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GLOBAL CLIMATE CHANGE. Presented by: Daniela Visinica. What is it?. Global Climate Change. Identifiable change in the climate of Earth as a whole that lasts for an extended period of time (decades or longer)

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Global climate change



Presented by:

Daniela Visinica

What is it?

Global climate change

Global Climate Change

  • Identifiable change in the climate of Earth as a whole that lasts for an extended period of time (decades or longer)

    • When due to natural processes, it is usually referred to as global climate variability

    • Usually refers to changes forced by human activities that change the atmosphere

What causes earth s climate to change

What causes Earth’s climate to change?

What causes Earth’s climate to change?

  • Changes in the atmosphere

  • Natural processes

    • Volcanoes

    • Tectonic plate movement

    • Changes in the sun

  • Human activities – any activity that releases “greenhouse gases” into the atmosphere

What are greenhouse gases

What are greenhouse gases?

water vapor


Any gases that cause the “greenhouse effect!”

carbon dioxide

nitrous oxide

Imagine… a car on a cool but sunny day…

Global climate change

Climate Change:

Fitting the pieces together



  • What changes climate?

  • Is it real?

  • How do we know?

  • Why should we care?

  • How sure are scientists?

  • What next—what can we do?

What changes climate

What changes climate?

  • Changes in:

    • Sun’s output

    • Earth’s orbit

    • Drifting continents

    • Volcanic eruptions

    • Greenhouse gases

Greenhouse effect

“Greenhouse effect”

Increasing greenhouse gases trap more heat

Greenhouse gases

Greenhouse gases

Carbon dioxide

Nitrous oxide



Sulfur hexafluoride

Could the warming be natural

Could the warming be natural?

Is it real

Is it real?

Effects snow and ice

Effects: Snow and ice

Grinnell Glacier, Glacier National Park

1900 and 2008

Effects on precipitation

Effects on precipitation

Europe s climate is anormal

Europe’s Climate is Anormal

  • European temperatures are 5-10 °C higher than normal

Rahmstorf & Ganopolski, Climatic Change, 1999. 43: p. 353-367

Temperature extremes

Summer days (Tmax >= 25 °C)

Changes in 1976–1999

  • Projections:

  • Cold winters disappear almost entirely by 2080

  • Hot summers much more frequent

Temperature Extremes

  • 1976–1999:

  • Number of cold and frost days decreased

  • Number of summer days increased

past trends

future projection

Data-sources: ECA, IPCC, ACACIA, KMNI

Precipitation extremes

Very heavy precipitation days (p >= 20mm)

Changes in 1976–1999

  • Projections:

  • Likely more frequent droughts and intense precipitation events

Precipitation Extremes

  • 1976–1999:

  • Southern Europe: decrease

  • Mid and northern Europe: increase

past trends

future projection

Data-source: ECA, IPCC, ACACIA, KMNI

Effects on ecosystems

Effects on ecosystems

How do we know

How do we know?

Computer models

Computer models

Why should we care

Why should we care?

Global climate change

U.K.: Train rails buckle

Germany: Lowest river levels this century

France: >14,000 deaths

Switzerland: Melting glaciers, avalanches

Portugal: Forest fires

2003 European Heat Wave

Global climate change

  • Sea-level rise projections : a few inches to a few feet

  • 2 ft: U.S. would lose 10,000 square miles

  • 3 ft: Would inundate Miami

  • Affects erosion, loss of wetlands, freshwater supplies

  • Half of the world’s population lives along coasts

  • Big question: Ice sheets

What do climate scientists really think

What do climate scientists really think?

What next what can we do

What next—what can we do?

What next what can we do1

What next—what can we do?

Global climate change

Produce more fuel-efficient vehicles

Reduce vehicle use

Improve energy-efficiency in buildings

Develop carbon capture and storage processes

Triple nuclear power

Increase solar power

Decrease deforestation/plant forests

Improve soil carbon management strategies

Individual actions

Individual actions

Tune up your furnace

Unplug appliances or plug into a power strip and switch it off

Use mass transit, bike, walk, roller skate

Caulk, weatherstrip, insulate, and replace old windows

Buy water-saving appliances and toilets; installing low-flow shower heads.

Buy products with a EPA Energy Star label

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