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CLIMATE AND CLIMATE CHANGE. Jill F. Hasling, President Certified Consulting Meteorologist. Weather Research Center Houston, Texas www.wxresearch.com. What is the ‘Greenhouse Effect’?

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slide1

CLIMATE AND CLIMATE CHANGE

Jill F. Hasling, President

Certified Consulting Meteorologist

Weather Research Center

Houston, Texas

www.wxresearch.com

slide2

What is the ‘Greenhouse Effect’?

The Earth’s Greenhouse effect works by the atmosphere facilitating convection . In other words, the Earth’s ‘greenhouse effect’ works by modulating radiation.

With out the ‘greenhouse effect’, the Earth would not be habitable.

Without the ‘greenhouse effect’ the temperature of the earth would be -18 deg C.

When you add the ‘greenhouse effect’ back in the temperature is ~33 deg C.

slide3

What is Climate?

Climate is the average and variations of weather in a region over long periods of time.

slide4

What is Climate?

Climate is determined by the long-term pattern of temperatures and precipitation averages and extremes at a location.

Climate descriptions can refer to areas that are local, regional, or global.

Climate also describes different time intervals, such as decades, years, seasons, months or specific dates of the year.

slide5

What is Climate?

Climate is not the same thing as weather. Weather is the minute by minute variable conditions of the atmosphere on a local scale.

Climate is a conceptual description of an area’s average weather conditions and the extend to which those conditions vary over long time intervals.

slide6

What is Climate Change?

Climate change is a significant and persistent change in the area’s average climate conditions or their extremes.

Climate has changed in the past, is changing now and will change in the future.

types of climates
Types of Climates
  • A -- TROPICAL CLIMATE
  • B-- DRY CLIMATE
  • C -- MOIST SUBTROPICAL MID-LATITUDE CLIMATE
  • D-- MOIST CONTINENTAL MID-LATITUDE CLIMATE
  • E-- POLAR CLIMATE
types of climates1
Types of Climates
  • A TROPICAL CLIMATE
    • Climates in which the average temperature for all months is greater than 64°F (18°C).
    • Extend northward and southward from the equator to about 15 to 25 degrees latitude.
    • Example: Key West, FL
types of climates2
Types of Climates
  • BDRY CLIMATE
    • Arid and semi-arid deserts and steppes; evaporation exceeds precipitation.
    • Extends from 20 to 35 degrees latitude North and South of the Equator.
    • Example: Albuquerque, NM
types of climates3
Types of Climates
  • CMOIST SUBTROPCIAL MID-LATITUDE CLIMATE
    • Warm and humid summers (with frequent thunderstorms) and mild winters. Warmest month is above 50°F (10°C). Coldest month is above 32°F (0°C).
    • Extends from 30 to 50 degrees latitude mainly on the eastern and western borders of most continents.
    • Example: Houston, TX
types of climates4
Types of Climates
  • DMOIST CONTINENTAL MID-LATITUDE CLIMATE
    • Warm to cool summers and cold winters. Warmest month is above 50°F (10°C). Coldest month is below 32°F (0°C).
    • Extends poleward from the moist subtropical mid-latitude
    • climate regions.
    • Example: St. Paul, MN
types of climates5
Types of Climates
  • EPOLAR CLIMATE
    • Cold temperatures all year with the warmest month below 50°F (10°C).
    • Found on the northern coastal areas of North America, Europe, Asia, and on the land masses of Greenland and Antarctica.
    • Example: Barrow, AK
slide14

A - Tropical B - Dry C - Mid-latitude subtropical

D - Mid-latitude continental H - Highlands

factors that influence climate
Factors that Influence Climate
  • Solar radiation received at a particular latitude
factors that influence climate1
Factors that Influence Climate
  • Solar radiation received at a particular latitude
  • Air mass influence
factors that influence climate2
Factors that Influence Climate
  • Solar radiation received at a particular latitude
  • Air mass influence
  • Location of global high and low pressure zones
factors that influence climate3
Factors that Influence Climate
  • Solar radiation received at a particular latitude
  • Air mass influence
  • Location of global high and low pressure zones
  • Heat exchange from ocean currents
factors that influence climate4
Factors that Influence Climate
  • Solar radiation received at a particular latitude
  • Air mass influence
  • Location of global high and low pressure zones
  • Heat exchange from ocean currents
  • Distribution of mountain barriers
factors that influence climate5
Factors that Influence Climate
  • Solar radiation received at a particular latitude
  • Air mass influence
  • Location of global high and low pressure zones
  • Heat exchange from ocean currents
  • Distribution of mountain barriers
  • Pattern of prevailing winds
factors that influence climate6
Factors that Influence Climate
  • Solar radiation received at a particular latitude
  • Air mass influence
  • Location of global high and low pressure zones
  • Heat exchange from ocean currents
  • Distribution of mountain barriers
  • Pattern of prevailing winds
  • Distribution of land and sea
factors that influence climate7
Factors that Influence Climate
  • Solar radiation received at a particular latitude
  • Air mass influence
  • Location of global high and low pressure zones
  • Heat exchange from ocean currents
  • Distribution of mountain barriers
  • Pattern of prevailing winds
  • Distribution of land and sea
  • Altitude
slide23

Influences to weather patterns by other natural re-occurring climate cycles

  • El Niño
  • La Niña
  • Drought
  • Monsoon
slide24

Normal Conditions

  • Strong easterly trade winds in the tropical Pacific push surface waters toward the west.
  • Waters heat up more as they move toward the western Pacific Ocean because of longer sun exposure.
  • Cooler waters off the coast of Peru in the eastern Pacific due to upwelling.
slide26

El Niño Conditions

  • Weaker easterly trade winds in the central and eastern Pacific Ocean.
  • This causes the normal upwelling of the cold water from below the surface to stop and the warm surface water to remain.
slide27

Affects of El Niño

  • Impacts to the continental US:
      • Temperatures in the winter are warmer than normal in the North Central States and cooler than normal in the Southeast and the Southwest.
      • Increase in the rainfall across the southern United States from Texas to Florida.
  • Increase in upper level winds over the Atlantic which could cause fewer hurricanes.
el ni o years typically occur every 3 to 5 years and last about one year
1902-1903

1905-1906

1911-1912

1914-1915

1918-1919

1923-1924

1925-1926

1930-1931

1932-1933

1939-1940

1941-1942

1951-1952

1953-1954

1957-1958

1965-1966

1969-1970

1972-1973

1976-1977

1982-1983 (Major event)

1986-1987

1991-1992

1994-1995

1997-1998 (Major event)

2002-2003

El Niño YearsTypically occur every 3 to 5 years and last about one year.
  • 2006-2007
la ni a conditions
La Niña Conditions
  • Stronger than normal easterly trade winds in the central and eastern Pacific Ocean.
  • This causes more upwelling off the western coast of South America resulting in cooler than normal surface water across the eastern equatorial Pacific Ocean.
slide32

Affects of La Niña

  • Impacts to the continental US:
      • Wetter than normal conditions across the Pacific Northwest.
      • Drier and warmer than normal conditions across much of the southern United States.
  • Decrease in upper level winds over the Atlantic which could increase hurricane activity.
la ni a years typically occur every 3 to 5 years and last about one year
1903-1904

1906-1907

1908-1909

1916-1917

1920-1921

1924-1925

1928-1929

1931-1932

1938-1939

1942-1943

1949-1950

1954-1955

1964-1965

1970-1971

1973-1974

1975-1976

1988-1989

1995-1996

1998-1999

2000-2001

Early 2006

Late 2007-2008

La Niña YearsTypically occur every 3 to 5 years and last about one year.
slide36

Drought

A period of abnormally dry weather sufficiently prolonged for the lack of water to cause serious hydrologic imbalance in the affected area.

slide37

Drought

A period of abnormally dry weather sufficiently prolonged for the lack of water to cause serious hydrologic imbalance in the affected area.

Causes serious problems such as crop damage and/or water supply shortages.

slide38

Drought

A period of abnormally dry weather sufficiently prolonged for the lack of water to cause serious hydrologic imbalance in the affected area.

Causes serious problems such as crop damage and/or water supply shortages.

Severity of drought depends upon the degree of moisture deficiency, the duration, and the size of the affected area.

slide39

Monsoon

A period of seasonal winds; strongest on the southern and eastern sides of Asia.

slide40

Monsoon

A period of seasonal winds; strongest on the southern and eastern sides of Asia.

Monsoon climate -- Type of climate found in regions subject to monsoons and characterized by a dry winter and a wet summer.

slide41

Monsoon

A period of seasonal winds; strongest on the southern and eastern sides of Asia.

Monsoon climate -- Type of climate found in regions subject to monsoons and characterized by a dry winter and a wet summer.

For example, India’s southwest monsoon lasts from June to September and brings vital rain for the country’s farmers, but it also causes massive destruction, floods, mudslides, collapsing houses, and lightning strikes killing hundreds of people each year.

slide42

Using Climatology to Study

Specific Weather Events

Tropical Cyclones

Floods

Droughts

Winter Storms

Tornadoes

Rainfall

Snowfall

Temperatures

slide43

For Example:

Tropical Cyclone Climatology

in the Atlantic

slide46

Atlantic Basin Category 5 Hurricanes

31 Category 5 Hurricanes have occurred since 1900

Lowest Pressure –

Hurricane Wilma 2005 - 882 mbs

slide47

Atlantic Basin Category 5 Hurricanes

31 Category 5 Hurricanes have occurred since 1900

Lowest Pressure –

Hurricane Wilma 2005 - 882 mbs

Highest maximum sustained winds –

Hurricane Allen 1980 - 165 Knots

slide48

Atlantic Basin Category 5 Hurricanes

31 Category 5 Hurricanes have occurred since 1900

Lowest Pressure –

Hurricane Wilma 2005 - 882 mbs

Highest maximum sustained winds –

Hurricane Allen 1980 - 165 Knots

Most Category 5 Hurricanes per season

2005 – (Four) – Emily, Katrina, Rita and Wilma

1961 – (Two) – Carla and Hattie

1960 – (Two) – Donna and Ethel

2007 - (Two) - Dean and Felix

slide49

Hurricane Strikes on the United States Mainland 1851-2006

Category Strikes

5 3

4 18

3 75

2 73

1 110

TOTAL 279

Major 96

Category 3 or higher at landfall

slide50

Hurricane Strikes in Texas 1851 to 2007

Category 1 2 3 4 5 All Cat 3+

Texas 24 18 12 7 0 61 19

[North] 13 7 3 4 0 27 7

[Central] 7 5 2 2 0 16 4

[South] 7 7 7 1 0 22 8

USA 110 73 75 18 3 279 96

slide51

Top Ten Known Most Intense Texas Hurricanes

Based on Pressure at Landfall

1886 Indianola 925 mbs

1919 South Texas 927 mbs

1961 Hurricane Carla 931 mbs

1900 Galveston 936 mbs

2005 Hurricane Rita 937 mbs

1932 N Texas 941 mbs

1957 Hurricane Audrey 945 mbs

1915 Galveston 945 mbs

1970 Hurricane Celia 945 mbs

1980 Hurricane Allen 945 mbs

slide52

Last Direct Hit of a major hurricane within 75 nautical miles of the location indicated.

Brownsville, Texas 1980 Hurricane Allen – Cat 3

Central Padre Island 1999 Hurricane Bret – Cat 3

Corpus Christi, Texas 1970 Hurricane Celia – Cat 3

Port Aransas, Texas 1970 Hurricane Celia – Cat 3

Matagorda, Texas 1961 Hurricane Carla – Cat 4

Freeport, Texas 1983 Hurricane Alicia – Cat 3

Houston, Texas 1983 Hurricane Alicia – Cat 3

Beaumont, Texas 2005 Hurricane Rita – Cat 3

slide55

Through out Earth’s history, the climate has varied.

Reflecting the complex interactions and dependencies

of the solar, oceanic, terrestrial, atmospheric and

living components that make up planet Earth’s systems.

slide56

It is the belief, f or the last million years, earth has

experienced cycles of warming and cooling that take

approximately 100,000 years to complete.

slide57

During each cycle, global average temperatures most likely

have fallen and risen 9 deg F (5 deg C) each time.

This took the Earth into an ice age and then warming it

again.

slide58

These cycles are believed to be associated with regular

changes in the Earth’s orbit that alter the intensity of

Solar energy the planet receives.

slide59

Another process that can change the Earth’s climate

abruptly is a shift in the oceans circulations. This

can happen due to a massive volcanic eruptions.

slide60

Climate has changed throughout geological history.

  • There have been many natural reasons:
  • Changes in the Sun’s energy received by the Earth
  • due to slow orbital changes
  • Changes in the Sun’s energy reaching the Earth’s
  • surface due to volcanic eruptions.
slide62

Solar variability is the main cause of climate change.

When the sun activity is low, the cooler the Earth’s temperature. The more activethe sun, the higher the Earth’s temperature.

slide63

The climate is always changing in response to the influences of the sun and the orbit of the sun.

slide64

The climate is always changing in response to the influences of the Sun and the orbit of the Sun.

  • Climate change is the result of
      • Earth's orbital eccentricities,
      • Earth’s axial wobble,
      • Solar brightness variation,
      • cosmic ray flux, etc..
slide65

The climate is always changing in response to the influences of the Sun and the orbit of the Sun.

  • Climate change is the result of
      • Earth's orbital eccentricities,
      • Earth’s axial wobble,
      • Solar brightness variation,
      • cosmic ray flux, etc..
  • Other terrestrial drivers of climate change include:
      • Super volcanic events
      • Tectonic movement
slide66

Variations in the earth’s orbital characteristics

Eccentricity:The shape of the Earth’s orbit around the sun. Over a 100,000 year period, the orbit changes from being elliptical to nearly circular and back to elliptical.

The greater the eccentricity [more elliptical] the greater variation in solar energy at the top of the atmosphere.

Currently we are in a period of low eccentricity.

slide68

Precession of the Equinox:the wobble of the earth as it rotates on its polar axis.

This changes the orbital timing of the equinoxes and solstices.

This precession has a cycle of 26,000 years. The Earth is closer to the sun in January [perihelion] and farthest from the sun in July [aphelion].

slide70

Obliquity- Changes in the tilt of the earth’s Axis a rotation of 41,000 years.

During these 41,000 years the tilt changes from 22.5 degrees to 24.5 degrees.

When the tilt is small there is less climatic variation between summer and winter seasons in the middle and high latitudes.

slide71

Obliquity- Changes in the tilt of the earth’s Axis a rotation of 41,000 years.

During these 41,000 years the tilt changes from 22.5 degrees to 24.5 degrees.

When the tilt is small there is less climatic variation between summer and winter seasons in the middle and high latitudes.

Periods of large tilt result in greater climatic variation in the middle and high latitudes. Winter tend to be colder and summers warmer.

Currently the tilt is 23.5 degrees.

slide72

http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/paleo/slides/slideset/11/11_183_bslide.htmlhttp://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/paleo/slides/slideset/11/11_183_bslide.html

slide73

Solar activity was lowest during the 17th Century, when Earth was most frigid.

In 1996, near the last solar minimum, the Sun is nearly featureless. By 1999, approaching maximum, it is dotted by sunspots and fiery hot gas trapped in magnetic loops.

Solar max has also been tied to a 2 percent increase in clouds over much of the United States.

slide74

Sunspot data going back several hundred years showed that fewer sunspots signaled a cold period - which could last up to 50 years - but that over the past century their numbers had increased as the earth's climate grew steadily warmer.

slide75

Sunspot data going back several hundred years showed that fewer sunspots signaled a cold period - which could last up to 50 years - but that over the past century their numbers had increased as the earth's climate grew steadily warmer.

The scientists also compared data from ice samples collected during an expedition to Greenland in 1991. The most recent samples contained the lowest recorded levels of beryllium 10 for more than 1,000 years.

Beryllium 10 is a particle created by cosmic rays that decreases in the Earth's atmosphere as the magnetic energy from the Sun increases. Scientists can currently trace beryllium 10 levels back 1,150 years.

slide76

For the last 10,000 years [the span of human civilization

the Earth’s climate has been relatively stable.

Regional variations in climate patterns have influenced

human history in profound ways. These variations have

played important roles in whether a society thrived or

failed.

slide77

Cool climatic conditions have prevailed during the past 1,000,000 years. The species Homo sapiens evolved under these climatic conditions.

Warm Periods - Interglacial Periods

Over the past 415,000 years there have been 4 warm periods

1450 -1300 BC Minoan Warm Period

250-0 BC Roman Warm Period

800-1100 AD Medieval Warm Period

1900-2010 AD 20th Century Warm Period

Other period are cool periods - Glacial Periods

slide78

The early part of the 20th century was much colder than it is today.

A consequence of these colder temperatures is that there are changes in sea currents and temperatures and in the strength and direction of the winds at sea.

slide79

As a result, large icebergs from the Greenland ice sheet would often drift southward into the Atlantic Ocean and into the shipping lanes between Europe and America.

It was much more likely that a vessel would encounter icebergs back in the early part of the century than it is now. This is in part a consequence of a cooler climate 80 years ago.

slide80

In a scientific paper, written on the subject of the weather on that night in 1912 when the Titanic struck an iceberg and sunk, E. N. Lawrence concludes that there is a link between sunspots and the icebergs found in shipping lanes in the early 1900s.

slide83

Earth’s climate is influenced by interactions involving the Sun, ocean, atmosphere, clouds, ice, land, and life.

Climate varies by region as a result of local differences in these interactions.

Covering 70% of the Earth’s surface, the ocean exerts a major control on climate by dominating the Earth’s energy and water cycles.

The oceans have the capacity to absorb large amounts of solar energy.

.

slide84

Heat and water vapor are re-distributed globally through density-driven ocean currents and atmospheric circulation.

Changes in the ocean circulation caused by tectonic movements or large influxes of fresh water from melting polar ice can lead to significant and abrupt climate change, both locally and on global scales.

Solar power drives Earth’s climate. Energy from the Sun heats the surface, warms, the atmosphere, and powers the ocean currents.

slide85

GLOBAL CLIMATE CHANGE

Things we don’t know!

We do not have a long record of global temperatures.

We do not know the mean temperature over the globe over time in order to know if we are below or above normal.

slide86

GLOBAL CLIMATE CHANGE

Things we don’t know!

We do not have a long record of global temperatures

We do not know the mean temperature over the globe over time in order to know if we are below or above normal.

We do not know which comes first more CO2 or higher temperatures. Some graphs show that rise in CO2 lags behind the rise in temperature by 100 years.

slide88

Humans have only been trying to measure the temperature fairly consistently since about 1880, during which time we think the world may have warmed by about +0.6 °C ± 0.2 °C. The estimate of warming is less than the error margin on our ability to take the Earth's temperature, generally given as 14 °C ± 0.7 °C for the average 1961-1990 while the National Climatic Data Center (NCDC) suggest 13.9 °C for their average 1880-2004.

slide89

Our cities have grown and most of the observations are now influenced by the heat island with fewer observations in rural areas. Could this explain the increases temperatures in some areas?

slide90

GLOBAL CLIMATE CHANGE

What we know!

Climate change is a natural cycle. The globe has warmed and cooled many times.

slide91

GLOBAL CLIMATE CHANGE

What we know!

Climate change is a natural cycle. The globe has warmed and cooled many times.

The human contribution to warming is insignificant.

slide92

GLOBAL CLIMATE CHANGE

What we know!

Climate change is a natural cycle. The globe has warmed and cooled many times.

The human contribution to warming is insignificant.

Man cannot stop the natural warming cycle.

slide93

GLOBAL CLIMATE CHANGE

What we know!

Climate change is a natural cycle. The globe has warmed and cooled many times.

The human contribution to warming is insignificant.

Man cannot stop the natural warming cycle.

Sea level heights have been higher in the past.

slide94

GLOBAL CLIMATE CHANGE

What we know!

Climate change is a natural cycle. The globe has warmed and cooled many times.

The human contribution to warming is insignificant.

Man cannot stop the natural warming cycle.

Sea level heights have been higher in the past.

The globe has been warmer in the past.

slide95

GLOBAL CLIMATE CHANGE

What we know!

Climate change is a natural cycle. The globe has warmed and cooled many times.

The human contribution to warming is insignificant.

Man cannot stop the natural warming cycle.

Sea level heights have been higher in the past.

The globe has been warmer in the past.

The globe has been ice free in the past.

slide96

GLOBAL CLIMATE CHANGE

What we know!

Climate change is a natural cycle. The globe has warmed and cooled many times.

The human contribution to warming is insignificant.

Man cannot stop the natural warming cycle.

Sea level heights have been higher in the past.

The globe has been warmer in the past.

The globe has been ice free in the past.

The globe will cool again.

slide97

GLOBAL CLIMATE CHANGE

What we know!

Carbon dioxide is not a pollutant.

GLOBAL CLIMATE CHANGE

What we know!

slide98

GLOBAL CLIMATE CHANGE

What we know!

Carbon dioxide is not a pollutant.

Increased atmospheric levels of CO2 benefit plant growth, agriculture and forestry.

GLOBAL CLIMATE CHANGE

What we know!

slide99

GLOBAL CLIMATE CHANGE

What we know!

Carbon dioxide is not a pollutant.

Increased atmospheric levels of CO2 benefit plant growth, agriculture and forestry.

Climate models overestimate the warming effects of greenhouse gases by ignoring negative feed-backs from clouds and water vapor that would greatly reduce the warming effects.

GLOBAL CLIMATE CHANGE

What we know!

slide100

GLOBAL CLIMATE CHANGE

What we know!

Carbon dioxide is not a pollutant.

Increased atmospheric levels of CO2 benefit plant growth, agriculture and forestry.

Climate models overestimate the warming effects of greenhouse gases by ignoring negative feed-backs from clouds and water vapor that would greatly reduce the warming effects.

Observed climate warming (and cooling) appear to be controlled by natural factors - principally the variability of the solar emissions and solar magnetic fields.

GLOBAL CLIMATE CHANGE

What we know!

slide105

Each year 186 billion tons of CO2 enters the Earth’s atmosphere.

90 billion tons come from biological activity in the earth’s oceans

90 billion tons come from sources such as volcanoes and decaying plants

6 billion tons from human activity

CO2 is a nutrient not a pollutant. All life, plants and animals benefit from it.

slide106

~99.72% of the “greenhouse” effect is due to natural causes - water vapor and traces of other gases.

Eliminating human activity altogether would have little impact on climate change.

slide108

Focus should be on adapting to climate change and cleaning the environment for healthy living.

1. Accept that the earth’s climate is continuously changing

2. Continue to study the science of climate change and understand what changes are coming

3. Continue to find ways to adapt to climate change

4. Continue to find ways to recycle

5. Continue to find ways not to pollute the air

6. Continue to find ways not to pollute the oceans

7. Continue to find ways to feed the population of the world

8. Continue to find alternate fuels and energy

slide109

Humans need to engage in a grass root effort where everyone is responsible for their piece of earth and start from the area they live, to the neighborhood, to the city, to the county, to the state, to the country, to the world.

slide110

Weather Research Center

5104 Caroline St.

Houston, Texas 77004

713-529-3076

www.wxresearch.com

or

www.wxresearch.org