Climate Change - Ranyl Rhydwen (Nov. 2009)
Upcoming SlideShare
Loading in...5

Climate Change - Ranyl Rhydwen (Nov. 2009)



A hard-hitting lecture by Ranyl Rhydwen at the Centre for Alternative Technology in Wales - really 3 lectures crammed into one - explaining how our climate works, what the current science is saying ...

A hard-hitting lecture by Ranyl Rhydwen at the Centre for Alternative Technology in Wales - really 3 lectures crammed into one - explaining how our climate works, what the current science is saying about climate change, and thoughts on what to do about it. A very good, and important talk to listen to. Recorded November 2009, a month before the COP-15 Climate Conference in Copenhagen. Please note this lecture is copyright Centre for Alternative Technology (



Total Views
Slideshare-icon Views on SlideShare
Embed Views



1 Embed 1 1


Upload Details

Uploaded via as Microsoft PowerPoint

Usage Rights

© All Rights Reserved

Report content

Flagged as inappropriate Flag as inappropriate
Flag as inappropriate

Select your reason for flagging this presentation as inappropriate.

  • Full Name Full Name Comment goes here.
    Are you sure you want to
    Your message goes here
Post Comment
Edit your comment

    Climate Change - Ranyl Rhydwen (Nov. 2009) Climate Change - Ranyl Rhydwen (Nov. 2009) Presentation Transcript

    • Adaptation&Carbon SequestrationRanyl2009
    • What is Climate?
      Prevailing conditions that provide theLife Support System
      for the local biosphere
    • “Butterfly Effect”
      Climate Sensitivity dependent on Initial conditions so can change and vary
    • Tipping Points
      A tiny push and the rock starts rolling
      e.g. collapse of an Ice sheet
    • SchefferNature 2009
    • The lower the CO2 the fewer we cross!!
    • Heat up the System and everything expands
    • CO21700ppm
      5-6C in 1000 to 10000 years
      0.06C decade (70% of a Doubling of CO2)
      ~Climate Sensitivity higher (7.1C)
      Currently 0.2C decade (50% Doubling)
      BeerlingPaleoclimate 2009
    • Antarctica~33MyaCO2 ~750ppm
    • Mid Pliocene3 million years ago
      CO2 ~355ppm
      Temp. ~2-3C higher
      Arctic Sea Ice less
      Greenland Ice sheet absent
      Sea Levels 25m higher
      Study Indicates that Models
      Underestimate Warming to CO2 forcing.
      Climate Sensitivity
      1000yr ~7.3C
      100yr ~4.3C
      Phil. Trans. R. Soc. A (2009)
    • Pliocene wider tropics(Brierly, Science 2009)
    • No Ice on Greenland without Low CO2280ppm (Science 2008)
    • MIS 5e~130000yrPrevious Interglacial
      Sea level Rises 1-1.5m / 100yr
      (2oC hotter, 6m higher)
      (RohlingNat.Geo 2007)
    • Arctic Antarctic Sea Saw(Severinghaus Nature 2009)Cooling 18,000 ITZC was South (Partin, Nature 2008)
    • 4.2Kyr Holocene Climate EventIndus Valley 2600-1900BCMonsoon Reduced droughts
      No Monuments or Palaces
      Drains and Water services
      Flood Plain Agriculture
      1052 cities
    • El Nino driving climate(Graham Journal Climate 2007)
    • Moche Civilization100-600ish
    • Tiwanaku (Bolivia)300-900Drought
    • Mayan250-900AD
      Population densities same as LA.
      Massive deforestation and Monoculture
      Wars and increasing political chaos
      1:7000yr Drought in 800-900
      10,000,000 Population
      90-95% Population dies
    • Hottest we’ve been for 2000 years(Mann Sept-2008 PNAS)
    • Ocean Heat Content(LevitusGeophys.ResearchLettters 2009)
    • Arctic Temperature Record (Kaufman Science 2009)
    • Cooling trend in Arctic before 1900
      Climate sensitivity
      Summer Sun dropped by 6W/m2
      Arctic temp 1.4oC warmer than it should be
      1999-2008 hottest decade in last 2000 yrs
      4 /5 hottest decades have occurred since 1950
    • Glaciers are going
      These photos, although taken from different angles, indicate the change in the Chacaltaya glacier since 1996
    • Greenland is melting 250% quicker than in 2002(Zwally, J, 2006) (Velicogna, I, Uni. Colorado, abstract 2006)
    • 4500 years old
    • Jakobshavn Isbrae
    • Sea Ice Thinning(Kwok , NASA 2009)
      53% Loss!!
    • Arctic Sea Ice Loss(Eisenman, PNAS 2009)
      Grey = No Sea Ice
      Red = Seasonal Sea Ice (dashed unstable)
      Blue = Perennial Sea Ice
    • Arctic Sea Ice Tips, warming accelerates
      3.5x increase Arctic warming
      1000miles south
      ^permafrost melt
      ?^Greenland Melt
      Sea Ice Lost in 5-10 years
      ?Consequences of weather patterns in Northern Hemisphere
      (Lawrence, 2008 Geo Res Let)
    • Permafrost Thaw Lakes (Walter Nature 2006)
      Methane Old from Permafrost
      5X Previously Predicted
      58% increase since ~1980
      Increase Absorption solar energy Albedo down
      Increases where frozen draining where melted
      CO2 and Methane as dead plant material decomposes!
      = Positive Feedbacks!!
    • Methane 2 x atmosphere in Permafrost (Canadell Nature 2009, WestbrockGes.Res.Let 2009)
    • Pine Island Thinning 1990-2006Wingham 9/09 Ges.Res.Let.
    • 2000: B15A ICEBERG 1.4 W’s
    • Wilkins Ice Shelf (David Vaughan July 2008)
      "The truth is, it is going more quickly than we guessed.“
      In last 30yrs 6 Antarctic ice shelves have collapsed -
      Prince Gustav Channel, Larsen Inlet, Larsen A, Larsen B, Wordie, Muller and the Jones Ice Shelf.
      Larsen B had been stable for at least 10,000 years.
      (Gilbert 2005)
    • IMJA
      One Huge Glacial Melt lake
    • 27 Dangerous
    • 82% Glaciers retreating10% permafrostBrown Clouds additional warmingWater supply ~2 Billion
    • 4oC heating at 2km Cooling below50% Artificial Cooling (Ramanathan 2006, Dutt 2008)
    • Tibet 1.8oC in 50years (Wang Ges Res Let 2008)
    • Prof. Ramanathan Sept 2008SCIPPS Institute
      "Given that a potentially large warming is already in our rear-view mirror, scientists and engineers must mount a massive effort and develop solutions for adapting to climate change and for mitigating it.”
      Carbon level at 2005
      2.4C (1.4-4.3C)
      (PNAS SEPT 2008)
    • Super Typhoon Choi-Wan
    • Hurricances - frequency & intensity(Vecchi J. Climate 2008) (Mann Nature 2009)
    • "In a normal summer the jet stream is to the north of the UK. This allows the Azores high to build across the UK and bring settled and more typical summer weather for the UK,"
      said Mr Corbett.
    • S. Lane Geography 2008
      “As with the climate change hypothesis, the possibility that the summer 2007 events are a normal but unusual happening cannot yet be dismissed.”
    • “This, of course, begs the question of why in the last three summers have we seen this southwards shift in the position of the jet stream?”
    • Jets are moving Pole wards(CaldeiraGes Res Let 2008)California will experience long droughts(Oster; Earth and Planetry Science letters Nov 2009)
    • Tropical Zones Expanding Rapidly (Seidel NatureGeo 2008)
      2-8o already
      Models only 2o by 2100
      Storm paths
      Hydrological cycles
      H2O Stratosphere
    • El Nino Modiko
    • Austrailia 2009During a La Nina????
      Drought conditions across south Oz,
      2nd driest January Melbourne
      On back of long trend of Drought
      EL Nino now moderate
    • Swanson Ges. Res. Let. 2009Probability of recent warming due to natural forces; 1 in 1000ZoritaGes. Res. let 2009
    • Tropical Deforestation and Biodiversity losses(Bradshaw Front Ecol Environ 2009)
    • Climate changes killing Western USA trees
      X2 Death rate
      Excluding pests!
      ^Temp ^Dryness
      (Pennissi 2009)
    • +ve Feedback
    • Amazon 2000 to 2008(NASA, 2009)
    • Water! What water?
    • Other Aspects
      Increasing extreme weather events (Nature 2008)
      (e.g. Flooding, Droughts, hurricanes)
      Increased Diseases (EEA 2004)
      (e.g. Tick Born Fever, Dengue)
      Seasons shifting (Spring earlier)
      Migrations towards the poles (EEA 2004)
      Increasing Desserts (China, Sahel, Australia, America, Sahara, Spain)
      Changes in rain patterns (England, Spain)
      Increased Global Rainfall Amounts (Nature 2007)
      Increasing Forest Fires (Science 2006) Greece 2007
      Positive feedbacks loops
      (e.g. Albedo effects, Methane permafrost, Droughts, Burning peat)
    • Climate Models
      An Assessment of Strengths and Limitations
      U.S. Climate Change Science Program
      Synthesis and Assessment Product 3.1
      July 2008
    • Climate Change 2009Faster Change & More Serious Risks(Steffen 2009)Australian Gov Dept. Climate Change
      The risk of continuing rapid climate change is
      focusing attention on the need to adapt, and the
      possible limits to adaptation.
    • Climate sensitivity(Annan 2006 Ges. Res. Let.)
    • Climate SensitivityChanges over time.....?????!!(Hegerl Nature 2006)
    • Albedo
    • Hansen: Science 2008
    • Climate Sensitivity 3.7-5.4oCper CO2 doubling(Tung et al Ges.Res.Let 2008)
      Warming for Business as Usual 4.5-5.4oC
      (Sokolov, MIT 2009)
    • Greenhouse gasses going up(Huang MIT JUNE 09)
    • 2009 – C02 = 390 ppm
      Highest in 20 million years (Science 2009)
      Highest: 800,000 years (Lu¨thi Nature 2008)
      400 ppm maximum recommended
      (International Climate Change Task Force 2005)
      410ppm DIA (tipping point) (Harvey Enr. Res let. 2007)
      (with 50% reduction in other warming forcings)
      450 ppm CO2 e - currently at ~460ppmCO2 e
      Global Carbon emissions now rising at 3.2% a year (Nature 2006)
      2ppm a year and rising (400ppm ~ 2012-5)
    • Carbon and Climate System Coupling on Timescales from the Precambrian to the Anthropocene∗(Doney 2007 Annu. Rev. Environ. Resour.)
      CO2 is integral to climate changes
      CO2 stays in the atmosphere possibly for centuries....
      Sinks determines how long
    • Reducing sinks(Canadell CSIRO, PNAS Nov 2007)
      Rate of rise of atmospheric CO2 rising
      1990’s - 1.3% year
      2000- 2006- 3.3% year
      Economic growth - 65% increase
      Decreasing sinks - 35% increase
      Oceans and Land
      Was 600kg/ton now 550kg/ton and declining!
      IPCC keep these the same or make them grow!!
      “All of these changes characterize a carbon cycle that is generating stronger-than-expected and sooner-than-expected climate forcing.”
    • CO2 concentrations don’t fallby just stopping emissions(Lowe Env.Res.Let 2009)
    • Balancing the Global Carbon Budget (Houghton 2007: Annu. Rev. Earth Planet. Sci.)
      CO2 Sinks falling oceanic and terrestrial
      Southern Ocean sink which absorbed 15% of CO2 now releasing CO2 due increases in winds over the oceans
      Dunford (Science May 2007)
      50% Reduction of Costs of Japan (Park Ges.Res.Let 2008)
      Ocean sink 50% reduced N.Atlantic
      (Schuster Oct 2007 J. OF GEO. Res)
      Terrestrial sinks down due to world wide droughts, forest fires (Siberia 2003, Greece 2007, Amazon 2005, Oz 2009, Greece 2009, California, Southern Europe and so on!!!!),
      increasing deforestation, crop failures
    • ~ 64% of a doubling already
      280ppm to 385ppm
      37.5% of a doubling
      Add in additions of Methane, Nitrous Oxide, Ozone, Hydro-fluorocarbons, CFC’s
      Nitro-trifloride (NF3)
      64% Doubling
    • NF3: The new Green House GasSilicon Semi-conductors cleaning agent
      Flat Screen TV’s
      Solar Panels
      500 yrs
      17000x power CO2
      67Mt CO2e 2007
      (Prather Ges Res Let 2008)
    • Dangerous Climate Change1.5-2C above pre-industrial(EU, IPCC, Hansen 2007)Already 0.74C
      Food security
      Economic Problems
      Eco-System Collapses
      Sea Level Rise
      Population Migrations
      Biodiversity losses
      Severe Weather Events
    • Martin Parry, Nature 2009 Grantham Institute for Climate Change andCentre for Environmental Policy, ImperialCollege London
      “The consequent
      demands on adaptation will be enormous, many times those currently envisaged.
      We should therefore give policies of adaptation
      much more urgent attention”.
    • Stabilizing climate requiresZero emissionsH. Damon Matthews and Ken Caldeira Geo. Phys Res (Feb. 2008)No Carbon .. A.S.A.P
      50% into sinks quickly
      25% ~1000years
      25% CO2 emitted ~5000years
      Ocean’s lag means temperatures remain raised for 1000’s years
    • Warming in the Pipeline
      0.75oC already
      0.6oC within next ~20 years
      (IPCC 2007, Hansen 2008)
    • Safe boundaries(Rockström, Nature 2009)
    • Biodiversity
    • Current 6th Mass Extinction
      1. Habitat Loss (Deforestation)
      2. Climate Change (frogs)
      3. Invasive alien Species
      4. Overexploitation
      5. Pollution / Waste
      (Millennium Ecosystem Assessment 2005)
      “This mass extinction is the fastest in Earth’s 4.5-billion-year
      history and, unlike prior extinctions, is mainly the result of human activity and not of natural phenomena.”
      (American Museum of Natural History 1998)
    • Biodiversity simplifying(Prof. Jeremy Jackson Scripps Institute Aug 2008)
      “Intricate marine food webs with large animals are being converted into simplistic ecosystems dominated by microbes, toxic algal blooms, jellyfish and disease.”
    • Wetlands FAO 20083.6MillionHectares since 1980102,000 hectares a year
      60% lost last 100years
      Carbon Dioxide Emissions
      Drained Peat Bog 2-10t/h/y
      Tropical swamp forest 40t/h/y
      "Lessening the stress on wetlands caused by pollution and other human assaults will improve their resiliency and represents an important climate change adaptation strategy”
      "Wetland rehabilitation, meanwhile, represents a viable alternative to artificial flood control and dredging efforts that may be needed to cope with the larger, more frequent floods predicted in a hotter world."
      Wolfgang Junk
      UN:Conference 2008
      Cheaper to save than restore!
    • Harlequin Frogs Extinctions>100 gone now!!!!!!(Nature 2004, Nature April 2007)
    • RATE OF RISE THAT COUNTSAll Associate with CO2 rises and volcanic supereruptionsWignall Elements 2005 Mayhew Oct 2007 Proc. R. Soc. B Ratallack 2009 Geo.Soc.Bull.Am.
    • Accelerated Global Warming
      100 years rate of rise ~0.07oC a decade
      50 years rate of rise ~0.13oC a decade
      30 years rate of rise ~0.2oC a decade
      (Hansen: PNAS Sept 2006)
      15 years rate of rise ~0.3oC a decade personal calc
      & Smith et al. (Science Aug 2007)
      This is fastest the earth has ever risen
      Jan-August 2009 2nd Hottest
    • Sengor PNAS 2008
      “The introduction of a global annihilating agent, namely humans, that creates functional deserts for much of the rest of the biosphere (human dwellings) at a rate unknown in the history of the
      biosphere during………..
      If unchecked, the present extinction threatens to be the greatest killer of all time”
    • GEO 4 2007
      “Imagine a world in which environmental change threatens people’s health, physical security, material needs and social cohesion.
      A world beset by increasingly intense and frequent storms, and by rising sea levels.
      People experience extensive flooding, while others endure intense droughts.
      Species extinction occurs at rates never before witnessed.
      Safe water is increasingly limited, hindering economic activity.
      Land degradation endangers the lives of millions of people”
      This is the world today!!
    • 1.5oC is dangerous... (Smith PNAS 2008)
    • Chances of avoiding 2oC(Schaeffer PNAS 2008)
    • Level of CO2 Safe1.5oC-2oC
      ?? 325-350 ppm
      (Hansen, May 2008)
      Many More Agree
    • Scheffer 2006
      Range of CO2 increases due to feedbacks
      12-41ppm CO2 /100years
    • CO2 Arithmetic (Broecker 2007, Science)
      For every 4Gt of CO2 emissions, 1ppm increase, assuming sinks at 60%!
      Current 385ppm and ~8GT a year
      Still increasing and sinks decreasing
      Southern Ocean Upwelling Increasing Winds!!!!!
      400ppm in less than 5 years
      CO2e 460PPM
    • URGENT
      Sequestering CO2 is essential to avoid
      Dangerous Climate Change
      We Have no Carbon Budget to play with
      350ppm means removing
      20 years CO2 emissions
    • How can we achieve this?
      No Fossil Fuels
      Change Agriculture
      No Pesticides
      No Petrochemical Fertilizers
      Carbon into Soil
      No Waste
      ??How Much??
      As much as you can
    • 70% population in Cities 2050 (Editor Nature Sept 2008)
      “Confronting the challenges of rampant urbanization demands integrated, multidisciplinary approaches,
      and new thinking”
    • Adapting for Population Migrations
    • Carbon Capture Technology Expensive?Grow more trees
      “The US Department of Energy has pulled out of a flagship project to build the first ‘clean’ coal-fired power plant in the United States”
      (Nature Feb 2008)
    • "Because the truth is that promoting science isn't just about providing resources – it's about protecting free and open inquiry.
      It's about ensuring that facts and evidence are never twisted or obscured by politics or ideology."
      (BarackObama 2009)
    • Geo-engineering The Climate(Royal Society Sept 2009)
      “Climate change is happening. Its impacts and costs will be large, serious, and unevenly spread.
      The impacts may be reduced by adaptation, and moderated by mitigation, especially by reducing emissions of greenhouse gases.”
    • "We are already staring 1.6 °C in the face,"
      (Shepherd 2009)
    • "
      “My guess would be that there is a 50-50 chance that we can achieve something with emissions reductions,“
      John Shepherd
      University of Southampton, UK,
      chair of the Royal Society group behind the report.
    • Geo-engineering The Climate(Royal Society, Sept 2009)
    • State of World Report 2009
      Take an area 4.3 x the size of the UK to supply wood Just for heating
      (Natural Resources and Life Sciences Education, July 2009)
    • Transport(Chester Env.Res.Let 2009)
    • Wind FarmsCould we over do it again??
      Increase Land Temps for 1/3 Energy needs as well ill defined changes in clouds and rainfall elsewhere, 7% energy small to no effects
      MIT 2009
      PNAS 2009 similar!
      Attract and Kill Bats (Moths!)
      Horn 2008
    • Conservation REALLY works
    • CARBON SEQUESTRATIONPRACTICESNon-chemical rotation farming Re-forestation Increasing biosphere
    • Carbon SequestrationHemp - 500kg CO2 per tonne
      Well suited for Organic Farming systems
      Doesn’t displace food crop, improves soils
      Resistant to weeds and Pests
      No Pesticides, fertilisers
      Low maintenance crop
      Improves local biodiversity
      Profitable for farmers
      All parts of plant useful
    • Biodiversity and Agriculture report( UNEP May 2008)
    • Policymakers, promote & endorse
      Policy changes to promote sustainable practices
      Biodiversity-friendly & enhancing agriculture
      Payfarmers for adopting environmentally friendly practices
      including mitigating climate changes
      Training & education
      Support local level management
      Employ Ecosystem Approach
    • Energy Reduce Use 90-95%
      “Unpleasant as it is we must face the fact there is no magic bullet, that will give us unlimited energy.
      One must conclude that the future of our civilisation depends critically on reducing the use of energy drastically and rapidly”
      J. W. Storm van Leeuwen,
      Independent Civil Nuclear Consultant:
      Oxford Research Group July 2006
      NUCLEAR TO EXPENSIVE, LARGE GHG LEGACY, WASTE, Childhood Leukaemia, Bombs, Mining,
    • How? - Education
      “Since education is one of the fundamental strategies to address most global challenges, it is important to identify the most effective educational materials, curricula, and distribution media for global education as well as institutional arrangements to accelerate learning”
      (UN: “State Of The Future” 2006)
    • Plan for Adaption
      (Flooding, Type of Crops, Migrations)
      Enable through personal example
      Find ways of being an example...
      Fossil Fuel Free behaviour
      Communities to work together
      Increasing biodiversity through land management gardening & conservation
    • Hunter Gatherer?(Todd Schorr)
    • CO2 missions per head populationWorld Mapper
    • Gas Usage
    • Coal Use for electricity
    • Oil for electricity
    • Human Poverty
    • Emanuel J. Climate 2007
    • Solid wall houses could yield 17% of savings~55% Rural25% urban areas