exposure to damages caused by extreme weather events.

The high hopes once vested in insurance companies by some analysts Tucker on this score seem so far to have produced little in the way of comprehensive action. A decarbonizing economy would of course have to involve changes in patterns of consumption, whether induced by government policy and price increases, or chosen by consumers through changing mores. Such basic individual and broad cultural changes that affect consumption have been promoted by a variety of social movements, religious actors, and celebrities.

Many environmental organizations focus on consumer behaviorfrom the individual level up to the decarbonization and transition of towns and regionsboth as a source of direct change and as a clear economic and political statement.

Luke also insists we understand the dangers of such forms of such behavioral control, even if it does look green. At any rate, changing consumer habits are no substitute for coordinated collective action.

In a world where the legitimacy of public policies and other collective actions rests in large measure on the democratic credentials of the processes of their production, it matters a great deal what publics think, and what actions they consequently support, or are willing to p. Initially, many climate scientists, policy makers, and activists thought that the key here was simply getting publics to understand the facts by providing information the point behind Al Gore's documentary film An Inconvenient Truth , for example.

Yet as Moser and Dilling point out in their chapter, just providing information normally has little impact on behavior. Most people get their information via the media, but as already noted there are structural features of mainstream media the reporting only of controversy, which requires two opposing sides that are problematic when it comes to communicating climate change.

Thus there remain many failures in public cognition of the complex phenomena attending climate change see Jamieson's chapter. Public opinion polls often show that people do care, and do want something to be done see Nisbet's chapter ; but there is no necessary urgency. In practice, many issues of more immediate concern and which impose far fewer burdens of cognition trump climate change when it comes to for example voting behavior. Information, scientific or otherwise, is often processed through the lens of existing beliefs formulated in areas of life remote from climate science.

Those beliefs can be very powerful, for better or for worse. Religious beliefs are particularly important in this respect see Kearns's chapter. Publics should not however be understood as simply mass publics, which are problematic when it comes to mastering complex issues simply by virtue of their mass nature. Publics of this sort can be found at many levels: local, national, transnational, and global. They are organized in many different ways, ranging from community groups to the translocal solidarity identified by Routledge in his chapter to global networks of activists depicted by Lipschutz and McKendry in their chapter.

Concerned publics almost by definition are geared for action in the way mass publics most of the time are not.

What does climate mean in social studies: 3 comments

  1. Shakasar

    Me watching while I have one but not confident in using it. but I think I will after a few more videos. lol


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