BGI Dr Gammon Presentation on Climate Change 4.22.10
Global Warming Is “Unequivocal” R H Gammon University of Washington Bainbridge Graduate Institute 4/22/10
<ul><li>“ Warming of the climate system is </li></ul><ul><li>unequivocal… </li></ul><ul><li>as is now evident from observations of increases in global average air and ocean temperatures, widespread melting of snow and ice, and rising global average sea…” </li></ul><ul><li>The IPCC (‘07) finds that it is “ very likely’ (90 to 95% confidence) that emissions of heat trapping gases from human activities have caused most of the observed increase in globally averaged temperatures since the mid 20th century </li></ul><ul><li>(IPCC 2007 Summary for Policymakers) </li></ul>
How can public understanding and support be fading even as the climate change science grows ever more certain? The Problem:
Remember: Earth is alive (NASA/satellite composite)
Some known tipping points in the Earth System. Arctic ice tipping point already passed?
Recent updates (2009) on climate change science have only strengthened IPCC ‘07 conclusions and urgency of response
Public understanding of the climate threat is eroding Gallup
<ul><li>equivocal : having two or more meanings, purposely </li></ul><ul><ul><li>ambiguous, doubtful, suspicious </li></ul></ul><ul><li>equivocate : to use equivocal terms in order to deceive or mislead </li></ul><ul><li>Is physical reality starting to have a liberal bias? </li></ul>
<ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Global Temperatures Last Month Broke Heat Records for March </li></ul></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>WASHINGTON, DC , April 16, 2010 (ENS) - The world's combined global land and ocean surface temperature made last month the warmest March on record, according to federal government scientists with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, NOAA. </li></ul>
<ul><li>Spring comes 10 days earlier </li></ul><ul><li>in Changed U.S. climate </li></ul><ul><li>WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Spring comes about 10 days earlier in the United States than it did two decades ago, a consequence of climate change that favors invasive species over indigenous ones, scientists said on Tuesday. </li></ul>
Extreme weather events are increasing, just as climate models had predicted (IPCC ‘07)
East coast snowstorms (Jan-Feb, 2010) don’t disprove global climate change predictions, but rather confirm them.
“Copenhagen Accord” reached in the final hours of COP-15 (Jan 2010)
Global use of fossil fuels is exceeding all earlier predictions
China has passed the USA in country emissions, but not in per capita emissions
China leads the world in production of solar, and wind.
Estimated global CO 2 emission reduction pathways needed to have 67% probability of holding global warming below 2 o C (WBGU, 2009)
Has the US turned the corner on CO2 emissions? ? Emission map
<ul><li>The formula is a very straightforward one. More carbon dioxide equals temperature increase equals negative effects like collapsed ecosystems. </li></ul><ul><li>We have to get to zero! </li></ul><ul><li>(carbon dioxide emission)” </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li>Bill Gates ..on dealing with global climate change (Feb, 2010) </li></ul>
Where we have to go. Will we do this at all? Will we do this in time?
Possible corporate responses to the challenge and opportunity of climate change
<ul><li>“ The choice is awesome and potentially eternal. </li></ul><ul><li>It is in the hands of the present generation; a decision we cannot escape, and a choice to be mourned or celebrated through all the generations to come…” </li></ul><ul><li> Al Gore 2009 (Our Choice) </li></ul>
What You Can Do * Learn about climate change, convince others of the challenge * Urge your leaders to pass strong climate mitigation laws * Support clean, renewable energy * Replace incandescent light-bulbs with cfls * Save energy and water at home * Buy energy-efficient appliances * Plant a tree, protect a forest * Recycle, reuse, rethink (don’t waste anything) * Support better public transportation, walk, ride a bike. * Drive green (take your foot off the gas!), consider a Prius “ Start by doing what’s necessary, then do what’s possible, and soon you will be doing the impossible…” St Francis of Assisi
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