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Climate Change: The Move to Action (AOSS 480 // NRE 501). Richard B. Rood 734-647-3530 2525 Space Research Building (North Campus) Winter 2008 January 24, 2008. Class News. A ctools site for all AOSS 480 001 W08

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climate change the move to action aoss 480 nre 501

Climate Change: The Move to Action(AOSS 480 // NRE 501)

Richard B. Rood


2525 Space Research Building (North Campus)

Winter 2008

January 24, 2008

class news
Class News
  • A ctools site for all
    • AOSS 480 001 W08
      • This is the official repository for lectures
      • Email
  • Class Web Site and Wiki
    • Climate Change: The Move to Action
    • Winter 2008 Term
readings on local servers
Readings on Local Servers
  • Assigned
    • IPCC Working Group I: Summary for Policy Makers
  • Of Interest
    • Lean: Living with a Variable Sun
    • Doney: Ocean Acidification
lectures coming up
Lectures coming up
  • The Policy and Politics of Science and Technology on Capitol Hill // Speaker: Tind Shepper Ryen, Professional Staff, Committee on Science, U.S. House of RepresentativesDate: Monday, 28 January, 4:00-5:30pm //1110 Weill Hall (Betty Ford Classroom)
  • MLK Day Keynote Speaker: Dr. Warren Washington // Climate Modeling // Tuesday, February 5, 2008 - 4:00pm to 5:30pm //Location: Stamps Auditorium, North Campus, Charles R. Walgreen, Jr. Drama Center
lectures coming up1
Lectures coming up
  • Erb Speaker Series: Jim Nixon, Alcoa, "Challenges for an Energy Intensive Business in a Carbon Constrained World" Tuesday, February 5, 2008 - 5:00pm to 6:30pm Ross School, Wyly 0750
outline of lecture
Outline of Lecture
  • An outline of project “form”
  • Who are we
    • Some discussion
  • Radiative Balance of the Earth
  • Feedbacks: Responses to global warming
  • Think of project in the following ways:
    • You work as a congressional staffer or an agency staffer. You are asked to analyze whether or not we should drill for oil on the north slope of Alaska. You are required to consider climate change in the analysis. You are to make a team of experts from your staff. Provide a set of knowledge-based options for your congresswoman.
  • or think of project this way:
    • You are a small company of 3-5 people, working as a startup providing climate expertise. A major paper company calls and wants to know how to think about it’s timber reserves in the presence of possible climate change policy.
  • or maybe this way:
    • You work for a credit card company which for every purchase you make, they estimate the amount of carbon dioxide emitted into the atmosphere and buy a carbon credit to neutralize the emission. You are asked to quantify and validate that the program is good for the environment.
  • or even this way:
    • You are in the Michigan state government, and Michigan is going to be the energy state. Biofuels, wind energy, and hydroelectric are part of the policy. Analyze the relationship of this energy policy to climate change.
  • The point --- There is a complex problem, and there are a many different communities invested in how the problem is addressed. There is a relationship with climate change. You want to make a knowledge-based evaluation of the problem and present an approach or a set of possible approaches to address the problem. (Want you to be very aware of “advocacy” in your thinking.)
projects goals and context
Projects: Goals and Context
  • In school students often learn to work independently, in their field, but in jobs people are often thrown into teams
    • You are suddenly the “expert.”
  • Goals
    • How to define a tractable problem // reduce it to something you can do
      • Drawing a picture
    • How to separate the essence of a problem from the details
    • What do we know, what do we believe, what are we attached to?
    • What do the other participants really need – not what you think they need.
    • Check, How to Check
    • Communication
      • Complexity, sophistication, audience, context, naivety, dumbing down
      • How to explain what you are doing.
    • Balance, optimization
  • Bigger goals ...
    • How do we move this problem beyond polarized positions on details.
      • Move it from climate-policy, climate-business, climate-public health, climate-agriculture, climate-ecosystems, climate-...(interest advocacy groups)
      • to climate-business-policy-public health - ecosystems
    • How do we bring several communities together for the development of foundational solutions or at least strategies that make sense.
    • Systems, systems, systems
deconstructing how to think about projects
Deconstructing how to think about projects.

4) What to do?



1) Describe what is in the picture. What are the facts? Make an inventory of what is known. Make an inventory of what is not known.

2) Analysis: How credible is the information? What is the integrity of the reporting? How complete is the picture? Is there derived knowledge?

3) Does it matter? Impact. Consequences.



an interesting book for thinking about projects example of process deconstruction
An interesting book for thinking about projects:(Example of process, deconstruction, …)

Climate Change: Debating America’s Policy Options

David Victor (2004)

Council on Foreign Relations, New York, NY

166 pages.

previous projects
Previous projects
  • New Orleans and Sea Level Rise
  • New Orleans and post-Katrina Public Health
  • Great Lake Fisheries and Climate Change
  • Carbon Taxes and Carbon Markets
  • Role of World Trade Organization in Carbon Policy
  • Texas Coal Power Plants: CO2 and Public Health Costs
who are we
Byers, Brian ( byersbh ) AOSS 480 001 W08

Carey, Erin ( careyeb ) NRE 501 076 W08

Ervin, Joan ( ervinj ) AOSS 480 001 W08

Felt, Justin ( feltju ) NRE 501 076 W08

Fishman, Daniel ( dbfish ) NRE 501 076 W08

Horton, Daniel ( danethan ) AOSS 480 001 W08

Johns, Owen ( orjohns ) NRE 501 076 W08

Johnson, Jaclyn ( jackiejo ) NRE 501 076 W08

Knudson, Karla ( knudsonk ) AOSS 480 001 W08

Kosmyna, Eric ( ekoz ) AOSS 480 001 W08

Lorenz, Susan ( selorenz ) NRE 501 076 W08

Mack, Charlotte ( charmack ) NRE 501 076 W08

Oaida, Catalina ( oaidac ) AOSS 480 001 W08

Rabinsky, Mark ( rabinsky ) NRE 501 076 W08

Reed, David ( dereed ) AOSS 480 001 W08

Reed, Kevin ( kareed ) AOSS 480 001 W08, AOSS 605 002 W08 3

Schlichting, Eric ( eschlich ) AOSS 480 001 W08

Tawfik, Ahmed ( abtawfik ) AOSS 480 001 W08, AOSS 605 002 W08 3,

Thoumi, Gabriel ( thoumi ) NRE 501 076 W08

Ullrich, Paul ( paullric ) AOSS 605 002 W08 3

Whitehead, Jared ( jaredwh ) AOSS 605 002 W08 3

Wurtzel, Jennifer ( jbwurtz ) AOSS 480 001 W08

Who are we?
what do we have
What do we have?
  • We started by looking at some of the basic motivators of concern about climate change.
    • Basic idea that greenhouse gases in the atmosphere are responsible for the Earth’s surface being warm.
    • Adding more greenhouse gases; therefore, likely warmer.
    • Have evidence of consequential climate change in the past.
    • Have predictions of climate change and its impacts in the future.
to understand the climate
To understand the climate
  • Introduce the conservation principle.
  • Use conservation to think about the energy and CO2 balance in the Earth.
  • Trace the sun’s energy through the atmosphere.
    • Where does it go?
  • How does the Earth react?
so what matters

Changes in the sun


Things that change reflection

Things that change absorption

If something can transport energy DOWN from the surface.

So what matters?
more consideration of radiative energy in the atmosphere
More consideration of radiative energy in the atmosphere
  • FEEDBACKS ....
    • The idea that one thing causes a second thing to happen.
      • That second thing then does something to the first thing
        • It damps it, negative feedback
        • It amplifies it, positive feedback
the earth system feedbacks 1 infrared proportional to temperature

Top of Atmosphere / Edge of Space




The Earth System: Feedbacks 1Infrared Proportional to Temperature
  • Assume that greenhouse gases remain the same
  • Infrared emission is proportional to temperature
  • Temperature increases  emission increases
  • Equilibrium is maintained
the earth system feedbacks 2 water vapor

Top of Atmosphere / Edge of Space




The Earth System: Feedbacks 2Water Vapor
  • When it gets warmer more water, a greenhouse gas, will be in the atmosphere
  • Higher temperature increases evaporation from land and ocean
  • Higher temperature allows air to hold more water
  • Increase of water increases thickness of blanket – increases temperature more
    • This could runaway!
    • Natural limit because of condensation  clouds, rain?
    • Compensating circulation changes?
      • Think deserts …
the earth system feedbacks 3 ice albedo
The Earth System: Feedbacks 3Ice - Albedo
  • When it gets warmer less ice
  • Less ice means less reflection  warmer
  • Warmer means less ice
    • This could runaway!
    • Cooler works the other way  ice-covered

Top of Atmosphere / Edge of Space


the earth system feedbacks 4 clouds
The Earth System: Feedbacks 4Clouds?
  • Clouds are difficult to predict or to figure out the sign of their impact
  • Warmer  more water  more clouds
  • More clouds mean more reflection of solar  cooler
  • More clouds mean more infrared to surface  warmer
  • More or less clouds?
    • Does this stabilize?
    • Water in all three phases essential to stable climate

Top of Atmosphere / Edge of Space





the earth system feedbacks 5 something with the ocean
The Earth System: Feedbacks 5Something with the Ocean?
  • Is there something with the ocean and ice?
  • Land ice melting decreases ocean salinity (density)
  • Sea-ice impacts heat exchange between ocean and atmosphere
  • Sea-ice impacts solar absorption of ocean
  • North Atlantic sea-ice and ocean interaction very important to the climate
    • Think Gulf Stream
    • Think climate and people and economy
    • Is there a natural feedback that stabilizes climate?
    • Even if there is, it would be very disruptive, perhaps not stable from a societal point of view.
cloud ice atmosphere feedback
Cloud-Ice-Atmosphere Feedback
  • Some carry away messages
    • This is where much of the discussion about scientific uncertainty resides.
    • The Earth is at a complex balance point
      • That balance relies on water to exist in all three phases.
        • Too warm could run away to “greenhouse” vapor
        • Too cold run away to “snowball” ice
    • How clouds change is not well understood and much argued.
    • Is there something in all of this that changes the sign; namely, that CO2 warming will be compensated by more cooling?
      • The Iris Effect?