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Envir100Lect3W10 - Intro to climate science ENVIR 100 Many...

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Intro to climate science ENVIR 100
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Many past ice ages were caused by… 10% 0% 2% 88% 1% 1. Volcanic activity 2. Photosynthesis 3. Prehistoric humans 4. Changes in the earth’s orbit 5. Sun spots
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Climate is “average weather” – Long- term changes in temperature, precipitation, etc. So climate change is changes in “average weather”… …and anthropogenic climate change is changes in “average weather” due to human activity. Anthropogenic climate change
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Looking only at the last decade, global temperatures have been... 10% 75% 15% 1. Going up fast 2. Going up slow 3. Relatively stable
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Looking at 1950-2009, temps in 1999-2009 have been... 90% 2% 8% 1. On the high side 2. On the low side 3. In the middle
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Revkin : “temperatures over the next decade or so relatively stable” DeepClimate : “Andy Revkin backtracks (but not nearly enough)” ClimateProgress : “Exclusive interview with Dr Mojib Latif, the man who confused the NY Times” George Will, WaPost : “Cooling Down the Cassandras.” How to make sense of it all?
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The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) is a group of scientists and governments created in 1988 by the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) and the U.N. Environment Programme (UNEP). Mandate: “to provide the decision- makers and others interested in climate change with an objective source of information...” “The IPCC does not conduct any research…” The IPCC
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Energy balance Think of the Earth like a water heater: Energy comes into it (E in , e.g., from electric coils) and energy leaves (E out , e.g., heat loss). In steady state , energy in equals energy out (E in = E out ) and so temperature T is constant. Wrap a blanket around the tank and E out goes down. Q: What are the two options for what happens next? A: Either you can keep the same T by reducing E (conservation!) or T rises to
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Source: IPCC 2007, Fig 6.3 Historic climate (Thousands of years) ddddddddddddd ddddddddddddd dddddddd
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Historic climate Do we have a theory about what caused historic climate changes? Yes: The theory is that they were driven by variations in the Earth’s orbit (the 120,000-year “Milankovitch cycles”) plus feedbacks.
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Source: IPCC 2007 Historic climate
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Historic climate Do we have a theory about what caused historic climate changes?
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