Stamford Raffles Lecture 2013

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  • 1. ZSL Science and Conservation Events Tuesday 18 June 2013 Stamford Raffles Lecture A very dangerous experiment with our planet Professor Sir Brian Hoskins CBE FRS Director of Grantham Institute for Climate Change Imperial College London
  • 2. A very dangerous experiment with our planet Brian Hoskins Director, Grantham Institute for Climate Change, Imperial College London Professor of Meteorology, University of Reading
  • 3. Carbon Dioxide Measurements over the past year Mauna Loa, Hawaii
  • 4. Carbon Dioxide Measurements since 1957 Mauna Loa, Hawaii
  • 5. Temperature and greenhouse gases in past 650,000 y proxy for temp methane carbon dioxide nitrous oxide today time IPCC 2007
  • 6. The Energy Budget of the Earth 341 Wm-2
  • 7. (water vapour), carbon dioxide, methane,… Fourier (1827), Tyndall (1861) The Energy Budget of the Earth The Greenhouse Effect 341 Wm-2 396 333
  • 8. Carbon Dioxide in the Atmosphere We can be very confident that this rise in carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is due to the activities of humans land use change emissions of greenhouse gases, principally by burning coal, oil & gas If 100t of carbon dioxide is added to the atmosphere atmospheric content will be 40t greater after 20 years 35t greater after 100 years 25t greater after 1000 years
  • 9. Estimated causes of the current imbalance in the energy budget of Planet Earth IPCC 2007
  • 10. Global temperature
  • 11. Global temperatures and 20 year running average 20-year Running average °C
  • 12. Other evidence of a warming climate Global sea level Satellite 1991- National Snow & Ice Data Center 1979-2000 average September 2012 Arctic sea ice
  • 13. Natural & anthropogenic forcings 14 models 58 simulations Natural forcings only 5 models 19 simulations Evaluation of climate models on 20th century climate Annual precipitation Observation Average of all models
  • 14. Increase in solar flux Increase in long-lived GHGs Mean Temperature changes in models for changed conditions height latitude IPCC AR4 WGp1 Ch8
  • 15. Projections: globally averaged surface Temperature IPCC 2007
  • 16. Projected changes for end of century – unconstrained emissions Dec –Feb Temperature Dec –Feb precipitation
  • 17. Decadal Temperature trends at end of 21st century (A1B) Ed Hawkins
  • 18. Swiss Temperature Series 1864-2003 (mean of 4 stations) Schär et al. 2004, Nature, 427, 332-336 2010 Russian Heat Wave Barriopedro 2011 Frequency of occurrence of local T anomalies/local standard deviation of T Hansen et al 2012 Extreme Summer Heat in the Past Decade 2012 US summer Temperature ºF Rain %
  • 19. Cold winter extremes of the past few years Winter 2009/10 Eurasian cold 16 Nov- 25 Dec 2010 Dec 2010 Record cold in UK
  • 20. Acidification of the ocean: Estimated change in oceanic pH since 1700 Some other Global Environmental Problems associated with Human Activity
  • 21. / Stratospheric Ozone Depletion BAS Column ozone measurements 1956-2007 Satellite views of ozone hole 1996-2012
  • 22. Future low-level Ozone concentration – 2090s 60-80 ppb 100-120 Vitousek (1994) Sulphur deposition risen by 2-3 Aerosols: the Asian Brown Cloud
  • 23. Drivers of Change in Biodiversity & Ecosystems Millennium Ecosystem Assessment
  • 24. The anthropogenic climate change problem The impacts derived from climate models are what are likely to occur if we are lucky - increasing chance of crossing thresholds in the climate &/or natural or social systems Context: growing world population need for development changing diet increased demand for food, water & energy other global environmental changes Impacts: water supply flooding ecosystems agriculture coastal erosion & flooding health ecosystems “Climate Disruption” rather than “Global Warming”
  • 25. Tackling the climate change problem By continuing to emit greenhouse gases to the atmosphere we are performing a very dangerous experiment with planet Earth. 1. Adapt 2. Do something else to compensate: remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere reduce the sun’s energy reaching us 3. Move towards a drastic reduction of the emissions of greenhouse gases: mitigation What can we do?
  • 26. Mitigation UK Climate Change Bill (Nov 2008) • Commitment for at least 80% reduction in carbon dioxide emissions by 2050 • Established system of legally binding 5-year “carbon budgets” • Established the Climate Change Committee (CCC) to advise, monitor & report International UN Framework Convention on Climate Change Kyoto Protocol, Conference of the Parties, …Copenhagen, Cancun, Durban, Doha…. Pledged: make 2015 agreement to start in 2020 EU 20% emissions reduction from 1990 levels by 2020, 30/40% by 2030? 2050 objective 80-95% Many state or national targets e.g. China
  • 27. Mitigation: UK Climate Change Committee 0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 2000 2050 2100 2150 2200 GtCO2e Year 2016:4% 2016:3%low 2016:3%high 2016:1.5% A1B 0 0.5 1 1.5 2 2.5 3 3.5 4 2000 2050 2100 2150 2200 °Cabovepre-industrial Year 2016:4%low 90th percentile central model estimate 10th pecentile 2 Criteria: 50:50 chance of not getting much above 2ºC negligible chance of getting to 4ºC Global 50% reduction in CO2e emissions by 2050: 2.1-2.6 t CO2e per person In UK: 80% reduction in CO2e emissions by 2050 -enshrined in UK law
  • 28. The UK 80% Reduction Challenge
  • 29. Concluding Comments A dangerous experiment: By adding greenhouse gases to the atmosphere we are taking a large risk that climate change may make life very difficult for our species & others Uncertainties in likely changes in local and regional climate change & in how the natural world will cope with a changing climate lead to many questions for those concerned with the future of the natural world. Mitigation of climate change to levels that significantly reduce the risk are possible and are likely to be beneficial in many other respects.
  • 30. A very dangerous experiment with our planet Brian Hoskins Director, Grantham Institute for Climate Change, Imperial College London Professor of Meteorology, University of Reading
  • 31. Past climate variation on 50K and 5K time-scales: Greenland ice accumulation rate Jacobsen et al 2000
  • 32. B1 A1B A2 2011-30 2046-65 2080-99 Surface T projections for different periods and scenarios IPCC 2003
  • 33. “Geo-engineering” suggestions Solar Radiation Top of Atmosphere Surface Aerosol Scattering Cloud Albedo Solar Interceptor Grassland, Urbanization and Desert Albedo Level 1 – Space Level 2 – Stratosphere Level 3 – Troposphere Level 4 - Surface 2. Solar Radiation Management: reduce solar energy at surface 1. Carbon Dioxide Removal: remove from the atmosphere fertilise the ocean artificial trees, land surface treatment Actual climate impact; other impacts; feasibility?
  • 34. CCC (2012): the 5-year budgets & international aviation & shipping
  • 35. CCC (2011): achieving the 2050 target
  • 36. The Global Energy Budget Greenhouse gases: water vapour, carbon dioxide, methane, ozone… Fourier (1827), Tyndall (1861),…
  • 37. Global temperature
  • 38. Some Feedbacks in the Climate System Heat loss To space Water vapour Snow & ice High cloud Low cloud Carbon flux The atmosphere and oceans are fluids that move and interact
  • 39. Projections: globally averaged surface warming IPCC 2007 Different scenarios
  • 40. Projected temperature in 80 years time
  • 41. 2060-99 (SRESA1B) – 1960-99 (20C3M) Winter 850hPa zonal wind change T. Woollings 2010
  • 42. The UK 80% Reduction Challenge food, holidays low C products Solar, wind walk/cycle, train/bus efficient cars turn it off, use of water efficient boiler, fridge, TV, etc insulation, solar hot water minimise waste & recycle
  • 43. UK Climate Change Committee • 50:50 chance of global temperature not rising much more than 2°C • Very small chance of rising 4°C Global 50% reduction in carbon dioxide emissions by 2050: just over 2t per person per year In UK: 80% reduction in carbon dioxide emissions by 2050 Used 2 criteria for global greenhouse gas emissions
  • 44. Achieving targets: sensitivity to parameters
  • 45. Warmest day UKCP09: Change in summer temperatures in 2080s Mean 10% 50% 90%
  • 46. UKCP09: Change in summer precipitation in 2080s Mean Wettest day 10% 50% 90%
  • 47. ZSL Science and Conservation Events Tuesday 18 June 2013 Stamford Raffles Lecture A very dangerous experiment with our planet Professor Sir Brian Hoskins CBE FRS Director of Grantham Institute for Climate Change Imperial College London