Spring 2014 California State University, Northridge. Understanding Global Warming

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1 Spring 2014 California State University, Northridge Understanding Global Warming

2 Global Warming is Real The combined global land and ocean average surface temperature for January November 2013 was 0.62 C above the 20th century average of 14.0 C, tying with 2002 as the fourth warmest such period on record. -- NOAA

3 Temperature Anomalies Relative to 20th Century Average

4

5 Disappearance of Arctic Sea Ice 2012, European Space Agency: 900 km 3 sea ice lost each year since Arctic sea ice could vanish in 10 years.

6 Disappearance of Arctic Sea Ice Arctic sea ice on 26 Aug Sea ice dipped to its smallest extent ever recorded in more than three decades of satellite measurements: Scientific Visualization Studio, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center

7 CO2 Concentration over Time Carbon dioxide concentration May 2013: 400 ppm

8 CO2 Concentration Keeling Curve

9 2013 Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) (2,000 scientists from154 countries) Warming of the climate system is unequivocal. Each of the last three decades has been successively warmer at the Earth s surface than any preceding decade since In the Northern Hemisphere, was likely the warmest 30-year period of the last 1400 years. Human influence on the climate system is clear. The globally averaged combined land and ocean surface temperature show a warming of 0.85 C from 1880 to 2012 The atmospheric concentrations of carbon dioxide, methane, and nitrous oxide have increased to levels unprecedented in at least the last 800,000 years. Carbon dioxide concentrations have increased by 40% since preindustrial times, primarily from fossil fuel emissions and secondarily from net land use change emissions. The ocean has absorbed about 30% of the emitted anthropogenic carbon dioxide, causing ocean acidification

10 IPCC Climate Models Global and continental evolution of the temperature since 1900, based on measurements (bold line) and ensemble simulations with coupled climate models (bands). Only simulations with a complete forcing which includes changes in greenhouse gases, aerosols, observed volcanic eruptions and variable solar radiation, show reasonable agreement with the observations over the entire 20th century. In case the effect of anthropogenic forcings (greenhouse gases, aerosols) on the radiative balance is not taken into account, the global increase in temperature cannot be simulated. (Figure from IPCC 2007, Summary for Policymakers,

11 MIT and Penn State Study, 2012 Worldwide Average Temperature increase of 9 F by 2100 Arctic will warm three times as fast as 2007 IPCC study found, along with greater ocean warming, sea level rise, and extreme weather events Nature article by group of 22 scientists, 2012 Warns that Earth may be near tipping point, pushing planet to calamitous and irreversible changes

12 UCLA Center for Climate Change Solutions 2012 Study aided by supercomputer more precise than previous climate models for the region. Roughly 1 quintillion calculations over a period of six months to assess aspects of 25 global warming models applicable to Southern California. Findings: By mid-century, the number of days with temperatures above 95 degrees each year will triple in downtown L.A., and quadruple in portions of the San Fernando Valley. The hottest of those days will break records. National Research Council, Ca, Or, Wa Study 2012 Study, commissioned by federal agencies and 3 states predicts 5 1/2 feet sea level rise in California by 2100.

13 U.S. Global Change Research Program Draft National Climate Assessment (2013) U.S. average temperature has increased by about 1.5 F since 1895; more than 80% of this increase has occurred since The most recent decade was the nation s hottest on record. U.S. temperatures will continue to rise, with the next few decades projected to see another 2 F to 4 F of warming in most areas. The amount of warming by the end of the century is projected to correspond closely to the cumulative global emissions of greenhouse gases up to that time: roughly 3 F to 5 F under a lower emissions scenario involving substantial reductions in emissions after 2050, and 5 F to 10 F for a higher emissions scenario assuming continued increases in emissions.

14 James Hansen, Makiko Sato, Gary Russell and Pushker Kharecha Climate sensitivity, sea level and atmospheric carbon dioxide Phil. Trans. R. Soc. A , Sept 2013 Burning all fossil fuels would produce a different, practically uninhabitable, planet. Recent updates of potential reserves, including unconventional fossil fuels (such as tar sands, tar shale and hydrofracking-derived shale gas) in addition to conventional oil, gas and coal, suggest that 5 CO2 (1400 ppm) is indeed feasible. Our calculated global warming in this case is 16 C, with warming at the poles approximately 30 C. Calculated warming over land areas averages approximately 20 C. More ominously, global warming of that magnitude would make most of the planet uninhabitable by humans. The human body generates about 100 W of metabolic heat that must be carried away to maintain a core body temperature near 37 C, which implies that sustained wet bulb temperatures above 35 C can result in lethal hyperthermia. A warming of C would put most of today s world population in regions with wet a bulb temperature above 35 C. We conclude that the large climate change from burning all fossil fuels would threaten the biological health and survival of humanity, making policies that rely substantially on adaptation inadequate.

15 Corporate Response Reuters (Oct 15, 2013) The United States has overtaken Saudi Arabia to become the world's biggest oil producer. U.S. output, which includes natural gas liquids and biofuels, has swelled 3.2 million barrels per day since It was the latest milestone for the U.S. oil sector caused by the shale revolution [fracking], which has upended global oil trade. Corporations spend $674 billion in 2012 on carbon exploration and extraction

16 The Climate System is Complicated...

17 ...But the key ingredient to Global Warming is the greenhouse effect

18 Visible Spectrum Low Frequency High Frequency R o y G B i v

19 Electromagnetic Spectrum Infrared Ultraviolet

20 Radiation and Matter

21 Albedo is the ratio of reflected sunlight to incident sunlight.

22 Earth s Planetary Albedo 0.3 The albedo of snow-covered ice is close to 1 Figure 6. White, ice-covered polarof regions are important for r (larger than 0.8); the albedo sea water is radiation during summer, whereas sea water absorb close to zero (less of than reflectance, or albedo, the0.1). sea ice pack is largely determin. those shown on the right in the Arctic in June 2007

23 What happens to the 70% of solar radiation that is not reflected back into space?

24 Heat and Light The temperature of an object determines the frequency of radiation it emits.

25

26 How does a green house work?

27 Green house gases and radiation CO2 H2O Molecular structure and quantum mechanical properties determine which frequencies can be absorbed. Green house gases absorb infrared light.

28 Absorption Bands of Atmospheric gases

29 Light from the Sun Photosphere: ~ 6000 K

30 Some Vocabulary Energy: 1 Joule = 0.74 foot-pounds Power: 1 Watt = 1 Joule/second Power from Sun (top of atm) 1370 W/m 2 Average power Earth surface: 240 W/m 2 (approx 1000 W/m 2 at noon)

31 Sun vs Earth

32 Radiation Spectrum: Sun vs Earth

33 Radiative Power: Sun vs Earth

34 Green House Effect

35 Current level of radiative forcing (IPCC) is 2.3 watts per square meter Taking into account total land area of the Earth, this gives a total warming effect of about 1150 terawatts. World s average rate of energy consumption, which is about 15 terawatts.

36 Want to learn more? CSUN, with support from NASA, is developing a new program and courses for the study of climate science.

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