Reflections on Week Five of Climate Change Course

Impacts of Climate Change on Natural Systems

The two areas covered this week were the Cyrosphere and Ocean Acidification. A closer look at the ice dynamics of ice sheets, and the effects of CO2 and pollution on marine invertebrates.


  1. What are the most important themes you have learned this week? The potential difficulties humanity will have to live with from climate feedback systems. Namely sea level rise from glacier mass loss (melting to me), and the effects of ocean acidification on O2 production (Third produced from phytoplankton) and survival of marine invertebrates that comprise 76% of species in ocean.
  2. What aspect of this week did you find difficult? Terminology…bathymetrics? Basal lubrication to do with meltwater drainage….getting head around what a flying buttress is. Internal acidosis.
  3. What did you find most interesting? And why? The role of phytoplankton in oxygen production. Unknown, invisible, fundamental part of life. It is also good to keep building up knowledge about the different spheres and feedback systems, such as the Cyrosphere or Hydrosphere.
  4. Was there something that you learned this week that prompted you to do your own research? Would like to know more about phytoplankton, not done any independent research on it yet. Also had to revisit my school chemistry lessons and look at pH tables.


5. Are there any web sites or other online resource that you found particularly useful in furthering your knowledge and understanding? Twitter is good as a gateway into different blogs, webpages.

NB: Radio Four Today programme on Thursday 13th February 2014 had a climate scientist and a Tory politician on to debate current flooding issues with regards to climate change. I put a complaint in to the BBC as the ignorance displayed by the politician was disgusting and derailed any useful discussion about the issues. Pooh poohing the science without any evidence to the contrary does not an informed opinion make. Putting short term vested interests over the long term future of the planet, in the face of the evidence we currently have is obscene.


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