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Humans Influence Our Climate

  1. HUMANS INFLUENCE OUR CLIMATE Our CO2 emissions are 300 times faster than natural effects. - Paul H. Carr, Ph. D. IEEE Life Fellow
  2. The EXPLODING POPULATION OF 7 B IS INFLUENCING OUR CLIMATE BY BURNING FOSSIL FUELS THAT EMIT CARBON DIOXIDE, CO2. 1. THE HUMAN INFLUENCE ON WARMING Emissions of the greenhouse gas CO2 are increasing at a rate of 2.5 ppm per year. 2. CONTRAST THIS WITH SLOWER NATURAL PROCESSES 18K – 10K years ago, C02 increased at a rate 1/300th slower. 3. THE IMPACT OF CONTINUING CLIMATE CHANGE Melting of the Arctic is increasing our winter climate extremes.
  3. 2014 CO2 levels of 400 ppm are 120 ppm above the pre- industrial average 1875 • Carbon isotope ratios indicate the CO2 increase since1750 is from burning ~300 million yr old fossil fuels. 1. HUMAN INFLUENCE ON WARMING
  4. •Seasonal variations, 6 ppm or 2%, are superposed on the C02 increase. • Population more than doubled since 1970 3.7 B 7 B
  5. CORRELTAION BETWEEN TEMP AND CO2 INCREASE 1880 – 1980: CO2 increased 47 ppm. 1980 – 2010: CO2 increased 52 ppm. Aerosols
  6. “Physics Today” Jan 2009 Pg. 48. 11- yr sun-spot cycle. No increase in solar irradiance since 1979.
  7. Increasing CO2 gas density: 1. raises temperature of earth’s surface. 2. reduces temperature of the stratosphere.
  8. -Outgoing spectral radiance at the top of Earth's atmosphere showing the absorption at specific frequencies and the principle absorber CO2 at 16 microns. -The red curve shows the flux from a classic "blackbody" at 294°K (≈31°C≈69.5°F).  Schmidt, G.A., 2010 J. Geophys. Res.,115, D20106, doi:10.1029/2010JD014287.
  9. 1750-2005: Even if the cloud albedo effect is assumed to have the maximum cooling value, there would still be a net warming of the climate due to human activities. (UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, IPCC, 2007Report) Solar Irradiance  increased by only 0.2%  since 1750. 
  10. • C02 CONCENTRATION IN THE INDUSTRIALIZED                                                     NORTHERN HEMISPHERE IS GREATER THAN THE SOUTHERN. • TEMP. INCREASE, SINCE 1880, OF NORTHERN = 1.1 deg. C • TEMP. INCREASE OF SOUTHERN HEMISPHERE =  0.4 deg C HUMAN CO2 FOOTPRINT  Atmospheric Infrared Sounder (AIRS) Aboard NASA’s Aquilla Satellite.
  11. During the steepest warming, the CO2 released (dots) from the sea preceded the  global temperature rise (green line) by several centuries.                                                    CO2 RATE OF CHANGE is 1/300 of the PRESENT RISE. CO2 greenhouse effect drove the 3.5 C increase in average global temperature. Sea levels rose ~ 100 meters. Flood stories   4 M PEOPLE      7 B      Ice Age Nature, 484, 49-54 (05 Apr 2012) 2. CHANGES IN THE EARTH’S TILT & ORBIT TRIGGERD THE ICE AGE WARMING
  12. At present rate of 2.5 ppm rise per year, humans are increasing CO2 at a rate 300 times faster than the recovery from the ice age 18,000 -10,000 years ago. CO2 CONCENTRATIONS, HIGHEST (33%) IN 800,000 YRS,  COULD REACH  ~1000 PPM BY 21OO. Ice Age
  13. • Our present level of 400 ppm could reach ~ 1000 ppm by 2100. • Arctic became ice-free 8 M years ago when CO2 = 300 - 450 ppm. • Antarctic melted ~ 40 M years ago, CO2 ~ 700 ppm -Earth was ice-free, sea levels 100s meters higher. Dinosaur Extinction 65M Yr. BP Figure from Dr. James Hansen, NASA GISS
  14. A darker Arctic is boosting global warming From1979 to 2011, less reflecting ice, more absorbing water made Arctic warm twice as faster than rest of the earth, http://www.pnaorg/content/early/2014/02/13/1318201111.abstract Proc. National Academy of Science, Feb 18, 2014. 3. ARCTIC MELTING IN THE LAST 32 YEARS SATELITE PHOTO
  16. 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. 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
  17. Gravity Satellite Ice Sheet Mass Measurements MELTING OF GREENLAND & ANTARCTICA IS RAISING SEA LEVELS FASTER Greenland Ice Sheet Antarctic Ice Sheet Source: Velicogna, I. Geophys. Res. Lett., 36, L19503, doi:10.1029/2009GL040222, 2009 Greenland’s largest glacier is now flowing faster towards the sea 4 times faster than in the 1990s.. Since Sandy, 2012, Federal Coastal Flood Insurance is up 2X - 10X
  18. The EXPLODING POPULATION OF 7 B IS INFLUENCING OUR CLIMATE BY BURNING FOSSIL FUELS THAT PRODUCE CARBON DIOXIDE, CO2. 1. HUMAN INFLUENCE ON WARMING Since 1750, human greenhouse emissions of CO2 are increasing at a rate of 2.5 ppm per year. Present CO2 levels are similar to those of 8 M years ago, when the Arctic melted. 2. CONTRASTED WITH SLOWER NATURAL PROCESSES From 18K – 10K years ago, as we warmed from the Ice Age, changes in the earth’s orbit triggered the release of C02 from the sea at rate 1/300th slower. 3. IMPACT OF THE CONTINUING CLIMATE CHANGE Southern oscillations of polar air from the rapid, continuing melting of the Arctic are increasing our winter climate extremes.
  19. CONCLUSIONS: •The UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) 2013: “It is extremely likely that human influence has been the dominant cause of the observed warming since the mid-20th century.” ( •Prof. Richard Muller’s independent non-profit shows how all warming since 1900 is due to human greenhouse gas emissions. •Sea levels are rising and projected to increase 2.5 – 6 ft by 2100 from continuing melt of Greenland, Antarctica, & mountain glaciers. HUMAN C02 FOOTPRINT
  20. At the 2002 Sigma Xi Research Symposium I asked Prof. Molina: “What do you think about global warming ?” Prof. Mario J. Molina shared the 1995 Nobel Prize in Chemistry for his work in atmospheric chemistry showing that the human generation of CFC were making a hole in ozone layer. He answered that global weather forecasting and predicting are complex and difficult. However if your question is, “Should we do something about global warming?” My answer is: “YES!” We must reduce our CO2 emissions.
  21. • The United Nations Intergovermental Panel on Climate Change CLIMATE CHANGE 2013:The Physical Science Basis. • Prof. Richard Muller’s independent non-profit research group. Funders include the Gates Foundation and the Koch Brothers. • Earth Will Cross the Climate Danger Threshold by 2036 The rate of global temperature rise may have hit a “faux pause”, but a climate crisis still looms in the near future. By Michael E. Mann, Scientific American, vol 310, Issue 4, April 2014 by-2036/ •Small influence of solar variability on climate over the past millennium Over the past 1,000 years volcanic eruptions and changes in greenhouse gas concentrations seem to be the most important influence. Andrew P. Schurer et. al. NATURE GEOSCIENCE, VOL 7, FEBRUARY 2014. DOI: 10.1038/NGEO2040 REFERENCES
  22. REFERENCES: •Reconciling warming trends Volcanic, aerosol, and La Nina cooling together with slightly lower solar emissions explain recent decreased warming. Significant warming trends are likely to resume, because the dominant long-term warming effect of greenhouse gases continues to rise. Asian aerosol pollution levels are likely to stabilize and perhaps decrease, Gavin A. Schmidt et. al. NATURE GEOSCIENCE | VOL 7 | pgs. 158-160. MARCH 2014 | •Edx MIT Free Course GLOBAL WARMING SCIENCE 1244#.U0K5S_ldWSo
  23. Reconciling anthropogenic climate change with observed temperature 1998–2008 by Robert K. Kaufmann et al. Proc. National Academy of Sciences 2011 •China more than doubled its consumption/burning of coal from 2004 to 2007. •Sulfur aerosol emissions created by burning coal tend to have a net cooling effect on the atmosphere. • The cooling effects of sulfur aerosols has essentially countered any global temperature rise caused by increased levels of carbon dioxide. •This balancing act between sulfur and carbon dioxide, along with the slight decrease in solar energy during the solar minimum and the cool La Nina, meant there was essentially no statistically meaningful change in the global temperature from 1998 to 2008.

Editor's Notes

  1. The temperature increase curve coincides with the temperature increase.