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Climate Change Basics AP Environmental Science January 2009 Energy from the sun in many wavelengths Sun High energy, short wavelength Low energy, long wavelength Nonionizing radiation Ionizing radiation Cosmic rays Gamma rays X rays Far ultraviolet waves Near ultraviolet

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Climate change basics l.jpg

Climate Change Basics

AP Environmental Science

January 2009


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Energy from the sun in many wavelengths

Sun

High energy, short

wavelength

Low energy, long

wavelength

Nonionizing radiation

Ionizing radiation

Cosmic

rays

Gamma

rays

X rays

Far

ultraviolet

waves

Near

ultraviolet

waves

Visiblewaves

Near

infrared

waves

Far

infrared

waves

Microwaves

TV

waves

Radio

waves

10-14

10-12

10-8

10-7

10-6

10-5

10-3

10-2

10-1

1

Wavelength in meters (not to scale)


Figure 3 10 page 45 l.jpg

Figure 3-10Page 45

15

10

Energy emitted from sun (Kcal/cm2/min)

Energy from the sun

Visible

5

Infrared

Ultraviolet

0

0.25

1

2

2.5

3

Wavelength (micrometers)


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Energy balance


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Energy moves from equator to poles


Figure 21 2a page 463 l.jpg

Figure 21-2aPage 463

Average temperature over past 900,000 years

17

16

15

14

Average surface temperature (°C)

13

12

11

10

9

900

800

700

600

500

400

300

200

100

Present

Thousands of years ago

Milankovitch cycles


Figure 21 2b page 463 l.jpg

Figure 21-2bPage 463

Agriculture established

Average temperature over past

10,000 years = 15°C (59°F)

Temperature change over past 22,000 years

2

1

0

-1

End of

last ice

age

Temperature change (°C)

-2

-3

-4

What is average?

-5

20,000

10,000

2,000

1,000

200

100

Now

Years ago


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From the Long Summer.


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From the Long Summer

Impact of beaver fur trade on climate?


Figure 21 2c page 463 l.jpg

Figure 21-2cPage 463

1.0

Little ice age - the most recent significant RCCE

0.5

0.0

Temperature change (°C)

-0.5

-1.0

1000

1100

1200

1300

1400

1500

1600

1700

1800

1900

2000

2101

Year

Temperature change over past 1,000 years


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http://epa.gov/climatechange/science/pastcc.html


Figure 21 2d page 463 l.jpg

Figure 21-2dPage 463

Average temperature over past 130 years

15.0

14.8

14.6

14.4

Average surface temperature (°C)

14.2

14.0

13.8

13.6

1860

1880

1900

1920

1940

1960

1980

2000

2020

Year


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Physical and Biological indicators of climate change.


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Sources of tables for global warming potentials

http://cdiac.ornl.gov/pns/current_ghg.html

http://www.globalchange.umich.edu/globalchange1/current/lectures/samson/global_warming_potential/


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Table 21-1Page 464

Table 21-1 Major Greenhouse Gases from Human Activities

Greenhouse Gas

Carbon dioxide (CO2)

Methane (CH4)

Nitrous oxide (N2O)

Chlorofluorocarbons

(CFCs)*

Hydrochloro-

fluorocarbons (HCFCs)

Hydrofluorocarbons

(HFCs)

Halons

Carbon tetrachloride

Human Sources

Fossil fuel burning, especially coal (70–75%), deforestation, and plant burning

Rice paddies, guts of cattle and termites, landfills, coal production, coal seams, and natural gas leaks from oil and gas production and pipelines

Fossil fuel burning, fertilizers, livestock wastes, and nylon production

Air conditioners, refrigerators, plastic foams

Air conditioners, refrigerators, plastic foams

Air conditioners, refrigerators, plastic foams

Fire extinguishers

Cleaning solvent

Average Time in the Troposphere

100–120 years

12–18 years

114–120 years

11–20 years (65–110 years in stratosphere)

9–390

15–390

65

42

Relative Warming Potential (compared to CO2)

1

23

296

900–8,300

470–2,000

130–12,700

5,500

1,400


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sources

Sources of GHGs 1970 -2004


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Natural vs Anthropogenic


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Figure 21-4Page 465

380

360

340

320

300

Concentration of carbon dioxide

in the atmosphere (ppm)

280

Carbon dioxide

260

240

+2.5

220

0

200

Variation of temperature (˚C)

from current level

–2.5

180

–5.0

–7.5

Temperature

change

–10.0

End of

last ice age

160

120

80

40

0

Thousands of years before present


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http://cdiac.ornl.gov/pns/graphics/c_cycle.htm


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Concentrations of principal anthropogenic greenhouse gases in the industrial era [Hansen et al., 1998; Hansen and Sato, 1999]. Black curves denote measurements of in situ atmospheric samples collected in recent years [NOAA, 1999a, b, c; Houghton et al., 1995]. Points denote concentrations determined from air bubbles trapped in polar ice sheets using ice cores obtained in Antarctica (blue) or Greenland (yellow); red curves denote fits to these points [Etheridge et al., 1996, 1998; Machida et al., 1995]. Data for CFCs are from in situ samples since 1977 [NOAA, 1999d]. Mixing ratios of CFC-11 and CFC-12 prior to the first in situ atmospheric measurements were estimated from industrial production data and assumed atmospheric lifetimes of 50 and 100 years, respectively [AFEAS, 1993; Hansen et al., 1998; Hansen and Sato, 1999].

http://www.agu.org/eos_elec/99148e.html


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Carbon dioxide concentration (top), proxy temperature (middle), and methane concentration from analyses of ice cores from Vostok, Antarctica [Jouzel et al., 1993]

http://www.agu.org/eos_elec/99148e.html


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http://epa.gov/climatechange/science/pastcc.html


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The importance of Albedo and tipping points.

Figure 21-6Page 467


Figure 21 7 page 468 l.jpg

Figure 21-7Page 468

Clouds 50–55%

Snow 80–90%

City 10–15%

Forest 5%

Albedo from various surfaces

Grass 15–25%

Bare sand 30–60%

Oceans 5%


Figure 21 12 page 472 l.jpg

Figure 21-12Page 472

Greenland

Greenland

Antarctica

hot planet cold comfort


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Troposphere

Cooling from increase

CO2 removal by plants and soil organisms

CO2 emissions from land cleaning, fires, and decay

Warming

from

decrease

Aerosols

Heat and

CO2 removal

Heat and

CO2 emissions

Greenhouse

gases

Ice and snow cover

Shallow ocean

Land and soil biotoa

Long-term

storage

Natural and human emissions

Deep ocean

Figure 21-9Page 470


Figure 21 10 page 471 l.jpg

Figure 21-10Page 471

Cell

Clouds

Land

Ocean

Modeling of atmospheric processes is in 3 dimensions


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Predicted temperature changes are dramatic!


Figure 21 13 page 475 l.jpg

Agriculture

Water Resources

Forests

Figure 21-13Page 475

  • Changes in water supply

  • Decreased water quality

  • Increased drought

  • Increased flooding

  • Snowpack reduction

  • Melting of mountaintop glaciers

  • Changes in forest composition and locations

  • Disappearance of some forests, especially ones at high elevations

  • Increased fires from drying

  • Loss of wildlife habitat and species

  • Shifts in food-growing areas

  • Changes in crop yields

  • Increased irrigation demands

  • Increased pests, crop diseases, and weeds in warmer areas

Biodiversity

Sea Level and Coastal Areas

  • Rising sea levels

  • Flooding of low-lying islands and coastal cities

  • Flooding of coastal estuaries, wetlands, and coral reefs

  • Beach erosion

  • Disruption of coastal fisheries

  • Contamination of coastal aquifiers with salt water

  • Extinction of some plant and animal species

  • Loss of habitats

  • Disruption of aquatic life

Weather Extremes

Human Health

  • Decreased deaths from cold weather

  • Increased deaths from heat and disease

  • Disruption of food and water supplies

  • Spread of tropical diseases to temperate areas

  • Increased respiratory disease and pollen allergies

  • Increased water pollution from coastal flooding

  • Increased formation of photochemical smog

Human Population

  • Prolonged heat waves and droughts

  • Increased flooding from more frequent, intense, and heavy rainfall in some areas

  • Increased deaths from heat and disruption of food supplies

  • More environmental refugees

  • Increased migration


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Spreading disease

Coral reef bleaching

Heat waves and periods of unusually warm weather

Downpours, heavy snowfalls, and flooding

Glaciers melting

Earlier spring arrival

Plant and animal range shifts and population declines

Sea level rise and coastal flooding

Arctic and Antarctic warming

Droughts and fires

GLOBAL WARMING: Early Warning Signs

http://www.climatehotmap.org/

Fingerprints and Harbingers


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climate hot map


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Glaciers in Glacier National Park are expected to disappear in our lifetimes.


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Golden toads have disappeared from the Monteverde Cloud forest.


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Present

range

Future

range

Overlap

Figure 21-15Page 476


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Speciation changes due to warming are becoming apparent.


Figure 21 8 page 468 l.jpg

Figure 21-8Page 468

Last warm period

Today’s sea level

0

0

Height above or below

present sea level (feet)

Height above or below

present sea level (meters)

–130

–426

250,000

200,000

150,000

100,000

50,000

0

Years before present

Present


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100

90

80

70

High Projection

Shanghai, New Orleans,

and other low-lying cities

largely underwater

60

Mean Sea-Level Rises (centimeters)

50

40

30

Medium Projection

More than a third of U.S.

wetlands underwater

20

10

Low Projection

0

2010

2020

2030

2040

2050

2060

2070

2080

2090

2100

Figure 21-16Page 477

Year


Figure 21 14 page 475 l.jpg

Figure 21-14Page 475

• Less severe winters

• More precipitation in some dry areas

• Less precipitation in some wet areas

• Increased food production in some areas

• Expanded population and range for some plant

and animal species adapted to higher temperatures


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Solutions

Global Warming

Prevention

Cleanup

Cut fossil fuel use (especially coal)

Remove CO2 from smokestack

and vehicle emissions

Shift from coal to natural gas

Store (sequester) CO2 by planting trees

Improve energy efficiency

Shift to renewable energy resources

Sequester CO2 deep underground

Transfer energy efficiency and renewable energy technologies to developing countries

Sequester CO2 in soil by using no-till cultivation and taking crop land out of production

Reduce deforestation

Sequester CO2 in the deep ocean

Use more sustainable agriculture

Repair leaky natural gas pipelines and facilities

Limit urban sprawl

Reduce poverty

Use feeds that reduce CH4 emissions by belching cows

Slow population growth

Figure 21-17Page 479


Figure 21 18 page 480 l.jpg

Figure 21-18Page 480

Coal

power plant

Tanker delivers

CO2 from plant

to rig

Oil rig

Tree

plantation

CO2 is

pumped down

from rig for deep

ocean disposal

Abandoned

oil field

Crop field

Switchgrass

CO2 is pumped

down to reservoir

through abandoned oil field

Spent oil reservoir is

used for CO2 deposit

= CO2 deposit

= CO2 pumping


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What Can You Do?

Reducing CO2 Emissions

  • Drive a fuel-efficient car, walk, bike, carpool,

  • and use mass transit

  • Use energy-efficient windows

  • Use energy-efficient appliances and lights

  • Heavily insulate your house and seal all drafts

  • Reduce garbage by recycling and reuse

  • Insulate hot water heater

  • Use compact fluorescent bulbs

  • Plant trees to shade your house during summer

  • Set water heater no higher than 49°C (120°F)

  • Wash laundry in warm or cold water

  • Use low-flow shower head

Figure 21-20Page 483


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Figure 21-20Page 483


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