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Global warming 1


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Title: Global warming 1

Global Warming 1
Greenhouse Gases
CO2 in the atmosphere is transparent to short
wave radiation (e.g. solar radiation) But absorbs
long-wave radiation
(e.g. radiation bouncing back from the Earths
surface) This traps heat Hence the GREENHOUSE
EFFECT Other green house gases include Water,
methane, nitrous oxide, chlorofluorocarbons Withou
t this effect the world would be -18oC (-4oF)

Since the 1850s carbon dioxide in the atmosphere
has risen 280ppm to 360ppm Models analyzing
the effects of this increase predict a 1oC -
5.8oC temperature increase by 2100

Is there any evidence for global warming ?
Some areas of the world are 4.5oF or more warmer
than 100 years ago The average global
temperature has risen by 1oF 1990-2000 was the
hottest decade on record In the past 100 years
the sea level has risen
4-10 inches Extreme storms are more
frequent Summer droughts / heatwaves and winter
floods are more frequent One of the main bodies
documenting and highlighting global warming
issues are the IPCC
  • The World Meteorological Organization (WMO) and
    the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP)
    established the Intergovernmental Panel on
    Climate Change (IPCC) in 1988.
  • Its mandate is to objectively assess information
    on climate change and ensure balanced reporting
    of viewpoints and possible response options.
  • The IPCC does not conduct new research or monitor
    climate-related data (it is not policy
    prescriptive or policy driven).

Earths Surface Temperature
Human Influence on the Atmosphere why is the
Earth warming?
Climate Forcing (2000)
Our understanding of these issues is low
Annual Temperature Trends (1976-2000)
Greater increase in north
Temperature increase in oceans
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Climate Modeling
  • Climate change models are being used to predict
    likely effects the models are becoming more and
    more complex
  • There are numerous uncertainties in the models
  • BUT nearly all show continued warming as a result
    of human activities

How accurate are the models?
Predicted temperatures from NATURAL cycles/ events
Predicted temperatures from ANTHROPO-GENIC
Combined anthropogenic and natural sources of
Theres a strong match between model predictions
and actual OBSERVED temperatures
What will the global climate of the 21st century
look like?
Temperature Change
Dramatic increases predicted - although there is
a large range of possible temperatures (1oC -
  • Climatologists using data collected from deep
    oceanic waters and satellite imagery confirm that
    heat being absorbed by the planet (including by
    marine waters) exceeds heat radiated into space
    by 0.85 Watts, causing a net warming of the
  • The researchers predict at least a 0.6oC rise in
    temperature over the next century even if
    greenhouse gases are capped immediately, and
    likely sea level rise and further disintegration
    of polar ice sheets.
  • One of the researchers stated in a newspaper
    interview that there can no longer be genuine
    doubt that human-made gases are the dominant
    cause of observed warming. (Associated Press,

  • Since 1991, the UN Intergovernmental Panel on
    Climate Change (IPCC) report has predicted a
    1.5-4.5C increase in average temperatures with
    every doubling of CO2 levels.
  • However, new results from computer models suggest
    that the temperature increase could go as high as
  • Researchers enlisted 95,000 people from 150
    countries to download a general circulation model
    (GCM) and run it using the idle processing
    capacity on their personal computers. After
    analysing 2000 simulations, researchers
    discovered that when CO2 concentration doubles
    from pre-industrial levels as is expected to
    happen between 2050 and 2100 the simulations
    predict a 1.9 to 11.5C temperature rise.
    (Pelley, 2005)

Temperature change in the US
  • Surface temperature variation in the 20th century
    was analysed for North America in conjunction
    with climatic models.
  • Although climatic warming from 1900 to 1949 was
    probably due to natural climate change, natural
    climate change could not account for increases
    since 1950.
  • Increased temperatures since 1950 are consistent
    with patterns of increasing anthropogenic
    greenhouse gases and sulphate aerosols. This is
    yet more evidence showing that current climate
    change has an anthropogenic and unnatural cause.
    (Karoly et al., 2003.)

Global Average Sea Level Rise
Sea-Level Change
Sea-Level Rise
Sea level rose steadily during the 20th
Century. Mean global sea rise in the world 27cm
Sea Level in Roman Times
  • Coastal fish pens built by the Romans indicate
    that nearly all the rise in sea level has
    happened in the past 100 years.
  • Pens were dug into bedrock when the sea level was
    1.35 meters below todays level.
  • The sea level has risen by 13 centimeters when
    subtracting geological processes (1.22 m).
  • The present rate of 1 to 2 mm of rise per year
    equals only 100 years worth of sea level rise
  • This implies all sea level rise has occurred
    since 1900

Thermohaline Circulation
  • Thermohaline circulation (THC) is a driving
    mechanism for the worlds ocean currents.
  • The THC is driven by density differenceshigh
    density in the north and low density in the south.

Added rainfall in the north Atlantic, plus
freshwater from melting ice could slow down the
Atlantic conveyor belt moving water from the
tropics to the cooler regions
The Gulf Stream and North Atlantic Drift would
bring less warm water to northern Europe
leading to decreased
heat exchange from the ocean to the north
Atlantic region, thus causing rapid decreases in
temperature in the northern hemisphere
2001 - The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate
Change said that most models show that
thermohaline circulation would weaken
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  • The premise of the Hollywood movie The Day After
    Tomorrow is that global warming leads to the
    cessation of Thermohaline Circulation (THC) in
    the North Atlantic.
  • Scientists studying the flow of water over the
    Greenland-Scotland ridge warn that changes in
    water flows and salinities in this region are
    possibly indicative of a weakening of THC.
  • (Hansen et al. 2004)

Ocean Acidification
  • When CO2 dissolves in the ocean it lowers the pH,
    making the ocean more acidic.
  • Coral reefs and organisms whose skeletons or
    shells contain calcium carbonate may be
    particularly affected by a pH reduction.

Ocean Acidification
  • Since the Industrial Revolution, sea surface pH
    levels have dropped by around 0.1 units.
  • Researchers warn that values could fall by a
    further 0.5 units by 2100.
  • (Caldeira Wickett, 2003)

  • In August 2004 scientists met in the UK to
    develop a research plan to investigate this
  • Simultaneously the Royal Society announced that
    they will be launching an inquiry into the
    possible ecosystem effects of this increase in
    acidity in particular the depletion of coral
    and calcareous plankton, and the resulting
    disruption of oceanic ecosystems. (Schiermeier,

Carbon Dioxide Storage
  • Nearly half of the extra carbon released into the
    atmosphere since the Industrial Revolution has
    ended up in the sea.
  • Researchers and industry are interested in
    pumping waste CO2 down to the sea floor to reduce
    atmospheric levels of the greenhouse gas.
    (Cyranoski, 2004 Giles, 2004)
  • Studies have shown that marine organisms can
    sense and avoid high concentrations of CO2.
  • The idea is controversial because safe limits
    could create mortality sinks in the short-term
    and still be harmful in the long-term.

  • Sea surface temperature (SST) is rising around
    the UK and commenced in the last quarter of the
    20th Century.
    (Sheppard, 2004)
  • Impacts of this temperature change include
    changes in herring distribution.
  • A traditional migration pattern
  • B 1965-1966 (very close)
  • C 1972-1986 (along the coast)
  • D 1995-1999 (northward movement)
    (Sissener Bjørndal,

Hurricanes Global warming
Hurricane formation and power is linked to sea
temperature So does global warming lead to more
and bigger hurricanes?
1991 to 1994 quietest period in recent history
for hurricanes But a record 33 hurricanes in the
Atlantic between 1995-1999
Hurricanes Global warming
Dr. Kerry Emanuel in a 2005 Nature paper 4500
storms analyzed from the North Atlantic and
western North Pacific since the middle of 20th
The average power of storms has increased by 50
in those 50 years Emanuel linked this increased
power to global warming (Emanuel, 2005)
Impacts on Plankton
  • Since 1935 researchers have been collecting
    plankton data from devices attached to
    ocean-going freighters.
  • Using this large data set researchers have
    determined that the abundance of plankton in the
    northeast Atlantic has shifted over the past 45
  • with increasing phytoplankton abundance in
    cooler regions, due to warming of surface waters,
    and decreasing abundance in warmer regions.

Impacts on Plankton
  • Moreover, the timing of the seasonal abundance of
    plankton has also shifted.
  • These changes in phytoplankton abundance are
    already affecting components of the food web
    levels, and have been linked to the decline of
    fish species such as North Sea cod.
    (Edwards, Richardson, 2004. Richardson
    Schoeman, 2004)

UK Birds
  • The North Sea temperature has risen by 2C in the
    past 20 years.
  • Hundreds of thousands of Scottish seabirds failed
    to breed in 2004 because their prey of sandeel
    fish stock collapsed (McCarthy, 2004)
  • The sandeel larvae feed on microscopic plankton.
  • The plankton are believed to be moving northwards
    as the sea water warms.

UK Cetaceans
  • From an analysis of stranding records in the UK,
    researchers noted that strandings of cold water
    cetacean species have decreased and records of
    warm water species have increased.
  • This trend was also supported by survey data.
  • The researchers state that the results are
    consistent with a northwards shift of warm water
    cetacean species
  • They raise concerns that cooler water species,
    such as white-beaked dolphins, may be displaced
    or become locally extinct in certain areas.
    (MacLeod et al., 2005)

Other Predicted Effects of global warming
  • More extreme weather conditions
  • Flooding
  • Changes in patterns of heat distribution
  • Movement of currents
  • Changes in wind directions
  • Disease outbreaks (e.g. malaria west nile
  • Melting of ice caps ? increase in sea level
  • For Virginia - hotter and more humid summers?
  • - more thunderstorms/tornadoes?

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Public Perceptions
Public Perceptions
  • Perceptions of global warming in the US are not
    consistent with the rest of the world.
  • It has been suggested that this is because US
    newspapers give equal weight to pro- and
    anti-global warming scientists, although the
    latter are a minority
  • Only a third of newspaper articles on the issue
    noted the anthropogenic causes of global warming
  • (Boykoff Boykoff, 2004)

Public Perceptions
  • The Day After Tomorrow made audiences in Germany
    less worried about the effects of global warming
    and climate change.
  • In contrast, audiences in the U.S. had their
    fears fuelled by the film.
  • The film generally raised awareness in the U.S.
    while it contradicted Europeans expectations
    because of a fixed notion of the effects of
    climate change.

Global sources of Carbon Dioxide
Fossil fuels and forest fires 7 billion
tonnes BUT Some is absorbed e.g. 1 billion
tones ? new forest growth 2 billion tones ?
oceans (biogenous carbonaceous sediments
carbonate buffering system)
Sources of carbon Dioxide in the US
(1) Transportation. Cars, sport-utility vehicles
and other light trucks emit 20 of the nations
CO2 pollution. If U.S. cars were a separate
country, they would be the worlds fifth largest
global warming polluter, emitting more than all
sources than the UK combined! (2) Industry and
Buildings. (3) Power plants. Responsible for
36 of U.S. CO2 emissions.
US and CO2 Emissions
                  PREVENTING GLOBAL
WARMING Energy efficiency is the cleanest,
safest, most economical way to begin to curb
global warming. No global warming solution will
succeed unless we can control emissions from
cars.  Although you cannot remove CO2 from a
car's exhaust, you can make them pollute less by
making them more fuel efficient. By using
today's best technology, car makers could
dramatically increase the fuel economy of their
cars and trucks. Current technology could turn
the nations best-selling SUV (Ford
Explorer) from a 19 mpg gas-guzzler to an
efficient 34 mpg.
Using gasoline-electric hybrid vehicles,

e.g. the 70 mpg Honda Insight and 55
mpg Toyota Prius
Clean up our electrical power plants. Most
electric utilities still use coal to produce
electricity, spewing millions of tons of carbon
dioxide and other pollution into the atmosphere
every year. Part of the problem could be solved
by converting these plants to burn cleaner
natural gas.
We could do much more to save energy in our homes
and office buildings. More energy efficient
lighting, heating and air-conditioning could keep
millions of tons of carbon dioxide out of our air
each year.                                     
Step up the use of clean wind and solar energy.
Harnessing the clean, abundant energy of the sun
and wind is critical to solving the global
warming problem. Technological advances have
reduced the cost of electricity generated by the
wind down by 82 since 1981. Solar energy
technology has made improved greatly- new
photovoltaic cells convert even more sunlight
directly into electricity. The costs of wind and
solar power are becoming now competitive with
dirty coal-fired plants.
Renewable sources currently make up less than 1
of the energy market in the US. Kansas,
Nebraska, and North and South Dakota have great
potential for wind power Utah, Nevada and New
Mexico have considerable solar power potential
  • In 2005, a report issued by a 14-member
    independent panel of scientists and policymakers
    sought to find common ground between nations that
    have ratified the 1997 Kyoto Protocol and those
    that have not. Its recommendations include the
  • A long-term objective should be established to
    prevent global average temperature from rising
    more than 2C above the pre-industrial level
  • G8 governments should establish national
    standards to generate at least 25 of electricity
    from renewable energy sources by 2025
  • G8 governments should increase their spending on
    research, development, and demonstration of
    advanced technologies for energy-efficient and
    low- and zero-carbon energy supply by two-fold or
    more by 2010, at the same time as adopting
    near-term strategies for the large-scale
    deployment of existing low- and no-carbon

  • G8 governments should shift their agricultural
    subsidies from food crops to biofuels, while
    implementing appropriate safeguards to ensure
    sustainable farming methods are encouraged,
    culturally and ecologically sensitive land
    preserved, and biodiversity protected
  • Developed countries should honour existing
    commitments to provide greater financial and
    technical assistance to help vulnerable countries
    adapt to climate change and pursue the
    establishment of an international compensation
    fund to support disaster mitigation and
  • (International Climate Change Taskforce,2 005)

The Bush Administration
  • Pursuing a comprehensive strategy
  • 1) advance the science,
  • 2) accelerate the development of transformation
  • 3) reduce the growth of greenhouse gases by 18
    by 2012, and
  • 4) establish partnerships with key developed and
    developing countries
  • James Connaughton (Pres. Bushs top environmental
    advisor Council on Envir Quality)
  • NB not the production of CO2
  • but the growth in production of CO2

The Bush Administration
  • A strong focus on economic growth
  • Needed to finance investment in new, clean
    energy technologies
  • Largely ignore conservation measures
  • Focus on supplying current energy demands
  • Declare a need for improved science
  • Important gaps in our ability to measure the
    impacts of greenhouse gases on the climate
  • Advance technology options
  • May have to develop and deploy cost-effective
    technologies that alter the way we produce and
    use energy
  • Hydrogen Fuel Initiative (1.7 billion/5 yrs)
  • Climate Change Technology Program (carbon

Existing Technological Solutions
McCain-Lieberman Bill 2003
This bill proposed that industries should have a
cap on how much CO2 they could emit (2000
levels) Companies would get credits for reducing
emissions If a company could not reduce emissions
it could compensate in other ways e.g. planting
trees BUT it did nothing to control car
emission HOWEVER the bill was defeated Oct 31st
2003 in the Senate

  • the senate today told the American people that
    carbon dioxide reductions are unacceptable, and
    rightly so
  • Senator James Inhofe (R.Okla.)

Kyoto Convention
1997 5.2 of 1990 CO2 emissions by 2012 US
produces 25 of greenhouse gas emissions BUT the
US has not signed 1997- The senate rejected Kyoto
principals 95 to 0 US trying to claim that most
of their emissions are absorbed by sinks e.g.
forests 2000 Still no agreement 2001 Although
178 counties attended the
Bush Administration refused to send
delegates DESPITE Bushs 2001 campaign pledge to
control CO2
  • The Administration has developed a comprehensive
    strategy on climate change that is informed by
    science, emphasizes innovation and technological
    solutions, and promotes international
  • Spencer Abraham
  • (US Secretary of Energy)

  • Here is where we get controversial.

The Bush Administration Climate Change
Republican pollster Frank Luntz in a memo to memo
to Republican leadership noted that scientific
evidence is against the Republicans on issues
like global warming, BUT He advised them to find
scientists willing to hoodwink the public. "You
need to continue to make the lack of scientific
certainty a primary becoming even more
active in recruiting experts sympathetic to your
R. Kennedy Jr, 2003
The Bush Administration Climate Change
He also told them to say 'Climate change' as he
said it "is less threatening than 'global
warming.' While global warming has catastrophic
connotations attached to it, climate change
suggests a more controllable and less emotional
challenge." (Kennedy, 2003)
R. Kennedy Jr, 2003
In the past two years the Bush administration has
altered, suppressed or attempted to discredit
close to a dozen major reports on Global warming.
These include a ten-year peer-reviewed study by
the International Panel on Climate Change,
commissioned by George Bush Sr. in 1993. ?the
Bush administration commissioned the National
Academy of Sciences to find holes in the IPCC
R. Kennedy Jr, 2003
  • HOWEVER not only did the NAS
  • confirm the existence of global warming and the
    role of green house gases played in the
    phenomenon BUT
  • it predicted that the effects of climate change
    would be worse than previously believed, giving
    an estimate that global temperatures will rise
    between 2.5 and 10.4 degrees by 2100.

R. Kennedy Jr, 2003
This was reinforced in May 2002 - report by
scientists from the EPA, NASA and the NOAA, which
was submitted to the United Nations by the U.S.,
predicted similarly catastrophic impacts. When
confronted with the findings, Bush dismissed it
and said "I've read the report put out by the
bureaucracy. However the White House later
stated that, in fact, he hadn't.
R. Kennedy Jr, 2003
Instead of acting on the overwhelming information
so far the White House announced that further
study into and assessment of the issue was
( the Climate Research Initiative)
In February, the National Academy for Sciences
stated that the CRI was a rehash of old studies
and established science lacking most elements of
a strategic plan.
R. Kennedy Jr, 2003
In September 2002, the EPA annual report on air
pollution was released. However the traditional
update on global warming had been removed by
White House staff. On June 19th, 2003, an EPA
commissioned "State of the Environment" was
released but information and statements about
global warming had been removed by White House
staff. The removed sections included the results
of a report by the National Research Council.
Instead a report funded by the American
Petroleum Institute was cited which criticized
scientific studies that had highlighted the
dangers of global warming.
R. Kennedy Jr, 2003
In July 2003, EPA scientists leaked the results
of a study that showed that John McCains plan
(McCain-Lieberman Bill 2003) to reduce global
warming gases could achieve its goal at very
small cost. In May 2003, officials had acted to
get the results of this study repressed.
R. Kennedy Jr, 2003
(No Transcript)
In a March 2003, Republican pollster Frank Luntz
wrote a memo to the Republican leadership and
outlined the White House strategy on energy and
the environment "The environment is probably
the single issue on which Republicans in general
and President Bush in particular are most
vulnerable," he wrote. He added that the public
views Republicans as being "in the pockets of
corporate fat cats who rub their hands together
and chuckle maniacally as they plot to pollute
America for fun and profit." So he warned "Not
only do we risk losing the swing vote, but our
suburban female base could abandon us as well."
THEREFORE he recommended that Republicans don
the sheep's clothing of environmental rhetoric
( Kennedy, 2003)
  • Associated Press. 2005. Data from space, oceans
    validate global warming timeline. Washington Post
    29 April 2005 A13
  • Boykoff, M.T. and Boykoff, J.M. 2004. Balance as
    bias global warming and the US prestige press.
    Global Environment Change 14 125-130.
  • Caldeira, K. and Wickett, M.E. 2003.
    Anthropogenic carbon and ocean pH. Nature 425
  • Cyranoski, D. 2004. Project probes impact of
    waste carbon dioxide on marine life. Nature 430
  • Edwards, M. and Richardson, A.J. 2004. Impact of
    climate change on marine pelagic phenology and
    trophic mismatch. Science 430 881-884
  • Emanuel, K. 2005. Increasing destructiveness of
    tropical cyclones over the past 30 years. Nature
    in press.
  • Giles, J. 2004. Ocean fix for climate change
    finds tentative support. Nature 431 115.
  • Hansen, J., Nazarenko, L., Ruedy, R. Sato, M.,
    Willis, J., Del Genio, A., Koch, D., Lacis, A.,
    Lo, K., Menon, S., Novakov, T., Perlwitz, J.,
    Russell, G., Schmidt, G.A. and Tausney, N. 2005.
    Earth's energy imbalance confirmation and
    implications. Science in press
  • Hansen, B., Østerhus, S., Quadfasel, D. and
    Turrell, W. 2004. Already the day after tomorrow?
    Science 305 953-954
  • International Climate Change Taskforce. 2005.
    Meeting the Climate Challenge Recommendations of
    the International Climate Change Taskforce. The
    Institute for Public Policy Research, London.
  • Karoly, D.J., Braganza, K., Stott, P.A.,
    Arblaster, J.M., Meehl, G.A., Broccoli, A.J., and
    Dixon, K.W. 2003. Detection of a human influence
    on North American climate. Science 302 1200-1203
  • Kennedy, R.F. 2003. Crimes Against Nature.
    Rolling Stone Magazine.

  • Lambeck. K., Anzidei, M., Antonioli, F., Benini,
    A. and Esposito, A. 2004. Sea level in Romona
    time in Central Mediterranean and implications
    for recent change. Earth and Planetary Science
    Letters 224 563-575.
  • MacLeod, C.D., Bannon, S.M., Pierce, G.J.,
    Schweder, C., Learmouth, J.A., Herman, J.S. and
    Reid, R.J. 2005. Climate change and the cetacean
    community of north-west Scotland. Biol. Conserv.
    in press
  • McCarthy, M. 2004. Disaster at sea global
    warming hits UK birds. The Independent 30 July
  • Pelley, J. 2005. Estimates of greenhouse warming
    double. Environ. Sci. Tech. 39 190A
  • Richardson, A.J. and Schoeman, D.S. 2004. Climate
    impact on plankton ecosystems in the Northeast
    Atlantic. Science 305 1609-1612
  • Schiermeier, Q. 2004. Researchers seek to turn
    the tide on problem of acid seas. Nature 430
  • Sheppard, C. 2004. Sea surface temperature
    1871-2099 in 14 cells around the United Kingdom.
    Marine Pollution Bulletin 49 12-16.
  • Sissener, E.H. Bjørndal, T. 2005. Climate
    change and migratory pattern for spring-spawning
    herring- implications for management. Marine
    Policy in press.

Thanks to Trent Richardson