7.2 Climate Change – Causes and Impacts

The greenhouse effect, which is essential to life, is the warming effect of gases in the atmosphere. Overwhelming evidence suggests that human activities are amplifying this effect by emitting additional greenhouse gases into the atmosphere. Scientists use very complex software models to predict the impacts of amplifying the greenhouse effect on climate, and the consequences on ecosystems.

The issue of climate change is subject to much debate. It is beyond dispute that a natural greenhouse effect exists, and that human activities have released additional quantities of greenhouse gases into the air. There is also very strong evidence that temperatures in recent years have been anomalously high. Proving a causal link between human activities and the observed temperature changes is impossible, though the evidence for it is strong. A person’s environmental value system and political inclination influences their attitudes to climate change and what, if anything, should be done.


1The greenhouse effect and climate change
2Feedback in climate
3Weather, climate and climate models
4The impacts of climate change
5The climate change debate
Chapter Workbook
Vocabulary Sheet

  • Use secondary data to produce a model (using spreadsheet software) to predict the change in one climate variable into the future.

Full PSOW here.

Essay Task

“Evaluate the use of global climate models in determining trends in climate change.” [9 marks]

View essay markbands

The essay should marked using the Paper 2, Section B essay markbands.

PDF Version

Google Docs Version

Google Docs 7.2 essay

Open the link and make a copy to your own drive. The doc can easily be shared as an “Assignment” on Google Classroom.

A markbands rubric designed for Google Classroom is available here.