Reinforcing Feedback and the Drivers of Climate Change Exercises

The video talked about two important reinforcing feedback loops that drive climate change (the growth in number of people and the growth in energy using capital per person). This illuminated how climate change results from reinforcing feedback.

The video didn’t talk about the ways in which climate change itself can cause more climate change – where some warming can result in more warming.  One example of this is where warming causes a loss in arctic sea ice, and then the sun’s heat is absorbed by dark ocean water (as compared to white sea ice), causing even more warming.

You can work with this idea in this 4-part challenge:

1.     Tell the story in the paragraph above in a feedback loop. (Hint – if you trace all the way around the loop, warming should result in more warming).

2.     Connect one of the feedback loops in the video with this one.

3.     Think about: what do your loops tell you about the urgency of human action on climate change?

4.     Use these loops to explain the urgency to someone else.