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What Is Climate Change, and what Is the Problem? Jay Moynihan UW-Extension Shawano County Unless otherwise cited, all graphics are NASA, or open source,

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Presentation on theme: "What Is Climate Change, and what Is the Problem? Jay Moynihan UW-Extension Shawano County Unless otherwise cited, all graphics are NASA, or open source,"— Presentation transcript:

1 What Is Climate Change, and what Is the Problem? Jay Moynihan UW-Extension Shawano County Unless otherwise cited, all graphics are NASA, or open source, such as:

2 Climate Change : 1.Is not new. The climates on earth have always slowly changed over long periods of time. 2.Is not the “Greenhouse Effect”, though that is important to it. 3.The problem we have, is rapid climate change.

3 The Greenhouse Effect:

4 Carbon dioxide important for retaining heat in the atmosphere. The amount of CO2 in the atmosphere has varied over time

5 In the early 1960’s NASA sent probes to Venus and Mars

6 We came upon the “Goldilocks Problem” Lead would melt on the surface. Atmosphere 93x thicker than ours, and made of CO2 Just Right! Atmosphere 95% CO2, but less than 1% as thick as ours Cold

7 The reason earth is “just right” is the way our planet’s carbon cycle works.

8 A complex dynamic inter-relationship of geology, chemistry, and biology, all in relation to energy from the sun creates and maintains what we call “climate”.

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10 Lets zoom in on the geology part for a bit. A molecule of CO2 deposits in the oceans after about 100 years of rolling around in plants, animals, and the atmosphere. Some carbon from dead plants and animals get covered over, eventually. It slowly gets crunched down in the earth’s crust. From that, you get: Carbonate rocks Oil Natural gas Coal Diamonds

11 In the early 1700’s we learned to do something really amazing. We figured out how to get that old carbon out of the ground, nearly completely processed by geology for burning, to do work!

12 But burning that old buried carbon (hundreds of millions of years worth), pumped new CO2 into the carbon cycle.

13 So :

14 Alaska Climate models predicted the first extreme signs of warming would be in the Northern Circumpolar region

15 Melting permafrost, street collapse “Drunken Trees” Sudden collapse of permafrost redirects river through a highway Invasion of the Spruce Bore Beetle ALASKA NOW

16 Image is from As of August 9, 2007 Scientific models re ice melt in arctic as of 02/2007, are at current observed rate, too slow. DOD images

17 Shows the timescales over which emitted carbon dioxide is removed from the atmosphere. Mixing in the biosphere and oceans remove % of emissions after 200 years, but the remainder establishes a new equilibrium that may persist for hundreds of thousands of years.

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19 So, what difference does a few degrees centigrade change in the average planetary annual temperature make? Well. About 72,000 years ago, the average planetary annual temperature slide down about 3 degrees centigrade (that’s 5.4 degrees F.) And this is what happened…

20 Wisconsin Glaciation (Ice Age) 70,000 – 18,000 BC

21 Summary: The balance of the carbon cycle, which “regulates” the greenhouse effect has been disrupted by the injection of carbon dioxide by us into the system. The system balances the books over a long time span. Our new deposit is really fast. It is getting warmer and it is compared to normal, rapid Images & graphics were used from The IPCC, U.S. Department of Defense, NASA, Nelson Institute (UW), and Creative Commons public domain climate change image banks, and


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