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Climate science in a world with global change


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Title: Climate science in a world with global change

Climate science in a world with global change
  • David Noone
  • Program in Atmospheric and Oceanic
    SciencesCooperative Institute for Research in
    Environmental SciencesUniversity of Colorado,
    Boulder, CO

Global change
  • Changes to atmospheric composition (greenhouse
    gases, aerosols, )
  • Changes to surface conditions (deforestation,
    agriculture, urbanization, water use)
  • How does climate system (atmosphere, ocean,
    cryosphere, biosphere) respond?What processes
    (physical, chemical, biological) govern change?
  • Cloud processes, global hydrologic cycle,
    atmosphere-biosphere interaction

Research to quantify global change
  • Models of climate (and global environment)
  • Observed trends
  • Use of (mostly physical) models to understand
    impacts on chemical and biological systems
  • What are the feedbacks/couplings between
    physical-chemical-biological systems?
  • Are these different during Earths history
    (e.g., Ice ages? Warm periods?)

Radiative forcing of climate
(No Transcript)
Terrestrial ecosystem/biosphere change
  • Terrestrial biosphere/atmosphere interaction
  • Not just response
  • Identification and quantification of feedbacks
    between atmosphere and terrestrial biosphere
  • Specifically water and carbon cycling in the
    presence of total energy balance
  • Role of ecosystem change and resource use (e.g,
    logging, water use/availability) on surface
    energy balance
  • temperature, humidity, wetness
  • Role of global circulation in modifying surface
  • Succession of plant species, further modification
    of land surface)
  • Possible sustainable states in the climate system
  • What is, and what limits, the global climate and
    ecosystem change?

Models of atmosphere/biosphere connections
water cycle linked to carbon cycle and vegetation
Global dimming?
Reconstructed annual reflectance anomalies from
Sunlight reflected by earth tends to make dark
side of the moon brighter. Brighter moon means
dimmer earth.
Palle et al., Science, 2004
Coincidence? Or could this be a biospheric signal?
Motivation for global change science
  • Perceived need for research in global
    environmental change drives funding for research
  • Without global change, climate science would be
    far more poorly funded!
  • There is a real conflict of interest in the
    scientific community catastrophic conclusions
    lead to more funding!
  • Is global change science objective?
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