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The Chemistry of Climate Change

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The Chemistry of Climate Change. The Science of Global Climate.

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The Science of Global Climate

“There\'s a lot of differing data, but as far as I can gather, over the last hundred years the temperature on this planet has gone up 1.8 degrees. Am I the only one who finds that amazingly stable? I could go back to my hotel room tonight and futz with the thermostat for three to four hours. I could not detect that difference.”

-Dennis Miller

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Climate

Climate is characterized by the statistical properties of the weather over a period of time, including averages of local variables such as temperature, winds, humidity, pressure, and precipitation.

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June 12, 2001

Warming Threat Requires Action Now, Scientists Say

By ANDREW C. REVKIN

In his speech on climate yesterday, President Bush said that a basic problem with the Kyoto Protocol, the proposed international pact for curtailing global warming, was that it laid out a timetable for cutting releases of heat-trapping gases before the threat posed by a buildup of those gases was clearly understood.

New York Times

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Solar Radiation

q: zenith angle

top of atmosphere

h

q

L

Earth

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Solar Radiation

m: ‘air mass’

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Solar Radiation

t: attenuation coefficient

Light absorption by particles

Light scattering by gases

Light absorption by gases

Light scattering by particles

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Solar Radiation

t: attenuation coefficient

Rayleigh Scattering

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Solar Radiation

Scattering and Absorption by Particulate Matter

‘modeled’

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Solar Radiation

Aerosol Extinction

Rayleigh

Scattering

Ozone

Absorption

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100 Units Incident

Albedo

17

19

4

8

Clouds

Aerosols

6

46

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Solar Radiation

Planck’s Relation

peak wavelength (nm)

Wein’s Law

slide13

Solar Radiation

5000 K

3000 K

1000 K

500 K

Flux: number of photons per second per square centimeter

300 K

100 K

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Solar Radiation

Radiative Power from Sun

Incident on Earth

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Solar Flux

solar flux

pr2

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Solar Radiation

Global energy use by population ~ 1x1013 W

1 part in 10000

2% for U.S. Urban Areas

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Solar Radiation

Earth Emission

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Radiation Balance

balance

Fraction Absorbed

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Radiation Balance

Actual is 290 K

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Temperature at the Surface of Three planets: D=Tactual-Tcalculated

Calculated T/K Actual T/K D

Earth 254 290 +36

Mars 217 223 +6

Venus 227 732 +505

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Greenhouse Gases

Species Absorption Region Estimated Global Warming

H2O 2.5, 3.5, 5-7 mm ~110 Wm-2

CO2 14-19 mm ~50 Wm-2

CH4 3-4, 7-8.5 mm ~1.7 Wm-2

O3 9-10 mm ~1.3 Wm-2

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