PUBL 201 - Climate Change - 2010 Reisinger

PUBL 201 - Climate Change - 2010 Reisinger - Climate change...

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New Zealand Climate Change Research Institute Climate change science and emissions targets Andy Reisinger NZ Climate Change Research Institute School of Government, Victoria University PUBL 201
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2 Overview Climate change science: do we know it’s happening, and what are some future projections? How can we limit climate change: targets temperature, concentration, emissions Timing of global action to meet targets
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3 Global average temperature
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4 Tide gauge and satellite data on sea level Sea level increased by about 170 mm in the 20 th century Recent average rates of sea level rise: 1961 – 2003: 1.8 mm /yr 1993 – 2003: 3.1 mm /yr Global average from tide gauge data Global average from satellite data
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5 Consistency of observations Surface temperatures increasing Atmospheric water vapour content increasing Ocean heat content increasing … … now directly linked to sea level rise Greenland and Antarctic Ice Sheets losing mass Glaciers and snow cover declined Arctic sea ice extent decreasing More intense and longer droughts More frequent heavy precipitation events over land Tropical cyclone intensity increasing (North Atlantic) Warming is unequivocal
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6 Causes of Change Potential Climate Change Solar changes Greenhouse gases Aerosols Land cover Volcanic eruptions There are both natural and anthropogenic drivers of climate change. There will always be natural variability superimposed on long-term trends.
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7 The greenhouse effect The planet is warmed by the Sun - but air is warmed by the Earth. The natural greenhouse effect increases surface temperatures by about 30 o C. Increasing greenhouse gas concentrations tends to increase surface temperatures.
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8 Air bubbles in a piece of an ice core Industrial revolution and the atmosphere The current concentrations of greenhouse gases and their rates of change are unprecedented. CO 2 Methane Nitrous oxide
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9 Recent warming is due to greenhouse gases
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10 Recent warming is due to greenhouse gases Combination of volcanic eruptions and solar change would have resulted in small cooling over the last 50 years.
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11 Recent warming is due to greenhouse gases Combination of volcanic eruptions and solar change would have resulted in small cooling over the last 50 years. Models are able to reproduce observed changes only if we include the warming effect of greenhouse gases.
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12 Projections for the future Start with scenarios for future emissions – (internally consistent sets of assumptions about socio-economic change, energy and technology) Use models simulating physical and chemical
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PUBL 201 - Climate Change - 2010 Reisinger - Climate change...

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