Summary of Talk Climate change is real and serious—but the serious issues facing society are not just about climate-and certainly not just mean temperatures –Other human impacts on Earth and its life support system –Increasing societal vulnerability to weather and other threats The impacts go far beyond a few degrees of temperature increase—it’s the weather stupid! The science is not finished
Weather in a warmer climate Global warming is not uniform Increased warming over continents compared to oceans and high latitudes compared to tropics Differential warming changes the general circulation, e.g. jet streams and associated storm tracks Warmer air can hold much more water vapor— thus the intensity of the hydrologic cycle is increasing
The 30’s Dust Bowl Multi-year droughts have the greatest social impacts
What Science is Needed? Earth observations (satellites and other) Better models at higher resolution –Requires major increase in computer power More scientists to work with policy and decision makers on important applied (usually regional) problems Provide users with information they want and need to know (not global temperature averages)
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