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Appalachian Impacts of Global Warming: Reasons For Hope

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Global disruptions of Earth's climate and biosphere are leading to loss of biodiversity and ecosystem collapses, depletion of fish and forests, loss of fresh water, ocean acidification and species …

Global disruptions of Earth's climate and biosphere are leading to loss of biodiversity and ecosystem collapses, depletion of fish and forests, loss of fresh water, ocean acidification and species extinctions. What can be done to address these challenges? Can individuals actually make a difference? Is there a legitimate reason for hope?


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  • See Ecological Impacts of Climate Change booklet, p. 4-7 Temperatures are rising: Average global surface temperature has risen ~1.3°F since 1850. If emission rates for greenhouse gases continue on their current track, models indicate that the globe will be 4.3 to 11.5°F warmer by 2100 than it was in 1990. Sea levels are rising: Warmer temperatures not only cause glaciers and land ice to melt (adding more volume to oceans) but also cause seawater to expand in volume as it warms. Under a “business-as-usual” greenhouse gas emissions scenario, models indicate that sea levels could rise 2 feet or more by 2100 compared to 1990 levels. The ocean is acidifying: Much of the carbon dioxide emitted by human activity has already been taken up by the ocean, thus moderating the increase of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. However, as carbon dioxide dissolves in seawater, it forms carbonic acid, acidifying the ocean. Ocean acidification will likely cause serious harm to marine organisms such as corals, lobsters, and sea urchins. Water cycle changes: The seasonal rhythms of streams and rivers have changed as winter precipitation falls increasingly as rain instead of snow, and as earlier spring temperatures cause snow in the mountains to melt earlier and faster. Warmer temperatures also mean higher evaporation rates and thirstier plants and people, increasing demands for water. Projections indicate that on average dry areas will tend to get drier, and wet areas will tend to get wetter. Extreme weather: It is considered very likely that increasing global temperatures will lead to higher maximum temperatures, more heat waves, and fewer cold days over most land areas.
  • Migration and nesting of birds is driven by temperature, and many species will be “committed to extinction” if not actually extinct, by end of this (21 st ) century.
  • Including new blog: Earth Matters Blog entries 2011: EF: 28; EM: 26; NFF 70 (in 6 campaigns)
  • See Ecological Impacts of Climate Change booklet, p. 4-7 Temperatures are rising: Average global surface temperature has risen ~1.3°F since 1850. If emission rates for greenhouse gases continue on their current track, models indicate that the globe will be 4.3 to 11.5°F warmer by 2100 than it was in 1990. Sea levels are rising: Warmer temperatures not only cause glaciers and land ice to melt (adding more volume to oceans) but also cause seawater to expand in volume as it warms. Under a “business-as-usual” greenhouse gas emissions scenario, models indicate that sea levels could rise 2 feet or more by 2100 compared to 1990 levels. The ocean is acidifying: Much of the carbon dioxide emitted by human activity has already been taken up by the ocean, thus moderating the increase of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. However, as carbon dioxide dissolves in seawater, it forms carbonic acid, acidifying the ocean. Ocean acidification will likely cause serious harm to marine organisms such as corals, lobsters, and sea urchins. Water cycle changes: The seasonal rhythms of streams and rivers have changed as winter precipitation falls increasingly as rain instead of snow, and as earlier spring temperatures cause snow in the mountains to melt earlier and faster. Warmer temperatures also mean higher evaporation rates and thirstier plants and people, increasing demands for water. Projections indicate that on average dry areas will tend to get drier, and wet areas will tend to get wetter. Extreme weather: It is considered very likely that increasing global temperatures will lead to higher maximum temperatures, more heat waves, and fewer cold days over most land areas.
  • See Ecological Impacts of Climate Change booklet, p. 4-7 Temperatures are rising: Average global surface temperature has risen ~1.3°F since 1850. If emission rates for greenhouse gases continue on their current track, models indicate that the globe will be 4.3 to 11.5°F warmer by 2100 than it was in 1990. Sea levels are rising: Warmer temperatures not only cause glaciers and land ice to melt (adding more volume to oceans) but also cause seawater to expand in volume as it warms. Under a “business-as-usual” greenhouse gas emissions scenario, models indicate that sea levels could rise 2 feet or more by 2100 compared to 1990 levels. The ocean is acidifying: Much of the carbon dioxide emitted by human activity has already been taken up by the ocean, thus moderating the increase of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. However, as carbon dioxide dissolves in seawater, it forms carbonic acid, acidifying the ocean. Ocean acidification will likely cause serious harm to marine organisms such as corals, lobsters, and sea urchins. Water cycle changes: The seasonal rhythms of streams and rivers have changed as winter precipitation falls increasingly as rain instead of snow, and as earlier spring temperatures cause snow in the mountains to melt earlier and faster. Warmer temperatures also mean higher evaporation rates and thirstier plants and people, increasing demands for water. Projections indicate that on average dry areas will tend to get drier, and wet areas will tend to get wetter. Extreme weather: It is considered very likely that increasing global temperatures will lead to higher maximum temperatures, more heat waves, and fewer cold days over most land areas.
  • See Ecological Impacts of Climate Change booklet, p. 4-7 Temperatures are rising: Average global surface temperature has risen ~1.3°F since 1850. If emission rates for greenhouse gases continue on their current track, models indicate that the globe will be 4.3 to 11.5°F warmer by 2100 than it was in 1990. Sea levels are rising: Warmer temperatures not only cause glaciers and land ice to melt (adding more volume to oceans) but also cause seawater to expand in volume as it warms. Under a “business-as-usual” greenhouse gas emissions scenario, models indicate that sea levels could rise 2 feet or more by 2100 compared to 1990 levels. The ocean is acidifying: Much of the carbon dioxide emitted by human activity has already been taken up by the ocean, thus moderating the increase of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. However, as carbon dioxide dissolves in seawater, it forms carbonic acid, acidifying the ocean. Ocean acidification will likely cause serious harm to marine organisms such as corals, lobsters, and sea urchins. Water cycle changes: The seasonal rhythms of streams and rivers have changed as winter precipitation falls increasingly as rain instead of snow, and as earlier spring temperatures cause snow in the mountains to melt earlier and faster. Warmer temperatures also mean higher evaporation rates and thirstier plants and people, increasing demands for water. Projections indicate that on average dry areas will tend to get drier, and wet areas will tend to get wetter. Extreme weather: It is considered very likely that increasing global temperatures will lead to higher maximum temperatures, more heat waves, and fewer cold days over most land areas.
  • See Ecological Impacts of Climate Change booklet, p. 4-7 Temperatures are rising: Average global surface temperature has risen ~1.3°F since 1850. If emission rates for greenhouse gases continue on their current track, models indicate that the globe will be 4.3 to 11.5°F warmer by 2100 than it was in 1990. Sea levels are rising: Warmer temperatures not only cause glaciers and land ice to melt (adding more volume to oceans) but also cause seawater to expand in volume as it warms. Under a “business-as-usual” greenhouse gas emissions scenario, models indicate that sea levels could rise 2 feet or more by 2100 compared to 1990 levels. The ocean is acidifying: Much of the carbon dioxide emitted by human activity has already been taken up by the ocean, thus moderating the increase of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. However, as carbon dioxide dissolves in seawater, it forms carbonic acid, acidifying the ocean. Ocean acidification will likely cause serious harm to marine organisms such as corals, lobsters, and sea urchins. Water cycle changes: The seasonal rhythms of streams and rivers have changed as winter precipitation falls increasingly as rain instead of snow, and as earlier spring temperatures cause snow in the mountains to melt earlier and faster. Warmer temperatures also mean higher evaporation rates and thirstier plants and people, increasing demands for water. Projections indicate that on average dry areas will tend to get drier, and wet areas will tend to get wetter. Extreme weather: It is considered very likely that increasing global temperatures will lead to higher maximum temperatures, more heat waves, and fewer cold days over most land areas.
  • See Ecological Impacts of Climate Change booklet, p. 4-7 Temperatures are rising: Average global surface temperature has risen ~1.3°F since 1850. If emission rates for greenhouse gases continue on their current track, models indicate that the globe will be 4.3 to 11.5°F warmer by 2100 than it was in 1990. Sea levels are rising: Warmer temperatures not only cause glaciers and land ice to melt (adding more volume to oceans) but also cause seawater to expand in volume as it warms. Under a “business-as-usual” greenhouse gas emissions scenario, models indicate that sea levels could rise 2 feet or more by 2100 compared to 1990 levels. The ocean is acidifying: Much of the carbon dioxide emitted by human activity has already been taken up by the ocean, thus moderating the increase of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. However, as carbon dioxide dissolves in seawater, it forms carbonic acid, acidifying the ocean. Ocean acidification will likely cause serious harm to marine organisms such as corals, lobsters, and sea urchins. Water cycle changes: The seasonal rhythms of streams and rivers have changed as winter precipitation falls increasingly as rain instead of snow, and as earlier spring temperatures cause snow in the mountains to melt earlier and faster. Warmer temperatures also mean higher evaporation rates and thirstier plants and people, increasing demands for water. Projections indicate that on average dry areas will tend to get drier, and wet areas will tend to get wetter. Extreme weather: It is considered very likely that increasing global temperatures will lead to higher maximum temperatures, more heat waves, and fewer cold days over most land areas.
  • See Ecological Impacts of Climate Change booklet, p. 4-7 Temperatures are rising: Average global surface temperature has risen ~1.3°F since 1850. If emission rates for greenhouse gases continue on their current track, models indicate that the globe will be 4.3 to 11.5°F warmer by 2100 than it was in 1990. Sea levels are rising: Warmer temperatures not only cause glaciers and land ice to melt (adding more volume to oceans) but also cause seawater to expand in volume as it warms. Under a “business-as-usual” greenhouse gas emissions scenario, models indicate that sea levels could rise 2 feet or more by 2100 compared to 1990 levels. The ocean is acidifying: Much of the carbon dioxide emitted by human activity has already been taken up by the ocean, thus moderating the increase of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. However, as carbon dioxide dissolves in seawater, it forms carbonic acid, acidifying the ocean. Ocean acidification will likely cause serious harm to marine organisms such as corals, lobsters, and sea urchins. Water cycle changes: The seasonal rhythms of streams and rivers have changed as winter precipitation falls increasingly as rain instead of snow, and as earlier spring temperatures cause snow in the mountains to melt earlier and faster. Warmer temperatures also mean higher evaporation rates and thirstier plants and people, increasing demands for water. Projections indicate that on average dry areas will tend to get drier, and wet areas will tend to get wetter. Extreme weather: It is considered very likely that increasing global temperatures will lead to higher maximum temperatures, more heat waves, and fewer cold days over most land areas.
  • 2008 saw a slight recovery in sea ice cover, but is 2 nd lowest on record. Sea ice does not directly change sea level, but once it departs from Greenland, that great continental ice mass will accelerate dramatically its melt. Melting of all Greenland can potentially can raise sea level almost 7 meters globally. 2 meter of rise is expected in this century alone, and that will cover many island and coastal regions.
  • 2008 saw a slight recovery in sea ice cover, but is 2 nd lowest on record. Sea ice does not directly change sea level, but once it departs from Greenland, that great continental ice mass will accelerate dramatically its melt. Melting of all Greenland can potentially can raise sea level almost 7 meters globally. 2 meter of rise is expected in this century alone, and that will cover many island and coastal regions.
  • Note in the bottom curves the impact of eruptions of El Chichon and Pinatubo volcanoes (labelled E and P) and their temporary warming influence on their lower stratosphere, opposite to global warming.
  • Note in the bottom curves the impact of eruptions of El Chichon and Pinatubo volcanoes (labelled E and P) and their temporary warming influence on their lower stratosphere, opposite to global warming.
  • Note in the bottom curves the impact of eruptions of El Chichon and Pinatubo volcanoes (labelled E and P) and their temporary warming influence on their lower stratosphere, opposite to global warming.
  • Migration and nesting of birds is driven by temperature, and many species will be “committed to extinction” if not actually extinct, by end of this (21 st ) century.
  • Note in the bottom curves the impact of eruptions of El Chichon and Pinatubo volcanoes (labelled E and P) and their temporary warming influence on their lower stratosphere, opposite to global warming.
  • See Ecological Impacts of Climate Change booklet, p. 5 Although scientific knowledge of climate is far from complete, the uncertainties concern the details: the scientific community is highly confident in the basic conclusions. The physical processes that cause climate change are scientifically well documented: both human activities and natural variability are contributing. According to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, whose documents are considered the most authoritative source for information on the “state of the science” on climate change, it is very likely that most of the observed warming over the past 50 years is the result of increased greenhouse gases generated by human activities. Numerous expert reports from the National Research Council have supported this conclusion as well. The release of greenhouse gases has increased significantly since the Industrial Revolution, mostly from the burning of fossil fuels for energy, agriculture, industrial processes, and transportation. Carbon dioxide, a major greenhouse gas, is increasing in the atmosphere faster than at any time measured in the past, having grown by about 35 percent since 1850. Two other greenhouse gases, methane and nitrous oxide, are present in the atmosphere at much lower concentrations than carbon dioxide but have increased rapidly. Methane has increased by 150 percent; in addition, it is 25 times more effective per molecule at trapping heat than carbon dioxide. Nitrous oxide, nearly 300 times more effective, has increased by more than 20 percent.
  • Migration and nesting of birds is driven by temperature, and many species will be “committed to extinction” if not actually extinct, by end of this (21 st ) century.
  • Migration and nesting of birds is driven by temperature, and many species will be “committed to extinction” if not actually extinct, by end of this (21 st ) century.
  • See Ecological Impacts of Climate Change booklet, p. 4-7 Temperatures are rising: Average global surface temperature has risen ~1.3°F since 1850. If emission rates for greenhouse gases continue on their current track, models indicate that the globe will be 4.3 to 11.5°F warmer by 2100 than it was in 1990. Sea levels are rising: Warmer temperatures not only cause glaciers and land ice to melt (adding more volume to oceans) but also cause seawater to expand in volume as it warms. Under a “business-as-usual” greenhouse gas emissions scenario, models indicate that sea levels could rise 2 feet or more by 2100 compared to 1990 levels. The ocean is acidifying: Much of the carbon dioxide emitted by human activity has already been taken up by the ocean, thus moderating the increase of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. However, as carbon dioxide dissolves in seawater, it forms carbonic acid, acidifying the ocean. Ocean acidification will likely cause serious harm to marine organisms such as corals, lobsters, and sea urchins. Water cycle changes: The seasonal rhythms of streams and rivers have changed as winter precipitation falls increasingly as rain instead of snow, and as earlier spring temperatures cause snow in the mountains to melt earlier and faster. Warmer temperatures also mean higher evaporation rates and thirstier plants and people, increasing demands for water. Projections indicate that on average dry areas will tend to get drier, and wet areas will tend to get wetter. Extreme weather: It is considered very likely that increasing global temperatures will lead to higher maximum temperatures, more heat waves, and fewer cold days over most land areas.
  • Migration and nesting of birds is driven by temperature, and many species will be “committed to extinction” if not actually extinct, by end of this (21 st ) century.
  • Migration and nesting of birds is driven by temperature, and many species will be “committed to extinction” if not actually extinct, by end of this (21 st ) century.
  • Migration and nesting of birds is driven by temperature, and many species will be “committed to extinction” if not actually extinct, by end of this (21 st ) century.
  • Migration and nesting of birds is driven by temperature, and many species will be “committed to extinction” if not actually extinct, by end of this (21 st ) century.
  • Migration and nesting of birds is driven by temperature, and many species will be “committed to extinction” if not actually extinct, by end of this (21 st ) century.
  • Migration and nesting of birds is driven by temperature, and many species will be “committed to extinction” if not actually extinct, by end of this (21 st ) century.
  • GLOBAL -> LOCAL Water controls Energy 90% Fresh Water = ICE RIVERS, AQUIFERS
  • Migration and nesting of birds is driven by temperature, and many species will be “committed to extinction” if not actually extinct, by end of this (21 st ) century.
  • Migration and nesting of birds is driven by temperature, and many species will be “committed to extinction” if not actually extinct, by end of this (21 st ) century.
  • Migration and nesting of birds is driven by temperature, and many species will be “committed to extinction” if not actually extinct, by end of this (21 st ) century.
  • Prior water quality criteria applied to the Chesapeake Bay were based on the assumption that all areas in the Bay were identical and did not take into account the natural variability found in the Bay ’ s waters. New water quality criteria – dissolved oxygen, chlorophyll a and water clarity – vary based on the needs of a healthy ecosystem. By analyzing the relationship between these three criteria, scientists are able to understand and monitor the more complex processes of the Bay ecosystem. Design and implementation of tributary strategies to meet these new, more appropriate criteria will enable the states and the District of Columbia to remove the Bay and its tidal tributaries from the impaired waters list.
  • “ The Clock of the Long Now” is discussed by Stewart Brand as a “Ted Talk” on iTunes, or at http://ted.com See also http://longnow.org Neal Stephenson's new book Anathem is inspired in part by The Clock of the Long Now. To read about our ancestor ’s “clock of the long now” at Newgrange, see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Newgrange
  • Remember, that the contiguous (48 state) USA covers less than 2% of the Earth ’s surface area, so USA-mean temperature and precipitation is _not_ representative of global mean climate change, especially as there are many regional influences, not the least of which is ENSO (El Nino Southern Oscillation).
  • Transcript

    • 1. Appalachian Impacts of Global Warming: Reasons For Hope Robert Cahalan Chief of NASA-Goddard Climate & Radiation Laboratory Co-founder of Chesapeake Education, Arts, and Research Society (CHEARS.org)• Global disruptions of Earths climate and biosphere are leading to loss of biodiversity and ecosystem collapses, depletion of fish and forests, loss of fresh water, ocean acidification and species extinctions. What can be done to address these challenges? Can individuals actually make a difference? Is there a legitimate reason for hope?
    • 2. Heritage .. Science“Global warming isthe first environmental forecast based on physical reasoning—the greenhouse effect and itsintensification as IR atmospheric opacity increases—rather than on extrapolating observedpatterns of past behavior.Anthropogenic warming was not unambiguously detected until nearly the end of the 20thcentury, well after most experts knew it was coming.Interestingly, forecast meteorologists, despite their familiarity with weather and theatmosphere, are at least as skeptical of global warming as the general public; so, to someextent, are geologists.” – Steven Sherwood, Physics Today, October 2011 2
    • 3. Models ensure consistency of observations with basic physical laws,And forecast future scenarios that depend on assumed human choices.
    • 4. adapted from Lubchenco (2011)Observations considered together form a convincing scenario of human-induced warming
    • 5. Earthobservatory.nasa.gov 847 stories in 2011 ~3.2/business day 1,139 images 54 blog entries 10 in-depth features
    • 6. The Climate is Changing• Temperatures are rising• Ice is melting• Sea levels are rising• The ocean is acidifying Temperature rise, indicated by color (red=higher rate of increase). Earth’s surface temperature has risen ~1.3˚ F since 1850. Image courtesy of the Joint Institute for the Study of the Atmosphere & Ocean, U. of Washington.
    • 7. Temperatures are risingEarth’s surface temperature has risen 0.6°C~1.1˚ F since 1950. The three major surface temperature data sets (NCDC,GISS, and HadCRU) all show global temperatures have warmed by 0.16 – 0.17°C (0.28 – 0.30°F) per decade sincesatellite measurements began in 1979. Departure from average of annual global temperatures between 1950 – 2011, classified by phase of the El Niño- Southern Oscillation (ENSO). The year 2011 was the warmest year on record when a La Niña event was present. ENSO is a natural episodic fluctuation in sea surface temperature (El Niño/La Niña) and the air pressure of the overlying atmosphere (Southern Oscillation) across the equatorial Pacific Ocean. Over a period of months to a few years, ENSO fluctuates between warmer-than-average ocean surface waters (El Niño) and cooler-than-average ocean surface waters (La Niña) in that region. Image credit: National Climatic Data Center.
    • 8. Temperatures are risingEarth’s surface temperature has risen 0.6°C~1.1˚ F since 1950. The three major surface temperature data sets (NCDC,GISS, and HadCRU) all show global temperatures have warmed by 0.16 – 0.17°C (0.28 – 0.30°F) per decade sincesatellite measurements began in 1979. Departure from average of annual global temperatures between 1950 – 2011, classified by phase of the El Niño- Southern Oscillation (ENSO). The year E P 2011 was the warmest year on record when a La Niña event was present. ENSO is a natural episodic fluctuation in sea surface temperature (El Niño/La Niña) 1957: IGY, SolarMax and the air pressure of the overlying 1967: Budyko GW atmosphere (Southern Oscillation) across the equatorial Pacific Ocean. Over a period of months to a few years, ENSO fluctuates between warmer-than-average ocean surface waters (El Niño) and cooler-than-average ocean surface waters (La Niña) in that region. Image credit: National Climatic Data Center.
    • 9. Temperatures are rising Quiz: Approximately how many of the top 10 hottest years on E P record have occurred in the past 10 years?1957: IGY, SolarMax 1967: Budyko GW (h) 0 (i) 1 (j) 5 (k) 10
    • 10. Temperatures are rising Quiz: Approximately how many of the top 10 hottest years on E P record have occurred in the past 10 years?1957: IGY, SolarMax 1967: Budyko GW (h) 0 (i) 1 (j) 5 (k) 10 (9) The ten hottest years on record are, in order 2010 and 2005 (tie), 1998, 2003, 2002, 2009, 2006, 2007, 2004, and 2001.
    • 11. & Precipitation Temperatures are rising ^Statewide ranks for the average March to August 2011 precipitation for the U.S. States from Ohio to Vermont set new records for the highest in 117 years, while Texas and New Mexico set new records for the lowest. On the national scale in the U.S., entrenched political agendas are in denial about our responsibility for global climate change. However, in the northern New England states, communities are adapting to ongoing regional climate change, because the change in the seasons, as well as the increase in the frequency of extreme precipitation events, are readily apparent to state government and to citizens with connections and roots in the outdoors. -- Alan K. Betts
    • 12. Departures in temperature (deg C)Sea Level ( mm) and Snow Cover (km2)From the 1961 to 1990 average ^ & Sea Level Temperatures are rising ^ IPCC 2007 & Snow is falling
    • 13. How has Earth’s sea ice responded? Rapid warming in the Arctic particularly has led to the opening up of sea routes in thearea. Both the Northern Sea Route (above Russia and Scandinavia) and the Northwest Passage(above Alaska and Canada) have seen substantial increases in shipping over the past few years.The Northern Sea route in particular is being targeted as a route for tanker and bulk traffic.Shipping through the Northern Sea Route increased by three times between 2010 and 2011. Due to procedural objections by mostly non-polar states and the industry lobby, theInternational Maritime Organization (IMO), the United Nations body tasked with developingshipping regulations, shelved the development of the environmental section of the Polar Codeuntil 2013, increasing the risk of harm to both the Arctic and Antarctic. –World Wildlife Foundation
    • 14. Quiz: Of thetotal surfacearea of Earth,the 48 contiguousstates of the USAhas an area that isclosest towhat percentage?(h) 1%(i) 5%(j) 10%(k) 20%
    • 15. Quiz: Of thetotal surfacearea of Earth,the 48 continuousstates of the USAhas an area that isclosest towhat percentage?(h) 1% (1.6%)(i) 5%(j) 10%(k) 20%Go to URL: wolframalpha.comEnter“area of usa/world”“area of (contiguous usa)/world”
    • 16. Is global warming likely to have been induced by our Sun?
    • 17. Solar Energy Input to Earth has an 11-year cycle, but no detectable trend :
    • 18. Is global warming likely to have been induced by our Sun?All regions warmed at& near the surface.Yet thestratosphere cooled themost at highest altitude:This is not consistent with solar warming,but is predicted by greenhouse warming. IPCC 2007
    • 19. Heritage .. Denial News headline –> “Global Warming - Sorry Al, its the Sun!” “According to Robert Cahalan, climatologist at NASA’s Goddard Space FlightCenter ‘For the last 20 to 30 years, we believe greenhouse gases have been the dominantinfluence on recent climate change.’ This may not come as such a big surprise to those whowerent so ready to swallow the Al Gore theory.” … blah, blah, blah! … – Ian Brockwell, News Blaze, June 07, 2009 19
    • 20. The Role of Human Beings Causes of Climate Change • It is very likely that most of the climate change in the current era is the result of human activities. – Human activities have increased concentrations of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. Figure adapted from Climate Change 2007: The Physical Science – These gases trap heat and cause Basis. Working Group 1 Contribution to the 4th Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. Figure SPM.5. the Earth to warm. Cambridge University Press.During pre-industrial Holocene, CO2 remained within 10% of 280 ppm.Since 1850, CO2 rapidly increased more than 30%, & forecast to double by 2100.Doubling might be avoided if humans choose not to pursue “business as usual.”
    • 21. Carbon isotopes show that new atmospheric CO2 is from fossil fuels. Carbon from fossil fuels returned to the atmosphere in combustion is depleted in both 13C and 14C.
    • 22. Atmospheric CO2 doesn’t “rain out” like aerosols.Once emitted, 50% remains in atmosphere for centuries, the other 50% is absorbed by oceans, and trees.
    • 23. Deep Time: Human Forced Changes are Rapid Small human population 2000 generations ago … Ice Ages … We are here. Past 10,000 years: global temperature relative to peak pre-industrial Holocene. Prior to 1850, Holocene was cooler than the Eemian interglacial. Post-industrial Holocene – the Anthropocene – is warmer than the Eemian. During the Eemian, Greenland melted, global sea level rose more than 20 feet. An additional 1°C warming could push us over a “tipping point.” adapted from Hansen & Sato (2011)
    • 24. Rising Ocean CO2  Falling pH• Oceans acidify • Corals and Shells Dissolve
    • 25. "Bottom line: The ocean -C life support system our-- is in trouble; therefore so are we. Tipping pointsare imminent, but there is time to reverse thedecline and secure an enduring place forhumankind within the systems that sustain us -- oureconomies, health, security and most importantly,life itself. Knowing is the key."Sylvia Earle at The Economists World Oceans Summit
    • 26. Survival of Species“The Bog Turtle” Formerly common throughout the Chesapeake Watershed. Now one of the 25 most endangered turtles in the world. This hand-sized turtle inspired our CHEARS logo.“Maryland darter” Only endemic vertebrate in Maryland. Last seen in Deer Creek in 1988. The IUCN has declared this fish species extinct. The United States Fish and Wildlife Service has not, and keeps it on the Endangered Species List.
    • 27. Survival of Species Millennium Ecosystem Assessment, www.millennium assessment.org“Business As Usual” scenario for 2100: Global warming ~ 3°C, Likely extinctions ~ 50%“Alternative” scenario for 2100: Global warming ~ 1°C, Likely extinctions ~ 10%
    • 28. What can be done to address these challenges? Can individuals actuallymake a difference? Is there a legitimate reason for hope? Goddard Climate & Radiation Laboratory branch CS roles, issues & concerns Strengths Challenges Opportunities Threats Ash Wednesday Storm, March 6-8, 1962 -------------------- 50 years ago, Ocean City was washing away -------------------- – Baltimore Sun, March 5, 2012 Visit baltimoresun.com at http://www.baltimoresun.com
    • 29. What are our chances? My personal reason for hope:• Known Unknown – 96% of all mass/energy• Sensitivity to initial conditions – The ubiquity of chaos• Resiliance – Nature’s remarkable ability to heal and adapt• Peak oil and gas – The Power of Community, urban permaculture• The Japanese Cedar – For 7000 years it clung to the soil, protected birds• Our Elders – Pete Seeger (Calipso), Jane Goodall (Roots and Shoots)• Our Children – Adapting to and changing the world they have inherited• Our Tree of Life – Relearning our interconnectedness• Non-Coal Alternatives – Solar, Wind, Geothermal, monitor their impacts 33
    • 30. What are our chances? The Power of Community:How Cuba Survived Peak Oilhttp://www.powerofcommunity.org/ 34
    • 31. What can we do? My personal “to do” list:• Think Globally, Act Locally – http://pumas.nasa.gov on “learning to think globally”• Change our home – Manage to work with nature in your own life• Carbon Footprint - Calculate and control our energy/carbon –> mindfulness• Talk to our neighbors – Help our community work with nature• Shop local – Give local businesses our feedback• “Cradle to Cradle” (McDonough and Braungart) – Redesign businesses& institutions, work with nature• Consume wisely – Find products that do less harm, or do good• The Bog Turtle – Our Adopted Species - help it pull back from extinction• Educate Our Children – To adapt to and change the world they inherit• Support Non-Coal Alternatives – Solar, Wind, Geothermal, monitor their impacts“Little things lead to bigger things – that’s what seeds are all about.… Who knows where some good little thing you’ve done maybring results years later that you never dreamed of.” 35 – Pete Seeger (“Democracy Now” on 5/4/2009)
    • 32. What can we do? Maggie’s List:• 1. Have vegan diet• 2. Use public transportation--live close to work• 3. Turn off air conditioning--open windows• 4. Invite others to share house with you---use less space and less energy• 5. Spend time outside every day and walk everyday to stay healthy• 6. Be kind to others and share what we have• 7. Grow some of our own food--eat local and with the seasons• 8. Develop new ways of work –build new economy not dependent on exploiting --be creative in encouraging green work• 9. Adopt a species and work for its health• 10. Build the beloved community that includes all creatures What is your “top 10” list of changes? 36
    • 33. A possible future• Montreal Protocol has already improved our Ozone Layer• Now need new international cooperation for: – Renewable energy development. – Energy conservation/efficiency. – Energy system transitions, land use change patterns, sea-level rise mitigation. – Regional responses tuned to regional changes. – Water quality, conservation, and distribution – …• A Sustainable Alternative: Human society taking coordinated action to adapt to and mitigate expected climate changes. “Above all, reducing the risk of climate change requires collective action. It requires cooperation between countries, through international frameworks that support the achievement of shared goals. It requires a partnership between the public and private sector, working with civil society and with individuals. It is still possible to avoid the worst impacts of climate change, but it requires strong and urgent collective action. Delay would be costly and dangerous.” [emphases added] - The Stern review (2007)
    • 34. Emergent SpeciesHiding in Plain Sight, a New Frog Species With a Weird Croak Is Identified in New York City – ScienceDaily (Mar. 14, 2012)Catherine E. Newman, Jeremy A. Feinberg, Leslie J. Rissler, Joanna Burger, H. Bradley Shaffer. A new species of leopard frog (Anura: Ranidae) from the urban northeastern US. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution, 2012; 63 (2): 445 DOI: 10.1016/j.ympev.2012.01.021
    • 35. Let us ask the right questions, and begin to listen to Nature in a new way.“How do we love all the children of all species for all time? …Consider a tree.Design something that makes oxygen, sequesters carbon, fixes nitrogen, distillswater, accrues solar energy as fuel, builds complex sugars as food, createsmicroclimates, changes colors with the seasons, and self replicates.” – William McDonough Author of “Cradle to Cradle” (with M. Baumgardt) Talk at www.ted.com in Feb 2005.
    • 36. “..When I was less than a year old, before I could talk, …, I was ina pram outside the grocery store. … A dragonfly began swoopingaround me, and I screamed – so a well-intentioned passerby hit thedragonfly to the ground with his newspaper, and crushed it withhis foot. I continued to scream all the way home. … But beingafraid of something did not mean I wanted it killed. If I close myeyes I can see, with almost unbearable clarity, the gloriousshimmering and still quivering wings, the blue ‘tail’ gleaming inthe sunlight, the head crushed on the sidewalk…Perhaps thedragonfly was part of some plan, to bring a message to a littlechild, all those years ago. If so, all I can say is: ‘Message receivedand understood.’ ” – Jane Goodall Reason For Hope – A Spiritual Journey
    • 37. Alarming ‘dead zone’ grows in the ChesapeakeBy Darryl Fears, July 24, 2011…expanding area of oxygen-starved water is on track to become thebay’s largest ever. This year’s Chesapeake Bay dead zone covers a third of the bay,stretching from the Baltimore Harbor to the bay’s mid-channel region inthe Potomac River, about 83 miles, when it was last measured in lateJune. It has since expanded beyond the Potomac into Virginia, officialssaid.
    • 38. THE DISMAL DECLINE OF THE BAY HAS LED THESE PROUD SMITH ISLAND WATERMEN  AND WOMEN TO GIVE UP WORK ON THE BAY, LEAVE THEIR ISLAND HOMES, AND GO  TO WORK AT THE STATE PISON IN PRINCESS ANNE, MD ENDING GENERATIONS OF  THEIR FAMILIES MAKING A LIVING FROM THE BAY’S ONCE BOUNTEOUS  RESORUCRCES, ESPECIALLY OYSTERS AND CRABS. THE POLLUTION OF THE BAY HAS  DESTROYED THEIR ANCIENT LIVELIHOODS.  Photo: National Geographic Magazine, June 2005, Why Can’t We Save the Bay? By Tom Horton 
    • 39. What are our chances? How To Build Community:The Syracuse Cultural WorkersTurn off your TV*Leave your houseKnow your neighborsLook up when you are walking Start A Tradition*Ask A QuestionGreet people*Sit on your stoop Hire Young People for Odd Jobs Organize a Block PartyPlant Flowers Bake Extra and ShareUse your library*Play together Ask For Help When You Need ItBuy from local merchants Open Your Shades*Sing TogetherShare what you have Share Your SkillsHelp a lost dog Take Back the NightTake children to the park Turn Up The MusicGarden Together Turn Down The Music Listen Before You react To AngerSupport Neighborhood Schools Mediate A ConflictFix it even if you didnt break it Seek To UnderstandHave Pot Lucks*Honor Elders Learn From New AndPick Up Litter* Read Stories Aloud Uncomfortable AnglesDance in the Street Know That No One is SilentTalk to the Mail Carrier Though Many Are Not HeardListen to the Birds* Put up a Swing Work To Change ThisHelp Carry Something HeavyBarter For Your Goods 46 http://syracuseculturalworkers.com
    • 40. What are our chances? Turning around:• One billion persons turning out a lightbulb … – …for 1 hour a day for a year, can power a medium sized city in the USA for a year. – See http://pumas.nasa.gov and search for “think globally.” – Human population increased by 1 billion in the past 12 years !!!• A‘Moore’s Law’ is rapidly making solar cheaper than fossil fuels – Fossil fuels lose after 2020• Is there enough solar energy to fill the increasing needs? – Humans use 15 TW, – Land and Oceans take in 90,000 TW solar, or 2000 X human usage. – Coal & Oil doesn’t need to be replaced by a single renewable, just new coal by > 10 renewables. 47
    • 41. What are our chances? Turning around:“We are made of water, flowing water, Sun and salt, winds that blow. Though my bones were formed in the mountain, it’s through my blood this river flows.” – Tom Wisner, song lyrics 48
    • 42. Holocene Lasted 10,000 Years. Will the Anthropocene? Adapt, Mitigate, Observe – Persist! Great Basin National Park, Nevada, USA Proposed Site for “Clock of the Long Now”Bristlecone Pine Do We Have the Persistance of Our Ancestors? Passage Grave, Newgrange, Ireland, c5000 Years Before Present Continues to keep accurate time to date.
    • 43. Oh my children, where air we going on this mighty river of earth,a-borning, begetting, and a-dying, the living and the dead ridingthe waters? Where air it sweeping us? – James Still, “River of Earth”
    • 44. HeritageI shall not leave these prisoning hillsThough they topple their barren heads to level earthAnd the forests slide uprooted out of the sky.Though the waters of Troublesome, of Trace Fork,Of Sand Lick rise in a single body to glean the valleys,To drown lush pennyroyal, to unravel rail fences;Though the sun-ball breaks the ridges into dustAnd burns its strength into the blistered rockI cannot leave. I cannot go away.Being of these hills, being one with the foxStealing into the shadows, one with the new-born foal,The lumbering ox drawing green beech logs to mill,One with the destined feet of man climbing and descending,And one with death rising to bloom again, I cannot go.Being of these hills I cannot pass beyond. 51 – James Still (1906-2001), Knott County, Kentucky
    • 45. Thank you! 52