What is climate change? • Climate change is the change in long-term weather patterns in certain regions. • These changes can affect the entire Earth.
What’s the difference between global warming and climate change? Global warming refers to a global increase in average temperature. Both the causes and effects of global warming are unknown and controversial.
Is it just “El Niño” ??? Kind of… The term “climate variability” refers to shorter term (years to decades) fluctuations in climate such as: El Niño—an abnormal warming of surface ocean waters (which occurs every 3 to 7 years) La Niña -a strong cooling of the equatorial Pacific
… so what’s the Big deal with El Niño and La Niña??? PROBLEM: More El Niño’s that are no longer disappearing completely, and less La Niña’s. In other words, the Pacific doesn't seem to be reverting to "normal" (cooling down) any more.
Evidence of Climate Change #1 1. Ocean temperatures, have increased by .05°C since 1955.
Evidence of Climate Change #2 2. Sea ice and land ice have been breaking apart across the globe.
Evidence of Climate Change #2 Opening of Northeast Passage! 2012 Economical and biological implications??? 1980 The image shows sea ice coverage in 1980 (bottom) and 2012 (top), as observed by passive microwave sensors on NASA’s Nimbus-7 satellite and by the Special Sensor Microwave Imager/Sounder (SSMIS) from the Defense Meteorological Satellite Program (DMSP).
3. Glaciers are retreating (except for the Antarctic and New Zealand glaciers) The glaciers in the Himalayas are receding faster than in any other part of the world and, if the present rate continues, “a large number of them may disappear by 2035 because of climate change”… warn environmentalists and geologists. Evidence of Climate Change #3
Evidence of Climate Change #4 4. Snow cover has decreased globally . (the less snow to reflect sunlight , the more the Earth absorbs heat)
Evidence of Climate Change #5 Global sea level has risen about 3 millimeters a year since precise measurement of sea surface height in 1993 . 5. Sea surface height has increased across the globe 4-8 inches in last 100 years.
Evidence of Climate Change #6 There has been an increase in extreme weather events since 1975.
Evidence of Climate Change #7 Increase in cloud cover of 2% in the Northern Hemisphere since 1900. *This is evidence that there is more particulate debris(fossil fuels) in the atmosphere (clouds form around debris )
Natural Cause # 1: The amount of energy radiating from the sun is not constant There is evidence of an 11-year solar cycle in the temperature record of the Earth.
Natural Cause # 2:Eccentricity: Earth’s Orbit changes from circular to Elliptical at different times These variations in orbit change where and when solar energy is received on Earth.
Greenhouse gases in the atmosphere are water vapor, carbon dioxide, methane and nitrous oxide, etc..) The Natural Greenhouse effectwarms the surface and the troposphere (lowest layer of the atmosphere), and is vital to life as we know it.
Natural Cause # 4:Natural Aerosols These are very fine particles and droplets that are small enough to remain in the atmosphere for a very long time. They both reflect and absorb incoming solar radiation.
Human Impact # 1:Enhanced Greenhouse Effects: Humans activities are adding a lot more greenhouse gases to the atmosphere – therefore trapping more heat , and raising the Global temp.
Human Impact #2:Deforestation = lower Albedo = more heat absorbed As humans replace lighter reflective forests with dark asphalt or concrete, we get less albedo (more absorption of heat)
Human Impact #3:Artificial Aerosols Humans are adding large quantities of fine particles (aerosols) to the atmosphere, both from agriculture and industrial activities.
…and something I bet you’ve never thought of!
Action Plan #1: Reduce, Reuse, Recycle By recycling half of your household waste, you can save 2,400 pounds of carbon dioxide annually.
Action Plan #2: Use Less Heat and Air Conditioning Setting your thermostat just 2 degrees lower in winter and higher in summer could save about 2,000 pounds of carbon dioxide each year.
Action Plan #3: Change a Light Bulb! Replacing just one 60-watt incandescent light bulb with a CFL will save you $30 over the life of the bulb. CFLs also last 10 times longer than incandescent bulbs, use two-thirds less energy, and give off 70 percent less heat. If every U.S. family replaced one regular light bulb with a CFL, it would eliminate 90 billion pounds of greenhouse gases, the same as taking 7.5 million cars off the road.
Action Plan #4: Drive Less and Drive Smart When you do drive, make sure your car is running efficiently. For example, keeping your tires properly inflated can improve your gas mileage by more than 3 percent. Every gallon of gas you save not only helps your budget, it also keeps 20 pounds of carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere.
Action Plan #5: Buy Energy-Efficient Products When it's time to buy a new car, choose one that offers good gas mileage. Home appliances now come in a range of energy-efficient models.
Action Plan #6: Use Less Water! Buy low-flow showerheads to save hot water and about 350 pounds of carbon dioxide yearly. Wash your clothes in warm or cold water to reduce your use of hot water and the energy required to produce it. That change alone can save at least 500 pounds of carbon dioxide annually in most households.
Action Plan #7: Use the “Off” Switch Save electricity and reduce global warming by turning off lights when you leave a room, and using only as much light as you need. It's also a good idea to turn off the water when you're not using it. While brushing your teeth, shampooing the dog or washing your car, turn off the water until you actually need it for rinsing.
Action Plan #8: Plant a Tree If you have the means to plant a tree, start digging. During photosynthesis, trees and other plants absorb carbon dioxide and give off oxygen. A single tree will absorb approximately one ton of carbon dioxide during its lifetime.
Action Plan #9: Encourage others to Conserve Share information about recycling and energy conservation with your friends, neighbors and co-workers, and take opportunities to encourage public officials to establish programs and policies that are good for the environment.
Reducing your carbon Footprint http://www.myfootprint.org/