CAN NEW TECHNOLOGY SAVE OR
3. GLOBAL WARMING:
WHY BE CONERNED?
Paul H. Carr, Ph. D.
AF Research Laboratory & U Mass Lowell Emeritus
INCREASING HURRICANES, FLOODS,
DROUGHTS, & WILDFIRES
CAN NEW TECHNOLOGY SAVE OUR ENVIRONMENT?
1. Nature’s beauty versus its utility.
2.Can new technology save us in time? Limits to
Growth. Food Crash.
3. Why be concerned about Global Warming?
4. Data supporting anthropogenic global warming.
5. Technology and policies are available to save us.
GLOBAL WARMING: WHY BE CONCERNED?
1. BAD NEWS
RISING SEA LEVELS: 2 TO 6 FEET BY 2100
WET AREAS WILL GET WETTER. DRY AREAS GET DRIER.
INCREASING HURRICANES, FLOODS, DROUGHTS, &
WILDFIRES FROM GLOBAL WARMING
2. GOOD NEWS
TECHNOLOGY ADVANCES CAN REDUCE GLOBAL WARMING
IMPROVED CONSERVATION AND EFFICIENCY
RATE OF TEMPERATURE RISE HAS INCREASED IN THE LAST 30 YEARS
1880-1980: 0.3 C TEMP INCREASE
1980- 2012: 0.55 TEMPERATURE INCREASE
(Hansen, J., Ruedy, R., Sato, M., and Lo, K., 2010: Global surface temperature change, Rev. Geophys. 48, RG4004.)
3. ARCTIC MELTING IN THE LAST 32 YEARS
A darker Arctic is boosting global warming
From1979 to 2011, less reflecting ice, more absorbing water made
North Pole warm twice as fast as the rest of the earth.
Proc. National Academy of Science, Feb 18, 2014.
ARCTIC IS MELTING FASTER THAN UN IPCC 2007 PREDICTIONS
From World Without Ice H. Pollack.
UN IPCC CONSERVATIVE PREDICTIONS OF 300 SCIENTISTS FROM 40 NATIONS.
• The Sept 2012 minimum area set a record low.
• Sept 2013, 2014 is larger but not trend changing.
• http://nsidc.org/data/seaice_index/ Nat. Snow & Ice Data Ctr.
ARCTIC SEA ICE AREA VS. DAY OF THE YEAR
•The Sept 2012 minimum area set a record low (red).
•Sept 2013 is larger but the long-term pattern of melting continues.
Weather Extremes: Cold Air Oscillates South from the Arctic
The Arctic is warming faster than the rest of our earth.
Therefore the temperature and the accompanying pressure difference that used to keep
arctic air up North comes South, bringing cold air to Atlanta & New Orleans.
The Winters of our Discontent Charles H. Green, Scientific American, pgs 51-55, Dec.2012
PAST COLD ARCTIC PRESENT WARMER ARCTIC
Higher pressure sub-tropic constrained
the low-pressure arctic
Lower pressure difference allows
waves of arctic air to invade the
South: Warmer & Colder Winters.
A Reconciled Estimate of Ice-Sheet Mass Balance Science 30
November 2012, Vol. 338 no. 6111 pp. 1183-1189
About 30% of seal level rise is due to this melting. About 50% is from thermal expansion.
7.5 in./100 years
3 in. /100 years
Blue: Sea level change from tide-gauge data (Church J.A. and White N.J., Geophys. Res. Lett. 2006; 33: L01602)
Red: Univ. Colorado sea level analyses in satellite era (http://www.columbia.edu/~mhs119/SeaLevel/).
Sea level rise has increased to 3.1 mm/year at
present from 0.8 mm/year 1870– 1924.
GREENLAND IS MELTING: Reflecting snow replaced by absorbing
water & land. http://ngm.nationalgeographic.com/2010/06/viking-weather/essick-photography
The tragic beauty of Greenland’s melting glaciers.
Using a conservative prediction of a
half meter (20 inches) of sea-level rise,
the Organization for Economic Co-operation
and Development estimates
that by 2070, 150 million people in the
world’s large port cities will be at risk
from coastal flooding, along with $35
trillion worth of property—an amount
that will equal 9 percent of the global
Sea Level Rise ‘Locking In’ Quickly, Cities Threatened
Published: July 29th, 2013
Carbon pollution to date has already locked in more than four
feet of sea-level rise past today’s levels.
That’s enough, at high tide, to submerge more than half of
today’s population in 316 coastal cities and towns, home to 3.6
million people, in the lower 48 states.
Other cities projected to be 50 percent underwater:
Galveston, Texas, by 2030;
Norfolk, Virginia; and Coral Gables, Florida, by 2044.
Marine ice sheets in East Antarctica have potential to raise sea levels by several meters.
A. Levermann et. al. Earth Syst. Dynam., 5, 271–293, Aug 14, 2014
“That’s one place I’m really nervous about,”
says Richard Alley, a glaciologist at Penn State
University and an author of the last IPCC report.
“It involves the physics of ice fracture that we
really don’t understand.” If the Thwaites Glacier
breaks free from its rocky berth, that would
liberate enough ice to raise sea level by three
meters—nearly ten feet.
“The odds are in our favor that it won’t put
three meters in the ocean in the next century,”
says Alley. “But we can’t absolutely guarantee
that. There’s at least some chance that something
very nasty will happen.”
UNION BEACH, NEW JERSEY, after HURRICANE SANDY
Photograph by Ken Cedeno, Corbis, NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC, Sept 2013
In Manhattan, Sandy’s surging tide knocked out a Con Ed substation,
darkening the city below Midtown. Private generators provided some light,
including the blue glow of the new World Trade Center, whose base is three
feet above sea level.
Photograph by Iwan Baan, Reportage by Getty Images National Geographic, Sept 2013
November 1, 2012
•At least 100 U.S. deaths.
•Economic losses expected to climb as
high as $50 billion.
•Eight million homes without power.
The broadening scientific consensus:
*Climate change amps up other basic
factors that contribute to big storms.
*The oceans have warmed, providing
more energy for storms.
*The Earth’s atmosphere has warmed,
so it retains more moisture, which is
drawn into storms and is then
dumped on us.
NY City is highly vulnerable to storm surges.
Storm surges are responsible for much of the
damage and loss of life associated with land falling
The combined effects of storm climatology change and a
1m Sea Level Rise may cause the present NYC 100-yr surge
flooding to occur every 3–20 yr.
Physically based assessment of hurricane surge threat under
Ning Lin, Kerry Emanuel, et al MIT
Nature Climate Change 2, 462–467 (2012) doi:10.1038/nclimate1389
Published online 14 February 2012
President’s Hurricane Sandy Rebuilding Task Force, identifies 11 climate-related
disasters costing an estimated $110 billion in damages in the last year alone.
The Next Hurricane, and the Next
By THE NY Times EDITORIAL BOARD
•The rebuilding strategy report, from the President’s Hurricane Sandy Rebuilding
Task Force, identifies 11 climate-related disasters costing an estimated $110 billion
in damages in the last year alone.
•Congress made important changes last year to the financially distressed National
Flood Insurance Program, reducing subsidies that have made this insurance
•Now homeowners can either pay much higher insurance rates if they leave things
the way they are or they can reconfigure their houses to prepare for the next
disaster. Reconfiguring could mean raising the house on pylons above the high-water
•Taxpayers should not be paying to rebuild and then re-rebuild as the sea level
Emanuel, K., 2008: The Hurricane-Climate Connection. Bull. Amer. Meteor. Soc., 89, ES10-ES20.
24 Aug 2005. Tropical Storm Approaches
28 Aug 2005. Katrina,
Category 5 Hurricane,
gained energetic winds of
175 mph due to the
record high temperatures
of the Gulf of Mexico.
28 Aug 2005. Katrina,
Category 5, 175 mph
winds. Absorbed energy
from the record high
temperatures of the
Gulf of Mexico.
29 Aug 2005. Katrina causes $100Bs
damage to New Orleans, LA
KATRINA: Tropical Storm to Hurricane
Loaded Climate Dice: global warming is increasing extreme weather events.
Extreme summer heat anomalies now cover about 10% of land area, up from 0.2%.
This is based on observations, not models.
Frequency of occurrence (vertical axis) of local June-July-August temperature anomalies
(relative to 1951-1980 mean) for Northern Hemisphere land in units of local standard
deviation (horizontal axis). Temperature anomalies in the period 1951-1980 match closely the
normal distribution ("bell curve", shown in green), which is used to define cold (blue), typical
(white) and hot (red) seasons, each with probability 33.3%. The distribution of anomalies has
shifted to the right as a consequence of the global warming of the past three decades such that
cool summers now cover only half of one side of a six-sided die, white covers one side, red
covers four sides, and an extremely hot (red-brown) anomaly covers half of one side.
Source: Hansen, J., Sato, M., and Ruedy, R., Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci., 2012.
Physics Today, March 2012, pg. 31
NUMBER OF EVENTS WITH DAMAGE OVER $ 1 BILLION (NOAA)
2008: 9 2011: 14 Average since 1980: 3 to 4
• Since 1996 over $1 billion damage doubled
compared with the previous 15-year period.
Hurricane Katrina 2005: $146 B
Hurricane Irene 2011: $15B
Hurricane Sandy 2012: $50B
MUNICH RE, World’s Largest Reinsurance Firm Report, October 2012.
Insured losses in
alone in 2011
were highest on
set in 2010.
Inmate firefighters walk along state Highway 120 as
they continue to battle the Rim Fire near Yosemite
National Park, Calif., on Aug 26, 2013.(Photo: Jae C.
•Nearly 3,000 people were kept from their Northern
California homes Sunday, 9/21/2014, due to an arson-related
•More than 5,000 personnel are fighting the blaze.
•Cost $6 Million per day.
Fires Are Increasing World-Wide
Wildfires in Western US have increased 4-fold in 30 years.
Western US area burned
The effects of global warming on temperature, precipitation levels, soil drying, and Western
Pine beetles are turning many of our forests into kindling for more wildfires.
(Westerling, A.L, et al. (2006) Warming and Earlier Spring Increase Western U.S. Forest Wildfire.
Science 313, 940 -943 DOI: 10.1126/science.11288340. )
1.Warmer winters no longer kill off Western Pine beetles.
2.More kindling for wildfires
3. Fewer trees to anchor the soil
4.Higer temperatures: more moisture in the atmosphere
5.More severe floods with larger washouts
An Inconvenient Ice:
Methane Hydrates Could Power
the Planet—or Fry It
Methane hydrates could solve the
world's energy challenge
—or make global warming worse.
Sep 16, 2014 |By Lisa Margonelli
"Fire ice natural gas hydrate”
is a solid clathrate
compound in which a large
amount of methane is
trapped within a crystal
structure of water, forming a
solid similar to ice.
Found where temperatures
are low and water ice is
common, significant deposits
of methane clathrate have
been found under sediments
in the ocean.
It is also trapped within the
Methane discovery stokes new global warming fears & shock,
as retreat of Arctic releases greenhouse gas
13 Dec 2011 http://www.independent.co.uk/news/science/methane-discovery-stokes-new-global-warming-fears-shock-as-retreat-of-arctic-
Methane is a greenhouse gas 50 times more potent than carbon dioxide.
“Earlier we found torch-like structures like this but they were only tens of metres in
diameter. This is the first time that we've found continuous, powerful and
impressive seeping structures more than 1,000 metres in diameter.” Dr Semiletov
American Geophysical Union meeting in San Francisco.
The total amount of methane stored beneath the Arctic is calculated to be greater
than the overall quantity of carbon locked up in global coal reserves.
Dr. William Dillon,
U.S. Geological Survey, Woods Hole, MA
The Coming Climate Crash:
Lessons for Climate Change in the 2008 Recession
By HENRY M. PAULSON Jr. Secretary of the Treasury under Pres. George W. Bush.
JUNE 21, 2014
“We’re staring down a climate bubble that poses enormous risks to
both our environment and economy. The warning signs are clear and
growing more urgent as the risks go unchecked.
A tax on carbon emissions will unleash a wave of innovation to
develop technologies, lower the costs of clean energy and create
jobs as we and other nations develop new energy products and
Climate change is the challenge of our time. We’ve seen and felt the
costs of underestimating the financial bubble. Let’s not ignore the
Long Term Solution to Reduce C02 Emissions
The American Clean Energy and Security Act of 2009, Markey-Waxman bill passed the
House of Representatives by a narrow margin.
A cap and trade system, under which the government sets a limit (cap) on the amount
of greenhouse gases, mostly C02, that can be emitted. Utilities like coal that exceed the
limit must buy permits from non-carbon emitters, nuclear, hydro, solar, wind. This
increases the cost of coal generation, but reduces that of non-carbon emitters.
Short Term Response
We can not afford it because it would increase the cost of energy. ”It would ruin our
economy.” The Senate did not pass the bill.
We already having to pay:
Since 1996 over $1 billion damage doubled compared
with the previous 15-year period.
Fixing Climate Change May Add No Costs, Report Says
NY Times, Sept 16, 2014
The Global Commission on the Economy & the Climate.
•An ambitious series of measures to limit emissions would
cost $4 trillion or so over the next 15 years, an increase of
roughly 5 percent over the amount that would likely be
spent anyway on new power plants, transit systems and
•When the secondary benefits of greener policies — like
lower fuel costs, fewer premature deaths from air pollution
and reduced medical bills — are taken into account, the
changes might wind up saving money.
CAP AND TRADE STATES
•REGI, The Regional Greenhouse Gas
Initiative: Connecticut, Delaware, Maine,
Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire,
New York, Rhode Island, and Vermont .
•Quebec & British Columbia
From Bottom-Up Climate Fix Sept. 21, 2014
Can new technologies save
us in time?
• ELECTRIC CARS NOW GET 100 MILES
PER GALLON EQUIVALENT
• INSTALLED COST OF PHOTOVOLTAIC
SOLAR CELLS HAVE ACHIEVED GRID
“I would put my money on the sun and
What a source of power!
I hope we don’t have to wait until oil and
coal run out before we tackle that.”
Necessity is the Mother of Invention
The Photovoltaic Solar Cells have decreased in the last year by 50% to $0.85/W
China is the major manufacturer of silicon photovoltaics.
COST OF ROOFTOP SOLAR PV
Present Average Monthly Bill of $100 for 615 kWh/mo (20 Kwhr/day)
Installed COST of ~20, 5 kW total, Solar PV Panels: $3/kW x 5000 W = $15,000.
CREDITS: Federal Income tax rebate (thought2015) $5000
NH Public Utilities Rebate $3750
Total Rebate $8750
NET COST $15000
- credits - 8750
YEARLY SAVINGS Electricity $1200
Property tax reduction 300
Renewable Energy Credits 240
• FREE GREEN ELECTRICITY FOR 21 YEARS AFTER A 4 YEAR PAYBACK
Data source Paul Button www.energy-audits-unltd.com Manchester, NH Tel 603 836 4402
seem to cost
about $6/ sq. ft
but will come
$15K for a
2500 sq. ft.
house means a
payback of about
Sunny future: Dow Chemical hopes to transform the solar
power industry by integrating solar cells with conventional
roofing shingles. Credit: Dow Chemical
Soy Oil Diesel
Energy Returned On (energy) Investment
Dr. Ida Kubiszewski and Dr. Cutler J. Cleveland, The Encyclopedia of Earth.
Nobel Laureate Dr. Steven Chu, Energy Secretary
TECHNOLOGIES ARE AVAILABLE TO SOLVE OUR
POPULATION & EVIRONMENTAL PROBLEMS
CAN WE DEPLOY THEM IN TIME TO MINIMIZE HUMAN SUFFERING?
When asked if we have enough time to prevent catastrophe, Donella Meadows
always said that we have exactly enough time -- starting now.
• WE CAN MAKE A DIFFERENCE FOR OUR
• CONSERVE, INVEST IN SOLAR CELLS ($0.10/KWHR)
- ELECTRIC CARS, 100 MILES/GAL, WINDMILLS.
• ENCOURAGE OTHERS TO VOTE FOR THE ABOVE.
More than 100,000 people march through midtown Manhattan as part of the People’s Climate March on Sunday in New York. John Minchillo/AP Images for AVAAZ
100,000 to 400,000 people march through midtown Manhattan as part of the People’s
Climate March on Sunday, Sept 21, 2014 in New York. John Minchillo/AP Images for AVAAZ
Margaret Mead, Anthropologist (1901-1978)
Star Island IRAS Speaker 1969
“Never doubt that a group of thoughtful,
committed citizens can change the world.
Indeed it is the only thing that ever has.”