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class8_w08 - San Joaquin Delta REDUCED SNOWPACK HIGHER SEA...

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REDUCED SNOWPACK HIGHER SEA LEVEL LESS RAINFALL San Joaquin Delta CA aqueduct
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Mean Predicted Changes – 2080 – 2099 – Scenario A1B Dry belts at +/- 30° latitude: Hadley cells
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Example of glacier retreat – Glacier AX010, Nepal
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Jan 31 2002 March 5 2002 Antarctica – Larsen B ice shelf collapse Area of loss is the size of Rhode Island Ice shelves are partially supported on land, so some net sea level rise Distinguish the ice shelf from an ice sheet formed on land
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West Antarctic Ice Sheet Size of sheet depends on a balance between influx from snowfall and outflow at the boundary to the sea Crevasses form, and meltwater flows to the base of the sheet, lubricating it and increasing outflow Shelves extend out into the sea; as they melt and break up, the glaciers accelerate a movement toward the sea This is happening in both Greenland and West Antacrtica inland retreat Science 315 , 1503-1504 (2007)
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Greenland and Antarctic Ice Cap – Elevation changes
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Arctic Sea-Ice Cover – September 2007 Science 318 , p. 33 (2007) Annual sea ice minimum (September) is on a steady decrease Huge drop in 2007 led to opening of the Northwest Passage Complete loss in the summer as early as 2030 ??
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Science 315 , 1525-28 (2007) Anticipated opening of the arctic ice – new national claims on arctic, eyes on petroleum development Drilling rig in the Beaufort Sea
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Causes of sea level changes
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Sea level change predictions also depend on the choice of Scenario
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Prediction of sea level changes Difficult to make Vary depending on models and assumptions (Western Antarctic Glacier) New results suggesting much higher changes Impacts are multiple and can be combined with other effects (e.g., extreme weather events, El Nino strengthening) Melting of either the Greenland ice cap or the West Antarctic ice sheet would raise sea levels about 6 meters [ Science 311 , 1698-1701 (2006)]
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Secondary effects on weather and storms Virtually certain ; >99% Extremely likely ; >95% Very likely ; >90% Likely ; >66% More likely than not ; >50% Unlikely ; <33% Very unlikely ; <10% Extremely unlikely ; <5%
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Impact on Coral Reefs Extremely high biodiversity due to nutrient-poor medium $30 billion income yield per year on fisheries 5 Pacific nations are based entirely on coral atolls “Bleaching” due to higher ocean temperatures Corals live in symbiosis with algae zooxanthella, which contain photosynthetic pigments The algae are adversely affected by the temperature increase The white color is the coral skeleton (CaCO 3 ) being seen through transluscent tissue devoid of the algae 1-2 °C increase over 5-10 weeks can induce bleaching Corals eventually die without their symbiotic algal guests
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Other impacts of global warming -species extinctions -migration of species Northward (Northern hemisphere)
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