CLIMATE CHANGE GENERAL
A Response to Climate Change Denialism
REAL-TIME CARBON EMISSIONS COUNTERS (guaranteed to make your head spin)http://zfacts.com/p/44.html
(greenhouse gas activity)
(nice graphic and explanation of natural vs. amplified GH effect)
(kid-friendly explanation of GH Effect with images of GHG molecules)
http://eo.ucar.edu/kids/green/warming3.htm (kid-friendly explanation of albedo)
http://www.epa.gov/climatechange/science/recentac.html (radiative forcing)
STORIES OF INTERESThttp://scripps.ucsd.edu
(access to the latest SIO climate research stories)
by Zeke Hausfather)
A fundamental misconception about the role that carbon dioxide plays in glacial transitions has helped fuel the argument that the lag time between temperature and CO2 in the paleoclimate record casts doubt on carbon dioxide as an important greenhouse gas.
It's crucial that media reporting on climate change understand an important distinction between the dual roles of greenhouse gases as both forcings and feedbacks. (more)
(The Water Vapor Feedback by Zeke Hausfather)
Water vapor and clouds account for 66–85%of the greenhouse effect, compared to a range of 9–26% for CO2.So why all the attention on carbon dioxide and its ilk? Is water vapor the real culprit causing global warming?
The answer is that water vapor is indeed responsible for a major portion of Earth's warming over the past century and for projected future warming. However, water vapor is not the cause of this warming. This is a critical, if subtle, distinction between the role of greenhouse gases as either forcings or feedbacks. In this case, anthropogenic emissions of CO2, methane, and other gases are warming the Earth. This rising average temperature increases evaporation rates and atmospheric water vapor concentrations. Those, in turn, result in additional warming. (more)
(Richard Somerville's latest presentation)
California scientists said humans are to blame for diminishing water flow in the western United States. Researchers from Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory and Scripps Institution of Oceanography at UC San Diego said the Rocky Mountains have warmed by 2°F and the snowpack in the Sierras has dwindled by 20% over the past 20 to 30 years due to human-caused climate change. "It's pretty much the same throughout all of the western United States," said co-author Tim Barnett of Scripps. "The results are being driven by temperature change. And that temperature change is caused by us." (more)
(Washington Post, 2/1/08, Decline in Snowpack is Blamed on Warming)
The persistent and dramatic decline in the snowpack of many mountains in the West is caused primarily by human-induced global warming and is not the result of natural variability in weather patterns, researchers reported yesterday. "We've known for decades that the hydrology of the West is changing, but for much of that time people said it was because of Mother Nature and that she would return to the old patterns in the future," said lead author Tim Barnett of Scripps Institution of Oceanography at UC San Diego. "But we have found very clearly that global warming has done it, that it is the mechanism that explains the change and that things will be getting worse."
Similar articles also appeared in:
10 News San Diego: http://www.10news.com/news/15187024/detail.html
ABC News: http://abcnews.go.com/Technology/wireStory?id=4223206
(ABC News, 1/2/07, Scientists Warn We've Entered a New Epoch: the Anthropocene)
We humans are having such a dramatic impact on our planet that some leading scientists think the current era needs a new name. We're no longer in the Holocene epoch, they say. We're now well into what they are calling the Anthropocene. This planet is being changed by human activities in ways that will continue to alter Earth for millions of years, according to the leader of the Anthropocene movement, Nobel laureate Paul J. Crutzen, who is said to have coined the word during a science meeting in 2000. Crutzen, a part-time professor at Scripps Institution of Oceanography at UC San Diego, is out with a new paper that leads off with a provocative question: "Are Humans Now Overwhelming the Great Forces of Nature?"
(KPBS, 12/31/07, In California, Climate Change Will Transform the Land, Lifestyles)
Many of the scientific predictions are gloomy. Some already are coming true. Scientists say by the end of this century, temperatures will increase from 3° to as much as 10° statewide. That could mean even less rainfall for Southern California, already under pressure from the increased frequency of wildfires and population growth. Many of the state's beaches are expected to shrink as sea levels rise. Jeff Severinghaus is a professor of geosciences at UCSD's Scripps Institution of Oceanography. He says if the sea level rises by a foot, it pushes a cliff back 100 feet. In San Diego County and elsewhere, that could mean a lot of houses falling into the ocean. (more)