SiS Climate Change The Latest News Holper 2007
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Scientists in Schools Program - Presentations from the Energy and Climate Change Symposium

Scientists in Schools Program - Presentations from the Energy and Climate Change Symposium

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  • 1. Sunday Age, 28 May 2006 Climate change – the latest news Paul Holper CSIRO Marine and Atmospheric Research Scientists in Schools, Newcastle, 25 October 2007
  • 2. Outline • Climate change – the basics • The latest science • IPCC Fourth Assessment Report • Climate change in Australia • Impacts of climate change • What to do
  • 3. The greenhouse effect
  • 4. Cape Grim Baseline Station
  • 5. Atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations Carbon dioxide concentrations are now greater than at any time during the past 650,000 years.
  • 6. Svante Arrhenius – “On the influence of carbonic acid in the air …” Svante August Arrhenius b. February 19, 1859, Wijk, Sweden d. October 2, 1927, Stockholm, Sweden “Doubling CO2 leads to increase of ~5°C”
  • 7. Longer-term changes Carbon dioxide and temperature last 420, 000 years 350 20 temperature ( C) 300 o CO2 (ppm) 250 10 200 0 150 -10 100 400,000 300,000 200,000 100,000 0 years before present
  • 8. Average Australian surface temperature Australian annual mean temperatures have increased by approximately 0.9°C since 1910
  • 9. IPCC 2007: Observed changes • Rises in global average air and ocean temperatures • 0.7ºC increase over past 100 years in surface air temp. • Eleven of the last 12 years are the warmest since 1850 • Mountain glaciers and snow cover have declined in both hemispheres • Annual average Arctic sea ice extent has shrunk • Increased drying due to higher temperatures and decreased rainfall has contributed to more intense and longer droughts since the 1970s • Frequency of heavy rainfall events has increased • Hot days and nights and heatwaves have become more frequent. Cold days and nights and frosts have become rarer.
  • 10. Decrease in snow, permafrost glaciers & sea ice Source: www.ncar.ucar.edu/eo/kids/green/warming6.htm/nsidc.org/data/g00472.html Muir Glacier August 31, 2004 Muir Glacier, Alaska, August 13, 1941 William O. Field Bruce F. Molnia (USGS).
  • 11. Arctic changes, 1861 - 2100
  • 12. Arctic sea ice
  • 13. International findings: IPCC 2007 • Warming of the climate system is unequivocal. • Very likely that anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions caused most of the warming since the 1950s (>90% confidence) • Likely that greenhouse gases alone would have caused more warming than observed as volcanic eruptions and aerosols have offset some of this warming
  • 14. CO2 concentrations, stabilisation and future temperature Even if CO2 concentrations are stabilised, temperature and sea level will continue rising
  • 15. CO2 growth rate rising Growth rate has risen from <1% pa in the 1900s to > 2.5% pa from 2000 to 2005. Rahmstorf et al.
  • 16. Tracking at high end of IPCC temp. projections Rahmstorf et al.
  • 17. Tracking at very high end of sea level rise projections Rahmstorf et al.
  • 18. Earth at night
  • 19. Fuel use Country size represents proportion of global fuel use. www.worldmapper.com
  • 20. Climate change in Australia CSIRO-Bureau of Meteorology (2007) Australian Climate Change Science Program Australian Greenhouse Office, DEWR • The most comprehensive report on climate change for Australia • Detailed 148 page technical report with 291 scientific references. Over 50 authors, contributors, reviewers and editors. • 8-page brochure, impacts brochure, CD www.climatechangeinaustralia.gov.au
  • 21. Projected warming in 2030: 50 percentile, A1B ºC A1B mid-range scenario, best estimate projected warming 2.8ºC by 2100
  • 22. Projected warming in 2030: Model range, A1B Projected warming in 2030: Model range 10 percentile, A1B 90 percentile, A1B A1B mid-range scenario, best estimate projected warming 2.8ºC by 2100
  • 23. Chance of at least a 1, 2, 3 or 4°C warming
  • 24. New South Wales temp. change 50th percentile annual
  • 25. Temperature projections to 2100
  • 26. Projected rainfall change 2030: 50 percentile, A1B Stippling indicating where decrease is ‘likely’ (more than 67% probability of decrease) No areas show ‘likely’ increase A1B mid-range scenario, best estimate projected warming 2.8ºC by 2100
  • 27. Comprehensive projections: other variables • Wind speed mainly increases • Relative humidity small decreases • Solar radiation increases in the south • Potential evaporation increases • Sea surface temperature increases, especially Tasman sea
  • 28. Impacts of climate change Australia is already experiencing impacts from recent climate change • increasing stresses on water supply and agriculture, changed natural ecosystems and reduced seasonal snow cover Ongoing vulnerability to extreme events • substantial economic losses caused by droughts, floods, fire, tropical cyclones and hail More heat waves, fires, floods, droughts and storm surges. More intense cyclones and hail storms. Water security problems to intensify by 2030 in southern and eastern Australia Significant loss of biodiversity to occur by 2020 at sites including the Great Barrier Reef and Queensland Wet Tropics Increased risks to major infrastructure
  • 29. What to do? • Adaptation (‘climate-proofing’) • maximising opportunities and minimising threats from current and likely future climatic changes, particularly in vulnerable areas • Mitigation (reducing greenhouse gas emissions or enhancing sinks) • reducing the risk of larger and dangerous changes in climate and associated impacts to which we cannot adapt
  • 30. Big solutions! Deploy 16 trillion sunlight- refracting shades. Each mirror would span less than a square metre and block 2% of sunlight.
  • 31. Conclusions • Climate change is real and underway • Most of the warming of the past 50 years is due to human activities Climate change will continue in the 21st century • • Detailed information on climate change in Australia is now available • Great value in understanding likely impacts to reduce damage and increase benefits (adaptation) • Slowing climate change will require large and global reductions in emissions (mitigation)
  • 32. CSIRO Marine and Atmospheric Research CSIRO Marine and Atmospheric CSIRO Marine and Atmospheric Paul Holper Research Research Presenter’s name Presenter’s name Presenter’s title Presenter’s title Phone: +61 3 9239 4661 Email: paul.holper@csiro.au Phone: +61 3 9545 2176 Phone: +61 3 9545 2176 Web: www.csiro.au Email: Name.Name@csiro.au Email: Name.Name@csiro.au Web: www.cmar.csiro.au Web: www.cmar.csiro.au/group Thank you Contact Us Phone: 1300 363 400 or +61 3 9545 2176 Email: Enquiries@csiro.au Web: www.csiro.au