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Global Warming: Estimating Future Carbon Emissions

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Starley Thompson's smoking gun. Starley's Grand Challenge. Existing climate models: ... B scenario: Baseline (average) case. FI scenario: Fossil-fuel intensive ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Global Warming: Estimating Future Carbon Emissions


1
Global WarmingEstimating Future Carbon Emissions
  • CS 1210
  • Spring 2004

2
Coming to a planet near you
  • A world thrown into turmoil by drought, floods,
    typhoons. Whole countries rendered uninhabitable.
    The capital of the Netherlands submerged. The
    borders of the US and Australia patrolled by
    armies firing into waves of starving boat people
    desperate to find a new home. Fishing boats armed
    with cannon to drive off competitors. Demands for
    access to water and farmland backed up with
    nuclear weapons. Sound like the ravings of
    doom-saying environmental extremists? It's
    actually the latest Pentagon report on how to
    ready America for the coming climate Armageddon.
  • --- www.scoop.co.nz

3
Review Heat-Trapping Gasses
  • Water Vapor most powerful greenhouse gas
  • Carbon Dioxide
  • Methane
  • Chlorofluorocarbons (also involved in ozone
    depletion)

4
Review Climate modeling
  • All climate models based on heat balance
  • Zero-dimensional model Earth as a single point
  • One-dimensional model Earth as a set of latitude
    zones
  • General circulation models 4-D grid

5
Review Zero-D model
  • Energy incoming from sun is constant
  • Energy radiated out depends on T
  • Adjust T so that Energy out Energy in
  • Result T zero degrees F!
  • Difference between model and reality is natural
    greenhouse effect

6
General Circulation Models
  • Uses 4-D grid
  • Limited by available supercomputer power
  • Starley pun need a Congressional Resolution

7
Starley Thompsons smoking gun
8
Starleys Grand Challenge
  • Existing climate models
  • Assumed CO2 levels ? Climate change
  • Models we need
  • Assumed human emissions ? CO2 levels and climate
    change

9
Moving from Specified to Predicted CO2
Currently, projections of climate change do
this
Specified Atmospheric CO2 Concentration
Climate Model
Future Climate
More credible projections will need to do this
CO2 Concentration
Combined Climate and Carbon Cycle Model
Specified CO2 Emissions
Future Climate
10
Human Natural Carbon Flows
  • Natural carbon flows are much larger than
    anthropogenic flows
  • Possible indirect effects of human activity on
    natural carbon flows could be very important

11
Summary model uncertainties
  • Cloud processes (can heat or cool)
  • Effects on natural carbon flows
  • How much human-emitted carbon?
  • Effects of global warming (possibly include THC
    collapse)

12
Predicting Human Carbon Emissions
  • Use the IPAT formula I P A T
  • Future human Population unknown
  • Future human Affluence unknown
  • Future human Technology unknown

13
The IPCC Scenarios
  • The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change
    (IPCC) attempts to project possible future CO2
    emissions
  • IPCC generated 40 scenarios, grouped into four
    storylines
  • Each storyline is a possible general trend of the
    history of the 21st century

14
Storylines of 21st Century History
  • Actual direction will depend on conscious human
    choices
  • US has disproportionate influence on future
    direction of the world

15
A1 storyline successful globalization
  • High economic growth
  • Investment in education and technology
  • Incomes of rich and poor nations converge

16
Scenarios within A1 storyline
  • B scenario Baseline (average) case
  • FI scenario Fossil-fuel intensive
  • T scenario new technologies used (solar, wind,
    nuclear)

17
A2 storyline differentiated world
  • Differences between rich and poor nations persist
  • High population growth in poor nations
  • Many resources devoted to feeding 15 billion
    people
  • Few resources devoted to pollution control

18
B1 Storyline Global Sustainable Development
  • Coherent international approach to sustainable
    development
  • High social and environmental consciousness
  • Economic gains invested in social institutions
    environment
  • Massive income redistribution towards income
    equality

19
B1 population and economics
  • Population reaches 9 billion by 2050
  • Declines to 7 billion by 2100
  • Lower average income than A1, but higher
    environmental quality and less poverty

20
B2 storyline sustainable focus
  • Strong emphasis on environmental problems
  • Decentralized and community-based
  • Less global planning and tech focus than B1
  • Strong education and welfare systems lead to
    small, well-educated population

21
B2 Population and Economics
  • Population reaches 10 billion by 2100 (compare to
    B1, with more coordination)
  • Slightly less average income than B1
  • More inequality, but more local control

22
Emission Scenario Results
  • Baseline assumptions no explicit climate polity
  • Note high emissions for A1FI, lower for A1T
  • A1T and B1 have lowest emissions
  • No scenarios reduce CO2 to pre-2000 level

23
Global warming possible futures
  • Uncertainty in models plus uncertainty in
    emission scenarios
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