Climate Science

Report
What earth systems processes influence climate change?
What impact will climate change have on me as a global citizen?
What can be done to create a sustainable global community?
Spheres of Earth
www.eoearth.org
http://thundafunda.com/uncategorized/hq-desktop-wallpaper-forces-of-nature-volcanoes-thunder-lightning/
Lithosphere
Solid part of the
earth.
 Crust and upper
mantle
 ~75-100km thick

• What
phenomena
occur in the
lithosphere and
relate to climate?
http://www.physicalgeography.net/fundamentals/images/lithosphere.gif
Biosphere
http://www.coralreefinfo.com/images/coral_reef.jpg
http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/Features/WorldOfChange/images/biosphere/global_biosphere_2003_lrg.jpg
Parts of the land, sea, and atmosphere in
which organisms are able to live.
 What phenomena occur in the biosphere and
relate to climate?


Cryosphere
http://earth.rice.edu/mtpe/cryo/cryosphere/what_images/ramseier_aerial_view.jpg
Frozen parts of Earth:




Snow
Sea Ice
Lake Ice/River Ice
Frozen ground and
permafrost.
 Glaciers
 Ice Sheets
• What phenomena
occur in the
cryosphere and relate
to climate?
http://www.digitaluniverse.net/images/19061/350x0/scale/CryosphereThm.jpg
http://www.windows2universe.org/earth/Water/images/wave_ucar.jpg
Hydrosphere
Combined mass of
water found on, under,
and over the surface of
the planet.
 What phenomena occur
in the hydrosphere and
relate to climate?

http://www.physicalgeography.net/fundamentals/images/hydrocycle.gif
Atmosphere

The gaseous envelope
surrounding the earth.
 Exosphere, Thermosphere,
Mesosphere, Stratosphere,
& Troposphere.
p://www.williamsclass.com/EighthScienceWork/Atmosphere/AtmosphereEarth.jpg
• What
phenomena
occur in the
atmosphere
and relate to
climate?
http://www.theozonehole.com/images/atmospbhere.gif
Anthrosphere
http://www.phys.port.ac.uk/units/2007/global/Anthrosphere.gif
 The
anthrosphere is that part of the
environment that is made or modified by
humans for use in human activities.
 What phenomena occur in the
anthrosphere and relate to climate
Atmospheric Science
http://blogs.discovery.com/.a/6a00d8341bf67c53ef0133f15e3aab970b-800wi
What is the basic composition of the
atmosphere?
 What are the major layers of the
atmosphere?
 Where is the ozone layer located within
the atmosphere?
 What is the impact of direct vs. indirect
heating?

The atmosphere

Atmosphere = the thin layer of gases that surrounds
Earth
 Absorbs radiation and moderates climate
 Transports and recycles water and nutrients
 78% nitrogen gas, 21% oxygen gas, 1% other gases
 Its four layers differ in temperature, density and
composition

Minute concentrations of permanent (remain at stable
concentrations) and variable gases (varying
concentrations)

Human activity is changing the amounts of some gases
The atmosphere’s composition
The atmosphere’s four layers
The
structur
e of the
atmosp
here
showin
g
temper
ature
profile
and
ozone
layer of
the
atmosp
here to
an
altitude
of 110
km.
© 2003 John Wiley and Sons Publishers
The first two layers of the
atmosphere

Troposphere = bottommost layer
 Air for breathing, weather
 Temperature declines with altitude
 Tropopause = limits mixing between troposphere
and the layer above it

Stratosphere = 11-50 km (7-31 mi) above
sea level
 Drier and less dense, with little vertical mixing
 Colder in its lower regions, temp increases with
altitude
 Contains UV radiation-blocking ozone, 17-30 km
(10-19 mi) above sea level
The two highest levels of the
atmosphere

Mesosphere = 50-80 km (31-56 mi) above sea
level
 Extremely low air pressure
 Temperatures decrease with altitude

Thermosphere = atmosphere’s top layer
 Extends upward to 500 m (300 mi)
 Temp increases with altitude
OZONE
http://eo.ucar.edu/staff/rrussell/atmosphere/images/mesosphere_diagram_big.jpg
HIPPO
Solar energy heats the atmosphere

Energy from the sun
 Heats air
 Moves air
 Creates seasons
 Influences weather and climate

Solar radiation is highest near the
equator
Direct vs. Indirect Heating
Tilt of the Earth:
The Reason for the Seasons
Solar energy causes air to circulate
Air near Earth’s surface is
warmer and moister than
air at higher latitudes
 Convective circulation =
less dense, warmer air
rises and creates vertical
currents

 Rising air expands and cools
 Cool air descends and
becomes denser, replacing
warm air
 Influences both weather and
climate
FROM http://www.windows.ucar.edu/tour/link=/earth/images/atmosphere_mural_jpg_ima
What processes make weather
on a global scale?
DIFFERENTIAL
HEATING OF
EARTH’S SURFACE
ROTATION OF THE
EARTH
GLOBAL PATTERN OF:
1) PREVAILING WINDS
2) LATITUDINAL BELTS
OF HIGH AND LOW
PRESSURE
FROM http://user.gs.rmit.edu.au/caa/global/coriolis.html
Convection Currents

Convective currents contribute to climatic
patterns and affect moisture distribution
 Hadley cells = near the equator, surface air warms,
rises, and expands
○ Releases moisture and heavy rainfall near the
equator
 Ferrel cells and polar cells
○ Creates precipitation at 60 degrees latitude north and
south
○ Causes air to descend at 30 degrees latitude
FROM http://user.gs.rmit.edu.au/caa/global/vertical.html
Global wind patterns

The atmospheric cells interact with Earth’s rotation to
produce global wind patterns
 As Earth rotates, equatorial regions spin faster

Coriolis effect = the north-south air currents of the
convective cells appear to be deflected from a straight
path
 Web merry-go-round , web animation , embedded
 Results in curving global wind patterns
Wind patterns

Doldrums = near the equator
 Few winds

Trade winds = between the equator and 30
degrees latitude
 Blow from east to west

Westerlies = from 30 to 60 degrees latitude
 Originate from the west and blow east
 People used these winds to sail their ships across the
ocean
COMMON TERMS
• Easterlies
• Westerlies
• Horse latitudes
• Trade winds
• Doldrums
• Highs
• Lows
The atmosphere drives weather and climate

Weather = specifies
atmospheric conditions
over short time periods and
within a small geographic
areas.
http://www.london.ca/Emergency_Management/images/lightning.png

Climate = describes patterns of atmospheric
conditions across large geographic regions over
long periods of time

Mark Twain said “Climate is what we expect;
weather is what we get”
Graphs
of
climatic
factors
through
time
Natural causes of climate
variation
Atmosphere
 Sun
 Milankovitch Cycles
 Ocean atmosphere interactions

 El Nino/La Nina
Ocean Circulation
 Volcanoes

The Greenhouse Effect - Atmosphere
http://www.ecoslopes.com/wpcontent/uploads/2009/03/greenhouse-effectsolutions-300x225.jpg
http://www.sciencebuzz.org/sites/all/files_static/global_warming/greenhouse_effect.gif
The atmosphere = without it, the Earth’s temperature would be
much colder
Earth’s atmosphere, clouds, land, ice, and water absorb 70% of
incoming solar radiation
Atmosphere - Greenhouse/Heat
trapping Gases and major sources

Carbon Dioxide (CO2) = Burning fossil fuels (oil, coal,
natural gas) and other combustion reactions such as
forest fires.
http://img66.imageshack.us/img66/6246/reducingsmogpollution.jpg

Methane (CH4) = fossil fuel deposits, termites,
livestock, landfills, crops such as rice, melting
permafrost. HIPPO VIDEO

Nitrous oxide (N2O) = feedlots, chemical
manufacturing plants, auto emissions, and synthetic
nitrogen fertilizers
Greenhouse/Heat trapping Gases and
major sources

Ozone (O3 ) = risen due to
photochemical smog.
 Stratosphere= Good
 Troposphere= Bad

Halocarbon gases (CFCs/HCFCs/HFCs) = Man-made,
primarily found in refrigerants and blown foam
products. CFCs are declining due to the Montreal
Protocol.

Water vapor (H2Ov) = the most abundant greenhouse
gas and contributes most to the greenhouse effect
SUN- Energy Budget
W/m2
Turn to your neighbor and spend 2 minutes explaining what you see.
Natural Reasons for climate flux

Solar output = drives
temperature change on
Earth’s surface
http://science.nasa.gov/media/medialibrary/2008/07/11/11jul_solarcycleupdate_resources/s
sn_predict_l.gif
 The Sun varies in the
radiation it emits
 Variation in solar
energy (i.e., solar
flares) has not been
great enough to
change Earth’s
temperature
The Sun = without it, the Earth would be dark and frozen
Also supplies most of our planet’s energy
Natural Reasons for climate flux

Milankovitch cycles:
periodic changes in
Earth’s rotation and orbit
around the Sun
 Precession(wobble)-19,000



23,000 yrs
Tilt- 41,000 yrs
Orbit- 100,000 yrs
Alter the way solar radiation
is distributed over Earth’s
surface
By modifying patterns
of atmospheric heating, http://www.eoearth.org/files/120401_120500/120458/620pxthese cycles trigger long- MilankovitchCycles.jpg
term climate variation such
as periodic glaciations
Natural Air Sea Interactions
influence Climate flux
http://s4.hubimg.com/u/2739815_f520.jpg

El Niño-southern
oscillation (ENSO) = a
systematic shift in
atmospheric pressure, sea
surface temperature, and
ocean circulation in the
tropical Pacific.

El Niño is characterized by
unusually warm ocean
temperatures in the
Equatorial Pacific, as
opposed to La Niña, which
characterized by unusually
cold ocean temperatures in
the Equatorial Pacific.
Ocean Circulation
The oceans = shape climate by
storing and transporting heat
and moisture
Ocean circulation =
ocean water exchanges
tremendous amounts
of heat with the
atmosphere, and ocean
currents move energy
from place to place
pload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/4/4c/Thermohaline_Circulation_2.png/400px-Thermohaline_Circulation_2.png
•Surface and deep
water currents move
this around our earth.
Other Natural contributors to
climate flux

Volcanoes:
 Example: On June 1991: Mount Pinatubo (Philippines)
exploded
 Airborne pollutants (AEROSOLS), deaths, and damage
 Affected climate temperature
 James Hansen(NASA) cooled the temp of the earth by )0.5*
over a 19th month period. Then the earth would warm
http://pubs.usgs.gov/fs/1997/fs113-97/resources/AshCloud.jpg
Paleoclimatology: An
Investigation



How do we know what we know?
What is a proxy?
Examples of proxies




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


Ice cores
Tree rings
Pollen
Speleothems
Historical documents
Coral
Packrat Middens
Resolution vs. Span
http://michigantoday.umich.edu/2009/11/vostok-graph.jpg
Ice Cores
Jim White: Stable Isotope Lab @ CU
http://saima-tutkimus.fi/saimapictures/kiekkoisov.jpg
http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/paleo/ctl/images/16thchron2.jpg
Tree Rings
Speleothems
http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/a/a1/Labeled_speleothems.jpg
http://www.windows2universe.org/ear
th/climate/images/stalagmites_sm.jpg
http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/paleo/pubs/smith2006/fig1.jpg
Pollen
http://lh5.ggpht.com/_j1cdMMQnYns/TMLGrbaJP_I
/AAAAAAAAJMU/2CNdQce5DKw/lavender-pollengrain--lavandula-dentata--80200172m%5B4%5D.jpg
Canadian model
Hadley model
http://www.climateshifts.org/wp-content/uploads/2011/02/Bellwood-et-al-Fig-1.jpg
Coral
http://switchboard.nrdc.org/blogs/fbeinecke/Bleached.coral.jpg
Historical
Conclusion
http://scienceinthetriangle.org/wp-content/uploads/2011/02/spaghetti-climate-graph.jpg
Model images/examples

Super Computers (picture)

Resolution?
 High resolution
 (pictures) vs. low
Used for predicting
future based on past
(paleo) data

http://www.coloradoconnection.com/uploadedIm
ages/kxrm/News/Stories/supercomputer.jpg?w=
204&h=153&aspect=nostretch
The Very, Very Simple Climate Model
CCSM – NCAR Model
IPCC – different scenarios
http://poitsplace.com/images/08/warming_projections.png
http://www.frontiernet.net/~gnreil/weather/LWC/James%20Balog_Climate%20Rhythm.jpg
Affects of Global Climate Change
(projects)



Extreme Weather (flood, fires, drought, heat waves)
Distribution of plant and animal species
Desertification
Water/food availability
Disease
Sea Level Rise and temp
relationship
Ocean acidification Ocean acidification (link)
Urban Heat Islands
Ice Sheet/Glacial Sheet Melt
Courtesy EPA

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Mitigation, Adaptation, Remediation

Mitigation: the action of lessening in severity
or intensity
 Examples:

Adaptation: something that is changed or
modified to suit new conditions or needs
 Examples:

Remediation: the correction of something
bad or defective
 Examples:
Major environmental policies
related to climate change

International Policies
 Montreal Protocol (1987): Ozone Layer
 Kyoto Protocol (1997): Reduction of GHG emissions
5%

National Policies
 Clean Air Act (1970, 1990 modified): reduction in air
pollution.

Can you connect other policies to climate change? Talk to
neighbor

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