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Climate Change or the end of the world as we know it

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1 Climate Change or the end of the world as we know it

2 Louis Pasteur “You bring me the deepest joy that can be felt by a man whose invincible belief is that Science and Peace will triumph over Ignorance and War, that nations will unite, not to destroy, but to build, and that the future will belong to those who will have done most for suffering humanity.”

3 Barack Obama 8/28/08 And for the sake of our economy, our security, and the future of our planet, I will set a clear goal as President: in ten years, we will finally end our dependence on oil from the Middle East. Washington's been talking about our oil addiction for the last thirty years, and John McCain has been there for twenty-six of them.  In that time, he's said no to higher fuel-efficiency standards for cars, no to investments in renewable energy, no to renewable fuels.  And today, we import triple the amount of oil as the day that Senator McCain took office.

4 Barack Obama Now is the time to end this addiction, and to understand that drilling is a stop-gap measure, not a long-term solution.  Not even close. As President, I will tap our natural gas reserves, invest in clean coal technology, and find ways to safely harness nuclear power.  I'll help our auto companies re-tool, so that the fuel-efficient cars of the future are built right here in America.  I'll make it easier for the American people to afford these new cars.  And I'll invest 150 billion dollars over the next decade in affordable, renewable sources of energy - wind power and solar power and the next generation of biofuels; an investment that will lead to new industries and five million new jobs that pay well and can't ever be outsourced.




8 Models are tested to see how well they predict the past

9 Carbon dioxide levels already a danger
LONDON, England (CNN) -- A team of international scientists led by Dr James Hansen, director of NASA's Goddard Institute for Space Studies, say that carbon dioxide (CO2) levels are already in the danger zone. Concentrations of CO2 in the atmosphere currently stand at 385 parts per million (ppm) and are rising at a rate of two ppm per year. This is enough, say the scientists, to encourage dangerous changes to the Earth's climate.

10 Projected Arctic Temperature 2000 - 2100

11 Projected Surface Annual Air Temperature Changes 1990 - 2090

12 Projected Surface Winter Air Temperature Changes 1990 -2090

13 Projected Sea Ice Extent

14 Projected Sea Level Rise

15 Sea Level Rise Across the Globe
University of Arizona Sea Level Animation


17 IPCC AR4 Synthesis Report 11/2007
Warming of the climate system is unequivocal, as is now evident from observations of increases in global average air and ocean temperatures, widespread melting of snow and ice, and rising global average sea level

18 IPCC AR4 Synthesis Report 11/2007
Global GHG emissions due to human activities have grown since pre-industrial times, with an increase of 70% between and 2004

19 IPCC AR4 Synthesis Report 11/2007
Africa • By 2020, between 75 and 250 million of people are projected to be exposed to increased water stress due to climate change; • By 2020, in some countries, yields from rain-fed agriculture could be reduced by up to 50%. Agricultural production, including access to food, in many African countries is projected to be severely compromised. This would further adversely affect food security and exacerbate malnutrition; • Towards the end of the 21st century, projected sea-level rise will affect low-lying coastal areas with large populations. The cost of adaptation could amount to at least 5-10% of Gross Domestic Product (GDP); • By 2080, an increase of 5-8% of arid and semi-arid land in Africa is projected under a range of climate scenarios.

20 IPCC AR4 Synthesis Report 11/2007
Asia • By the 2050s, freshwater availability in Central, South, East and South-EastAsia, particularly in large river basins, is projected to decrease; Coastal areas, especially heavily-populated megadelta regions in South, East and South-East Asia, will be at greatest risk due to increased flooding from the sea and, in some megadeltas, flooding from the rivers; • Climate change is projected to compound the pressures on natural resources and the environment, associated with rapid urbanization, industrialization and economic development; • Endemic morbidity and mortality due to diarrhoeal disease primarily associated with floods and droughts are expected to rise in East, South and South-East Asia due to projected changes in the hydrological cycle.

21 IPCC AR4 Synthesis Report 11/2007
Australia and New Zealand • By 2020, significant loss of biodiversity is projected to occur in some ecologically rich sites including the Great Barrier Reef and Queensland Wet Tropics; • By 2030, water security problems are projected to intensify in southern and eastern Australia and, in New Zealand, in Northland and some eastern regions; • By 2030, production from agriculture and forestry is projected to decline over much of southern and eastern Australia, and over parts of eastern New Zealand, due to increased drought and fire. However, in New Zealand, initial benefits are projected in some other regions.; • By 2050, ongoing coastal development and population growth in some areas of Australia and New Zealand are projected to exacerbate risks from sea level rise and increases in the severity and frequency of storms and coastal flooding.

22 IPCC AR4 Synthesis Report 11/2007
Europe • Climate change is expected to magnify regional differences in Europe’s natural resources and assets. Negative impacts will include increased risk of inland flash floods, and more frequent coastal flooding and increased erosion (due to storminess and sea-level rise); • Mountainous areas will face glacier retreat, reduced snow cover and winter tourism, and extensive species losses (in some areas up to 60% under high emissions scenarios by 2080); • In Southern Europe, climate change is projected to worsen conditions (high temperatures and drought) in a region already vulnerable to climate variability, and to reduce water availability, hydropower potential, summer tourism and, in general, crop productivity; • Climate change is also projected to increase the health risks due to heat- waves, and the frequency of wildfires.

23 IPCC AR4 Synthesis Report 11/2007
Latin America • By mid century, increases in temperature and associated decreases in soil water are projected to lead to gradual replacement of tropical forest by savanna in eastern Amazonia. Semi-arid vegetation will tend to be replaced by arid-land vegetation. • There is a risk of significant biodiversity loss through species extinction in many areas of tropical Latin America; • Productivity of some important crops is projected to decrease and livestock productivity to decline, with adverse consequences for food security. In temperate zones soybean yields are projected to increase. Overall, the number of people at risk of hunger is projected to increase (TS; medium confidence). • Changes in precipitation patterns and the disappearance of glaciers are projected to significantly affect water availability for human consumption, agriculture and energy generation.

24 IPCC AR4 Synthesis Report 11/2007
Polar Regions • The main projected biophysical effects are reductions in thickness and extent of glaciers and ice sheets and sea ice, and changes in natural ecosystems with detrimental effects on many organisms including migratory birds, mammals and higher predators; • For human communities in the Arctic, impacts, particularly those resulting from changing snow and ice conditions are projected to be mixed; • Detrimental impacts would include those on infrastructure and traditional indigenous ways of life; • In both polar regions, specific ecosystems and habitats are projected to be vulnerable, as climatic barriers to species invasions are lowered.

25 IPCC AR4 Synthesis Report 11/2007
Small Islands • Sea-level rise is expected to exacerbate inundation, storm surge, erosion and other coastal hazards, thus threatening vital infrastructure, settlements and facilities that support the livelihood of island communities; • Deterioration in coastal conditions, for example through erosion of beaches and coral bleaching is expected to affect local resources; • By mid-century, climate change is expected to reduce water resources in many small islands, e.g., in the Caribbean and Pacific, to the point where they become insufficient to meet demand during low-rainfall periods. • With higher temperatures, increased invasion by non-native species is expected to occur, particularly on mid- and high- latitude islands.

26 IPCC AR4 Synthesis Report 11/2007
North America • Warming in western mountains is projected to cause decreased snowpack, more winter flooding, and reduced summer flows, exacerbating competition for over-allocated water resources; • In the early decades of the century, moderate climate change is projected to increase aggregate yields of rain-fed agriculture by 5-20%, but with important variability among regions. Major challenges are projected for crops that are near the warm end of their suitable range or which depend on highly utilized water resources; • During the course of this century, cities that currently experience heatwaves are expected to be further challenged by an increased number, intensity and duration of heatwaves during the course of the century, with potential for adverse health impacts; • Coastal communities and habitats will be increasingly stressed by climate change impacts interacting with development and pollution.

27 Warming and Earlier Spring Increase Western U. S
Warming and Earlier Spring Increase Western U.S. Forest Wildfire Activity A. L. Westerling,1,2* H. G. Hidalgo,1 D. R. Cayan,1,3 T. W. Swetnam4 The Age of Megafires Originally published in Science Express on 6 July Science 18 August 2006: Vol no. 5789, pp DOI: /science

28 A. L. Westerling et al., Science 313, 940 -943 (2006)
Fig. 2. (A) Pearson's rank correlation between annual western U.S. large (>400 ha) forest wildfire frequency and streamflow center timing A. L. Westerling et al., Science 313, (2006) Published by AAAS

29 A. L. Westerling et al., Science 313, 940 -943 (2006)
Fig. 3. Average difference between early and late snowmelt years in average precipitation from October through May (A) and average temperature from March through August (B) A. L. Westerling et al., Science 313, (2006) Published by AAAS

30 A. L. Westerling et al., Science 313, 940 -943 (2006)
Fig. 4. Index of forest vulnerability to changes in the timing of spring: the percentage difference in cumulative moisture deficit from October to August at each grid point in early versus late snowmelt years, scaled by the forest-type vegetation fraction at each grid point, for 1970 to 1999 (26) A. L. Westerling et al., Science 313, (2006) Published by AAAS

31 Global Bird Populations Face Dramatic Decline In Coming Decades, Study Predicts
ScienceDaily (Dec. 20, 2004) — Ten percent of all bird species are likely to disappear by the year 2100, and another 15 percent could be on the brink of extinction, according to a new study by Stanford University biologists. This dramatic loss is expected to have a negative impact on forest ecosystems and agriculture worldwide and may even encourage the spread of human diseases, according to the study published in the Online Early Edition of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) in December.

32 Stabilization Wedges: Solving the Climate Problem for the Next 50 Years with Current Technologies S. Pacala et al., Science 305, (2004) Humanity already possesses the fundamental scientific, technical, and industrial know-how to solve the carbon and climate problem for the next half-century. A portfolio of technologies now exists to meet the world's energy needs over the next 50 years and limit atmospheric CO2 to a trajectory that avoids a doubling of the preindustrial concentration. Every element in this portfolio has passed beyond the laboratory bench and demonstration project; many are already implemented somewhere at full industrial scale. Although no element is a credible candidate for doing the entire job (or even half the job) by itself, the portfolio as a whole is large enough that not every element has to be used.

33 S. Pacala et al., Science 305, 968 -972 (2004)
Fig. 1. (A) The top curve is a representative BAU emissions path for global carbon emissions as CO2 from fossil fuel combustion and cement manufacture: 1.5% per year growth starting from 7.0 GtC/year in 2004 S. Pacala et al., Science 305, (2004) Published by AAAS


35 Target Atmospheric CO2: Where Should Humanity Aim. James Hansen,1,2
Target Atmospheric CO2: Where Should Humanity Aim? James Hansen,1,2* Makiko Sato,1,2 Pushker Kharecha,1,2 David Beerling,3Valerie Masson-Delmotte,4 Mark Pagani,5 Maureen Raymo,6 Dana L. Royer,7 James C. Zachos8

36 Human Impact Report 2009










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