Climate Feedback Loops
Lesson 7 Questions
Work through the following questions to test your knowledge of climate feedback loops. Refer back to the lesson pages and learning tools as needed.
What is a Feedback Loop?
- Define positive feedback. Define negative feedback.
- What are the similarities between positive and negative feedback? What are the differences?
- Give an example of both a positive and negative feedback loop that have not been described in the lesson.
- What is the "set point" on a thermostat? How is this idea important to feedback cycles?
Carbon Dioxide as a Thermostat
- What processes of the carbon cycle allow carbon dioxide to act as a climate thermostat?
- In what ways are the buffering abilities of carbon sinks being reduced by climate change?
- Does the fertilization effect result in a positive or negative feedback loop in how it affects atmospheric carbon dioxide emissions? Draw a diagram of this feedback cycle.
- Challenge: How might absorption of carbon dioxide by the ocean have a negative impact on the ocean? Use outside sources if necessary.
- Draw a feedback loop describing the effect of climate change on permafrost. Include all possible sources of emissions you learned about in this lesson (remember- methane clathrate hydrates are also found within the permafrost.)
- In what location are stores of clathrate hydrates stabilized by climate change? Why are they stabilized?
- In what location are stores of clathrate hydrates destabilized by climate change? Why are they destabilized?
- Challenge: Create a large feedback loop summarizing the feedback effects of climate change in the Arctic. You will need to use multiple, interconnected loops.
- Which greenhouse gas is responsible for the majority of earth's greenhouse warming?
- Describe the feedback loop involving water vapour and temperature. Is it positive or negative?
- Describe the feedback loop involving Arctic snow and ice cover, albedo and temperature. Is it positive or negative?
- How do clouds affect earth's temperature? Describe one way that clouds could be involved in a negative feedback cycle and one way in which they could be involved in a positive feedback cycle.
The Mountain Pine Beetle
- Name two consequences of our changing climate that have supported the outbreak of mountain pine beetle.
- Describe how the outbreak of mountain pine beetle affects climate.
- Challenge: Describe an ecosystem feedback loop other than the mountain pine beetle.