Climate Change Kim Weborg-Benson SUNY Fredonia Dept. of Geosciences
Katrina August 28
Seasonal Records Set in 2005 Most tropical storms: 28. Old record: 21 in 1933. Most hurricanes: 15. Old record: 12 in 1969. Most Category 5 hurricanes: 4 (Emily, Katrina, Rita, and Wilma). Emily was upgraded to Category 5 upon re-analysis. Old record: 2 in 1960 and 1961. Most hurricane names to be retired: 5 (Dennis, Katrina, Rita, Stan, Wilma, and possibly others). Previous record: 4 in 1955, 1995, and 2004. Most major hurricanes to hit the U.S.: 4 (Dennis, Katrina, Rita, Wilma). Previous record: 3 in 1893, 1909, 1933, 1954, and 2004. Most damage ever recorded in a hurricane season: $150 billion. Previous record: approximately $50 billion dollars (normalized to 2005 dollars) set in 1992 and 2004. Highest Accumulated Cyclone Energy (ACE) index: 245. Previous record: 243 (1950). Average for a season is 93. Latest end to a hurricane season: January 6 Previous record: January 5, for the 1954-55 hurricane season.
This NOAA satellite image taken Monday, Oct. 29, 2012 shows Hurricane Sandy off the Mid Atlantic coastline moving toward the north with maximum sustained winds of 90 mph.
The Empire State Building towers in the background of an apartment buliding in Chelsea, New York City, with the facade broken off October 30, 2012 the morning after Hurricane Sandy (Photo by TIMOTHY A. CLARY/AFP/Getty Images)
Homes in Fenwick Island, Del. are surrounded by floodwaters from Hurricane Sandy on Tuesday, Oct. 30, 2012. Officials said Fenwick Island and nearby Bethany Beach appeared to be among the hardest-hit parts of the state. (AP Photo/Randall Chase)
Water floods the street near Layton's Monday, Oct. 29, 2012, in Ocean City, Md.
This photo provided by 6abc Action News shows the Inlet section of Atlantic City, N.J., as Hurricane Sandy makes it approach, Monday Oct. 29, 2012.
Vehicles are submerged on 14th Street near the Consolidated Edison power plant, Monday, Oct. 29, 2012, in New York.
In 2009, a Rasmussen poll showed that only 46 percent of Americans thought climate change was a serious issue. In 2010, Gallup reported that 48 percent of Americans thought that the seriousness of global warming was exaggerated. ___________________________________
A poll conducted by Rasmussen on Monday, Nov. 5, 2012, showed: • Of the 1,000 likely voters surveyed, 68 percent said they thought climate change is a somewhat serious or very serious problem, while 30 percent of respondents said it was not a serious problem.
The Benenson Strategy Group conducted 800 telephone interviews nationwide from February 2, 2013 through February 5, 2013 on behalf of the League of Conservation Voters. All respondents were registered voters who voted in the 2012 general election. The margin of error for the entire sample is ±3.5% at the 95% confidence level. An overwhelming majority of American voters view climate change as a real and tangible problem with 61% saying the effects of climate change are already affecting them personally or will in their lifetime.
Weather – state of the atmosphere at a given place and time Climate – a composite of weather “climate is what you expect, weather is what you get”
According to NOAA scientists, the globally averaged temperature for February 2013 tied with 2003 as the ninth warmest February since record keeping began in 1880.
It also marked the 28th consecutive February and 336th consecutive month with a global temperature above the 20th-century average
The seafloor sediments are full of fossilized microscopic shells whose chemistry can reveal ocean temperatures that existed tens of thousands of years ago. (Photo by Tom Kleindinst, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution)
How is Climate Change Detected? • Sea Floor Sediment • Oxygen-isotope analysis : • This analysis measures the ratio between • 16O (common) and 18O (heavier) in ocean water. • There is more 18O in water during glacial times. • There is more 16O in water during interglacial times.
Working with a core From Antarctica
How is Climate Change Detected? Glacial Ice: • Scientists collect ice cores with a drilling rig. • Ice cores contain a detailed record of changing air temperatures and snow fall. • They also contain air bubbles trapped in the ice, which contain a record of variations in atmospheric composition.
How is Climate Change Detected? Rocks: • Rocks reflect the environment in which they formed so record changing environments and climate
Maximum extent of Ice sheets During the Pleistocene
Why are there Ice Ages? Ice Ages are rare in Geologic History And, what explains the temperature fluctuations during the last ice age?
MilankovitchCycles • Milankovitchcycles describe the changes in the way the earth orbits the sun. These changes combine to affect the amount and seasonal variation of solar radiation reaching the Earth and can define the sequence of ice ages and warm periods.
Variations in the shape of Earth’s Orbit Eccentricity 100,000 yr cycle
Variations in the Tilt of Earth’s Axis Obliquity 41,000 yr cycle
Variations in “Wobble” of Earth’s Axis Precession 23,000 yr cycle
Insolation – amount of solar radiation reaching an area or the Earth
Looking at the composition of air bubbles in a core from Antarctica
Climate-Feedback Mechanisms • When one component of climate system is altered, scientists must consider how it relates to other components • The effects of positive-feedback mechanisms reinforce the initial change. • Increase temperature • Increase evaporation • Increase atmospheric CO2 • Increases temperature
Two differences with Climate change today • 1. CO2 is being added by burning of fossil fuels
Increases in Atmospheric Carbon Dioxide
CO2 as measured at Mauna Loa Observatory