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7.4 Closing thoughts

Of course, doing anything about this needs scientific evidence and understanding, but it also requires social, economic and technological changes, which can only be achieved through political will. If you want to explore some of the broader context, a good place to start would be the New Internationalist issue 357, ‘The Big Switch: Climate Change Solutions’ at New Internationalist.

Faced with the sort of predictions climatologists are making, is it sufficient for science teac
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7.3 Running the models forward

What happens when the models are run forward? It depends upon the models used and the scenarios they are asked to run. It seems almost certain, however, that there will be increases in the global mean surface temperature, to the order of +1.5 to +4.5 °C (– possibly more, according to some models and scenarios.

These changes are predicted to be associated with increases in sea level, changes to weather conditions (e.g. more regular and violent winter storms in the UK) and changes to t
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7.2 Comparing modelled and observed temperature

The IPCC comparison between modelled and observed temperatures since the year 1860 is shown in the three charts below

6 Further reading

The models being used in research take such simple energy flows and increase the ‘granularity’ of the components used, to build complex time sequences.

You may like to see Modelling climate change (Information Sheet 8) at the website of the Author(s): The Open University

4 Further reading

For information on changes to flora, click on Science magazine.

For changes to fauna, and economic effects, go to Information Sheet 4, or for the paper quoted at the top of the screen, Information Sheet 1, both at Climatic Research Unit.

Click on the link below to open the data-smoothing information


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1 Natural climate change?

The chart below shows a record of the global mean surface temperature of the Earth compiled for the past 140 years. Clearly there is an upward trend, but what does a chart like this really show?

Health and environment
To be able to understand the importance of the environment for our health, we need to know a little about the interdependence between environment and humankind. This free course, Health and environment, will look at interactions between plants, animals and the physical and chemical environment, as well as considering ways in which humans have altered, and are altering this environment. Author(s): Creator not set

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5 Conclusion

The issue of climate change draws attention to the power of human activity to transform the planet in its entirety, and it is brought into sharp focus by the predicament of low-lying islands like Tuvalu. As we have seen in this course, the issue of rising sea level and other potential impacts of changing global climate also point to the transformations in the physical world that occur even without human influence. Oceanic islands provide a particularly cogent reminder that the living things w
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Innovation Design: Sustainable Communities
Can you picture the future in a world without fossil fuels? Perhaps you think that living an "alternative" lifestyle has to mean painful and radical changes to the way you live now. This album looks at various small scale initiatives which show that living sustainably may not be as unpalatable as you might imagine. Bedzed, Findhorn, Hockerton, Samsoe Island; these are all decentralised communities at the forefront of a major social and technological experiment. In our world of finite resources a
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Learning outcomes

After studying this course, you should be able to:

  • relate the temperature of a solid to the mean kinetic energy of its atoms

  • use models for thermally induced effects that involve linear, exponential and step changes

  • use exponentials, logarithms and graphical methods to interpret data from a thermally activated process in terms of Arrhenius's law

  • identify the changes of phase taking place in a variety of critical phenomena


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5.3.1 Trait theories

Trait theories are based on the assumption that the determining factor in an effective leader is a set of personal characteristics. It is also assumed that the way to discover these characteristics is to study successful leaders and determine which characteristics they have in common. However, despite innumerable studies, only about 5 per cent of the characteristics identified in successful leaders have been found to be widely shared. Of these, three stand out as significant:

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1.1 ‘People, not guns, kill people’?

Navigation, which, like oratory, saves not only people's lives from extreme danger but also the persons and property which belongs to them. Navigation is a modest art that knows her place; she does not put on airs or make out she has performed some brilliant feat, even though she achieves as much as forensic[public] oratory; she brings people safe from Aegina for no more than two obols, I believe, and even if they come f
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Acknowledgements

Course image: Shever in Flickr made available under Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 2.0 Licence.

Grateful acknowledgement is made to the following sources for permission to reproduce material in this course:

Pages 36–37: Edwa
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5.9.3 Nanofiltration

Nano is a prefix that means 10−9, i.e. very, very small. You may have come across nanotechnology. Nanofiltration is similar to reverse osmosis and employs membranes that are capable of physical sieving and diffusion-controlled transport. Nanofiltration systems operate at much lower pressures than reverse osmosis systems, but yield higher flow rates of permeate. The quality of the permeate is not as good as with reverse osmosis, with particles in the size range 0.0005–0.005 μm
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2.5 Air circulation

At this stage, air circulation enters and plays a dual role. Firstly, winds transmit moisture horizontally from one location to another. In this way, moisture derived from oceanic evaporation can be transported many miles to a land mass. Secondly, convective or vertical currents arising from unequal heating or cooling can transmit moisture upwards. When it cools, some of the water vapour condenses. It is from these currents that most precipitation develops.


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2.4 Condensation

As air rises it expands, owing to the decrease in pressure with height, and as it expands, in theory it cools at an average rate of 1°C for every 100 m of altitude. As the air cools, it becomes saturated with water vapour which condenses around small particles in the air. These particles may occur naturally, such as soil particles or salt particles residual to evaporation of sea spray, or they may be produced artificially during combustion. A measure of the necessary cooling to produce conde
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Keep on learning

Study another free course

There are more than 800 courses on OpenLearn for you to
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4 Introduction to systems practice

This course teaches some aspects of systems thinking and practice. But what does it mean to be a systems practitioner, and is it different to being a manager? This section attempts to answer those questions.

First, I believe a good systems practitioner will be more competent at handling complex situations, more capable of managing their working and domestic lives, and more able to learn not only how to learn but also how to act more effectively by using systemic concepts and techniques.
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1.6 Building on strengths

Activity 1

A self-review exercise for your learning file

The aim of this activity is to encourage you to take a problem-solving approach to your own learning, and to be proactive. The first part asks you to refle
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1.4 Defining reflection

Reflection is both an academic concept and also a word in common use, combining ideas of thinking, musing, pondering and so on. This everyday meaning is a good basis from which to start: reflection is very much to do with thinking. However, one of the most important things about reflection is that it enables us to think about our own thinking – about what it is that we know or have experienced. Such reflection might be summed up in the phrase, 'the mind's conversation with itself'.

Wh
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