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Climate Change: A Context for Reflection on the Responsibilities of the Faith Community. Eugene S. Takle, PhD, CCM Professor of Atmospheric Science Professor of Agricultural Meteorology Iowa State University Ames, Iowa 50011 [email protected] St Andrews Lutheran Church, 12 November 2006.

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climate change a context for reflection on the responsibilities of the faith community

Climate Change: A Context for Reflection on the Responsibilities of the Faith Community

Eugene S. Takle, PhD, CCM

Professor of Atmospheric Science

Professor of Agricultural Meteorology

Iowa State University

Ames, Iowa 50011

[email protected]

St Andrews Lutheran Church, 12 November 2006

outline
Outline
  • Changes in atmospheric carbon dioxide
  • Radiative forcing
  • Simulations of global climate and future climate change
  • “Dangerous anthropogenic inter- ference with the climate system”?
  • “Climate surprises”
  • Implications for the Faith Community
slide3

CO2, CH4 and temperature records from Antarctic ice core data

Source:Vimeux, F., K.M. Cuffey, and Jouzel, J., 2002, "New insights into Southern Hemisphere temperature changes from Vostok ice cores using deuterium excess correction", Earth and Planetary Science Letters, 203, 829-843.

slide4

CO2, CH4 and temperature records from Antarctic ice core data

Source:Vimeux, F., K.M. Cuffey, and Jouzel, J., 2002, "New insights into Southern Hemisphere temperature changes from Vostok ice cores using deuterium excess correction", Earth and Planetary Science Letters, 203, 829-843.

Natural cycles

slide5

CO2, CH4 and temperature records from Antarctic ice core data

Source:Vimeux, F., K.M. Cuffey, and Jouzel, J., 2002, "New insights into Southern Hemisphere temperature changes from Vostok ice cores using deuterium excess correction", Earth and Planetary Science Letters, 203, 829-843.

Pattern repeats about every 100,000 years

carbon dioxide and temperature3
Carbon Dioxide and Temperature

“Business as Usual”

(fossil intensive)

2100

carbon dioxide and temperature4
Carbon Dioxide and Temperature

“Business as Usual”

(fossil intensive)

2100

?

slide13

Global fossil fuel CO2 emissions with division into portions that remain airborne or are soaked up by the ocean and land.

Source: Hansen and Sato, PNAS, 101, 16109, 2004.

slide16

Climate forcing agents in the industrial era. “Effective” forcing accounts for “efficacy” of the forcing mechanism

Source: Hansen et al., JGR, 110, D18104, 2005.

slide17

El Chichon (1982)

Agung, 1963

Mt. Pinatubo (1991)

Hansen, Scientific American, March 2004

slide18

Global mean surface temperature change based on surface air measurements over land and SSTs over ocean

Source: Update of Hansen et al., JGR, 106, 23947, 2001; Reynolds and Smith, J. Climate, 7, 1994; Rayner et al., JGR, 108, 2003.

slide24

Mann, M. E., R. S. Bailey, and M. K. Hughes, 1999: Geophysical Research Letters 26, 759.

slide26

The planet is committed to

a warming over the next

50 years regardless of

political decisions

Source: National Center for Atmospheric Research

slide27

The planet is committed to

a warming over the next

50 years regardless of

political decisions

Mitigation Possible

Adaptation Necessary

Source: National Center for Atmospheric Research

slide29

Climate Change

Projected for 2100

Rapid Economic

Growth

Slower Economic

Growth

slide30

(A) Net Radiation at top of atmosphere in climate simulations.

(B) Ocean heat gain in the top 750 m

of world ocean.

Source: Hansen et al., Science, 308, 1431, 2005.

slide32

Tropical Weather

Weather Underground: http://www.wunderground.com/tropical/

slide33

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:Katrina_vs_sea_surface_height.JPGhttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:Katrina_vs_sea_surface_height.JPG

slide34

Tropical Atlantic Ocean

Hurricane Power Dissipation Index (PDI)

Sea-surface temperature

V

V

V

Emanual, Kerry, 2005: Increasing destructiveness of tropical cyclones over the past 30 years. Nature, 436, 686-688.

slide35

Tropical Atlantic Ocean

Hurricane Power Dissipation Index (PDI)

Sea-surface temperature

V

V

V

Emanual, Kerry, 2005: Increasing destructiveness of tropical cyclones over the past 30 years. Nature, 436, 686-688.

arctic climate impact assessment acia
Arctic Climate Impact Assessment (ACIA)
  • 140-page synthesis report released in November 2004.
  • Main science report imminent (chapters available electronically at www.acia.uaf.edu).
  • Concerns over wide-ranging changes in the Arctic.
    • Rising temperatures
    • Rising river flows
    • Declining snow cover
    • Increasing precipitation
    • Thawing permafrost
    • Diminishing late and river ice
    • Melting glaciers
    • Melting Greenland Ice Sheet
    • Retreating summer sea ice
    • Rising sea level
    • Ocean salinity changes
  • Species at risk include polar bears, seals, walruses, Arctic fox, snowy owl, and many species of mosses and lichens

Sources: Claire Parkinson and Robert Taylor

slide37

NASA photographs show the minimm Arctic sea ice concentration in 1979 at left and in 2003.Satellite passive microwave data since 1970s indicate a 3% decrease per decade in arctic sea ice extent.

slide38

Since 1979, the size of the summer polar ice cap has shrunk more than 20 percent.

(Illustration from NASA) (http://www.nrdc.org/globalWarming/qthinice.asp)

slide39

Source:

Corell, R. W., 2004: Impacts of a warming Arctic. Arctic Climate Impact Assessment (www.acia.uaf.edu) Cambridge University Press (www.cambridge.org).

associated climate changes
Associated Climate Changes
  • Global sea-level has increased 1-2 mm/yr
  • Duration of ice cover of rivers and lakes decreased by 2 weeks in N. Hemisphere
  • Arctic ice has thinned substantially, decreased in extent by 10-15%
  • Reduced permafrost in polar, sub-polar, mountainous regions
  • Growing season lengthened by 1-4 days in N. Hemisphere
  • Retreat of continental glaciers on all continents
  • Poleward shift of animal and plant ranges
  • Snow cover decreased by 10%
  • Earlier flowering dates
  • Coral reef bleaching

Source: Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, 2001 Report

for the midwest
For the Midwest
  • Warming will be greater for winter than summer
  • Warming will be greater at night than during the day
  • A 3oF rise in summer daytime temperature triples the probability of a heat wave
  • Growing season will be longer (8-9 days longer now than in 1950)
  • More precipitation
  • Likely more soil moisture in summer
  • More rain will come in intense rainfall events
  • Higher stream flow, more flooding
climate surprises
Climate Surprises
  • Breakdown of the ocean thermohaline circulation (Greenland melt water)
  • Break-off of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet
slide45

Kennedy Space

Center

Areas subjected to

Inundation with a 1 m

(~3 ft) rise in sea

level

Miami

what constitutes dangerous anthropogenic interference with the climate system
What Constitutes “Dangerous Anthropogenic Interference with the Climate System”?

James Hansen, Director of the NASA Goddard

Institute for Space Studies:

* Radiative forcing limit: 1 Watt/ m2

* 1 oC additional rise in global mean

temperature

slide47

El Chichon (1982)

Agung, 1963

Mt. Pinatubo (1991)

Hansen, Scientific American, March 2004

slide48

El Chichon (1982)

Agung, 1963

Mt. Pinatubo (1991)

Imbalance = 1 Watt/m2 in 2018

Hansen, Scientific American, March 2004

increasing melt area on greenland

2002 all-time record melt area

  • Melting up to elevation of 2000 m
  • 16% increase from 1979 to 2002

70 meters thinning in 5 years

Increasing Melt Area on Greenland

Satellite-era record melt of 2002 was exceeded in 2005.

Source: Waleed Abdalati, Goddard Space Flight Center

slide51

Kennedy Space

Center

Impact of a 1-m

rise in sea level

on low-lying areas

Projected sea-level rise

In 21st century:

0.5 to 1.0 m

Areas subjected to

Inundation with a 1 m

(~3 ft) rise in sea

level

Miami

Source:

Corell, R. W., 2004: Impacts of a warming Arctic. Arctic Climate Impact Assessment (www.acia.uaf.edu) Cambridge University Press (www.cambridge.org).

rawls and brundtland
Rawls and Brundtland:

Brundtland Report Concept of Sustainability:

“Institutions are sustainable when they effectively meet the needs of present generations without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their needs.”

ten things you can do to slow global warming
Ten Things You can do to Slow Global Warming*
  • Change a light
  • Drive less
  • Recycle more
  • Check your tires
  • Use less hot water
  • Avoid products with a lot of packaging
  • Adjust your thermostat
  • Plant a tree
  • Turn off electrical and electronic devices

* From “An Inconvenient Truth (www.climatecrisis.net)

what does this imply for the faith community
What Does this Imply for the Faith Community?
  • Care for creation - what does this mean in a global context?
what does this imply for the faith community1
What Does this Imply for the Faith Community?
  • Care for creation - what does this mean in a global context?
  • Faith community is joined across space and time
    • We have a legacy passed down for the last two centuries
    • What legacy do we leave?
what does this imply for the faith community2
What Does this Imply for the Faith Community?
  • Care for creation - what does this mean in a global context?
  • Faith community is joined across space and time
    • We have a legacy passed down for the last two centuries
    • What legacy do we leave?
  • How will future generations (those whose futures we are now constraining) view us and our stewardship of the planet?
what does this imply for the faith community3
What Does this Imply for the Faith Community?
  • Responsibility to the natural world
what does this imply for the faith community4
What Does this Imply for the Faith Community?
  • Responsibility to the natural world
  • Responsibility to other human beings
what does this imply for the faith community5
What Does this Imply for the Faith Community?
  • Responsibility to the natural world
  • Responsibility to other human beings
    • International justice
what does this imply for the faith community6
What Does this Imply for the Faith Community?
  • Responsibility to the natural world
  • Responsibility to other human beings
    • International justice
    • Inter-generational equity
what does this imply for the faith community7
What Does this Imply for the Faith Community?
  • Responsibility to the natural world
  • Responsibility to other human beings
    • International justice
    • Inter-generational equity
  • From those to whom much has been given will much be expected
what does this imply for the faith community8
What Does this Imply for the Faith Community?
  • Responsibility to the natural world
  • Responsibility to other human beings
    • International justice
    • Inter-generational equity
  • From those to whom much has been given will much be expected
    • Resources
what does this imply for the faith community9
What Does this Imply for the Faith Community?
  • Responsibility to the natural world
  • Responsibility to other human beings
    • International justice
    • Inter-generational equity
  • From those to whom much has been given will much be expected
    • Resources
    • Knowledge
for more information
For More Information
  • For peer-reviewed evidence supporting everything you have seen in this presentation, see my online Global Change course:

http://www.meteor.iastate.edu/gccourse

  • Contact me directly:

[email protected]

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