climate_change_133_2010

climate_change_133_2010 - CLIMATE CHANGE Outline Past...

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CLIMATE CHANGE
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Outline Past Climate Change Current Climate Change Human Activities Future Climate Change Summary
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Weather, climate and Climate change… What is the difference? What would you answer if somebody asked you: “what is the weather in California?” What would you answer if somebody asked you: “what is the climate in California?” What would you answer if somebody asked you: “Is California Climate changing?”
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Time-scale is important Weather: change in winds, cloudiness, rainfall, temperature, etc. in a few days Climate: collection of weather patterns over time: can be described by statistical analysis of meteorological variables (temperature, wind, pressure, humidity, rainfall, etc) that requires many years (at least a few decades). Not only mean patterns are important but also their variations.
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So… after all what is climate change? Climate change is a change in the statistical distribution of weather over periods of time that range from decades to hundreds, thousands or millions of years . It can be identified by changes in mean patterns and/or in their variability Changes can be characterized by changes in the frequency and/or intensity of extreme events over long periods (often identified with trends) Climate changes , in general, cause profound modifications in the weather patterns in the atmosphere, in the Hydrosphere (oceans, river flows, underground water), biosphere and the cryosphere. Can be regional or global
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PAST CLIMATE CHANGES
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Precipitation Temperature Super-continent Pangaea breakup consolidation Himalayan Alpine ice-ages mass-extinctions mya (million years ago) 24o C 10o C Homo sapiens 300Kya Homo erectus 1 mya Homo habilis 2 mya great apes early primates Birds Dinossaurs Reptiles Land plants, forests amphibians Vertebrates (primitive fish) Invertebrates (Life forms abundant) Photosynthesis (Life appears - algae)
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Natural Forcings
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Plate Tectonic Movement 100 Ma
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Tectonic plate movements: Pangaea – 350 mya Current State – 40 mya Changes in the distribution of land masses can alter surface patterns of seasonal heating and cooling, which in turn will have impacts on the geographical position of the major wind belts. Volcanic activity was important factor in the evolution of the Earth’s Atmosphere  increasing CO2 concentrations  Earth’s greenhouse effect Distribution of Land and Ocean
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Croll-Milankovitch Cycles: External forcings Large seasonal variations in temperature are observed when the North Pole is pointing towards Vega (harsh winters and hot summers). In this situation winters will be longer in the Northern Hemisphere
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Solar Variability
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Volcanic Activity Volcanic activity was an important factor in the evolution of the Earth’s Atmosphere. Eruptions  increase CO2 in the Atmosphere  Greenhouse effect
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climate_change_133_2010 - CLIMATE CHANGE Outline Past...

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