Climate Solutions

Climate Solutions Quiz 7

Test your knowledge about ways the climate is changing
Illustrations by Michael Parkin / for The Washington Post

All right: Time to see if you’ve been paying attention to The Washington Post’s climate-related coverage. If you have, this quiz should be an easy A.

1. Australia is one of the world’s biggest exporters of what natural resource?

Answer: B. Australia is one of the world’s biggest exporters of coal, and the country is moving to secure that spot by greenlighting a plan by the Indian conglomerate Adani to tap one of the world’s largest reserves of thermal coal in Australia, the kind that when burned in power plants releases carbon dioxide, which is linked to climate change.

2. Two Australian billionaires now want to make Australia a force in the renewable energy market by doing what?

Answer: D. They want to capture the plentiful Outback sun, store it in giant batteries until nightfall and transmit it to Singapore along a watermelon-width cable traversing 2,800 miles of seafloor, including a deep trench.

3. If the Australian project moves forward, how much land would be needed for project?

Answer: B. Solar panels would cover 30,000 acres

4. What was notable about Val Miftakhov’s Piper Malibu Mirage six-seater that he flew 21 miles across England in June?

Answer: B. Miftakhov’s Piper was powered by batteries as part of the HyFlyer project, a U.K. government-sponsored initiative aiming to decarbonize medium-range small-passenger aircraft.

5. Which of the following does not offer any protection against coastal erosion due to rising sea levels:

Answer: D. Mangroves, oyster beds, salt marshes and other natural barriers help reduce coastal erosion from rising sea levels and storm activity.

6. In North Carolina’s Outer Banks, a beloved East Coast vacation spot, average sea levels are how much higher than they were 40 years ago?

Answer: C. Average sea levels are rising fast. Around the globe, the pace of sea level rise over the past 10 years was about twice the rate recorded during most of the 20th century.

7. Of these, which appears to be the most reliable 'carbon sink’, i.e., a place where carbon removed from the atmosphere can be stored for a long time?

Answer: B. Climate scientists say prairie that has never been plowed or developed can store carbon in the soil for centuries, unlike trees that release carbon back into the atmosphere when they are cut down or catch fire, or oceans that absorb carbon but also release it as the planet warms.

8. A group convened by the Baker Institute at Rice University is working on a plan to

Answer: B. The group is working to create a market for storing carbon in the soil of prairies, farms, ranches and grasslands in Texas and around the country. Funding is available to landowners for carbon stored in forests, such as California’s cap-and-trade market, and the same should be done for soil, they say.

9. Of the original 12 million acres of Blackland Prairie that once spanned from San Antonio to the Red River north of Dallas, how many acres remain today?

Answer: D. Less than 0.1 percent, or about 5,000 acres, remain of the original 12 million acres, according to the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department. Bluestem, switch grass and dropseed once covered 90 percent of the state.

10. The nation’s annual carbon dioxide output was about 7 billion metric tons in 2018. According to Jim Blackburn, a professor of environmental law at Rice University, all the grasslands in the country together can sequester about how many metric tons of CO2?

Answer: C. All native grasslands in the country together could sequester up to 1 billion metric tons of carbon dioxide each year, Blackburn estimates.

0 to 3 questions correct

Climate novice: You’ve still got a lot to learn about climate change. But that’s okay: We’ve got you covered. Got a question? Ask us here.

4 to 7 questions correct

Climate curious: Hey, not bad! You know a thing or two about climate change. But there’s still more to learn, and we’ve got you covered. Got a question? Ask us here.

8 to 10 questions correct

Climate expert: Well done! You’re super climate-literate. You probably already know that one of the most important things you as an individual can do to combat climate change is to spread the word. Go ahead: Brag a little, share this quiz with your friends, and find out who knows the most about climate change.

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