Atms 211 climate and climate change winter 2008
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ATMS 211 Climate and Climate Change Winter 2008 . Prof. Thornton T.A. Brian Smoliak. Times and Locations Lectures M - Th: 10:30 – 11:20 JHN 075 Disc: F 10:30 – 11:20/11:30 – 12:20 MGH 389 (AA) MGH 241 (AB). Who Am I?. Prof. in Dept. of Atmospheric Sciences

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ATMS 211 Climate and Climate Change Winter 2008

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Atms 211 climate and climate change winter 2008

ATMS 211 Climate and Climate ChangeWinter 2008

Prof. ThorntonT.A. Brian Smoliak

Times and Locations

Lectures M - Th: 10:30 – 11:20

JHN 075

Disc: F 10:30 – 11:20/11:30 – 12:20

MGH 389 (AA) MGH 241 (AB)


Who am i

Who Am I?

Prof. in Dept. of Atmospheric Sciences

Ph.D. in Atmospheric Chemistry

Scientific Interests:

Natural and polluted air chemistry

How pollution affects climate

How climate change affects pollution


Contact info

Contact Info

  • After lecture

  • Office hours (TBD) or special appointment

  • Message board (see web page)

  • Email/Phone*


Course goals

Course Goals

Introduce you to climate science and the scientific process

Give you tools to understand and critically evaluate modern environmental problems


What this course is isn t about

What this course is/isn’t about

YES: Current scientific theories and observations about the workings of Earth’s climate.

i.e. what, how, why?

NO: morals, philosophies, politics, etc


Course overview

Course Overview

  • The Climate System (Present)

    • Earth’s Energy Balance

    • Earth’s Atmosphere

    • Regional Climates

  • Climate Changes (Past-Present)

    • Change and Feedbacks

    • The Human Influence

    • Natural Variations

  • Global Warming (Future)

    • Evidence

    • What can we expect?

    • Mitigation Approaches


Grading policy

Grading Policy

  • Exams and Project ~ 85%

  • homework (15%): old exam problems

  • clicker questions: worth ~ 1 exam!

  • Plagiarism/Working Together

  • see UW policy on plagiarism

  • discussions are encouraged

  • on your own for exams

  • Grading Method

  • mean 2.8 – 3.2 (B- to B)

  • NO LATE HOMEWORKS

  • NO MAKEUP EXAMS or QUIZZES*


Course guidelines and philosophy

Course Guidelines and Philosophy

  • UW Credit Hours

    • 2hrs outside per credit hr

  • Lectures/Discussion

    • FOR YOUR BENEFIT!

    • Stop me, ask questions!

    • Comfortable Atmosphere

    • Let me know immediately


How to do well

How To Do Well

  • COME TO CLASS

  • TAKE GOOD NOTES

  • REVIEW YOUR NOTES

  • TEST YOURSELF

  • RELAX

GET YOUR QUESTIONS ANSWERED


Atms 211 climate and climate change winter 2008

MATH

Math is the language of the natural sciences

You will see and learn to use a number of equations

Think positively!

This course and your grades are based on concepts (not mathematical ability)


This week the climate system

This Week: The climate system

Read Chapter 1

Due Friday (in section):

200 word synopsis of a recent news article on climate change

200 word description of the climate of an area you’ve lived (ideally besides Seattle).

Discussion activities:

math and geography surveys, what is/isn’t climate change?


Graphic analysis exercise

Graphic Analysis Exercise

  • What are the x-y pairs in each plot (3 total)?

  • 2. What are the units for each axis (1 x, 3 y’s)?

  • 3. Do you see correlations, or lack thereof, where?

  • 4. What do you find interesting/important?

  • 5. What do you find misleading or confusing?


Summary of graphic analysis

Summary of Graphic Analysis


Summary of graphic analysis1

Summary of Graphic Analysis


Summary of graphic analysis2

Summary of Graphic Analysis

These measurements were made by examining air trapped in an ice core drilled at Vostok in Antarctica.

How do you measure past Temperature in ice?

Is this just representative of Antarctica’s climate?


Announcements

Announcements

  • Message board

  • Extra credit opportunities

  • Lecture visuals


Today defining the problems

Today – Defining the problems

  • Climate vs. Weather

  • Climate Change (a definition)

  • Global Warming

    • By way of “myths and misconceptions”


Myths and misconceptions 1

Myths and Misconceptions (1)

“Its 70o today, in January? Global warming is real.”

“Hurricane Katrina was the strongest hurricane in decades. Global warming must be real.”


Weather vs climate

Weather vs. Climate

“Climate is what we expect. Weather is what we get.”

– Mark Twain


What do we mean by climate change

What do we mean by climate change?

Long-term variation in an average property, related to weather, that is significant compared to natural variability, or an alteration in the variability.


Recent climate change

Recent climate change

15

13.2

From Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change AR4 2007.


Weather change vs climate change

Weather Change vs. Climate Change

  • A single hurricane is an example of weather.

  • An increase in the number per year or average strength is a climate problem.

In the eye of Hurricane Katrina

Photo courtesy of Prof Bob Houze’s group


Myths and misconceptions 2

Myths and Misconceptions (2)

“The decrease in pirates anti-correlates with global temperature. Thus, global warming is caused by fewer pirates (or it is causing there to be fewer pirates).”

Need to have a physical explanation for correlations to be meaningful


Myths and misconceptions 3

Myths and Misconceptions (3)

“The recent warming is just part of a natural cycle.”


Ipcc a good course resource

IPCC—A good course resource

Intergovernmental Panel on

Climate Change

A consensus document of the scientific community

“Most of the observed increase in globally averaged temperatures since the mid-20th century is very likely (sic) due to the observed increase in anthropogenic greenhouse gas concentrations” --2007


Increasing co 2

Increasing CO2

Fig 1-2 from text. Known as “Keeling Curve”.


Increasing co 21

Increasing CO2

Fig 1-3 from text. Keeling Curve and Ice Core data.


Global warming vs climate change

Global Warming vs. Climate Change

UN Definition of Global Warming:

“A change of climate which is attributed directly or indirectly to human activities that alter the composition of the global atmosphere... “


Myths and misconceptions 4

Myths and Misconceptions (4)

“Is global warming really such a big deal? A few degrees warmer seems harmless.”


Summary of graphic analysis3

Summary of Graphic Analysis

Seattle ice free

Tice-no ice ~ -5-8o

Seattle under mile of ice


Observed changes in t sea level snow ice

Observed Changes in T, Sea Level, Snow/ice


Predictions of changes to come

Predictions of Changes to Come

4 – 6O C increase in global average T is predicted to bring:

  • A sea level rise of 0.5 – 1.5 feet (or more) by 2100

  • Wetter wet regions and drier dry regions

  • More frequent and more intense heat waves

  • Stressed drinking and irrigation water supplies (Mtn glaciers)

  • Nearly all multi-year sea ice gone?

1 meter (3ft) sea level rise - world

arctic sea ice graphic

1 meter (3ft) sea level rise - SEUS


Atms 211 climate and climate change winter 2008

WHY?

  • A goal of this course will be to understand why we should expect such changes

    • What are the connections between:

      • Air T and precipitation patterns?

      • Air T and storms?

      • Air T and sea level/ice extent


Myths and misconceptions 5

Myths and Misconceptions (5)

“The Earth is too large/complex for humans to cause significant environmental change.”

“The hole in the ozone layer is increasing, causing global warming.”


Ozone

Ozone

A molecule containing three oxygen atoms found throughout the atmosphere.

Plays a role in climate, but the role is complex.

The “ozone hole” is NOT the cause of recent warming.


Ozone hole

Ozone “Hole”


Summary

Summary

  • Climate: long-term (> 10 yrs!) average of the weather

  • Climate Change: long-term variation in an average property related to weather or the natural variability of that property

  • Global Warming: human-induced climate change


Today environmental change concepts

Today – Environmental Change Concepts

  • Determining whether change is significant

  • Rates of change – Mass/Energy balance

  • No change


Significant

Significant?

15

13.2

From Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change AR4 2007.


Recent changes are significant

Recent Changes are Significant


Co 2 rate of change

CO2 Rate of Change


Change of co 2 rate of change

Change of CO2 Rate of Change

Rates are often not constant in time.

16 ppm

10 yr


Change in the co 2 rate of change

Change in the CO2 Rate of Change

CO2 is increasing faster and faster (on average!)


Has the co 2 rate of change ever been negative 0 i e has co 2 decreased at any time since 1955

Has the CO2 rate of change ever been negative (<0), i.e. has CO2 decreased at any time since 1955?

  • Yes

  • No


Atms 211 climate and climate change winter 2008

Because the CO2 rate of change is constant at 1.6 ppm/yr, it will take 175 years to double the preindustrial amount of atmospheric CO2 (280 ppm)

  • Valid statement

  • Invalid statement


Summary1

Summary

  • Rate of change of Y is the slope of a plot of Y vs time

  • Rate < 0  quantity is decreasing, Rate > 0  quantity is increasing, Rate = 0  quantity in steady state

  • Rates of change are often not constant


Announcements1

Announcements

  • Two short assignments due tomorrow (FRI) in discussion section.

  • Lecture slides will appear on the course web site weekly.

  • Office hours determined Monday in class by clicker vote

    • Tu or Th 11:30 – 12:30 or 4 – 5 pm

    • Brian (TA): M, Tu, W, or Th 9 – 10 AM

      • And Tu or Th 5 – 6 pm


Today environmental change concepts1

Today – Environmental Change Concepts

  • Rates of Change – what they tell us

    • Concepts of Mass and Energy Balance

    • Residence time

  • Measuring Change in the Past


Change in the co 2 rate of change1

Change in the CO2 Rate of Change

CO2 is increasing faster and faster (on average!)


Summary from yesterday

Summary from Yesterday

  • Rate of change of Y is the slope of a plot of Y vs time

  • Rate < 0  quantity is decreasing, Rate > 0  quantity is increasing, Rate = 0  quantity in steady state

  • Rates of change are often not constant


Unlocking stored climate change

Unlocking “Stored” Climate Change

Record: 1000 ~ Present day

“Length” of growing season

Good versus stressed years

Major fires

  • Modern Instrumental Record

  • Tree Rings

  • Ice Cores

  • Sediment cores

  • Rock formations/types


Unlocking stored climate change1

Unlocking “Stored” Climate Change

Record: ~ 1Mya to ~ 20th cent

Inert gases (CO2, CH4, N2O,…)

Particulates (soot, ash, etc)

Temperature??

  • Modern Instrumental Record

  • Tree Rings

  • Ice Cores

  • Sediment cores

  • Rock formations/types


Unlocking stored climate change2

Unlocking “Stored” Climate Change

Record: ~ 200 Mya

Microfossils (ocean T),

Volcanic glass

Organic detritus

Magnetic pole location

  • Modern Instrumental Record

  • Tree Rings

  • Ice Cores

  • Sediment cores

  • Rock formations/types


Detecting change with proxies

Detecting Change With Proxies

Scientifically, the best way to detect change is to directly measure it.

Unfortunately for the timescales of interest in climate science, we weren’t always able (interested in?) to measure quantities such as temperature, precipitation, wind speed, direction, greenhouse gas levels, etc.

But, obviously we want to know what these properties were and how they changed in the past to test our understanding of how climate changes.

The study of past climate is known as paleoclimate science.


Detecting change with proxies1

Detecting Change With Proxies

Another property/qty that is a function of property of interest.

Think approximate

The measured property is a PROXY for the one of interest.


Water cycle water isotope t proxy

Water Cycle – Water Isotope T Proxy

18O/16O even

lower

18O/16O lower

18O/16O low

18O/16O high


Vostok ice core record

Vostok Ice Core Record

T based on water isotope proxy


Stratospheric ozone hole

Stratospheric Ozone “Hole”


Course format

Course Format

  • Course Web Site

    • Consult often (weekly schedule, problem sets, lecture material)

  • Course Discussion Board

    • Remain anonymous (or not)

    • Your post

    • TA and Prof monitor/respond

  • Mon-Thurs

    • lectures, in-class activities and quizzes (Prof)

  • Fridays

    • discussions, reviews, working examples, quizzes & exams (TA)


Global climate change

Global Climate Change?

Time scales

Spatial Scales


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