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cors221 physics in everyday life fall 2010 module 3 n.
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Physics of Planetary Climate PowerPoint Presentation
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Physics of Planetary Climate

Physics of Planetary Climate

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Physics of Planetary Climate

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  1. Cors221: Physics in Everyday Life Fall 2010 Module 3 Lecture 9: Consequences of Global Warming Physics of Planetary Climate

  2. From Last Time • Glaciers melted off rapidly at the start of this interglacial ~15000 years ago. Brief reversion during Younger Dryas perhaps due to stopping of the thermohaline ocean circulation. • General slow decline since onset of present interglacial. • Instrumental temperature record shows warming since 1900 or so. • Satellite temperatures show warming trend since late 1970s. Planetary temps have been pretty flat last 10 years – statistical outlier? • Carbon Dioxide and other greenhouse gases have sharply increased in concentration over the past 150 years. • Satellites have directly measured a decrease in Earth’s emitted infrared blackbody spectrum resulting from increased absorption due to carbon dioxide, methane, and other greenhouse gases. • Patterns of planetary temperature are consistent with a greenhouse origin to the warming.

  3. CO2 Projections

  4. Planetary Average Temperature Projections

  5. * Preferentially affects daily LOW temperatures * Preferentially affects POLAR regions Warming is Non-Uniform

  6. Warming is Non-Uniform

  7. Nonlinear Effects: Gulf Stream

  8. Younger Dryas – Gulfstream Shutdown?

  9. Nonlinear Effects: Rainfall

  10. Nonlinear Effects: Hurricanes

  11. Nonlinear Effects: Hurricanes

  12. Consequences for Agriculture

  13. Consequences for Agriculture

  14. Consequences for Agriculture

  15. Consequences for Ecosystems

  16. Consequences for Ecosystems

  17. Glacial Melting

  18. Glacial National Park

  19. North Polar Sea Ice

  20. North Polar Sea Ice

  21. North Polar Sea Ice

  22. Global Sea Level Predicts

  23. Key Points • For a wide range of carbon dioxide emission scenarios, global average temperatures are predicted to rise 2-4oC (4-7oF) by 2100. • Be careful with these global average temperature numbers. This higher average is driven primarily by higher nighttime low temperatures and higher polar temperatures. • Warming can also cause nonlinear effects, like changes in air and ocean circulation that can have large climate effects over subcontinent-scale regions. • Warming can also lead to changes in rainfall patterns, like increased or decreased rainfall, fewer but more intense storms, and more big hurricanes. • Ecosystems will shift, some will vanish, some new ones created. This would cause some extinctions. • Particularly worrisome is the prospect for reduced agricultural output as optimal growing zones move, change size, and/or disappear. • Melting of land ice and heating of oceans will cause sea level rise.