Climate change quiz
1. If you turn your lights off when they are not in use you could save on average between
a. 10% of your energy bill
b. 8% of your energy bill
c. 15% of your energy bill
2. If you turned your appliances off rather than leaving them on standby you could save
a. £12 a year and help reduce carbon dioxide emissions
b. £59 a year and help reduce carbon dioxide emissions
c. £37 a year and help reduce carbon dioxide emissions
3. By turning down your thermostat by 1°C could cut your heating bills by up to
a. 10% and save you around £30 a year
b. 20% and save you around £50 a year
c. 35% and save you around £60 a year
4. If we all turned the tap off whilst brushing our teeth we would save enough water to supply
a. 500,000 houses a day
b. 100,000 houses a day
c. 200 houses a day
5. The UK is the world’s
a. 10th largest emitter of carbon dioxide
b. 5th largest emitter of carbon dioxide
c. 8th largest emitter of carbon dioxide
6. In London we produce forty four million tonnes of CO2 every year, which is
a. 5% of the country’s total emissions
b. 8% of the country’s total emissions
c. 10% of the country’s total emissions
7.By installing a water saving hippo bag in your toilet cistern could save you
a. 3 litres of water every flush
b. 6 litres of water every flush
c. 1 litres of water every flush
8. A dripping tap can waste enough water in a day to
a. run a shower for 5 minutes
b. run a shower for 3 minutes
c. run a shower for 7 minutes
9. On average every person in the Uk throws away their own body weight in rubbish every
a. 3 weeks
b. 5 weeks
c. 7 weeks
10. How long do you think it takes a plastic bag to decompose?
a. 10 years
b. 100 years
c. 50 years
a. 100 years
b. 10 years
c. 50 years
11. Washing your car with a bucket and cloth uses as little as
a. 7% of the volume used by a hose
b. 12% of the volume used by a hose
c. 5% of the volume used by a hose
12. How much of the energy do washing machines use to heat the water?
a. Almost 90%
b. Almost 70 %
c. Almost 50%
13. How much could you save by replacing just one light bulb with energy saving recommended ones?
a. £78 over the lifetime of the bulb
b. £30 over the lifetime of the bulb
c. £56 over the lifetime of the bulb

Quiz Answers
1a, 2c, 3a, 4a, 5c, 6b, 7a, 8a, 9c, 10b, 11a, 12a, 13a

1. Question: Which of the following is/are regarded as climate change?
A: Change in average temperature
B: Change in average rainfall pattern
C: Change in average wind pattern
D: All of the above

Answer D: All of the above. Climate change is any long-term significant change in the average weather patterns of a given region. Average weather may include average temperature, precipitation and wind patterns. (Source: BBC, Earth Day Canada)

2. Question: Which of the following is NOT a result of climate change?

A: Rise in sea levels
B: Drought
C: Water scarcity
D: Desertification
E: More frequent earthquake

Answer E: More frequent earthquake. Rising sea levels, drought, water scarcity and desertification are possible results of climate change. Earthquakes are natural disasters without any connection to climate. (Source: BBC, Earth Day Canada)

3. Question: Which of the following is NOT an activity causing climate change?

A: Driving cars
B: Travelling by plane
C: Turning off unused light
D: Clearing rainforest for farmland

Answer C: Turning off unused lights can help reduce CO2 emissions. (Source: BBC, Earth Day Canada)

4. Question: Which of the following are the activities that can help fighting climate change?

A: Taking public transport instead of driving a car
B: Only buying necessary items
C: Planting more trees
D: All of the above

Answer D: All of the above activities can help fight climate change. (Source: BBC, Earth Day Canada)

5. Question: Scientists representing the UN’s International Panel on Climate Change predict that by the end of the century temperatures could rise by as much as:

A: 3°C
B: 5°C
C: 5.8°C
D: 6.5°C

Answer C: 5.8°C (Source: BBC, Earth Day Canada)

6. Question: What has been the average global temperature change over the last 100 years?

A: An increase of about 2°C
B: An increase of about 1°C
C: An increase of about 0.5°C
D: A decrease of about 1°C

Answer C: An increase of about 0.5°C. The average global temperature change over the last 100 years is just a half a degree Centigrade, but the projected rise by the end of this century is 5.8°C. (Source: BBC, Earth Day Canada)

7. Question: What approximate percentage of carbon emissions is caused by cutting down forests?

A. 10-15 percent
B. 15-20 percent
C. 20-25 percent
D. 25-30 percent

Answer C: 20-25% (Source: BBC, Earth Day Canada)

8. Question: How much have sea levels risen in the last century?

A: 0–5 cm
B: 10–15 cm
C: 15–20 cm
D: 25–35 cm

Answer C: Sea levels have risen 15-20 cm in the last century (Source: BBC, Earth Day Canada)

9. Question: What is the Earth’s average temperature?

A: 11°C
B: 15°C
C: 19°C
D: 22°C

Answer B: 15°C (Source: BBC, Earth Day Canada)

10. Question: Carbon dioxide (CO2) accounts for what percentage of greenhouse gas emissions?

A: 25%
B: 34%
C: 63%
D: 78%

Answer C: 63%. CO2 is the major greenhouse gas causing climate change. Cars, planes, power plants and factories are all responsible for the huge increase in CO2 emissions. (Source: BBC, Earth Day Canada)

11. Question: What was the hottest year on record since the late 1800’s (since records began)
A: 1910
B: 1974
C: 1998
D: 2002
E: 2003

Answer C: 1998 was the hottest. 2002 was second and 2003 was the third hottest (Source: Worldwatch)
12. Question: What was the warmest decade in the Northern Hemisphere in the past 1,000 years?
A: 1920’s
B: 1940’s
C: 1950’s
D: 1970’s
E: 1990’s

Answer E: 1990’s. And the ten warmest years on record have occurred since 1990 (Source: Worldwatch)

13. Question: Can global warming lead to another ice age?

Answer: According to the best available science, this is very unlikely. (Source: Worldwatch)

14. Question: Name three human activities that produce greenhouse gases and especially carbon dioxide?

e.g. any of the following, among others:
- Burning fossil fuels (e.g. coal, oil, gas) to produce electricity
- Heating our homes with oil, coal or gas;
- Driving our cars;
- Switching on our natural gas stoves for cooking (Source: Worldwatch)

15. Question: Which of the following is not a fossil fuel?
A: Coal
B: Natural Gas
C: Wind
D: Oil

Answer C: Wind. Fossil fuels are non-renewable resource, formed millions of years ago from the remains of dead plants and animals.

16. Question: List four things YOU can do as an individual to conserve energy and pollute less?

e.g. any of the following, among others:
- Turning off lights and computers when they are not in use
- Using public transportation or carpooling,
- Driving less,
- Recycling waste
- Purchasing energy efficient appliances and light bulbs
- Driving a more fuel-efficient car,
- buying food grown locally,
- insulating your water heater and home,
- reducing use of air conditioning systems
17. Question: What are scientists warning might become increased concerns in Britain in the next 50 years as the climate warms?
A: Scorpions
B: Sharks
C: West Nile Virus
D: All of the above
Answer D: All of the above. A report from the Energy Saving Trust warned of all three, as well as the possibility of termites and poisonous spiders becoming increasing problems. (Source: BBC)
18. Question: Human CO2 emissions are small compared with natural CO2 exchange. Is this statement true or false?
A: True
B: False
Answer A: True. It is true that human emissions of CO2 are a small percentage of the total carbon cycled through plants, soils, rocks, the oceans and the air. But they are not insignificant - since 1750, the atmospheric concentration of carbon dioxide has increased by 31%. (Source: BBC)
19. Question: Some scientists say that North Sea cod stocks are slumping faster than over-fishing can account for. They say climate change maybe to blame - but why?
A: Rising temperatures have disrupted the fish's breeding cycle
B: Sea birds migrating later are eating large numbers of cod fry
C: The plankton composition of the North Sea is changing, reducing food stocks for cod larvae
D: All of the above
Answer C: The plankton composition of the North Sea is changing, reducing food stocks for cod larvae. Plankton are microscopic free-floating marine organisms. The decline of a particular North Sea species of phyto-plankton is key to changes further up the food chain. Many species are suffering, including cod. (Source: BBC)
20. Question: Cows are guilty of speeding up global warming. Fact or fiction?
A: Fact
B: Fiction
Answer A: Fact. Methane is the second most significant greenhouse gas and cows are one of the greatest methane emitters. Their grassy diet and multiple stomachs cause them to produce methane, which they exhale with every breath. (Source: BBC)
21. Question: Roughly how fast is the Arctic warming in comparison to the rest of the world?
A: Half as fast
B: The same
C: Twice as fast
D: Three times as fast
Answer C: Twice as fast. According to a recent assessment, annual average temperatures in the Arctic have risen nearly twice as much as those in the rest of the world, although there are variations across the region. There are fears this could lead to the extinction of species such as polar bears, and that it will change the way of life of the people living there. (Source: BBC)
22. Question: Acid rain might have an unforeseen effect on climate change. What is it?
A: Speeding it up because the sulphur in acid rain can act as a greenhouse gas
B: Slowing it down by reducing methane levels
C: Speeding it up by increasing the heat given off by cities
D: Slowing it down because dissolved sulphur makes ice melt slower
Answer B: Slowing it down by reducing methane levels. Acid rain may slow climate change by helping to keep methane levels low. The greenhouse gas methane is produced in large quantities by microbes found in wetlands such as peats and marshes. But these microbes are inhibited by a type of bacteria that thrives on the sulphate present in acid rain. (Source: BBC)
23. Question: Which country has the highest CO2 emissions per capita?
A: Australia
B: Canada
C: Kuwait
D: United Arab Emirates
Answer D: United Arab Emirates. Figures compiled by the Carbon Dioxide Information Analysis Center show UAE's per capita emissions are highest at 6.17 metric tonnes of carbon, followed by Kuwait with 5.97, the US with 5.4, Australia with 4.91 and the UK with 3.87. If total greenhouse gas emissions are compared, however, some analysts say Australia comes out higher than the US. (Source BBC)

24. Question: Emissions trading has become a key concept in reducing greenhouse gases worldwide. Which country invented it?
A: Germany
B: Sweden
C: Switzerland
Answer E: USA. The US has been operating emissions credit trading programmes to tackle non-greenhouse pollutants since 1977. (Source: BBC)

Climate Change Quiz Questions and Answers
Thursday, 18 November 2004, 10:41 am
Press Release: Climate Change
Quiz Questions and Answers
If 1000 people, who usually take their cars from Petone to Wellington, and back every day, take the train instead over the period of a week. What sort of reduction in greenhouse gas emissions would this equal?
A. A 3 tonne reduction
B. A 13 tonne reduction
C. A 23 tonne reduction
Answer: C
The greenhouse gas emissions produced by 1000 people travelling from Wellington to Petone and back again over the period of a week (that's 10 trips) in cars is roughly 25 tonnes of carbon dioxide (CO2). For the same number of people travelling by train - on the same route and the same number of times - this would be approximately 2 tonnes of CO2. You do the maths - that's a huge reduction in CO2!

You decide you want to go on holiday for a week. Which travel option produces the least amount of greenhouse gas emissions?
Flying to a main city centre in New Zealand and doing a walking tour of the city sites
Driving around the country for a week visiting family and friends
Flying to Australia and camping in a national park
Answer: B
A return air trip to any destination emits many more carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions than driving a car because of the huge amount of fuel a plane uses. For example, a return trip from Christchurch to Melbourne will emit about 664 kg of CO2 per person, a return flight from Auckland to Dunedin will emit about 281 kg of CO2 per person. However, driving from Auckland to Wellington, and back again, only emits about 55 kg of CO2 per person. Camping and walking tours are good activities, as they don’t produce any CO2.
[NB: plane emissions are based on an average passenger loading per trip and car emissions are based on one person in the car per trip.]

You’re mowing your lawn. To ensure you’re producing the least amount of greenhouse gas emissions, what should you do with the grass clippings?
Take your clippings to a landfill
Don’t use a catcher when mowing and allow the clippings to scatter over the lawn
Mix the clippings with the compost heap in your garden
Answer: B
Grass clippings (and other organic waste such as food scraps) produce the potent greenhouse gas ‘methane’ as they break down in landfills. This is because there are such large piles of organic waste in landfills that oxygen can’t get into the waste to help the breakdown process. The more organic waste there is in landfills, the more methane is produced. When grass clippings or kitchen scraps decompose in your own compost heap, a lot more oxygen can get into the waste, so less methane is produced. Scattering the clippings on your lawn is the best option because the clippings don’t build up in a pile and therefore no methane is produced.

How much more fuel would your car use travelling at 100km/hr compared to cruising at 90 km/hr?
A. Up to 5%
B. Up to 10%
C. Up to 15%
Answer: C
The faster you go, the more fuel your car will use. The extra time it would take to travel 50km at 90 km/hr compared to 100 km/hr is only about 3 ½ minutes, but you will save up to 15% on fuel!
Other ways to reduce your vehicle’s fuel consumption include keeping its tyres inflated to the highest pressure recommended by the manufacturer, making sure your wheels are properly aligned, removing your roof rack when you don’t need it and getting your vehicle serviced regularly. Braking and accelerating excessively uses up more fuel, therefore producing more carbon dioxide - which contributes to climate change. Go easy on the pedal!
[NB: this answer has been calculated for a 2-litre car.]

You’re waiting for your friend to come out of the dairy. After how long would it be more efficient to turn your engine off then restart it, rather than continuing to idle?
30 seconds to 1 minute
2 minutes
5 – 7 minutes
Answer: A
Even though your engine uses fuel when it needs to be re-started, the amount is so small that the break-even point is between 30 seconds and one minute. So next time you’re in your car with your engine running waiting for someone for longer than one minute – turn it off. You will save on fuel and will help to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. N:B This doesn’t apply to hybrid vehicles which rely on their electric engine when idling.

Which road trip from Wellington to Masterton would use the least amount of fuel?
A. Driving in the day with almost no other traffic on the road, but keeping to the speed limit
Driving in the evening and overtaking vans and trucks that are going slower than you are
Answer: A
The vans and trucks going more slowly than you mean you will have to brake and accelerate (to overtake) more than if there was no other traffic on the road. Braking and accelerating excessively uses up more fuel, therefore producing more carbon dioxide, which contributes to climate change. Go easy on the pedal!
One third of all car trips in New Zealand are less than what distance?
A. One kilometre
B. Two kilometres
C. Five kilometres
Answer: A
One third of all New Zealand car trips are less than a kilometre (two thirds are under six kilometres). If possible, try to walk, ride a bike or take public transport on those shorter trips. Such measures will reduce the amount of carbon dioxide being released into the atmosphere and will also save you money on petrol!

You want to purchase a vehicle that best suits your needs. You drive your two children 15 minutes to and from school five days a week, take them to sports in the weekends and then during the holidays drive them five hours each way to stay with their grandparents. Which engine size would best suit your needs and produce the least amount of greenhouse gas emissions?
5 litre 4WD or SUV
3 litre station wagon
2 litre large passenger car
Answer: C
The 2-litre vehicle will meet all your needs for the majority of uses and will consume less fuel (therefore producing less carbon dioxide). The average 4WD and SUV use more fuel than a standard station wagon, which has just as much carrying space as the other options.

If every household with a water cylinder more than 15 years old insulated their cylinder with a wrap, it would save what percentage of New Zealand’s residential energy use?
A. 0.5%
B. 1.5%
C. 5%
Answer: C
Water heating is the single biggest energy consumer in a home, so insulating your hot water cylinder with a wrap is well worth doing and will save you money on your power bill. You could also insulate the pipes near the cylinder. Also, if you go away for a week or longer, turn your water cylinder off. It is pointless to waste energy you are not going to use and it will take only about two hours for an average cylinder to heat the water up to 60°C when you come back. Another way to save energy used on water heating is to have showers instead of baths and take shorter showers.

Which lighting option produces the least amount of greenhouse gas emissions?
A. Candles
B. Compact fluorescent light bulbs
C. Normal light bulbs
Answer: B
Compact fluorescent light bulbs consume about one quarter of the energy consumed by conventional light bulbs and last around eight times longer. So it’s well worth buying these energy efficient bulbs (available at supermarkets and hardware stores), especially when you consider that lighting consumes around 10% of the power in your home. Candles directly produce carbon dioxide (CO2), as a result of burning, and they give out hardly any light, therefore they’re not efficient.

You’re preparing for a party and going back and forth between rooms. What is the best way to make sure your lights aren’t needlessly wasting energy?
Keep the lights on as you go from room to room until the job is done
Turn the lights off every time you leave a room and then on again when you return
Answer: B
The amount of energy needed to activate a light bulb (including standard and compact fluorescent bulbs) is minimal. So it’s better to turn off lights when you leave a room and turn them on again when you return to save energy. Turning any bulb on and off reduces its life by a very small amount and the energy you save by turning lights off when you leave rooms will greatly outweigh any loss of life of your bulb.
Buy compact fluorescent light bulbs (available at supermarkets and hardware stores), which consume about one quarter of the energy consumed by conventional light bulbs and last around eight times longer!

You’re watching TV in one room of the house. Which heating option will keep you warm and use the least amount of electricity?
A. A three bar heater placed directly in front of you
B. A three-fin oil filled heater placed in the centre of the room
C. A wall-panel heater with a thermostat
Answer: A
A bar heater is the most efficient option. This is because a bar heater heats the things it ‘sees’ i.e. if placed in front of you, it will warm you but not the whole room. Convector heaters (such as wall-panel heaters) are usually much less efficient compared to bar, or ‘radiant’, heaters. A convector heater warms the air, which then rises above the occupied space. Oil column heaters provide both convected and radiant heat, so they’re not quite as efficient as a bar heater. Thermostats will save energy - they stop heaters from overheating a room by turning the heater off once the set temperature is reached. The most efficient heaters are actually heat pumps which produce about three times as much heat as the energy they consume (they can also act as an air conditioner in summer). The additional cost of a heat pump will be repaid in energy savings in time.

If we could lift the energy efficiency rating of every household appliance in New Zealand by just half a star, it would be the same as taking how many cars off the road (in terms of saving energy)?
A. 2,000
B. 6,000
C. 12,000
Answer: C
Use the yellow and red energy rating label to compare models when buying whiteware such as fridges, dishwashers and dryers – the higher the number of stars, the better the energy efficiency of the model. The additional cost of an energy efficient model is easily repaid in energy savings.

How much money does the average New Zealand home spend on standby power (such as lights & clocks on appliances and using the remote to turn on/off your TV) a year?
Answer: C
The average New Zealand house spends between $80 and $90 a year on standby power each year. In the wee hours of the morning appliances such as computers, televisions, VCRs, DVDs, stereos, microwaves, washing machines, dryers, electric jugs and toasters are silently sucking power out of electrical sockets while households sleep. Remember to turn these appliances off at the wall!

What percentage of the power your home uses goes on running appliances?
A. 10%
B. 15%
C. 20%
Answer: C
Household appliances use 20% of your home’s energy (10% of that goes on running appliances on stand-by e.g. lights & clocks on appliances and using the remote to turn on/off your TV). Make sure you turn off all appliances at the wall when you’re not using them. Wash clothes in cold water (try to wash full loads) and hang clothes out to dry instead of using the dryer when possible. Do you really need that towel rail on all day? You could hang your towel on the clothesline to dry in summer or in a heated room in winter. Close windows, doors and curtains to keep in the heat during the colder months.
Also, when buying appliances, use the yellow and red energy rating label to compare models – the higher the number of stars, the better the energy efficiency of the model. The additional cost of an energy efficient model is easily repaid in energy savings.

You want to insulate your home, but can’t afford to insulate the entire house. Which option will be the most beneficial in order to keep the house warm?
A. Insulation in the floor
B. Insulation in the ceiling
C. Insulation in the walls
Answer: B
Up to 42% of heat losses occur through the ceiling whereas about 24% is lost through the walls and 10% through the floor. If every home in New Zealand had ceiling insulation, we would save 7% of residential energy use.

You’re going on holiday and want to save electricity while you’re away. How long do you have to be away to make it financially beneficial to turn off your hot water cylinder?
A. One week
B. Two weeks
C. Three weeks
Answer: A
If you go away for a week, it is still worth turning your water cylinder off, as it is pointless to waste energy you are not going to use. It will take about two hours for an average cylinder to heat the water up to 60°C when you come back.

You’ve hosted a dinner party and have a lot of dishes to wash. Which option uses the least amount of electricity?
A. Using your dishwasher on economy cycle
B. Washing the dishes in the sink by hand
Answer: A
Surprisingly, a modern dishwasher will be more efficient as it will draw cold water and use the minimum amount of energy. On most cycles, it would usually use a lot less energy to run its internal water heating element for a full load of dishes than it would if you used hot water straight from the tap to wash the same amount of dishes by hand (even taking into consideration the energy used to power the dishwasher).

How much money a year do you spend on running your beer fridge?
A. $35
B. $55
C. $75
Answer: C
Around 350,000 New Zealand households have a second fridge, most of which are not very energy efficient and consume a minimum of $75 worth of electricity a year. Are you sure you can’t fit that six pack into your main fridge?

You live in Wellington and you’re flying to Singapore. How many pine trees would absorb the amount of greenhouse gas emissions produced by the plane flight (per person)?
Answer: A
Even little steps count! You only need to plant one tree to absorb the carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions produced from such a trip - this is the amount of CO2 the tree would remove from the atmosphere over its lifetime (about 28 years for a pine tree). Remember though, trees that are chopped down release the CO2 they’ve absorbed back into the atmosphere.
[NB: plane emissions are based on an average passenger loading per trip.]

Each month, New Zealanders dispose of enough rubbish to fill a rugby field to 30 stories high. How much of this could be composted (on average)?
A. A rugby field to 3 stories high
B. A rugby field to 9 stories high
C. A rugby field to 14 stories high
Answer: C
45% of the average rubbish bag could be composted – that’s a huge waste of space in our landfills. What’s more, much larger amounts of the potent greenhouse gas methane are produced by organic waste (such as kitchen scraps and grass clippings) in landfills. This is because the piles of waste at landfills are so huge, that oxygen can’t get into the waste to help the breakdown process. The more organic waste there is in landfills, the more methane is produced. It is much better to let this waste decompose in your own compost heap as a lot more oxygen can get into the waste (smaller pile), so less methane is produced. If you mow your lawn, leave the clippings to scatter over the lawn if possible as this produces no methane.
As for the other 55% of your rubbish bag, make sure you put any plastic, glass, tin and paper items into your recycling bin.

You decide to take a five-day holiday in your local region. Which tourism option produces the least amount of greenhouse gas emissions?
A tramping trip in a local national park but enjoying the comforts of a luxury hotel each night
A visit to a local winery each day by bus and staying in bed and breakfast accommodation at night
Using your home as a base, but departing each day to enjoy some fun activities with the family including a scenic helicopter ride, jet boating, a picnic in a park and a trip to the local zoo
Answer: B
In option A, the energy one person would use in a luxury hotel for four nights would translate to about 32 kg of carbon dioxide (CO2), but the tramping trip involves no transport use (therefore there are no CO2 emissions from fuel). Total = about 32 kg CO2
In option B, staying in a B&B each night would emit about 17 kg of CO2. The bus tour of the wineries (approximately 50 km’s) would emit about 6 kg of CO2 per person (including the emissions produced at each winery visit). Total = about 23 kg CO2
In option C, the CO2 produced in a private home is much less than the other two options at about 6 kg of CO2 per person. However, water activities such as jet boating emit about 15 kg of CO2 per person and air activities, such as a scenic helicopter flight, produces about 28 kg of CO2 per person. A trip to a local zoo (or park) emits about 0.2 kg of CO2 per person. Total = about 49 kg of CO2

Climate change facts

The scientific evidence that climate change is real and poses serious risks for the future comes from a wide body of scientific research produced by many hundreds of scientists.
The key bits of evidence are as follows:
(1) Unequivocal evidence of warming over the 20th century.
Globally the world has warmed by 0.74 degrees C (uncertainty range 0.56 to 0.92) from 1906 to 2005. Warming is seen over the majority of the globe – over land areas and over the ocean. Evidence for warming is supported by wide spread melting of snow and ice. Sea levels have also risen over the 20th century (by 0.12 to 0.22m). We would expect sea level to rise as oceans warm and expand. Other aspects of climate have changed over the 20th century, for example: many mid and high latitude areas have got wetter while sub-tropical areas have got drier.
(2) Greenhouse gas concentrations are increasing in the atmosphere
We know with certainty that carbon dioxide concentrations have increased by over 30% over the 20th century and that current atmospheric levels are the highest they have been for at least the last 650,000 years. We also know with certainty that these increases in carbon dioxide are the result of human activity (mainly burning fossil fuels). Other greenhouse gases (such as methane and nitrous oxide) have also increased, very likely as a result of human activities (mainly from agriculture).
(3) Most of the warming since the mid-20th century is very likely due to human activity
Climate scientists look at both natural factors that cause climate to change and they look at the effect that people are having on climate. The scientific evidence shows that much of the warming since the mid-20th century is very likely due to increasing greenhouse gases from human activity. Scientists have looked at different possible causes for the warming. Natural changes (like changes in the Sun’s output) cannot explain 20th century warming. The only way to reproduce the warming over the 20th century is to include the effects that people are having on the climate.
(4) Climate change likely to worsen over the 21st century
Using climate models and taking a range of future greenhouse gas emissions, global temperatures could increase by 1.5 to 4 degrees C by 2100. Some areas will warm more than others. Rainfall patterns are likely to change, but we have less confidence in predictions of rainfall than of temperature. Regional and local details of future climate are also more uncertain than global and large-scale changes.
(5) Risk of serious impacts from climate change
There is evidence that climate change is already affecting things like river flow and lake temperatures, ice and snow cover and wildlife (growing season and migration for example). In the future serious impacts are projected on food, water, human health and biodiversity.

I’ve been thinking about something. A few weeks ago, we were learning about the reasons why deserts are where they are, etc. One thing that my teacher mentioned was that a reason for the mildness of UK’s climate was that it is surrounded by the sea, which regulates the country’s temperatures. Landlocked countries have more extreme (relatively speaking) temperatures and thus weathers, due to there being a lack of sea/water body to regulate the country.
Now, what if we introduced Global warming into the agenda? Global warming isn’t simply warming the world – it affects the world by using extreme changes (Again, relatively speaking) in temperatures. If Global warming advances far enough, doesn’t that mean that the UK, despite the sea, will be exposed to weather like that of a land-locked country (Like Mongolia, for example) pre-global warming? And that current land-locked countries will have even more extremes than before?
climate change does mean more extremes – e.g., more very hot days, more hot summers, more heavy rainfall with greater risk of flooding.
However, it’s not really the case that UK climate plus climate change will then be like the climate of central Europe or the Mediterranean.
Future UK climate will still be strongly affected by the sea. So while we expect summers to get hotter and probably drier, and winters milder and wetter, we’l still have essentially a maritime climate (with less contrast between summer and winter than a continental climate). We’ll still have the warm Gulf Stream current, although climate models suggest it might weaken.
Each of the five principal scientific conclusions underlying this blog posting are questionable.
“Unequivocal warming during the 20th century.” Perhaps, but the evidence of systematic tampering with worldwide surface temperature records means we simply don’t know how temperatures changed before the satellites came along in the early 1980s to give us proper global temperature measurements. Besides, the mere fact of warming tells us nothing of its cause, which may be chiefly a natural recovery from the Little Ice Age.
“Greenhouse gases are increasing in the atmosphere”: Yes, but so what? The question is not whether greenhouse gases cause warming, but how much warming they cause and, again, there is evidence of tampering with the data and the calculations to produce an official range of estimates that is well beyond measured physical reality. CO2 concentration is rising at half the rate predicted by the UN’s climate panel; the estimate of its radiative forcing depends upon the belief, unsupported by reliable evidence from measurements, that warming in the tropical upper troposphere will be thrice the surface rate if and only if anthropogenic greenhouse forcing is the cause; the estimate of the Planck parameter that converts the warming to temperature is based on a physical absurdity and is between 38% and 300% too large; and the UN’s values for the water-vapor and cloud-albedo feedbacks, published for the first time only in its 2007 report and with no attempt to assign any level of understanding to them, have been demonstrated to be wild exaggerations. It is entirely possible, therefore, that the UN’s predicted range of warmings to 2100 is at least a tenfold exaggeration, and it cannot be less than a threefold exaggeration.
“Most of the warming since 1950 is anthropogenic.” Measurement shows this result, based entirely upon models that are told to assume the multiple and multiplied exaggerations mentioned above, to be flatly untrue. A reduction in cloud cover from 1983-2001, globally, caused a radiative forcing at the surface of at least 1 Watt per square metre, which, if the UN’s exaggerated Planck parameter and feedback multiplier are to be believed, would cause a warming of 0.8 K. Yet the warming since 1950 is just 0.65 K. CO2 and other greenhouse gases were, and are, bit-part players in today’s climate.
“Climate change will worsen over the 21st century.” This modelled prediction is baseless, since it is long proven that in a mathematically-chaotic object such as the climate reliable very-long-term prediction (i.e. more than a few weeks ahead) is not possible by any method. It matters not that weather and climate are distinct: the bifurcations in a chaotic object multiply over time, rendering even the most general forecasts increasingly meaningless.Besides, the models are tuned to assume the exaggerated climate sensitivity imagined by the UN’s climate panel, so their forecasts of gloom and doom are doubly baseless. So far there has been a rapid global cooling trend since 1 January 2001, the turn of the millennium. Yet regular reports of the supposed effects of “global warming” continue to appear. Warming is better than cooling, as we shall discover unless the cooling trend of the first decade of the 21st century reverses itself.
“There is a risk of serious impacts from climate change.” There always was, and there always will be. Bifurcations in a chaotic object can cause frighteningly sudden, and very unpredictable, changes. But such drastically sudden changes are no more likely with warmer weather than with colder weather, and the UN’s climate panel has recently been compelled to admit that many of its projections of extreme-weather events had been supplied to it and authored not by scientists but by environmental extremists and politicized journalists, so that all that evidence is now going to have to be, as they put it, “re-evaluated”.
Finally, I am uneasy that a publicly-funded university should be using a website like this merely to parrot the now-discredited findings of the now-discredited UN climate panel. We do not pay scientists to be propagandists parroting the pietisms and pseudo-scientific nonsenses of the world-government wannabes of the UN: we pay them to get on with original research.

In “The Challenges of Climate for Energy Markets” RFF Senior Fellow Timothy J. Brennan examines the economics underpinning climate policy design and their impact on the electricity sector. With a background in the economics of industrial organization, Brennan says he “can take advantage of outsider status to challenge some of the often-implicit presumptions in the climate and energy efficiency policy conversation.” The following quiz is taken from “The Challenges of Climate for Energy Markets” and was published in the January 1, 2010 issue of Managing Power Magazine:

Aspects of how climate and conservation issues are presented that seem completely natural to the environmental and energy policy community can look peculiar from the perspective of an economist who studies markets and market failure more generally. I can illustrate this with a four-question quiz.


Question 1: A common saying among energy conservation advocates is, “The cheapest power plant is the one you don’t build.” Would you similarly infer that …

a) The cheapest school is the one you don’t build?
b) The cheapest vaccine is the one you don’t administer?
c) The cheapest regulatory conference is the one you don’t hold?

Answer: No, I trust. Any reasonable assessment of a school, vaccine, conference, or power plant would factor in the benefits as well as the costs. To infer policy merit from this sort of claim requires an assumption that the benefits of the electricity generated by the power plant are nonexistent.

Many in the energy policy community who are not economists appear to believe that power plants have only costs rather than benefits as well. The reasons seem to be that consumers’ preferences for electricity use or against conservation technologies lack standing, or that they would use less electricity if only they had the information and wisdom of the experts.
Economic tests, such as cost-benefit analyses, that base policy on revealed consumer preferences, typically reject both of these reasons.

Question 2: Suppose someone goes to see An Inconvenient Truth, the movie that former U.S. presidential candidate and vice president Al Gore made to increase public awareness of the potential harm from climate change. After seeing the movie, out of concern that she does her part to save the planet, she goes out and changes all the light bulbs and appliances in her house to devices that use less electricity and reduce her carbon footprint. In energy policy circles, what do we call this selfless, concerned individual?

Answer: A “free rider”! Yes, someone willing to make sacrifices to reduce her carbon footprint—or, for that matter, someone who makes the effort to calculate that she’d be better off financially in the long run by using compact fluorescent lighting or installing a high-efficiency air conditioner—is lumped together with those who take advantage of others by refusing to chip in to supply a public good.

The reason is that these actions are assessed purely on the basis of the effects of utility companies’ energy efficiency subsidy programs. If someone, such as the person in the question, had switched technologies absent the subsidy program, she would get the benefit of reduced prices even without a utility energy efficiency subsidy. Thus, in industry parlance, she is a “free rider” on the subsidy. If you don’t want to be thought a free rider by utilities, be either selfish or lazy.

Question 3: Suppose we have policies directed toward the goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Two examples discussed in the U.S. and Australia are marketable emissions permits and (usually tradable) requirements that a statutorily designated percentage of energy be generated by renewable fuels such as wind, biomass, passive solar, or sometimes water. What would you call these policies?

Answer: “Complementary”—or at least you would call them that if you were part of the U.S. climate discussion. But when two activities generate the same outcome, the more one has of the first, the less one needs of the second. In economics, these are substitutes. Were the more accurate term employed, it would illuminate the idea that legislating is to choose among alternatives.

Leaving political realities aside, the economic choice is simple—figure out how to get prices to incorporate the external harms of climate change, and let producers and consumers adapt by choosing the technological and conservation options that best meet their needs, taking the cost of climate effects into account. Legislators, though, gain not by making choices but by maximizing the spread of benefits, which the misleading designation “complementary” facilitates. Employing multiple options ensures that the widest possible array of potential political backers will benefit from legislation, likely at the expense of consumers and the economy at large.

Question 4: While we’re on the subject of political support, what does one call structuring climate change legislation to provide benefits to industries on the basis of claims that they would be harmed if they had to pay, directly or indirectly, to pollute?

Answer: “Competitiveness.” The (likely) possibility that one or more countries fail to adopt climate policies, and thus can export products at prices below the true marginal cost of production, may warrant adaptive pricing or trade policies in countries that undertake significant climate policies. These trade policies are justified only to reduce distortions, not to keep firms whole. Paul Krugman said in 1993, “If we can teach undergrads to wince when they hear someone talk about ‘competitiveness,’ we will have done our nation a great service.” That lesson continues to be true.


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