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The planet in our hands: responding to climate change (Glasgow)
 

The planet in our hands: responding to climate change (Glasgow)

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Sir Mark Walport gave a series of public lectures on climate change at Science and Discovery Centres across the UK. In these talks he explored what the science tells us, and what we, as a developed ...

Sir Mark Walport gave a series of public lectures on climate change at Science and Discovery Centres across the UK. In these talks he explored what the science tells us, and what we, as a developed nation, should do in response.

These slides come from the talk given in Glasgow on 14 March 2014, but differ only slightly from the slides used in earlier talks.

See also the video of the Bristol talk:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2tKi8OSW640

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    The planet in our hands: responding to climate change (Glasgow) The planet in our hands: responding to climate change (Glasgow) Presentation Transcript

    • The planet in our hands: Responding to climate change Sir Mark Walport, Chief Scientific Adviser to HM Government Join the conversation on Twitter: @uksciencechief #CCtalks
    • Scientific Communications Policy There are three challenges relating to climate change 2 The planet in our hands: Responding to climate change #CCtalks Credit: Reuters
    • There is a crucial distinction between weather and climate 3 The planet in our hands: Responding to climate change Source: Met Office (2014) #CCtalks Credit: PA Credit: Sodahead Credit: PA
    • There are a number of natural influences on our climate, operating on different timescales 4 The planet in our hands: Responding to climate change Examples include: • Seasonal cycles • Multi-annual cycles (e.g. El Niño and La Niña which recur every few years) • Multi-decadal cycles (e.g. the Pacific Decadal Oscillation (PDO) which causes shifts in the climate every 20-30 years) • Solar cycles (solar cycles range from the 11 year cycle between sunspot minima and sunspot maxima to much longer Milankovitch cycles related to the Earth’s orbital parameters, most obviously seen in the 100,000 year ice age cycles) Source: Met Office #CCtalks
    • The greenhouse effect was established in 19th Century physics 5 The planet in our hands: Responding to climate change Source: Met Office (2014) …without it the Earth would be about 30°C cooler #CCtalks
    • 6 The planet in our hands: Responding to climate change • Photosynthesis began 2.5 billion years ago • Cyanobacteria were first to evolve the capability • Carboniferous forests evolved ~ 300 million years ago The history of our atmosphere - inheritance #CCtalks Credit: Natural History Museum Credit: Natural History Museum
    • We have inherited our energy 7 The planet in our hands: Responding to climate change #CCtalks Credit: PD Credit: Agencia Brasil/CC-BY-SA-3.0-BRCredit: Meredithw/CC-BY-SA-3.0
    • Source: Kaplin (2009) Evidence From •Domesday Book •Soil Record •Climate Modelling 8 The planet in our hands: Responding to climate change Humans modifying the environment - deforestation England and Wales deforested 90%  17% tree cover #CCtalks
    • 9 The planet in our hands: Responding to climate change Humans modifying the environment - industrialisation #CCtalks Credit: Leonard Bentley
    • 1 million years ago 100,000 years ago Today 10,000 years ago 100 years ago 1,000 years ago Human Occupation of New Environmental Zones Unequivocal Anthropogenic Warming England and Wales deforested 90%  17% Cities & the built environment emerge 10 The planet in our hands: Responding to climate change Domestication of Fruits Agriculture Pasture and Plough arrive in UK The Practical Steam Engine We must be conscious of our legacy Regular Fire Use Complex Stone Tools Future #CCtalks
    • 11 The planet in our hands: Responding to climate change Our population has grown exponentially 0 1000 2000 3000 4000 5000 6000 7000 8000 -2000 -1000 0 1000 2000 Year WorldPopulation(Millions) #CCtalks
    • 12 The planet in our hands: Responding to climate change Source: NOAA Credit: IPCC Our atmosphere is catching up #CCtalks
    • Warming of the climate is unequivocal 13 The planet in our hands: Responding to climate change Observed globally averaged combined land and ocean surface temperature anomaly 1850–2012 (IPCC, 2013) #CCtalks
    • Observations show consistent trends across the climate system 14 The planet in our hands: Responding to climate change Source: IPCC (2013) #CCtalks
    • ….ocean heat content is rising 15 mean (1993-2009) = 0 The planet in our hands: Responding to climate change #CCtalks
    • ….sea level is rising 16 mean (1961-1990) = 0 The planet in our hands: Responding to climate change #CCtalks
    • ….and the cryosphere is changing 17 The planet in our hands: Responding to climate change Arctic sea ice at summer minimum has been in steady decline (Lowest recorded summer sea ice minimum in the satellite record, 16 September 2012. Credit: NSIDC, 2012) The Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets are both losing mass (Credit: Ice2Sea, 2013) #CCtalks
    • Has global warming stopped? © Crown copyright Met Office 18 The planet in our hands: Responding to climate change Not unusual to have periods of little or no warming, other such periods can be seen in the instrumental record Current global average temperatures are still at record levels Source: Met Office Hadley Centre (2013) #CCtalks
    • 19 The planet in our hands: Responding to climate change Plot of energy accumulation in ZJ (1 ZJ = 1021 J) within distinct components of Earth’s climate system (IPCC, 2013) Ocean warming dominates the total warming of the globe #CCtalks
    • Warming is not uniform across the globe 20 The planet in our hands: Responding to climate change Observed change in surface temperature 1901 - 2012 (IPCC, 2013) #CCtalks
    • Not climate change, but climate disruption 21 The planet in our hands: Responding to climate change Trends in the frequency (or intensity) of various climate extremes since the middle of the 20th century, except for North Atlantic storms where the period covered is from the 1970s (IPCC, 2013) #CCtalks
    • Scientists have increasing confidence in attribution of extremes UK and US scientists studied a selection of extreme events which occurred in 2012. Half of the extreme events studied displayed some evidence that human induced climate change was a contributing factor. USA heatwave, spring 2012 Iberian drought winter 2011/12 Arctic sea ice minimum, autumn 2012 New Zealand rainfall, winter 2011Australian rainfall, summer 2012 Inundation from Hurricane Sandy, autumn 2012 22 The planet in our hands: Responding to climate change #CCtalks Credit: Todd Heisler/New York Times Credit: Glyn Baker/CC-BY-SA-2.0 Credit: NASA Credit: ABC News Credit: FNDC Credit: US Air Force
    • Sea level rise will continue to rise, increasing the risk of coastal flooding Strong mitigation No mitigation 23 The planet in our hands: Responding to climate change IPCC (2013) #CCtalks
    • Climate change will act to increase water availability in some regions and decrease it in others: dry regions of the world are expected to become drier, and wet regions to become wetter. 24 The planet in our hands: Responding to climate change Climate change has implications for water security, and how we manage water resources Credit: staticantics/CC-BY-ND-2.0 #CCtalks
    • Crop productivity will be affected by higher temperatures and changes to water availability Higher temperatures will also increase stress upon cattle At lower levels of temperature rise there may be some positive benefits for crop production at higher latitudes, but at higher levels of temperature rise the net effect of climate change is expected to be negative Warmer oceans and ocean acidification will also impact food security Climate change has implications for regional and global food security 25 The planet in our hands: Responding to climate change Credit: CraneStation/CC-BY-2.0 #CCtalks
    • 26 The planet in our hands: Responding to climate change As temperature increases migration patterns will change, and some species will not be able to survive Disease patterns will also change as the migration patterns of carriers of plant, animal and human diseases will change, posing risks to both human health but also agricultural productivity A warmer climate will increase stress on ecosystems and put entire species at risk of extinction Credit: dr_relling/CC-BY-2.0 #CCtalks
    • 27 The planet in our hands: Responding to climate change Climate change poses a number of health risks Higher temperatures and increased risk of heatwaves brings a greater risk of heat-related mortality (especially for the very young and very old). Cold related mortality would be expected to decrease. The distribution of disease vectors is expected to change. Increased flood risk brings increased risk of water borne diseases in flood prone regions. Credit: Spencer Platt/Getty Images #CCtalks
    • We will also see more damaging extremes 28 The planet in our hands: Responding to climate change Credit: kloniwotski/CC-BY-SA-2.0 #CCtalks
    • Bednarsek et al. 2012 The oceans also currently absorb about half the CO2 from burning fossil fuels 29 The planet in our hands: Responding to climate change Royal Society and US National Academy of Sciences, 2014 ….with consequent implications for marine life #CCtalks Credit: pnup65/fotolia
    • Mitigate Adapt Suffer What are the policy responses? 30 The planet in our hands: Responding to climate change #CCtalks Credit: Harvey McDaniel Credit: Ian Britton/CC-BY-NC-ND-3.0 Credit: Reuters
    • Carbon dioxide emissions from human activities continue to rise Annual CO2 emissions from human activities, estimated by the Carbon Dioxide Information Analysis Center (CDIAC) (from IPCC, 2013) 31 The planet in our hands: Responding to climate change Fossil fuel and cement CO2 emissions (GtC yr-1 ) #CCtalks
    • New York’s daily carbon dioxide emissions (2010 figures) shown as metric ton spheres of CO2 (at standard pressure) Source: Carbon Visuals 32 What if our emissions were visible? The planet in our hands: Responding to climate change #CCtalks Credit: Carbon Visuals Credit: Carbon Visuals
    • CO2 has a long atmospheric lifetime © Crown copyright Met Office Decay of atmospheric CO2 pulse, as calculated by a range of coupled climate-carbon models (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, 2013) Energy and Climate Change: Challenges for Science and Policy33 The planet in our hands: Responding to climate change For any given addition (or ‘pulse’) of CO2 to the atmosphere around half is taken up by the land and oceans within a few decades, the other half will remain in the atmosphere for hundreds of years 100 (GtC) 5000 (GtC) #CCtalks
    • Future temperature rise depends on cumulative emissions The findings of the IPCC and implications for science and technology in support of climate change and energy policy34 The planet in our hands: Responding to climate change #CCtalks
    • 35 Coal is still the primary source of today’s electricity generation here in the UK Coal 15000 MW (36.7%) Gas 12000 MW (29.3%) Nuclear 6000 MW (14.8%) Wind 3800 MW (9.3%) Other 1000 MW (2.5%) Dutch IC 1000 MW (2.4%) French IC 990 MW (2.4%) Hydro 710 MW (1.7%) Storage 310 MW (0.8%) Oil 0 MW (0.0%) Irish IC 0 MW (0.0%) East-West IC 0 MW (0.0%) 498 gCO2 / kWh 40.9GW The planet in our hands: Responding to climate change Total output for the last 24 hours Figures as of 12:30, 14 March 2014 Source: GridCarbon #CCtalks
    • How is all this energy (all fuels) used? 36 The planet in our hands: Responding to climate change energy supplied by fossil fuels 87% (Figures are for 2012. Source: DUKES 2013) Services, agricultural & other 18.5% Transport 37.9% Domestic 30.7% Industrial 17.5% + #CCtalks
    • How is all this energy used: Transport breakdown 37 The planet in our hands: Responding to climate change Goods Vehicles 26% Cars 48% Rail 2% Ships 1% Aeroplanes 24% Proportion of energy use by transport type in 2012 (source: ONS, 2013) #CCtalks
    • • Climate Change Act (2008) requires emissions cuts by at least 80% by 2050 relative to 1990 levels, and by at least 34% by 2020 • Five-year carbon budgets set three budget periods ahead; first ones already set in legislation cover period 2008-2027 • Set the trajectory towards the 2020 and 2050 targets, and ensure that cumulative emissions are limited. • A requirement for Government to publish policies and proposals for meeting the carbon budgets • The independent Committee on Climate Change to advise Government on level of budgets and how to meet them, and to scrutinise delivery through annual progress reports to parliament. • Every five years assess the risks for the UK of the current and predicted impacts of climate change, and publish plans and policies to adapt to climate change risks identified • Powers to require public bodies to assess and report on plans to address climate risks within sectors Ambitious targets to reduce emissions Binding carbon budgets An accountability framework Ensuring the resilience of UK plc 38 Government has legislated to ensure effective mitigation and adaptation 38 The planet in our hands: Responding to climate change #CCtalks
    • The policy challenge: Viewing difficult issues through lenses Climate Change: Challenges for Science and Policy Parkhill et al, Transforming the Energy System – Public Values, Attitudes and Acceptability, 2013 (UKERC) 39 The planet in our hands: Responding to climate change #CCtalks Credit: Thomas Shahan/CC-BY-NC-ND-2.0
    • Credit: Ian Britton/ CC-BY-NC-2.0 Credit: Pieter van Marion/CC-BY-SA-2.0 Credit: Ludovic Hirlimann There are demand-side solutions 40 The planet in our hands: Responding to climate change #CCtalks Credit: iStockphoto
    • CC BY-SA 2.0 - Russ Ferriday 41 The planet in our hands: Responding to climate change And supply-side solutions #CCtalks Credit: Bidgee/CC-BY-SA-2.0 Credit: hddod/CC BY-NC-ND 2.0Credit: Russ Ferriday/CC-BY-SA-2.0 Credit: Bellona
    • www.my2050.decc.gov.uk 42 The planet in our hands: Responding to climate change #CCtalks
    • Do we need another Apollo or Manhattan project? • The challenge is at least as great • Major projects are required, with funding on a large scale • However, both had a well-defined single, technological objective Energy and Climate Change: Challenges for Science and Policy43 The planet in our hands: Responding to climate change • The objective now is a planetary one and no single roadmap can be drawn • Need to take the best elements of the approach taken in these projects and apply them to a more complex scenario #CCtalks Credit: PD Credit: NASA Credit: NASA
    • Climate change: science to policy issues Changing our energy mix brings both challenges and opportunities Energy and Climate Change: Challenges for Science and Policy We need innovation in technologies, and in the electricity system. There is high export potential and the UK is at the forefront of research in a number of areas, including innovation in wind turbines, next generation solar and nuclear technologies. Full scale Carbon Capture and Storage is currently unproven. 44 The planet in our hands: Responding to climate change The UK is one of the first countries with a full scale test planned. Bioenergy and CCS together could actually reduce net emissions. #CCtalks Credit: edupic Credit: Bellona Credit: Stacey Peak Media
    • Many changes to behaviour will benefit our health as well as our environment, and help save money 45 The planet in our hands: Responding to climate change #CCtalks Credit: AP Credit: PD Credit: davipt/CC-BY-NC-SA-2.0 Credit: Jason Coleman/CC-BY-NC-SA-2.0
    • We also need to adapt to the impacts of climate change 46 The planet in our hands: Responding to climate change The 2012 UK Climate Change Risk Assessment identified risks across sectors, including agriculture, forestry, health, buildings and infrastructure There are practical steps we can take to be more resilient to future climate #CCtalks Credit: IES JRC Credit: Adelaide Advertiser Credit: Daily Mail Credit: iStockphoto Credit: smatlin blogspot
    • 47 The planet in our hands: Responding to climate change There are actions we can all take to reduce emissions, and in many cases at the same time save money CHANGE PRACTICES CHANGE ELECTRICITY SOURCES DE-ENERGISE YOUR HOME Replace older, less efficient appliances Fit an electricity monitor Turn devices off at the plug to cut their standby usage Turn off lights in empty rooms Wash clothes at a lower temperature Use a lower energy shower system Use low-energy light bulbs Fit PV solar panels Air-dry wet laundry Install a CHP biomass boiler Defrost fridge/freezer regularly #CCtalks
    • 48 Wear a vest/jumper Close internal doors Utilise waste heat after cookingOnly heat main rooms Close curtains at night CHANGE PRACTICES Turn the Thermostat down Retrofit wall and loft insulationFit draught excluders Reflective panels behind radiators Insulate tanks/pipes Block up unused fireplaces INSULATE YOUR HOME Fit double or triple glazing The planet in our hands: Responding to climate change Replace older, less efficient boilers Install below-ground heat pumps Install a CHP biomass boiler CHANGE HEAT SOURCES Fit non-PV solar panels #CCtalks
    • Which ever policy options are adopted there will be a cost, whether now or later….what price a grandchild? 49 The planet in our hands: Responding to climate change Credit: RoHerreraP/CC-BY-2.0 #CCtalks