Trade-off da – gdi 2011 1 Earth Science D/A 2

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GEOSS ! – Overpopulation

Earth observation key to manage overpopulation
NTCS 5 (National Science and Technology Council, Executive Report, 4-6-05,, accessed 6-23-11, JG)

A growing world population, projected to increase by roughly 50% in the next 50 years before leveling off, 1 will place increasing demands on crucial resources like food and clean water and air. Populations and economic activities are shifting from rural areas to urban centers, many in low-lying coastal regions or seismically active zones. In the United States, more than half of the population lives within 50 miles of our coasts, 2 areas that are particularly vulnerable to storm surges and flooding. We rely upon coastal regions for healthy fisheries, and reliable transport and navigation. Increased dependence on infrastructure networks (roads, power grids, oil and gas pipelines) intensifies the potential vulnerability of more developed societies to impacts from natural disasters. Another potential health-related benefit from improved observations concerns the quality of our air. Despite dramatic improvements in air quality in the United States over the last 30 years, over 100 million people in the U.S. still live in counties with pollution levels that exceed National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS), posing potential health problems.3 Improved understanding of the complex workings of Earth systems will help us protect society and manage our resources and infrastructure in a more efficient and effective way.
GEOSS is specifically key
NTCS 5 (National Science and Technology Council, Executive Report, 4-6-05,, accessed 6-23-11, JG)

Recognizing this, ministers from 34 nations and representatives from 25 international organizations met at the first Earth Observation Summit in July 2003. This meeting resulted in an international effort to develop a Global Earth Observation System of Systems. This international effort emphasizes the importance of capacity building, as information from Earth observations is critical for developing as well as developed nations. Building capacity is integral to a global implementation strategy, which includes ensuring full utilization of the data. Growing world populations with expanding economies will require access to Earth Strategic Plan for the U.S. Integrated Earth Observation System 10 observations for a wide range of societal, scientific, and economic needs. The development of new systems will contribute to the gross domestic product of countries. International contributions are also essential for completing the data sets needed to address important U.S. national issues.

Overpopulation leads to extinction
Deep Ecology Hub 10 (Ecology Site, 12-30-10,, accessed 6-23-11, JG)

It's not just the potential extinction of charismatic megafauna like tigers and pandas that are concerning. It is the growing number of more obscure plant and animal species disappearing that is most disturbing. The mass extinction is inevitably intertwined with human overpopulation. As humans expand non-humans contract. We must keep a check on our population or eventually disaster will befall us. We think we have a large starving population now but it won't be anything compared to the starving population we will have if the mass extinction continues at its present rate. It's like a game of Jenga. You build the tower upwards by removing blocks from below. The more blocks that are removed, the higher the tower grows and the more unstable it becomes. The only way our civilization has been able to grow at such a quick rate is because we have been kicking out other species from beneath us. Things look pretty good from the top of the tower; but eventually it always collapses.

GEOSS ! – Warming (1/2)

Climate modeling key to foster global warming adaptation for survival
Sullivan and Huntingford 9 (Caroline, Environmental Specialist @ Oxford and Southern Cross, Chris , Centre for Ecology & Hydrology @ Oxfordshire,, 07-[13-17]-09,, accessed 6-22-11, JG)

It is well recognised today that climate change is affecting the Earth’s physical and biological systems, and is expected to do so on forthcoming decadal to century timescales. A need exists for useable predictions of the impacts associated with such climate change, and the likely societal responses to these. This must also be seen in the context of other drivers of global change, and be presented at suitable spatial and temporal scales, to enable prioritisation of adaptation measures, which are feasible in the most vulnerable communities, countries and regions. Climate modeling is advancing, with much better simulations able to explain observed changes believed to be a consequence of raised atmospheric greenhouse gas concentrations. Generated from ‘ensembles’ of climate model outputs, these are expected to have more robust predictive capability. Ideally, to link the biophysical and social scales, it will be ecessary to characterize climate behaviour at spatial scales smaller than those of the current climate model outputs, and to include predictions of surface meteorological extremes which incorporate rainfall as well as temperature change. The challenge of this is ongoing. To gain fully from the improved climate change predictions now available, and to develop associated mitigation and adaptation strategies, well-founded socio-ecological-economic 1 models are required, integrating social and biophysical information to provide holistic insights into alternative possible futures. It is also important that these should be both accessible and relevant to the various users of such information, and presented in a way which is easy to understand and explain. Climate vulnerability assessment is complex, touching on social, cultural and economic factors, which need to be combined with the physical aspects of climate change. Many of the changing climate drivers of concern have a hydrological basis – floods, droughts, tidal waves, and humidity levels, this latter affecting incidence of disease vectors. In this work, we will focus on the impact of climate change on water resources and the knock-on effect this will have on human society. With improved representation of the global hydrological cycle, there is more potential to try to link clearer hydro-climatic information explicitly to human scale conditions. Furthermore, advances in computer power now allow climate models to operate at scales below 50 km 2, and processes that were hereto heavily parameterised (such as large-scale storms) can now be modelled more accurately. Despite this progress, there still remain many challenges in meshing together the climate and social sciences, and the very different conceptual foundations on which they are based. In this paper, we present a policy-orientated approach which attempts to address this challenge, by drawing together data from the bio-physical, economic and social sciences, and combining them in order to make a holistic assessment of human vulnerability to climate and other drivers of global change. We have referred to this as the Climate Vulnerability Index (CVI), and we have taken water as a focus, as this is widely considered to be a key driver of human (and ecological) wellbeing. Further work will extend the CVI approach to examine other global impacts, such as disease incidence or agro-ecological changes, resulting from climate change. By linking outputs from global climate modelling to the components, which make up the CVI, we are able to suggest possible areas where vulnerability of water resources is likely to impact both on human livelihoods and on the generation of ecosystem services. We first present the generic methodology used in this approach, and we then provide a test-case based on the geographically differing administrative districts in Peru. The results provide insights into potential stress points, and, on this basis, it is possible to suggest what conditions of vulnerability exist in these different districts of Peru. Using such information, policy makers and other resource managers will be better able to determine what responses may be most appropriate in these heterogeneous conditions. This work is based on publicly available e economic and social data, coupled with climate change data generated from existing simulations by global climate models. 1. INTRODUCTION The importance of adaptation to climate change is now widely recognised. Mitigation is not a sufficient response because the time lags in the global climate system mean that no mitigation effort, however rigorous, will prevent climate change from happening in the next few decades (Huq and Klein, 2003). The warming now being experienced is the result of emissions that took place decades ago, and the first impacts on natural systems are already being observed. It is, therefore, increasingly evident that, in addition to policies aimed at mitigation, it is also necessary to encourage those focused on adaptation to the effects of climate change.

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