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Instructor: Prof. Zhanqing Li Room 4013, M-Square Bldg off River Rd. Course Assistant: Maureen Cribb

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Presentation on theme: "Instructor: Prof. Zhanqing Li Room 4013, M-Square Bldg off River Rd. Course Assistant: Maureen Cribb"— Presentation transcript:

1 Instructor: Prof. Zhanqing Li ( Room 4013, M-Square Bldg off River Rd. Course Assistant: Maureen Cribb ( Guest Lecturers: Dr. Warren Wiscombe, NASA/GSFC (Global Warming and Paleoclimate) Dr. Russ Dickerson, AOSC (Air Pollution) Dr. Sinead Farrell, NOAA/NASA/ESSIC (Cryosphere and Sea Level Change) AOSC401, Spring 2014 Climate Dynamics and Earth System Science


3 Calendar First ClassJanuary 28 Mid-Term ExamMarch 13 (Thursday) Spring BreakMarch 17-21 ProjectWeek of April 14 Last Class DayMay 8 Final ExamTBD

4 Textbooks (Mixed use) Title: Understanding Weather & Climate, 4th ed Authors: E. Aguado and J.E. Burt Publisher: Pearson Education ISBN: 0-13-149696-4 Title: The Earth System Authors: Lee R. Kump, J. F. Kasting, R.G. Crane Publisher: Prentice-Hull Inc. ISBN: 0-13-177387 Title: Global Physical Climatology Authors: Dennis L. Hartmann, Publisher: Academic Press, 1994, ISBN: 0-12-328530-5

5 Reference book Title: IPCC: Climate Change 2013: The Scientific Basis Authors: Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change: Working Group I Availability: Freely downloadable from

6 Absence Policy Students should notify the instructor prior to absences via emails for explaining the circumstance for the absence with supporting documents. Students are asked to sign the attendance sheet to record their attendance of each class. Those who have 100% attendance will get a credit of 10 towards the final grade. One absence without priori approval will get a 1% deduction Only those in-advance excused absences due to the serious illness or other emergence situations will not be counted as “absence” if written and verifiable documents are provided. Only the arrival within 5min of course start is counted.

7 Grading Class participation10% Homework (~4 sets)20% Two class quizzes20% Mid-term Exam (75 min) 20% Final30%

8 Quiz/exam Policy There will be no makeup quizzes or exams except in case of serious illness. You must be excused in advance by phone or email to have a makeup quiz/exam with doctor’s letter. Other than pocket-size calculators, usage of all electronic devices including cell phones is NOT allowed during quizzes and exams. If found, the score for the quiz or exam will automatically be ZERO.

9 My Expectation Keep good attendance record Ask questions during/after classes. Be motivated and make efforts. Study the book and lecture notes Prepare for quizzes Complete homework in time. Remember some important facts. Understand fundamental physical principles. Understand the functioning of the Earth’s climate and system Understanding the causes and consequence of climate changes

10 My Commitments Be ready to answer questions. Work with anyone who needs additional help. Walk-in during office hours. Stay in the classroom a while after classes Motivate, challenge, and encourage each student. Return your quizzes and homework within one week Review any difficult problems, if needed. Review the materials before the final exam. Take your suggestions seriously. Don’t be shy!

11 Scope and Description of the Course

12 Course Outline Theme 1: Course Outline and Introduction Theme 2: Earth Observation Theme 3: Radiation and Climate Theme 4: Greenhouse Effect & Carbon Cycle Theme 5: Global Warming Theme 6: Cloud and climate Theme 7: Aerosol and Climate

13 Course Outline Theme 8: Air pollution Theme 9: Ozone Depletion and Ultraviolet Radiation Theme 10: Land Cover, Vegetation and Terrestrial System Theme 11: Biomass Burning, deforestation and Volcano Theme 12: Ocean and climate Theme 13: Cryosphere and Climate Theme 14: Sea-level Change Theme 15: Climate change frontier

14 By the term Climate we refer to the average weather conditions and their ranges expected at some location or region and time of the year. This includes the mean values of variables such as the temperature, precipitation, humidity, cloudiness, pressure, wind, visibility, and air quality and their extremes. The climate state is determined collectively by local thermodynamic heating/cooling and energy transported by motions. What is Climate?

15 Weather and Climate The actual minimum and maximum temperatures (in degrees Fahrenheit) measured in New York City (La Guardia Airport) in January 2005, as well as the climatological daily temperature range for January.

16 Climate Variability Climate is also concerned with itsvariability, for example – the standard deviation of temperature.

17 Climate is determined by the complex response of several physical components of the Earth System to the energy entailed in solar radiation. The components that make up the Climate System are: the atmosphere, the land surface (its morphology and cover), the oceans, the cryosphere (ice cover of land & ocean), and the biosphere. The Earth is an unique member of the Solar System in its ability to sustain life. The climate system plays a major role by affecting such factors as the range of temperatures and moisture availability. Climate has been continually changing due to external influences and internal interactions. Climate and Earth System

18 The Climate System

19  Climate dynamics deals with the changes of climate state variables which are determined by the energy flow from one component to other components of the climate system: Energy cycle. The energy cycle may also involve matter exchange (e.g., hydrological cycle, Carbon cycle, etc). The Climate Dynamics

20 The Earth’s surface is kept warm through one source: the Sun. It is the primary source for Earth’s energy. Some of the incoming sunlight and heat energy is reflected back into space by the Earth’s surface, gases in the atmosphere, and clouds; some of it is absorbed and stored as heat. When the surface and atmosphere warm, they emit heat, or thermal energy, into space. The “radiation budget” is an accounting of these energy flows. If the radiation budget is in balance, then Earth should be neither warming nor cooling, on average. Clouds, atmospheric water vapor and aerosol particles play important roles in determining global climate through their absorption, reflection, and emission of solar and thermal energy. Earth’s Radiation Components

21 Global Warming Why is global warming is important? There appears to be an accelerating pace of change that could be linked to human activities. Why is global warming controversial? It is so complex that we cannot easily separate anthropogenic changes caused by industrial and agricultural activities from natural variability.

22 Major Human Contribution to Climate Change or Global Warming Land Cover Change: Human’s significant influence on earth started about 10000 years ago due to agriculture activities Greenhouse Effect refers to the atmospheric effect of trapping some infrared radiation from leaving the planet relative to that without the atmosphere. It is not the same as the real “greenhouse”. The greenhouse effect of the planet earth is about 15 o C, in comparison to 460 o C for Venus. Only a small fraction of GH effect is induced by human by adding the so called “trace gases” which include CO2, CH4, N 2 O, CFCs. None-CO 2 trace gases contribute as much global warming as that by CO 2 in the past decade. Burning of Fossil Fuels: coal, oil and natural gases, composed from fossilized remains of organisms.

23 “Keeling Curve”


25 Trends of Temperature Change over Two Periods 1951-20081961-1990

26 This yearly average plot includes a trend line and shows the uneven downward trend in the Arctic sea ice extents over this time period. The trend line has a downward slope of 34,300 square kilometers (13,200 square miles) per year. This suggests a loss of ice extent each year roughly equal to the combined areas of Maryland and Delaware. The values used in these plots were derived from data from the Scanning Multichannel Microwave Radiometer (SMMR) on board NASA’s Nimbus 7 satellite and from the Special Sensor Microwave Imagers (SSMIs) on satellites of the Defense Meteorological Satellite Program. Plot credits: Claire L. Parkinson, Donald J. Cavalieri, Per Gloersen, H. Jay Zwally, and Josefino C. Comiso, NASA/GSFC. The plots first appeared in an article by these scientists in the Journal of Geophysical Research in 1999. Northern Hemisphere Sea Ice Extent

27 Stratospheric ozone protects all life forms from the sun’s harmful ultraviolet radiation. These images from the Total Ozone Mapping Spectrometer (TOMS) show the progressive depletion of stratospheric ozone over Antarctica from 1983 to 1997. High concentrations of ozone are shown in red, low concentrations in blue. The Antarctic ozone hole develops each year between late August and early October. By September, 1998 it had grown to cover 10.5 million square miles. Scientists hope to see a reduction in ozone loss as emissions of ozone- destroying CFCs (chlorofluorocarbons) are reduced. Image credit: Greg Shirah, NASA/GSFC Scientific Visualization Studio Ozone Depletion September 1993September 1997 September 1983September 1987 500 400 300 200 100 Dobson Units


29 Deforestration Commercial Logging Agriculture Roads & Railways Forest fires Mining and drilling Fuel-wood collection Residential living space


31 Things to Worry Amazon rain forest will be gone in 50-100 years Amazon river basin is home to hundreds of thousands of plant species Not just local but global –Convective and circulatory processes effected

32 Land Cover and Land Use Change: Deforestation Pre- Deforestation Landsat image of Bolivian deforestation Deforestation Croplands cleared by Government run-national farms 1975 1996 National Geographic, 1999

33 A Landsat image (above, left) taken in 1972 and an ASTER image (above, right) taken in 2000 of Riyadh, Saudi Arabia dramatize evidence of an increasing human population. Population increases around the world have caused all sorts of problems, such as air pollution, traffic jams, overextended water resources, overfilled garbage dumps, and the destruction of natural wildlife habitats. Landsat and ASTER images provide important long-term records of urban growth, and can help us make decisions about the most effective use of space and resources for the future. Landsat image credit: U.S. Geological Survey EROS Data Center and Landsat 7 Science Team ASTER image credit: NASA/GSFC, METI/ERSDAC/JAROS, U.S./Japan ASTER Science Team A City in the Desert 1972 2000

34 GROWTH IN INSTALLED CAPACITY IN ASIA 1993-2010 Source: Pacific Energy Outlook, Strategies and Policy Imperatives to 2010 Gigawatts Air pollution: an emerging environmental issue in Asia

35 Regional Resource Centre for Asia and the Pacific Air Pollution: An Increasing Problem! Mt. Everest Phaplu, Nepal, March 25, 2001


37 Carbon monoxide (CO) is a colorless, odorless, toxic gas. CO reduces the oxygen-carrying capacity of blood in the body and in day-to-day life can impair mental abilities, especially for those with heart and respiratory conditions. Its production is a direct result of combustion caused predominantly by industrial processes and biomass burning. Carbon monoxide levels have been increasing in the atmosphere. In this global image of carbon monoxide from March 13-15, 2000, lavender indicates high CO values and blues indicate low values. The high concentrations of CO in west central Africa are largely due to widespread biomass burning. Image credit: Scientific Visualization Studio, NASA/GSFC, using data from the MOPITT Science Team Carbon Monoxide

38 Regional Resource Centre for Asia and the Pacific Impact: on Human Health ASTHMA ON THE RISE Respiratory ailments such as asthma increased to 30 % from 9% in 1979 among the < 18 age group in Bangalore, India.  SO 2 can increase Asthma by tenfold  NO x can increase asthma by 60%  O 3 can increase asthma by 43%  PM can increase asthma by 32% Estimated health cost due to air pollution In India = $18-86 billion; in 36 Indian cities = $517-2102 million Premature deaths due to air pollution In India = 2.5 million; in 36 Indian cities= 40,000 Source: Down To Earth and SoE India 2001

39 Regional Resource Centre for Asia and the Pacific Polluted Pristine Highly polluted Water budget: Flood & Drought Drought Heavy rain 500 million people 900 million people

40 The Ocean & Global Climate The Ocean regulates Earth’s climate Dominates the hydrological cycle The Open University, 1989 The Hydrological Cycle (quantities shown are X 10 15 kg)

41 Oceanic Climatic Variability El Niño El Niño: occurs approximately every 2-10 years. Results in warming of the ocean waters across eastern and central Pacific Ocean causing changes in global weather patterns. During the peak of the 1997-98 El Niño, when warmer sea surface temperatures (red) were as much as 5°C (9°F) above normal and sea surface heights were as much as 35 centimeters (14 inches) above normal. Normal Conditions: January 97 El Niño Conditions: November 97 NOAA, 1999



44 Mount Pinatubo Ash cloud covered 50,000 square miles Plume was over 12 miles tall Eruption was ten times larger than Mount St. Helens in 1980 Typhoon Yunya may have made matters worse by adding rain to the mix Ash fell as far as Vietnam Image credit: natubo.jpg

45 Sulfur Dioxide Emissions from Mount Pinatubo Sulfur dioxide emissions day of Mount Pinatubo’s eruption. Sulfur dioxide emissions two weeks after eruption. Sulfur dioxide emissions one day after eruption. Image credit:

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