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Climate Change: A Context for Reflection on the Responsibilities of the Faith Community

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Title: Climate Change: A Context for Reflection on the Responsibilities of the Faith Community


1
Climate Change A Context for Reflection on the
Responsibilities of the Faith Community
  • Eugene S. Takle, PhD, CCM
  • Professor of Atmospheric Science
  • Professor of Agricultural Meteorology
  • Iowa State University
  • Ames, Iowa 50011
  • gstakle_at_iastate.edu

St Andrews Lutheran Church, 12 November 2006
2
Outline
  • Changes in atmospheric carbon dioxide
  • Radiative forcing
  • Simulations of global climate and future climate
    change
  • Dangerous anthropogenic inter-
    ference with the climate system?
  • Climate surprises
  • Implications for the Faith Community

3
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4
Natural cycles
5
Pattern repeats about every 100,000 years
6
Carbon Dioxide and Temperature
7
Carbon Dioxide and Temperature
2006
8
Carbon Dioxide and Temperature
2040
2006
9
Carbon Dioxide and Temperature
Business as Usual (fossil intensive) 2100
10
Carbon Dioxide and Temperature
Business as Usual (fossil intensive) 2100
?
11
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12
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13
Global fossil fuel CO2 emissions with division
into portions that remain airborne or are soaked
up by the ocean and land. Source Hansen and
Sato, PNAS, 101, 16109, 2004.
14
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15
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16
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17
El Chichon (1982)
Agung, 1963
Mt. Pinatubo (1991)
Hansen, Scientific American, March 2004
18
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19
Source IPCC, 2001 Climate Change 2001 The
Scientific Basis
20
Source IPCC, 2001 Climate Change 2001 The
Scientific Basis
21
Source Jerry Meehl, National Center for
Atmospheric Research
22
Source Jerry Meehl, National Center for
Atmospheric Research
23
Source Jerry Meehl, National Center for
Atmospheric Research
24
Mann, M. E., R. S. Bailey, and M. K. Hughes,
1999 Geophysical Research Letters 26, 759.
25
Source National Center for Atmospheric Research
26
The planet is committed to a warming over the
next 50 years regardless of political decisions
Source National Center for Atmospheric Research
27
The planet is committed to a warming over the
next 50 years regardless of political decisions
Mitigation Possible
Adaptation Necessary
Source National Center for Atmospheric Research
28
Source Intergovernmental Panel on Climate
Change, 2001 Report
29
Climate Change Projected for 2100
Rapid Economic Growth
Slower Economic Growth
30
(A) Net Radiation at top of atmosphere in climate
simulations.
(B) Ocean heat gain in the top 750 m of world
ocean.
Source Hansen et al., Science, 308, 1431, 2005.
31
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32
Tropical Weather
Weather Underground http//www.wunderground.com/
tropical/
33
http//en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ImageKatrina_vs_sea_
surface_height.JPG
34
Tropical Atlantic Ocean
Hurricane Power Dissipation Index (PDI)
Sea-surface temperature
V
V
V
Emanual, Kerry, 2005 Increasing destructiveness
of tropical cyclones over the past 30 years.
Nature, 436, 686-688.
35
Tropical Atlantic Ocean
Hurricane Power Dissipation Index (PDI)
Sea-surface temperature
V
V
V
Emanual, Kerry, 2005 Increasing destructiveness
of tropical cyclones over the past 30 years.
Nature, 436, 686-688.
36
Arctic Climate Impact Assessment (ACIA)
  • 140-page synthesis report released in November
    2004.
  • Main science report imminent (chapters available
    electronically at www.acia.uaf.edu).
  • Concerns over wide-ranging changes in the Arctic.
  • Rising temperatures
  • Rising river flows
  • Declining snow cover
  • Increasing precipitation
  • Thawing permafrost
  • Diminishing late and river ice
  • Melting glaciers
  • Melting Greenland Ice Sheet
  • Retreating summer sea ice
  • Rising sea level
  • Ocean salinity changes
  • Species at risk include polar bears, seals,
    walruses, Arctic fox, snowy owl, and many species
    of mosses and lichens

Sources Claire Parkinson and Robert Taylor
37
NASA photographs show the minimm Arctic sea ice
concentration in 1979 at left and in
2003.Satellite passive microwave data since 1970s
indicate a 3 decrease per decade in arctic sea
ice extent.
38
Since 1979, the size of the summer polar ice cap
has shrunk more than 20 percent. (Illustration
from NASA) (http//www.nrdc.org/globalWarming/qth
inice.asp)
39
Source Corell, R. W., 2004 Impacts of a
warming Arctic. Arctic Climate Impact Assessment
(www.acia.uaf.edu) Cambridge University Press
(www.cambridge.org).
40
Associated Climate Changes
  • Global sea-level has increased 1-2 mm/yr
  • Duration of ice cover of rivers and lakes
    decreased by 2 weeks in N. Hemisphere
  • Arctic ice has thinned substantially, decreased
    in extent by 10-15
  • Reduced permafrost in polar, sub-polar,
    mountainous regions
  • Growing season lengthened by 1-4 days in N.
    Hemisphere
  • Retreat of continental glaciers on all continents
  • Poleward shift of animal and plant ranges
  • Snow cover decreased by 10
  • Earlier flowering dates
  • Coral reef bleaching

Source Intergovernmental Panel on Climate
Change, 2001 Report
41
For the Midwest
  • Warming will be greater for winter than summer
  • Warming will be greater at night than during the
    day
  • A 3oF rise in summer daytime temperature triples
    the probability of a heat wave
  • Growing season will be longer (8-9 days longer
    now than in 1950)
  • More precipitation
  • Likely more soil moisture in summer
  • More rain will come in intense rainfall events
  • Higher stream flow, more flooding

42
Climate Surprises
  • Breakdown of the ocean thermohaline circulation
    (Greenland melt water)
  • Break-off of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet

43
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44
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45
Kennedy Space Center
Areas subjected to Inundation with a 1 m (3 ft)
rise in sea level
Miami
46
What Constitutes Dangerous Anthropogenic
Interference with the Climate System?
  • James Hansen, Director of the NASA Goddard
  • Institute for Space Studies
  • Radiative forcing limit 1 Watt/ m2
  • 1 oC additional rise in global mean
  • temperature

47
El Chichon (1982)
Agung, 1963
Mt. Pinatubo (1991)
Hansen, Scientific American, March 2004
48
El Chichon (1982)
Agung, 1963
Mt. Pinatubo (1991)
Imbalance 1 Watt/m2 in 2018
Hansen, Scientific American, March 2004
49
Increasing Melt Area on Greenland
Satellite-era record melt of 2002 was exceeded in
2005. Source Waleed Abdalati, Goddard Space
Flight Center
50
Hansen, Scientific American, March 2004
51
Kennedy Space Center
Impact of a 1-m rise in sea level on low-lying
areas
Projected sea-level rise In 21st century 0.5 to
1.0 m
Areas subjected to Inundation with a 1 m (3 ft)
rise in sea level
Miami
Source Corell, R. W., 2004 Impacts of a
warming Arctic. Arctic Climate Impact Assessment
(www.acia.uaf.edu) Cambridge University Press
(www.cambridge.org).
52
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53
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54
http//www.grida.no/climate/vital/37.htm
55
Rawls and Brundtland
  • Brundtland Report Concept of Sustainability
  • Institutions are sustainable when they
    effectively meet the needs of present generations
    without compromising the ability of
    future generations to meet
    their needs.

56
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57
Ten Things You can do to Slow Global Warming
  • Change a light
  • Drive less
  • Recycle more
  • Check your tires
  • Use less hot water
  • Avoid products with a lot of packaging
  • Adjust your thermostat
  • Plant a tree
  • Turn off electrical and electronic devices

From An Inconvenient Truth (www.climatecrisis.
net)
58
What Does this Imply for the Faith Community?
  • Care for creation - what does this mean in a
    global context?

59
What Does this Imply for the Faith Community?
  • Care for creation - what does this mean in a
    global context?
  • Faith community is joined across space and time
  • We have a legacy passed down for the last two
    centuries
  • What legacy do we leave?

60
What Does this Imply for the Faith Community?
  • Care for creation - what does this mean in a
    global context?
  • Faith community is joined across space and time
  • We have a legacy passed down for the last two
    centuries
  • What legacy do we leave?
  • How will future generations
    (those whose futures we are
    now constraining) view us and
    our stewardship of the planet?

61
What Does this Imply for the Faith Community?
  • Responsibility to the natural world

62
What Does this Imply for the Faith Community?
  • Responsibility to the natural world
  • Responsibility to other human beings

63
What Does this Imply for the Faith Community?
  • Responsibility to the natural world
  • Responsibility to other human beings
  • International justice

64
What Does this Imply for the Faith Community?
  • Responsibility to the natural world
  • Responsibility to other human beings
  • International justice
  • Inter-generational equity

65
What Does this Imply for the Faith Community?
  • Responsibility to the natural world
  • Responsibility to other human beings
  • International justice
  • Inter-generational equity
  • From those to whom much has been given will much
    be expected

66
What Does this Imply for the Faith Community?
  • Responsibility to the natural world
  • Responsibility to other human beings
  • International justice
  • Inter-generational equity
  • From those to whom much has been given will much
    be expected
  • Resources

67
What Does this Imply for the Faith Community?
  • Responsibility to the natural world
  • Responsibility to other human beings
  • International justice
  • Inter-generational equity
  • From those to whom much has been given will much
    be expected
  • Resources
  • Knowledge

68
For More Information
  • For peer-reviewed evidence supporting everything
    you have seen in this presentation, see my online
    Global Change course
  • http//www.meteor.iastate.edu/gccourse
  • Contact me directly
  • gstakle_at_iastate.edu
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