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Presentation On Edf 2005


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  • 1. Wang and Oppenheimer; Environmental Defense Fund, 2005 The Latest Myths and Facts on Global Warming An example of a group-led discussion on a paper
  • 2. Summary
    • Common myths are presented and “busted” using references to current data.
    • Most of these topics are also discussed in the IPCC report.
    • The overwhelming conclusion is that Global Warming is happening and is caused by humans.
  • 3. Factors that control Earth’s Climate
    • External Controls (What energy comes IN)
      • Sun’s Radiation
      • Rotation of the earth
      • Tilt and wobble of the earth’s axis
    • Internal Controls (What energy goes OUT)
      • Heat released from the earth
      • Earth’s reflectivity ( albedo )
      • Air and ocean circulation
      • Composition of the atmosphere
        • (clouds, water vapor, air pollution)
    Affected by Human Activity
  • 4. Discussion Questions
    • Who are the authors? What is their motivation? What is the EDF?
    • Do you believe all their statements? Where is the evidence?
    • Do you care more about regional or global changes? How would this affect politics and ecology?
    • Why does it matter if the warming is caused by humans or not? Why does it matter if there have been previous warm periods or not?
    • Why would urbanization be important? What is the relative contribution of cities versus the surface area of the earth?
  • 5. Figure 1a.
  • 6. Hockey Stick Debate
    • Mann, M. E.; Bradley, R. S. & Hughes, M. K. (1998) Global-scale temperature patterns and climate forcing over the past six centuries , Nature 392 : 779-787 .
    • Soon, W.-H., S.L. Baliunas, C. Idso, S. Idso, and D.R. Legates (2003) Reconstructing Climatic and Environmental Changes of the Past 1000 Years: A Reappraisal. Energy and Environment 14 : 233-296.
  • 7. Figure 1b.
  • 8. Discussion Qstns Cont’d
    • What is the difference between Climate Change and Global Warming?
    • What is the difference between Weather and Climate?
    • Who are the people spreading these myths? Why are people so skeptical about Climate Change? And Science in general?
    • Is one hot summer enough evidence? Example: coral bleaching in 1997-1998, was also a Strong El Nino year…
    • Think of economics: as countries develop (and make more money) do they increase or decrease emissions?
  • 9. Figure 2.
  • 10. Meehl et al, 2004: J. Climate.
  • 11.
    • What causes changes in climate besides carbon dioxide?
    • What is a feedback? What are examples of positive and negative feedbacks in climate?
    • How is the ocean involved in climate?
    • Making decisions based on uncertain or incomplete data is difficult for most people. Think of examples of other actions we take based on uncertain data…
  • 12. Questions from YOU?
    • What did you find most surprising?
    • What did you not understand?
    • Which myths had you heard before?
    • Which do you still believe?
    • Do you trust these authors?
    • Adaptation or prevention?
  • 13. Relevance for Final Projects
    • How could Global Warming/Climate Change affect the water bodies around NYC?
    • What characteristics are worth looking at for evidence of Climate Change?
    • What timescale should you look at for evidence?