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Global Environmental Changes: Technology and the Future of Planet Earth. Eugene S. Takle, PhD, CCM Professor of Atmospheric Science Professor of Agricultural Meteorology Iowa State University Ames, Iowa 50011 gstakle@iastate.edu.

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global environmental changes technology and the future of planet earth

Global Environmental Changes: Technology and the Future of Planet Earth

Eugene S. Takle, PhD, CCM

Professor of Atmospheric Science

Professor of Agricultural Meteorology

Iowa State University

Ames, Iowa 50011

gstakle@iastate.edu

Globalization Seminar, Mechanical Engineering 484X, 18 January 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”
  • Summary
carbon dioxide and temperature6
Carbon Dioxide and Temperature

Stabilization at 550 ppm

carbon dioxide and temperature7
Carbon Dioxide and Temperature

“Business as Usual”

(fossil intensive)

2100

slide12

“Nobody believes that the US economy can still be petroleum based in 2050, yet there is no national plan”

Mark Kushner, Dean

Iowa State University College of Engineering

President’s Council Meeting

13 January 2006

slide14

El Chichon (1982)

Agung, 1963

Mt. Pinatubo (1991)

Hansen, Scientific American, March 2004

normalized change

Change in Downwelling Longwave Radiation vs.

Change in Surface Temperature

Normalized Change

Longwave Down

Surface (2m) Temperature

From GEWEX News, 14, 1 (November 2004); http://gewx.org/gewex_nwsltr.html

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

slide21

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.

slide22

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)

slide23

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.

slide25

Tropical Weather

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

slide26

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

slide29

The planet is committed to

a warming over the next

50 years regardless of

political decisions

Source: National Center for Atmospheric Research

slide30

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

slide32

40% Probability

5% Probability

Source: Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, 2001 Report

slide33

Climate Change

Projected for 2100

Rapid Economic

Growth

Slower Economic

Growth

slide34

Source:

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

slide35

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).

ipcc summary for policy makers
IPCC Summary for Policy Makers
  • An increasing body of observations gives a collective picture of a warming world and other changes in the climate system
  • Emissions of greenhouse gases and aerosols due to human activities continue to alter the atmosphere in ways that are expected to affect the climate
ipcc summary for policy makers cont d
IPCC Summary for Policy Makers, cont’d
  • There is new and stronger evidence that most of the warming observed over the last 50 years is attributable to human activities
  • Anthropogenic climate change will persist for many centuries
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
slide42

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

slide45

El Chichon (1982)

Agung, 1963

Mt. Pinatubo (1991)

Hansen, Scientific American, March 2004

north america regional climate change assessment program

North America Regional Climate Change Assessment Program

Linda O. Mearns,National Center for Atmospheric Research

Principal Investigator

Raymond Arritt, William Gutowski, Gene Takle, Iowa State University

Erasmo Buono, Richard Jones, Hadley Centre, UK

Daniel Caya, OURANOS, Canada

Phil Duffy, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratories, USA

Filippo Giorgi, Jeremy Pal, Abdus Salam ICTP, Italy

Isaac Held, Ron Stouffer, NOAA Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory, USA

René Laprise, Univ. de Québec à Montréal, Canada

Ruby Leung, Pacific Northwest National Laboratories, USA

Linda O. Mearns, Doug Nychka, Phil Rasch, Tom Wigley, National Center for Atmospheric Research, USA

Ana Nunes, John Roads, Scripps Institution of Oceanography, USA

Steve Sain, Univ. of Colorado at Denver, USA

Lisa Sloan, Mark Snyder, Univ. of California at Santa Cruz, USA

http://www.narccap.ucar.edu/

slide49

NARCCAP Plan

A2 Emissions Scenario

HADAM3

link to EU

programs

GFDL

CCSM

CGCM3

Provide boundary conditions

2040-2070 future

1960-1990 current

RegCM3

UC Santa Cruz

ICTP

CRCM

Quebec,

Ouranos

HADRM3

Hadley Centre

WRF

NCAR/

PNNL

MM5

Iowa State/

PNNL

RSM

Scripps

Reanalyzed climate , 1979-2000

slide50

Climate Model Resolution

global

regional (land)

regional (water)

Only every second

RCM grid point is

shown in each

direction

application of climate change scenarios
Space-heating/power demands

Crop yields

Soil carbon levels

Soil erosion

Bird migration patterns

Dairy cow milk production

Heat stress in beef cattle

Snowpack/reservoir performance

Crop pathogens

Habitat/climate for invasive species

Soil or aquatic ecosystems

Hardiness zones for trees

Freshwater availability

Lake-level changes

Recreation changes

Application of Climate Change Scenarios
summary
Summary
  • Climate change is real and we need to be doing something about it to prevent “dangerous anthropogenic interference with the climate system”
  • Mitigation will have no effect for 50 years, so we need to develop adaptation strategies for the short term
  • The longer we wait, the fewer our options
  • Regional patterns of warming will be complicated
  • Climate surprises can’t be discounted
  • We need dialog between scientists and the private sector to develop both adaptation and mitigation strategies
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:

gstakle@iastate.edu