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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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slide1

Wicked Problems

Global Climate Change

our dynamic climate
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.
slide6

What changes climate?

  • Changes in:
    • Sun’s output
    • Earth’s orbit
    • Drifting continents
    • Volcanic eruptions
    • Greenhouse gases
the e m spectrum
The E-M Spectrum

The Sun’s Energy Warms the Earth

fate of solar radiation reaching the earth
Fate of Solar Radiation Reaching the Earth

reflection

Clouds (20%)

snow and ice + the earth’s surface (20%)

atmospheric dust (6%)

fate of solar radiation reaching the earth1
Fate of Solar Radiation Reaching the Earth

absorption

Oceans + Land (51%)

Atmosphere (16%)

Clouds (3%)

Plant photosynthesis (<1%)

fate of solar radiation reaching the earth2
Fate of Solar Radiation Reaching the Earth

Radiation

Radiated to space from clouds and atmosphere (64%)

Radiated directly to space from Earth (6%)

greenhouse gases
Greenhouse Gases

Carbon Dioxide

Methane

Nitrous Oxide

Water Vapor

Ozone

slide15

Atmospheric CO2 (ppm)

Temperature Change (oF)

Thousands of Years Before Present

slide16

Atmospheric CO2 & Surface Temperature Trends

Atmospheric CO2 (ppm)

Temperature

Temperature Change (oF)

Carbon Dioxide

Year

slide20

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
slide23

Mean Sea Level Rise

Changes in Mean Sea Level

Year

slide24

Summer Arctic Sea Ice Decline

Comparison between 1979 & 2005

slide25

Early Fall Arctic Sea Ice Extent

Sea Ice Extent (million km2)

Year

slide32

Permafrost melting

Drunken forest

slide33

North Atlantic Tropical Storms

10-year running average

Named Tropical Storms

Year

slide34

Larsen B Ice Shelf

  • 220 m thick
  • Lost 5700 km2 (2x Rhode Island)
  • Reduction of 40%
slide35

1 Meter Sea Level Rise Waikiki

http://www.soest.hawaii.edu/HMRG/FloodingOahu/index.php

http://www.soest.hawaii.edu/coasts/sealevel/waikiki.html

slide36

Sea Level Rise

  • Destroys coastal habitat (e.g. salt marshes, mangroves)
  • Destroys human property
  • Increases pollution
  • Decreases freshwater supply

Venice, 2008

slide37

Effect on Marine Life

  • Phytoplankton bloom due to light and temperature cues
  • Changes will impact food web
  • Hypoxia may result
slide38

Effect on Fisheries

  • Migrations are in response to temperature
  • May impact fisheries
slide39

Effect on Corals

  • Coral bleaching
  • Leads to loss of habitat and food for reef- dependent species
slide40

Currents

  • Oceanic conveyor belt may change ocean currents
  • Currents carry plankton
  • Bring food and oxygen
  • Distribute eggs and larvae
  • Remove wastes and pollutants
slide41

Salinity

  • Animals have a narrow range of tolerance
  • Glacial melting inputs lots of freshwater
projected changes in precipitation
Projected changes in precipitation
  • High latitudes = increased precipitation
  • Low and middle latitudes = decreased precipitation will worsen water shortages in developing countries
slide43

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
slide44

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
slide45

Invasive Species

  • Algae smothers coral
  • Invasive species out-compete natives
slide46

Weather Events

  • More severe weather patterns
  • El Niño
  • Hurricanes
  • Mudslides
  • Forest Fires
  • Drought
slide47

Sea Surface Temperature

Dec 3, 2013

http://www.elnino.noaa.gov/

slide48

Origin and paths of tropical cyclones

  • Tropical cyclones are intense low pressure storms created by:
  • Warm water
  • Moist air
  • Coriolis effect
el ni o southern oscillation enso
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
slide50

El Niño

  • Oceanic and atmospheric phenomenon in the Pacific Ocean
  • Occurs during December
  • 2 to 7 year cycle
  • Sea Surface Temperature
  • Atmospheric Winds
  • Upwelling
slide54

Non El Niño

El Niño

1997

slide55

Non El Niño

upwelling

El Niño

thermocline

slide56

El Niño events over the last 62 years

97-98

82-83

72-73

65-66

57-58

09-10

86-87

91-92

02-03

94-95

64-65

11-12

70-71

50-51

07-08

98-99

10-11

55-56

75-76

99-00

88-89

73-74

Red - Strong El Nino

Blue- Strong La Nina

Black – moderate (either)

slide57

El Niño

La Niña

Weak

Mod

Strong

Weak

Mod

Strong

1969

1951

1957

1950

1955

1973

1976

1963

1965

1954

1970

1975

1977

1968

1972

1956

1998

1988

2004

1986

1982

1962

2007

1999

2006

1987

1997

1964

2010

1991

1967

1994

1971

2002

1974

2009

1984

1995

2000

2011

slide59

Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC)

  • Why was it created?
    • Created in 1988 by the United Nations Environmental Program
    • Established to provide policy-makers with an objective source of information about climate change
slide60

Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC)

The IPCC 2013 report concluded that it is more than 95% likely that most global warming is due to humans.

http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2013/09/27/8-damning-facts-from-the-u-n-s-climate-change-report.html

shall we pursue mitigation or adaptation
Shall we pursue mitigation or adaptation?
  • Mitigation: pursue actions that reduce greenhouse gas emissions to lessen severity of future climate change
    • Renewable energy, efficiency, farm practices to protect soil integrity, preventing deforestation
  • Adaptation: accept climate change is happening and pursue strategies to minimize its impacts
    • Uses technology and engineering, adjusting farming to cope with droughts, etc.
    • Criticized as sidestepping
  • Both are necessary
transportation
Transportation
  • Ways to help:
    • Make vehicles more fuel-efficient, hybrid cars
    • Drive less
    • Public transportation is the most effective way to conserve energy, reduce pollution.
    • Live closer to your workplace, so you can bike or walk.
    • Design cities and workplaces to be more friendly to pedestrian and bicycle traffic.
conventional cars are inefficient
Conventional cars are inefficient

The typical automobile is highly inefficient.

the fccc
The FCCC

UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (FCCC): outlines a plan for reducing greenhouse gas emissions to 1990 levels by the year 2000 through a voluntary, nation-by-nation approach

By the late 1990s, it was clear that the voluntary approach would not succeed.

Most developed nations did not voluntarily cut emissions.

The Kyoto Protocol mandates that, between 2008-2012, signatory nations must reduce emissions of six greenhouse gases to levels below those of 1990.

This treaty took effect in 2005, after Russia became the 127th nation to ratify it.

the kyoto protocol seeks to limit emissions
The Kyoto Protocol seeks to limit emissions

The United States will not ratify the Kyoto Protocol.

It requires industrialized nations to reduce emissions, but not rapidly industrializing nations (China and India).

China

India

market mechanisms address climate change
Market mechanisms address climate change

Permit trading programs

Harness the economic efficiency of the free market to achieve policy goals while allowing businesses flexibility

Polluters choose how to best reduce their emissions

A cap and trade emissions trading program

Each state decides who needs to participate.

Each sets a cap on allowable carbon emissions.

Each emissions source gets one permit.

The source can buy or sell permits.

Any source emitting more than its permitted amount will face penalties.

carbon offsets are in vogue
Carbon offsets are in vogue

Emissions trading programs allow participants to buy carbon offsets.

Carbon offset: a voluntary payment to enable another entity to reduce emissions that one is unable to reduce oneself

Hawaii

California

1 flight = 2,268 CO2

6 trees/passenger = 1 round trip flight

you can reduce your own footprint
You can reduce your own footprint

The most influential factor may be the collective decisions of millions of people.

Our carbon footprint expresses the amount of carbon we are responsible for emitting.

slide69

How much CO2 is created by _____/year

http://calculator.carbonfootprint.com/calculator.aspx

4m

28t

30t

980m

Iceland

1.3bt

Ave. Australian

Ave. N.A. citizen

Brazil

Germany

8.3bt

1.5m

682m

15t

1.4bt

U.S.

Malawi

890m

100t

U.K.

Canada

India

Rearing a child (carbon consciously)

Ave. UK citizen

2000t

4.3bt

810m

1.9bt

Rearing a child (carbon high)

China.

France

610m

Russia

7t

373t

Australia

Ave. world citizen

Rearing a child.

top 10 solutions to climate change
Top 10 solutions to climate change
  • Invest in clean energy
  • Energy efficient cars
  • Create green jobs
  • Become carbon neutral
  • Become more energy efficient
  • Protect forests
  • Tax global warming pollution
  • Coal plants use new technology
  • Cap CO2 emissions
  • make low polluting biofuels more available
question review
QUESTION: Review

“Global warming” is defined as:

  • Atmospheric conditions at localized sites
  • Atmospheric conditions over hours or days
  • An area’s long-term atmospheric conditions
  • An increase in Earth’s average temperature
  • Trends and variations in Earth’s precipitation
question review1
QUESTION: Review

“Global warming potential,” when referring to greenhouse gases, means:

  • The ability of a molecule to contribute to global warming
  • The ability of a molecule to prevent global warming
  • Carbon dioxide is the most potent greenhouse gas
  • Energy travels back to the Earth, after being emitted
  • That all other molecules are measured against CFCs
question review2
QUESTION: Review

Which of the following are major contributors of global warming?

  • Burning fossil fuels and recycling
  • Deforestation and nuclear energy
  • Burning fossil fuels and deforestation
  • Fossil fuels and nuclear energy
  • Fossil fuels and planting forests
question review3
QUESTION: Review

Which of the following greenhouse gases is not the most potent, but is extremely abundant?

  • Methane
  • Water vapor
  • Carbon dioxide
  • Nitrous oxide
  • Aerosols
question review4
QUESTION: Review

What would happen if the NADW (North American Deep Water) conveyor belt were disrupted?

  • Europe would get warmer.
  • Greenland would get warmer.
  • The U.S. would get warmer.
  • Europe would get cooler.
  • Greenland would get cooler.
question review5
QUESTION: Review

A “proxy indicator” for global warming is:

  • Indirect evidence of global warming
  • Indirect evidence that substitutes for direct evidence of global warming
  • Direct evidence of global warming
  • Direct evidence that substitutes for indirect evidence of global warming
  • The argument global warming critics use to say climate change is not occurring
question review6
QUESTION: Review

The 2007 Fourth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change made it clear that:

  • Climate is changing
  • Humans are the cause
  • This change is already exerting impacts
  • Observed trends in temperature are well documented
  • All of the above are included in this report.
question review7
QUESTION: Review

One result of climate change is that sea surfaces will rise, which means that:

  • More ice will be formed in the Arctic
  • Coral reefs will expand their range throughout the world
  • Storms will be stronger and last longer
  • The number of storms will increase, but not their strength
  • Nothing will happen; climate change is still debatable
question review8
QUESTION: Review

What happens as ice melts in polar regions?

  • More heat is reflected into space
  • Glaciers re-freeze at night
  • Exposed soils absorb heat and make melting worse
  • Polar bears learn to like the sun
  • Eskimos can now sell their property at a profit
question interpreting graphs and data
QUESTION: Interpreting Graphs and Data
  • CO2 emissions have increased drastically.
  • CO2 emissions have stabilized recently.
  • CO2 emissions fluctuate only in Hawaii.
  • CO2 emissions average 320 ppm.
  • CO2 emissions don’t generally fluctuate.

Which statement is supported by this figure?