changes in surface climate of the tropical pacific
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Changes in surface climate of the tropical Pacific. Based on……. . Outline and key messages. Main features of region’s climate system We are affecting the climate system - climate is already changing Future will be warmer Extreme weather likely to be more extreme

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Presentation Transcript
outline and key messages
Outline and key messages
  • Main features of region’s climate system
  • We are affecting the climate system - climate is already changing
  • Future will be warmer
  • Extreme weather likely to be more extreme

Our climate will be changing for foreseeable future

slide5

Pacific atmospheric circulation

  • Trade winds
  • Convergence zones
  • Walker and Hadley circulations
slide7

El Niño-Southern Oscillation (ENSO)

  • Major source year-to-year climate variations
slide8

Typical El Niño and La Niña rainfall anomalies

Wetter (green) or drier (orange)

slide11

Effects of El Niño and La Niña on SST

Warmer (red) or cooler (blue)

slide12

ENSO shifts SPCZ and tropical cyclones

El Niño

  • Further north El Niño
  • Further southLa Niña

La Niña

  • Fewer cyclones and they are further east El Niño
  • More cyclones and they are further west La Niña
slide15

Redistributing sun’s energy = climate system

Global annual mean energy budget W m-2

Trenberth et al 2009

  • Without the atmosphere the Earth would be ~30oC cooler
  • More greenhouse gases trap more energy in climate system
slide16

Why are climate scientists so sure climate is changing due to human activities?

  • Theory
  • Modelling
  • Evidence:
    • instrumental measurements
    • changes in the physical world
    • changes in the biological world
    • paleoclimate archives

The climate system appears to be changing faster than earlier thought likely

Steffen 2009

slide17

Measured increase in carbon dioxide

18th century = 280ppm

air bubbles in ice cores

2011= 391ppm

Mauna Loa

slide19

Projecting future climates

  • Predicting future forcing – how much more greenhouse gases?
  • Range of possible futures but the future will be WARMER
slide22

Extremes

The answer to the oft-asked question of whether an event is caused by climate change is that it is the wrong question

All weather events are affected by climate change because the environment in which they occur is warmer and moister than it used to be

Trenberth 2012

Preparing for TC Jasmine Vanuatu

slide23

Important points to note

  • Extremes will become more extreme
  • Unclear how ENSO will change – continued influence
slide24

Summary

  • Not just a ‘new climate’ to which we can adapt…….
  • For foreseeable future, climate will be CHANGING
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