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Evolution of Climate Models How we study the climate has changed as technology has improved.

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Presentation on theme: "Evolution of Climate Models How we study the climate has changed as technology has improved."— Presentation transcript:

1 Evolution of Climate Models How we study the climate has changed as technology has improved.

2 Mid 1970s Early climate models were limited. They only included: Carbon dioxide heat from the sun (radiation) Rain NOT even clouds were considered. NOTE: Even in the1970s we were aware that CO 2 was a greenhouse gas!

3 Linking CO 2 to Climate Change Landmark Study Connecting Global Warming to CO2 Levels- VIDEOVIDEO

4 Mid 1980s Clouds, land surface and ice were added into the mix in the 1980s. Different types of land behave differently Specific heat Albedo Deserts and ice are more likely to reflect radiation, and forests are more likely to absorb it.

5 1988- IPCC is Established Climate change is a very complex issue: policymakers need an objective source of information about the causes of climate change, its potential environmental, Social, and Economic consequences and the adaptations and options required to respond to it. This is why the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) was established in 1988.

6 Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change The IPCC is a scientific intergovernmental body set up by the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) and by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP). established to provide the decision-makers and others interested in climate change with an objective source of information about climate change To do this, they assess the scientific, technical and socio- economic publications relevant for the understanding of the risk of human-induced climate change. Its constituency is made of : The governments: the IPCC is open to all member countries of WMO and UNEP. The scientists: hundreds of scientists all over the world contribute to the work of the IPCC as authors, contributors and reviewers. The people: as United Nations body, the IPCC work aims at the promotion of the United Nations human development goals

7 The information that the IPCC provides with its reports is based on scientific evidence and reflects existing viewpoints within the scientific community. Provides reports that immediately become standard works of reference, widely used by policymakers, experts and students The IPCC does not conduct any research nor does it monitor climate related data or parameters. Why not??? Its role is to comprehensively and objectively assess the latest scientific, technical and socio-economic literature Non-Partisan / Non-Profit so IPCC reports should be neutral with respect to policy (although they need to deal objectively with climate-related policy). GOAL to provide information in a policy-relevant but policy neutral way to help decision makers. When governments accept the IPCC reports and approve their Summary for Policymakers, they acknowledge the legitimacy of their scientific content.

8 IPCCs first Assessment Report (AR1) A simple model of the oceans now joins the picture, as the first IPCC report comes out. only the top layer of the sea was modeled

9 The findings of the first IPCC Assessment Report of 1990 played a decisive role in leading to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), UNFCCC was opened for signature in the Rio de Janeiro Summit in 1992 and entered into force in It provides the overall policy framework for addressing the climate change issue.

10 1996 Second Assessment Report (AR2) More sophisticated models of the ocean are added. Sulphates and Volcanoes are also added. Volcanic eruptions throw greenhouse gases and particles into the atmosphere, which can block sunlight and temporarily reduce global temperatures. (vs Pollution-induced global dimming, which will persist for as long as we pollute!

11 The IPCC Second Assessment Report of 1996 provided key input for the negotiations of the Kyoto Protocol in 1997

12 1997 – The Kyoto Protocol The Kyoto Protocol is an international agreement linked to the UNFCCC. Adopted in Kyoto, Japan, on 11 December 1997 (Which US administration?) Entered into force on 16 February ( Which US administration?) Sets binding targets for 37 industrialized countries for reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions an average of five percent vs levels over the five-year period Recognizes that developed countries are principally responsible for the current high levels of GHG emissions in the atmosphere as a result of more than 150 years of industrial activity the Protocol places a heavier burden on developed nations under the principle of common but differentiated responsibilities.

13 2001 Third Assessment Report (AR3) By bringing the carbon cycle into the picture, the different ways C0 2 is stored and released into the atmosphere gives greater realism to climate models. Additional details about the ocean circulations, aerosols, rivers, etc.

14 184 Parties of the Convention have ratified its Protocol US Refused to ratify in 2001, becoming the only industrialized nation to not comply What was going on, politically, in the US at that time? Economic downturn – post internet boon Mid-East tensions – Saddam Hussein threats to switch fuel sale to Euro 9/11 – change of national priorities

15 2007 Fourth Assessment Report (AR4) Chemical reactions in the atmosphere join the climate models; Ozone Nitrous oxide Sulfur dioxide CFCs Water Vapor Etc. Plants and vegetation are included Scientists have reached vast consensus that human activities contribute to the greenhouse effect due to industrial processes Models are now produced using computing power 256 times more powerful than that available in the 1970s.

16 REVIEW: As of 2007, What were the universally accepted factors that made up climate? Carbon Dioxide Radiation from the sun Precipitation Clouds Land formations (including ice) Land use – Concrete Jungle of urbanization Complex Models of Oceans Volcanic Eruptions The Carbon Cycle Chemical Reactions in Atmosphere The Role of Vegetation

17 Over 5 decades, we gradually began to see the earth as a true system of interacting cycles Changes in one cycle or activity can fuel a domino effect in other cycles Ex: Deforestation can lead to an increase in greenhouse gases and raise global atmospheric temperatures Ex: Change in warm atmosphere can cause increased ocean temperatures, which change the atmosphere SOURCE:

18 What other systems do you think should be considered in climate models of the future?

19 The IPCC is currently starting to outline its Fifth Assessment Report (AR5) The outline of the AR5 will be developed through a process which involves climate change experts from all relevant disciplines and users of IPCC reports (esp. representatives from governments). will be finalized in 2014.

20 Go back to presentation

21 We gradually began to see the earth as a true system of interacting cycles Changes in one cycle act can fuel a domino effect in other cycles What other systems do you think should be considered in climate models of the future? SOURCE:

22 The Climate Change Controversy

23 On March 29, 2001, the Bush Administration withdrew the United States from the 1997 Kyoto Protocol on Climate Change. Cited reasoning: Report was too politically motivated, without enough science Many countries of the world are completely exempted from the Protocol, such as China and India, who are two of the top five emitters of greenhouse gasses in the world. Negative impacts to US economy Protocol could have potentially significant repercussions for the global economy It is in no countrys best interest to sacrifice their or the United States economic growth, which could have adverse effects around the world. Provisions under to Kyoto Protocol would rely on inflexible regulatory structures that would distort investment and waste billions of dollars on pollution permits, accomplishing no real change for the environment.

24 President Bush caught a lot of heat from Environmental Groups and Scientists for this move. What are some criticisms that Bush received?

25 Bush Administration established a Cabinet-level working group to find a method to work with global climate change that was more practical for the US economy US Goal: To boost the field of environmental conservation with market-based incentive structures. In other words, save environment, but make money while doing it Resulted in an US energy policy that reflected the seriousness and practicality of the future of United States environmental policy. February of 2002 the Clear Skies and Global Climate Change Initiatives. These initiatives collectively accomplish the following for global climate change: By 2018, cuts emissions of the three worst air pollutants by seventy percent. In the next ten years, America commits to cutting greenhouse gas intensity by 18%. Achieves goals comparable to the Kyoto Protocol using market- based approaches

26 What are market-based approaches to reducing greenhouse gases? 1. Cap and Trade (tradable permits) 2. Carbon Taxes 3. Carbon Credits MBIS give companies the power to choose which option works for their situation, and possibly even generate revenue ($$)

27 1. Cap and Trade (tradable permit) Basically sets a limit (Cap) to which industries may pollute. If a company pollutes less than this limit, it can trade (sell) its pollution credits to a company that surpasses this limit Regulated and overseen by governmental agencies The federal government auctions the pollution emissions permits to the companies required to reduce their emissions, it would create a large and dependable revenue stream. creates a system that guarantees a GHG reductions, while A. Rewarding the most efficient companies and B. Ensuring that the cap can be met at the lowest possible cost to the economy

28 EX: Permit allows 100 Tons of CO 2 to be released per year Amt Allowed: Amt Produced: Surplus:

29 Over time, permit allows _____ Tons of CO 2 Per year Amt Allowed: Amt Produced: Surplus:

30 2. Carbon Taxes Taxes imposed by government based on a) the carbon content in fuels and/or b) the amount of carbon released (by weight) by an industry/company Punitive incentive to lower carbon emissions punitive = punishment Criticisms: May encourage companies to relocate Disproportionately taxes smaller income businesses and individuals

31 3. Carbon Credits Similar to Cap and Trade, but in this case, the company purchases carbon credits and the funds to help offset the impact of carbon that they produce deploy projects that reduce GHG emissions commercialize new clean technologies in the U.S. and worldwide Purchase acres of rainforest in the amazon

32 Controversy around Global Warming Scientists are at a vast consensus, but many social groups are in strong opposition Global Warming is a Hoax Humans cant impact the climate – the climate changes on its own CO 2 is not a major greenhouse gas More CO 2 is actually a nutrient for the planet Fixing global warming will destroy the economy

33 The Upside of the Controversy Anti-Global Warming groups have been actively to debunk the global warming myth Heartland Institute Criticized for getting funding from auto and gas industries Why would these industries be interested in opposing the notion that increased CO 2 leads to global warming? Anti-Global Warmists are considered controversial because they are opposed to the opinions of the vast majority of science CONSIDER THIS. In the past, we were CERTAIN that… The Earth was flat Earth was the center of the universe The Sun was the center of the universe… The proton and neutron were the smallest parts of matter…

34 The Upside of the Controversy? Science is progressive- it is an ever growing, expanding and changing body of knowledge Opposition Groups often provide funding for research to prove that humans are NOT contributing to climate change Regardless of who is funding the research, there is value in skepticism! We keep learning more about how complex the climate really is as our technology improves ….Who knows, maybe one day there will be a discovery that proves that they are right!

35 In science (and life!), there is tremendous value in balancing skepticism and open-mindedness. This is perfectly embodied in the Climate Change issue!

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