Climate Change - Ranyl Rhydwen (Nov. 2009)


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A hard-hitting lecture by Ranyl Rhydwen at the Centre for Alternative Technology in Wales - really 3 lectures crammed into one - explaining how our climate works, what the current science is saying about climate change, and thoughts on what to do about it. A very good, and important talk to listen to. Recorded November 2009, a month before the COP-15 Climate Conference in Copenhagen. Please note this lecture is copyright Centre for Alternative Technology (

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Climate Change - Ranyl Rhydwen (Nov. 2009)

  1. 1. Adaptation&Carbon SequestrationRanyl2009<br />
  2. 2. What is Climate?<br />Prevailing conditions that provide theLife Support System <br />for the local biosphere<br />
  3. 3. “Butterfly Effect”<br />Climate Sensitivity dependent on Initial conditions so can change and vary<br />
  4. 4. Tipping Points<br /> A tiny push and the rock starts rolling<br /> e.g. collapse of an Ice sheet<br />
  5. 5. SchefferNature 2009<br />
  6. 6.
  7. 7. The lower the CO2 the fewer we cross!!<br />
  8. 8.
  9. 9. Heat up the System and everything expands<br />
  10. 10. CO21700ppm<br />55Mya<br /> 5-6C in 1000 to 10000 years <br />0.06C decade (70% of a Doubling of CO2)<br />~Climate Sensitivity higher (7.1C) <br />Currently 0.2C decade (50% Doubling)<br />BeerlingPaleoclimate 2009<br />
  11. 11.
  12. 12. Antarctica~33MyaCO2 ~750ppm<br />
  13. 13. Mid Pliocene3 million years ago<br /> CO2 ~355ppm<br /> Temp. ~2-3C higher<br />Arctic Sea Ice less<br />Greenland Ice sheet absent<br />Sea Levels 25m higher<br />Study Indicates that Models <br />Underestimate Warming to CO2 forcing.<br />Climate Sensitivity <br />1000yr ~7.3C<br />100yr ~4.3C<br />Dowsett<br />Phil. Trans. R. Soc. A (2009)<br />
  14. 14. Pliocene wider tropics(Brierly, Science 2009)<br />
  15. 15. No Ice on Greenland without Low CO2280ppm (Science 2008)<br />
  16. 16. MIS 5e~130000yrPrevious Interglacial<br />Sea level Rises 1-1.5m / 100yr <br />(2oC hotter, 6m higher) <br />(RohlingNat.Geo 2007)<br />
  17. 17. Arctic Antarctic Sea Saw(Severinghaus Nature 2009)Cooling 18,000 ITZC was South (Partin, Nature 2008)<br />
  18. 18. 4.2Kyr Holocene Climate EventIndus Valley 2600-1900BCMonsoon Reduced droughts<br />No Monuments or Palaces<br />Drains and Water services<br />Flood Plain Agriculture<br />1052 cities<br />(StaubwaserGes.Res.Let2002)<br />
  19. 19. El Nino driving climate(Graham Journal Climate 2007)<br />
  20. 20.
  21. 21. Moche Civilization100-600ish<br />
  22. 22. Tiwanaku (Bolivia)300-900Drought<br />
  23. 23. Mayan250-900AD<br />Population densities same as LA.<br />Massive deforestation and Monoculture<br />Wars and increasing political chaos<br />1:7000yr Drought in 800-900<br />10,000,000 Population<br />90-95% Population dies<br />
  24. 24. Hottest we’ve been for 2000 years(Mann Sept-2008 PNAS)<br />
  25. 25. Ocean Heat Content(LevitusGeophys.ResearchLettters 2009)<br />
  26. 26. Arctic Temperature Record (Kaufman Science 2009)<br />
  27. 27. Cooling trend in Arctic before 1900<br />Climate sensitivity<br />0.07C/W/m2<br />Summer Sun dropped by 6W/m2<br />Arctic temp 1.4oC warmer than it should be<br />1999-2008 hottest decade in last 2000 yrs<br />4 /5 hottest decades have occurred since 1950<br />
  28. 28. Glaciers are going<br />These photos, although taken from different angles, indicate the change in the Chacaltaya glacier since 1996<br />
  29. 29. Greenland is melting 250% quicker than in 2002(Zwally, J, 2006) (Velicogna, I, Uni. Colorado, abstract 2006)<br />
  30. 30. 4500 years old<br />
  31. 31. Jakobshavn Isbrae<br />
  32. 32. Sea Ice Thinning(Kwok , NASA 2009)<br />1988<br />2004-8<br />53% Loss!!<br />
  33. 33.
  34. 34.
  35. 35. Arctic Sea Ice Loss(Eisenman, PNAS 2009)<br />Grey = No Sea Ice<br />Red = Seasonal Sea Ice (dashed unstable)<br />Blue = Perennial Sea Ice<br />
  36. 36. Arctic Sea Ice Tips, warming accelerates<br />3.5x increase Arctic warming<br />1000miles south<br />^permafrost melt<br />?^Greenland Melt<br />Sea Ice Lost in 5-10 years<br />?Consequences of weather patterns in Northern Hemisphere<br />(Lawrence, 2008 Geo Res Let)<br />
  37. 37.
  38. 38. Permafrost Thaw Lakes (Walter Nature 2006)<br />Methane Old from Permafrost<br />5X Previously Predicted<br />58% increase since ~1980<br />Increase Absorption solar energy Albedo down <br />Increases where frozen draining where melted<br />CO2 and Methane as dead plant material decomposes!<br />= Positive Feedbacks!!<br />
  39. 39. Methane 2 x atmosphere in Permafrost (Canadell Nature 2009, WestbrockGes.Res.Let 2009)<br />
  40. 40.
  41. 41. Pine Island Thinning 1990-2006Wingham 9/09 Ges.Res.Let.<br />
  42. 42. 2000: B15A ICEBERG 1.4 W’s<br />
  43. 43.
  44. 44. Wilkins Ice Shelf (David Vaughan July 2008)<br />"The truth is, it is going more quickly than we guessed.“<br />In last 30yrs 6 Antarctic ice shelves have collapsed -<br />Prince Gustav Channel, Larsen Inlet, Larsen A, Larsen B, Wordie, Muller and the Jones Ice Shelf.<br /> Larsen B had been stable for at least 10,000 years.<br />(Gilbert 2005)<br />
  45. 45. IMJA<br />One Huge Glacial Melt lake<br />
  46. 46. 27 Dangerous<br />
  47. 47. 82% Glaciers retreating10% permafrostBrown Clouds additional warmingWater supply ~2 Billion<br />
  48. 48. 4oC heating at 2km Cooling below50% Artificial Cooling (Ramanathan 2006, Dutt 2008)<br />
  49. 49. Tibet 1.8oC in 50years (Wang Ges Res Let 2008)<br />
  50. 50. Prof. Ramanathan Sept 2008SCIPPS Institute<br />"Given that a potentially large warming is already in our rear-view mirror, scientists and engineers must mount a massive effort and develop solutions for adapting to climate change and for mitigating it.”<br />Carbon level at 2005<br />2.4C (1.4-4.3C)<br />(PNAS SEPT 2008)<br />
  51. 51. Super Typhoon Choi-Wan<br />
  52. 52.<br />
  53. 53.<br />
  54. 54. Hurricances - frequency & intensity(Vecchi J. Climate 2008) (Mann Nature 2009)<br />
  55. 55. "In a normal summer the jet stream is to the north of the UK. This allows the Azores high to build across the UK and bring settled and more typical summer weather for the UK," <br />said Mr Corbett.<br />
  56. 56. S. Lane Geography 2008<br />“As with the climate change hypothesis, the possibility that the summer 2007 events are a normal but unusual happening cannot yet be dismissed.”<br />
  57. 57. “This, of course, begs the question of why in the last three summers have we seen this southwards shift in the position of the jet stream?”<br /><br />
  58. 58.
  59. 59. Jets are moving Pole wards(CaldeiraGes Res Let 2008)California will experience long droughts(Oster; Earth and Planetry Science letters Nov 2009)<br />
  60. 60. Tropical Zones Expanding Rapidly (Seidel NatureGeo 2008)<br />2-8o already<br />Models only 2o by 2100<br />Storm paths<br />Hydrological cycles<br />H2O Stratosphere<br />
  61. 61. El Nino Modiko<br />
  62. 62. Austrailia 2009During a La Nina????<br />Drought conditions across south Oz,<br />2nd driest January Melbourne<br />On back of long trend of Drought<br />EL Nino now moderate<br />
  63. 63. Swanson Ges. Res. Let. 2009Probability of recent warming due to natural forces; 1 in 1000ZoritaGes. Res. let 2009<br />
  64. 64. Tropical Deforestation and Biodiversity losses(Bradshaw Front Ecol Environ 2009)<br />
  65. 65.
  66. 66. Climate changes killing Western USA trees<br />X2 Death rate <br />Excluding pests!<br />^Temp ^Dryness<br />(Pennissi 2009)<br />
  67. 67. +ve Feedback<br />
  68. 68. Amazon 2000 to 2008(NASA, 2009) <br />Tipping<br />
  69. 69. Water! What water?<br />
  70. 70. Other Aspects<br />Increasing extreme weather events (Nature 2008)<br />(e.g. Flooding, Droughts, hurricanes)<br />Increased Diseases (EEA 2004) <br />(e.g. Tick Born Fever, Dengue)<br />Seasons shifting (Spring earlier)<br />Deforestation<br />Migrations towards the poles (EEA 2004)<br />Increasing Desserts (China, Sahel, Australia, America, Sahara, Spain)<br />Changes in rain patterns (England, Spain)<br />Increased Global Rainfall Amounts (Nature 2007)<br />Increasing Forest Fires (Science 2006) Greece 2007<br />Positive feedbacks loops <br />(e.g. Albedo effects, Methane permafrost, Droughts, Burning peat)<br />
  71. 71. Climate Models<br />An Assessment of Strengths and Limitations<br />U.S. Climate Change Science Program<br />Synthesis and Assessment Product 3.1<br />July 2008<br /><br />
  72. 72.
  73. 73.
  74. 74. Climate Change 2009Faster Change & More Serious Risks(Steffen 2009)Australian Gov Dept. Climate Change<br />The risk of continuing rapid climate change is<br />focusing attention on the need to adapt, and the<br />possible limits to adaptation.<br />
  75. 75. Climate sensitivity(Annan 2006 Ges. Res. Let.) <br />
  76. 76. Climate SensitivityChanges over time.....?????!!(Hegerl Nature 2006)<br />
  77. 77. Albedo<br />
  78. 78. Hansen: Science 2008<br />
  79. 79. Climate Sensitivity 3.7-5.4oCper CO2 doubling(Tung et al Ges.Res.Let 2008)<br />Warming for Business as Usual 4.5-5.4oC<br />(Sokolov, MIT 2009) <br />
  80. 80.
  81. 81.
  82. 82. Greenhouse gasses going up(Huang MIT JUNE 09)<br />
  83. 83. 2009 – C02 = 390 ppm<br />Highest in 20 million years (Science 2009)<br />Highest: 800,000 years (Lu¨thi Nature 2008) <br />400 ppm maximum recommended<br />(International Climate Change Task Force 2005) <br />410ppm DIA (tipping point) (Harvey Enr. Res let. 2007)<br />(with 50% reduction in other warming forcings)<br />450 ppm CO2 e - currently at ~460ppmCO2 e<br />Global Carbon emissions now rising at 3.2% a year (Nature 2006)<br />2ppm a year and rising (400ppm ~ 2012-5)<br />.<br />
  84. 84. Carbon and Climate System Coupling on Timescales from the Precambrian to the Anthropocene∗(Doney 2007 Annu. Rev. Environ. Resour.)<br />CO2 is integral to climate changes<br />CO2 stays in the atmosphere possibly for centuries.... <br />Sinks determines how long<br />
  85. 85. Reducing sinks(Canadell CSIRO, PNAS Nov 2007)<br />Rate of rise of atmospheric CO2 rising<br />1990’s - 1.3% year<br />2000- 2006- 3.3% year<br />Economic growth - 65% increase<br />Decreasing sinks - 35% increase<br />Oceans and Land<br />Was 600kg/ton now 550kg/ton and declining!<br />IPCC keep these the same or make them grow!!<br />“All of these changes characterize a carbon cycle that is generating stronger-than-expected and sooner-than-expected climate forcing.”<br />
  86. 86. CO2 concentrations don’t fallby just stopping emissions(Lowe Env.Res.Let 2009)<br />
  87. 87. Balancing the Global Carbon Budget (Houghton 2007: Annu. Rev. Earth Planet. Sci.)<br />CO2 Sinks falling oceanic and terrestrial<br />Southern Ocean sink which absorbed 15% of CO2 now releasing CO2 due increases in winds over the oceans <br />Dunford (Science May 2007)<br />50% Reduction of Costs of Japan (Park Ges.Res.Let 2008)<br />Ocean sink 50% reduced N.Atlantic<br />(Schuster Oct 2007 J. OF GEO. Res)<br />Terrestrial sinks down due to world wide droughts, forest fires (Siberia 2003, Greece 2007, Amazon 2005, Oz 2009, Greece 2009, California, Southern Europe and so on!!!!), <br />increasing deforestation, crop failures<br />
  88. 88. ~ 64% of a doubling already<br />280ppm to 385ppm<br />37.5% of a doubling<br />Add in additions of Methane, Nitrous Oxide, Ozone, Hydro-fluorocarbons, CFC’s<br />Nitro-trifloride (NF3)<br />~460ppmCOE<br />64% Doubling<br />
  89. 89. NF3: The new Green House GasSilicon Semi-conductors cleaning agent<br />Flat Screen TV’s<br />CPU<br />Solar Panels<br />500 yrs<br />17000x power CO2<br />67Mt CO2e 2007<br />(Prather Ges Res Let 2008)<br />
  90. 90. Dangerous Climate Change1.5-2C above pre-industrial(EU, IPCC, Hansen 2007)Already 0.74C<br />Food security<br />Economic Problems<br />Eco-System Collapses<br />Sea Level Rise<br />Population Migrations<br />Biodiversity losses<br />Severe Weather Events<br />
  91. 91. Martin Parry, Nature 2009 Grantham Institute for Climate Change andCentre for Environmental Policy, ImperialCollege London<br />“The consequent<br />demands on adaptation will be enormous, many times those currently envisaged.<br />We should therefore give policies of adaptation<br />much more urgent attention”.<br />
  92. 92. Stabilizing climate requiresZero emissionsH. Damon Matthews and Ken Caldeira Geo. Phys Res (Feb. 2008)No Carbon .. A.S.A.P<br />50% into sinks quickly<br />25% ~1000years<br />25% CO2 emitted ~5000years<br />Ocean’s lag means temperatures remain raised for 1000’s years<br />
  93. 93. Warming in the Pipeline<br />0.75oC already<br />0.6oC within next ~20 years <br />(IPCC 2007, Hansen 2008)<br />
  94. 94. Safe boundaries(Rockström, Nature 2009)<br />
  95. 95. Biodiversity<br />
  96. 96. Current 6th Mass Extinction<br />1. Habitat Loss (Deforestation)<br />2. Climate Change (frogs)<br />3. Invasive alien Species<br />4. Overexploitation<br />5. Pollution / Waste<br />(Millennium Ecosystem Assessment 2005)<br />“This mass extinction is the fastest in Earth’s 4.5-billion-year<br />history and, unlike prior extinctions, is mainly the result of human activity and not of natural phenomena.” <br />(American Museum of Natural History 1998)<br />
  97. 97. Biodiversity simplifying(Prof. Jeremy Jackson Scripps Institute Aug 2008)<br />“Intricate marine food webs with large animals are being converted into simplistic ecosystems dominated by microbes, toxic algal blooms, jellyfish and disease.”<br />
  98. 98.
  99. 99. Wetlands FAO 20083.6MillionHectares since 1980102,000 hectares a year<br />60% lost last 100years<br />Carbon Dioxide Emissions<br />Drained Peat Bog 2-10t/h/y<br />Tropical swamp forest 40t/h/y<br />"Lessening the stress on wetlands caused by pollution and other human assaults will improve their resiliency and represents an important climate change adaptation strategy”<br />"Wetland rehabilitation, meanwhile, represents a viable alternative to artificial flood control and dredging efforts that may be needed to cope with the larger, more frequent floods predicted in a hotter world." <br />Wolfgang Junk <br />UN:Conference 2008<br />Cheaper to save than restore!<br />
  100. 100.
  101. 101.
  102. 102.
  103. 103. Harlequin Frogs Extinctions>100 gone now!!!!!!(Nature 2004, Nature April 2007)<br />
  104. 104. RATE OF RISE THAT COUNTSAll Associate with CO2 rises and volcanic supereruptionsWignall Elements 2005 Mayhew Oct 2007 Proc. R. Soc. B Ratallack 2009 Geo.Soc.Bull.Am.<br />
  105. 105. Accelerated Global Warming<br />100 years rate of rise ~0.07oC a decade<br />50 years rate of rise ~0.13oC a decade<br />30 years rate of rise ~0.2oC a decade<br />(Hansen: PNAS Sept 2006)<br />15 years rate of rise ~0.3oC a decade personal calc<br />& Smith et al. (Science Aug 2007)<br />This is fastest the earth has ever risen<br />Jan-August 2009 2nd Hottest<br />
  106. 106. Sengor PNAS 2008<br />“The introduction of a global annihilating agent, namely humans, that creates functional deserts for much of the rest of the biosphere (human dwellings) at a rate unknown in the history of the<br />biosphere during………..<br />If unchecked, the present extinction threatens to be the greatest killer of all time”<br />
  107. 107. GEO 4 2007<br />“Imagine a world in which environmental change threatens people’s health, physical security, material needs and social cohesion. <br />A world beset by increasingly intense and frequent storms, and by rising sea levels. <br />People experience extensive flooding, while others endure intense droughts.<br />Species extinction occurs at rates never before witnessed. <br />Safe water is increasingly limited, hindering economic activity. <br />Land degradation endangers the lives of millions of people”<br />This is the world today!!<br />
  108. 108.
  109. 109.
  110. 110. 1.5oC is dangerous... (Smith PNAS 2008)<br />
  111. 111. Chances of avoiding 2oC(Schaeffer PNAS 2008)<br />
  112. 112. Level of CO2 Safe1.5oC-2oC <br />?? 325-350 ppm<br />(Hansen, May 2008)<br />Many More Agree<br /><br />
  113. 113. Scheffer 2006<br />Range of CO2 increases due to feedbacks<br />12-41ppm CO2 /100years<br />
  114. 114. CO2 Arithmetic (Broecker 2007, Science)<br />For every 4Gt of CO2 emissions, 1ppm increase, assuming sinks at 60%!<br />Current 385ppm and ~8GT a year <br />Still increasing and sinks decreasing<br />Southern Ocean Upwelling Increasing Winds!!!!!<br />400ppm in less than 5 years <br />CO2e 460PPM <br />
  115. 115. URGENT<br />Sequestering CO2 is essential to avoid <br />Dangerous Climate Change<br />We Have no Carbon Budget to play with<br />? HIGH EMBODIED ENERGY ITEMS?<br />350ppm means removing <br />20 years CO2 emissions<br />
  116. 116. How can we achieve this?<br />No Fossil Fuels<br />Change Agriculture <br />No Pesticides <br />No Petrochemical Fertilizers<br />Re-forestation<br />Carbon into Soil<br />No Waste<br />CHANGE HOW WE LIVE!<br />REDUCE ENERGY USE<br />EVERYONE INDIVIDUALLY<br />??How Much??<br />As much as you can<br />
  117. 117. 70% population in Cities 2050 (Editor Nature Sept 2008)<br />“Confronting the challenges of rampant urbanization demands integrated, multidisciplinary approaches, <br />and new thinking”<br />
  118. 118. Adapting for Population Migrations<br />
  119. 119.
  120. 120. Carbon Capture Technology Expensive?Grow more trees<br />“The US Department of Energy has pulled out of a flagship project to build the first ‘clean’ coal-fired power plant in the United States”<br />(Nature Feb 2008)<br />
  121. 121. "Because the truth is that promoting science isn't just about providing resources – it's about protecting free and open inquiry. <br />It's about ensuring that facts and evidence are never twisted or obscured by politics or ideology." <br />(BarackObama 2009)<br />
  122. 122. Geo-engineering The Climate(Royal Society Sept 2009)<br />“Climate change is happening. Its impacts and costs will be large, serious, and unevenly spread. <br />The impacts may be reduced by adaptation, and moderated by mitigation, especially by reducing emissions of greenhouse gases.”<br />
  123. 123. "We are already staring 1.6 °C in the face," <br /> (Shepherd 2009)<br /><br />
  124. 124. "<br />“My guess would be that there is a 50-50 chance that we can achieve something with emissions reductions,“<br />John Shepherd <br />University of Southampton, UK, <br />chair of the Royal Society group behind the report.<br />
  125. 125. Geo-engineering The Climate(Royal Society, Sept 2009)<br />
  126. 126. State of World Report 2009<br />Take an area 4.3 x the size of the UK to supply wood Just for heating<br />(Natural Resources and Life Sciences Education, July 2009)<br />
  127. 127. Transport(Chester Env.Res.Let 2009)<br />
  128. 128.
  129. 129.
  130. 130. Wind FarmsCould we over do it again??<br />0.15-0.73C<br /> Increase Land Temps for 1/3 Energy needs as well ill defined changes in clouds and rainfall elsewhere, 7% energy small to no effects<br />MIT 2009<br />Keith<br /> PNAS 2009 similar!<br />Attract and Kill Bats (Moths!)<br />Horn 2008<br />
  131. 131. Conservation REALLY works<br />
  132. 132. CARBON SEQUESTRATIONPRACTICESNon-chemical rotation farming Re-forestation Increasing biosphere<br />Biochar<br />
  133. 133. Carbon SequestrationHemp - 500kg CO2 per tonne<br />Well suited for Organic Farming systems<br />Doesn’t displace food crop, improves soils<br />Resistant to weeds and Pests<br />No Pesticides, fertilisers<br />Low maintenance crop<br />Improves local biodiversity<br />Profitable for farmers<br />All parts of plant useful<br />
  134. 134. Biodiversity and Agriculture report( UNEP May 2008)<br />
  135. 135. Policymakers, promote & endorse<br />Policy changes to promote sustainable practices<br />Biodiversity-friendly & enhancing agriculture<br />Payfarmers for adopting environmentally friendly practices<br />including mitigating climate changes<br />Training & education<br />Support local level management <br />Employ Ecosystem Approach<br />
  136. 136. Energy Reduce Use 90-95%<br />“Unpleasant as it is we must face the fact there is no magic bullet, that will give us unlimited energy. <br />One must conclude that the future of our civilisation depends critically on reducing the use of energy drastically and rapidly”<br />J. W. Storm van Leeuwen, <br />Independent Civil Nuclear Consultant: <br />Oxford Research Group July 2006<br />NUCLEAR TO EXPENSIVE, LARGE GHG LEGACY, WASTE, Childhood Leukaemia, Bombs, Mining, <br />
  137. 137. How? - Education<br />“Since education is one of the fundamental strategies to address most global challenges, it is important to identify the most effective educational materials, curricula, and distribution media for global education as well as institutional arrangements to accelerate learning”<br />(UN: “State Of The Future” 2006) <br />
  138. 138. Plan for Adaption<br />(Flooding, Type of Crops, Migrations)<br />Enable through personal example <br />Find ways of being an example...<br />Fossil Fuel Free behaviour<br />Communities to work together<br />Increasing biodiversity through land management gardening & conservation<br />
  139. 139. Hunter Gatherer?(Todd Schorr)<br />
  140. 140. CO2 missions per head populationWorld Mapper<br />
  141. 141. Gas Usage<br />
  142. 142. Coal Use for electricity<br />
  143. 143. Oil for electricity<br />
  144. 144. Human Poverty<br />
  145. 145. Emanuel J. Climate 2007<br />
  146. 146. Solid wall houses could yield 17% of savings~55% Rural25% urban areas<br />