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Wicked Problems. Global Climate Change. Central Case: Rising seas may flood the Maldives. Central Case: Rising seas may flood the Maldives. Central Case: Rising seas may flood the Maldives. Our dynamic climate. Climate : an area’s long-term atmospheric conditions

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Global Climate Change


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    Presentation Transcript
    1. Wicked Problems Global Climate Change

    2. Central Case: Rising seas may flood the Maldives

    3. Central Case: Rising seas may flood the Maldives

    4. Central Case: Rising seas may flood the Maldives

    5. Our dynamic climate • Climate: an area’s long-term atmospheric conditions • Temperature, moisture content, wind, precipitation, etc. • Influences everything around us • Weather: conditions at localized sites over hours or days • Global climate change: describes trends and variations in Earth’s climate • Temperature, precipitation, storm frequency • Global warming: an increase in Earth’s average temperature • Earth’s climate has varied naturally through time. • The rapid climatic changes taking place now are due to human activity: fossil fuels, combustion, and deforestation.

    6. What changes climate? • Changes in: • Sun’s output • Earth’s orbit • Drifting continents • Volcanic eruptions • Greenhouse gases

    7. Global Warming

    8. The E-M Spectrum The Sun’s Energy Warms the Earth

    9. Fate of Solar Radiation Reaching the Earth reflection Clouds (20%) snow and ice + the earth’s surface (20%) atmospheric dust (6%)

    10. Fate of Solar Radiation Reaching the Earth absorption Oceans + Land (51%) Atmosphere (16%) Clouds (3%) Plant photosynthesis (<1%)

    11. Fate of Solar Radiation Reaching the Earth Radiation Radiated to space from clouds and atmosphere (64%) Radiated directly to space from Earth (6%)

    12. Earth’s Atmosphere

    13. The Greenhouse Effect

    14. Greenhouse Gases Carbon Dioxide Methane Nitrous Oxide Water Vapor Ozone

    15. Atmospheric CO2 (ppm) Temperature Change (oF) Thousands of Years Before Present

    16. Atmospheric CO2 & Surface Temperature Trends Atmospheric CO2 (ppm) Temperature Temperature Change (oF) Carbon Dioxide Year

    17. July 28, 2013:     396.77 ppm

    18. Predicted changes with increased greenhouse warming • Sea level rise • Increased plant primary productivity • Shifts in the distribution of plants and animals • Water contamination and outbreaks of water-borne diseases • Increased storm severity • Potential melting or enlargement of polar ice caps • Changes to patterns of rainfall • More severe droughts or increased precipitation • changes to ocean circulation patterns

    19. Ice Age 18,000 years ago

    20. Sea Level Changes due to Ice Ages and Ice Cap Melting

    21. Mean Sea Level Rise Changes in Mean Sea Level Year

    22. Summer Arctic Sea Ice Decline Comparison between 1979 & 2005

    23. Early Fall Arctic Sea Ice Extent Sea Ice Extent (million km2) Year

    24. Greenland Seasonal Surface Melting Surface melting

    25. Permafrost

    26. Permafrost

    27. Permafrost melting

    28. Permafrost melting

    29. Permafrost melting Drunken forest

    30. North Atlantic Tropical Storms 10-year running average Named Tropical Storms Year

    31. Larsen B Ice Shelf • 220 m thick • Lost 5700 km2 (2x Rhode Island) • Reduction of 40%

    32. 1 Meter Sea Level Rise Waikiki http://www.soest.hawaii.edu/HMRG/FloodingOahu/index.php http://www.soest.hawaii.edu/coasts/sealevel/waikiki.html

    33. Sea Level Rise • Destroys coastal habitat (e.g. salt marshes, mangroves) • Destroys human property • Increases pollution • Decreases freshwater supply Venice, 2008

    34. Effect on Marine Life • Phytoplankton bloom due to light and temperature cues • Changes will impact food web • Hypoxia may result

    35. Effect on Fisheries • Migrations are in response to temperature • May impact fisheries

    36. Effect on Corals • Coral bleaching • Leads to loss of habitat and food for reef- dependent species

    37. Currents • Oceanic conveyor belt may change ocean currents • Currents carry plankton • Bring food and oxygen • Distribute eggs and larvae • Remove wastes and pollutants

    38. Salinity • Animals have a narrow range of tolerance • Glacial melting inputs lots of freshwater

    39. Projected changes in precipitation • High latitudes = increased precipitation • Low and middle latitudes = decreased precipitation will worsen water shortages in developing countries

    40. Acidity • CO2 makes water acidic • Corals and other calcium carbonate species can’t make skeleton • Impact on plankton development impacts food web • Coral calcification rate reduced 15-20% • Skeletal density decreased, branches thinner

    41. Temperature • Higher temperature results in less O2 • - Results in hypoxia • Ice melting leaves no resting/hunting areas for polar bears • Antarctic Krill impacts food web

    42. Invasive Species • Algae smothers coral • Invasive species out-compete natives

    43. Weather Events • More severe weather patterns • El Niño • Hurricanes • Mudslides • Forest Fires • Drought

    44. Sea Surface Temperature Dec 3, 2013 http://www.elnino.noaa.gov/

    45. Origin and paths of tropical cyclones • Tropical cyclones are intense low pressure storms created by: • Warm water • Moist air • Coriolis effect

    46. El Niño-Southern Oscillation (ENSO) • El Niño = warm surface current in equatorial eastern Pacific that occurs periodically around Christmastime • Southern Oscillation = change in atmospheric pressure over Pacific Ocean accompanying El Niño • ENSO describes a combined oceanic-atmospheric disturbance

    47. El Niño • Oceanic and atmospheric phenomenon in the Pacific Ocean • Occurs during December • 2 to 7 year cycle • Sea Surface Temperature • Atmospheric Winds • Upwelling