Climate Science Crash Course Dana Nuccitelli [email protected] @dana1981 Who Am I? B.A. in Astrophysics from UC Berkeley, 2003 M.S. in Physics from UC Davis, 2005 Environmental Scientist and Risk Assessor working at McClellan Business Park since 2006 Climate blogger at SkepticalScience.com (since 2010) and The Guardian (since April 2013) Author of four peer-reviewed climate science papers Citizens Climate Lobby Sacramento Chapter member SkepticalScience.com Skeptical Science Myth Rebuttal Levels Skeptical Science Smartphone App Skeptical Science Smartphone App The Guardian Climate Consensus – the 97% The Big Question: How do we know humans are causing global warming? The Earth’s climate changed naturally in the past… …and people died naturally in the past CSI: Climate Change Fingerprints of human-caused global warming The increased greenhouse effect Global energy imbalance seen by satellites Incoming energy from the sun has been stable for 50 years Increased greenhouse effect has trapped heat = less outgoing energy Climate research concludes about 100% of global warming over the past 50 years is human-caused Scientists are as confident in human-caused global warming as they are that smoking kills 97% Expert Consensus on Human-Caused Global Warming The Consensus Among 80 National Academies of Science The Consensus Gap 97% Consensus is Big News Is the planet still warming? Yes, and fast! Most popular current myth is that global warming has ‘paused’ over the past 15 years. This myth is wrong for two simple reasons. First, it ignores that heat continues to build up on Earth, mostly in the oceans. 90% of Global Warming Heats the Oceans Global Warming Continues Going Down The Up Escalator Where is the Climate Headed? The Reason for Urgency Start of Human Civilization Ancient Egypt Ancient Roman Greece Empire You Are Here Northern California Wildfire Increase in High Emissions Scenario. Area burned in 2085 compared to 1975 Current drought caused by “Ridiculously Resilient Ridge.” Climate change connection? 2004 UC Santa Cruz paper predicted a climate connection High pressure zone predicted in 2005 High pressure zone measured in 2013 Polar Vortex caused by meandering Jet Stream* Over 70% Arctic sea ice volume loss in 3 decades Climate change contributors to CA drought Loss of snowpack – nature’s water storage for California. Warmer temperatures lead to: Precipitation falling as rain, not snow More precipitation falls in downpours, less absorbed in soil Faster snow melt More evaporation from reservoirs, drier soil Changing precipitation patterns Wet areas tend to get wetter, dry tend to get drier High pressure ridges off the coast pushing our rain to the north The Effects of 1 meter Sea Level Rise (very possible by 2100) Climate change is about risk management The Carbon Credit Card Revenue-Neutral Carbon Tax Advocated by Citizens Climate Lobby We need to put a price on carbon emissions so consumers can make informed decisions. California cap and trade system is a good start, but we need action on a national and international level. Legislation needs bipartisan support. Many conservatives are beginning to support a revenue-neutral carbon tax. More details from Jerry Hinkle, Northern California Regional Coordinator for Citizens Climate Lobby.