Global Impacts of Global Warming


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Effects of Global Warming Globally

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Global Impacts of Global Warming

  1. 1. Climate Change1 Wali Memon Wali Memon
  2. 2. An Inconvenient Truth2 Wali Memon
  3. 3. UN IPCC Policy makers and the public rely on information from the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change The latest (2007) IPCC reports show that climate change will cause dire impacts on humanity But because of time constraints, political influence, and consensus requirements, the IPCC reports reflect a best-case analysis of climate change We will consider the expected case3 Wali Memon And show that the IPCC models are too conservative
  4. 4. Bell Curve of Possible Outcomes Biblical IPCC Game Over4 Wali Memon
  5. 5. “Black Swan”Rare event beyond the realm of normal expectationsUsually hard to predictLarge impact – changes everythingUsually “predicted” in hindsightExamples: Transistor, 9-11,Internet, Global Warming 5 Wali Memon
  6. 6. “Black Swan”Turkey’sConfidence Surprise! 0 Time 6 Wali Memon
  7. 7. Models Discontinuous IPCC7 Wali Memon
  8. 8. Discontinuities are common throughout nature Liquid H2OSolid 31F 32F 33F 8 Wali Memon
  9. 9. Actual Arctic Melt vs IPCC Models 9 Wali Memon
  10. 10. 10 Wali Memon
  11. 11. IPCC Climate Model11 Wali Memon
  12. 12. 12 Wali Memon
  13. 13. MIT Temperature StudyDanger 2009 MIT Study: 95% chance that “Business-as-usual” temperature increase will exceed 3.5ºC (6.3ºF) in 2095
  14. 14. MIT Temperature StudyDanger and a 50% chance that temperature will exceed 5ºC (9ºF)!
  15. 15. MIT Temperature Study
  16. 16. Temperature Impact Analogy +2°C20 mph
  17. 17. Temperature Impact Analogy +4°C40 mph
  18. 18. Temperature Impact Analogy +6°C60 mph
  19. 19. Greenland Ice Now losing ~300 Gigatons of ice every year (~300 km3) Rate of loss is accelerating If all of Greenland collapses: Oceans rise 20+ feet If all ice sheets collapse: Oceans rise 280 feet IPCC Models do not consider ice sheet collapse IPCC: ~2 foot rise by 2100 Jim Hansen, NASA Climate19 Wali Memon Scientist: “Certain” it will be Source: NASA feet 6+
  20. 20. Larson-B Ice Shelf Antarctica •12,000 years old •100 square miles, 650 feet thick •Models said would last 10,000 years •2002: Broke up in 3 days •Was a cork holding back land-based ice20 Wali Memon •Models were wrong
  21. 21. 21 Wali Memon
  22. 22. Pine Island & Thwaites Glaciers Antarctica • In place for 20 million years • Now melting & thinning at record pace • 1995: 70M acre feet/year • 2006: 220M acre feet/year • If they collapse: Sea rises 6 feet and speeds collapse of West Antarctic Ice Sheet • NASA: Weak underbelly in recent radar images • British Antarctic Survey: • “Thwaites in danger of imminent collapse” • No collapse models exist in IPCC, so just model slow melt over time22 Wali Memon
  23. 23. West Antarctic Ice Sheet23 Hansen: “Implausible that the West Antarctic ice sheet could Wali Memon survive this century” under business as usual
  24. 24. Oceans Will Rise Based on Actual Historical Data – Not ModelsFEET CO2 PPM 24 Wali Memon
  25. 25. North America 85 Million Years Ago25 Wali Memon
  26. 26. Amazon Rains…or Not?Warming shifts rain away from AmazonMultiple droughts taking their toll3-5 years of drought kills most trees Releases CO2 which causes more warmingIPCC Models: Not considered in base26 Wali Memonmodels
  27. 27. Permafrost Stores methane in Siberia and other Arctic regions Melting now and already releasing 50M tons per year Equivalent to 1B Tons of CO2 Accelerating since avg. temp 32°F now Entire region on verge of collapse • Contains more equivalent CO2 than the entire atmosphere! This is a near-term tipping point Will overwhelm human actions to reduce CO2 emissions27 Wali Memon IPCC Models: Assumes no collapse
  28. 28. Our Oceans Since 1850 absorbed 130B tons CO2 from humans Getting warmer and more acidic so will absorb less CO2 in the future More CO2 changes/reduces organisms They die, resulting in reduction in ocean CO2 sink Eventually, ocean could become a source of CO228 Wali Memon IPCC Models: Not included
  29. 29. A Global Time Bomb Methane Clathrates (frozen) at ocean floor Massive amounts Will be released if ocean temperatures rise This happened in the past, including 55M years ago Global temp rose 5 to 9C. Mass extinctions IPCC Memon29 Wali Models: Not included
  30. 30. Other Dangers:All Already HappeningReduction of ocean’sability to absorb CO2Collapse of forests /increased wild firesSpread of desertsMega-droughtsMass extinctionsMore extreme weatherReduction in global food 30 Wali Memonproduction
  31. 31. Potential Impacts Wars over resources Abandonment of many major cities Massive shortages of food and water Collapse of economies Runaway greenhouse effect: Venus Syndrome31 Wali Memon
  32. 32. Choices32 Wali Memon
  33. 33. To Act or Not to Act: 4 Outcomes No Climate Change Yes Climate Change Waste Money Spend Money We Act Invent new technology Save 1B Lives Reduce reliance on oil Invent new technology Reduce reliance on oil Life goes on Billions dieWe Do NOT Act Large wars Horrible famine and drought End of world as we know it Total economic collapse33 Wali Memon
  34. 34. IPCC Estimated Costs $ $ A) Mitigation now: Reduce GDP by 0.6% to 3% -or- B) Do Nothing: Total Economic Collapse $ 034 ? ? ? Wali Memon
  35. 35. Why Don’t We Act? Failure of the “Risk Thermostat” We respond strongest to threats that are: Climate Change is: Visible Invisible With historical precedent Unprecedented Immediate Drawn out With simple causality With complex causality Caused by another “tribe” Caused by all of us35 Have direct personal impacts Wali Memon Unpredictable & indirect impacts
  36. 36. Denial Strategies Displaced commitment “I protect the environment in other ways” Condemn the accuser “You have no right to challenge me” Denial of responsibility “I am not the main cause of this problem” Rejection of blame “I have done nothing wrong” Ignorance “I didn’t know” Powerlessness “I can’t make any difference” Fabricated constraints “There are too many impediments” After the flood “Society is corrupt” Comfort “It’s too hard for me to change my behavior”36 Wali Memon
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  39. 39. Risks to Your Business Decline in demand for carbon-intensive products and services Climate change impacts on facilities, employees, suppliers, and customers Extreme weather, drought, pandemic, war, sea level rise Disruption of “optimized” systems Watch out for “Just-in-time” and “global supply chain” Build robustness into every process and product39There will Wali Memon be many unforeseen impacts Must plan for the unexpected
  40. 40. What to Do?40 Wali Memon
  41. 41. What Can You Do? Ask your children for forgiveness Buy a fuel-efficient car Eat less beef Change your light bulbs, wear a sweater, etc. Talk to your family, friends, and colleagues Get your company to “Go Green” Talk to your elected leaders41 Wali Memon
  42. 42. What Can Countries Do? Implement a Cap & Trade system or tax for CO2 Mandatory energy efficiency standards Ban new coal-fired power plants Quickly Phase out existing coal-fired plants Eliminate subsidies for fossil fuels Give subsidies & incentives for clean energy Increase energy/climate research42 Wali Memon spending 100x
  43. 43. What Can Countries Do? (Cont.) Phase out beef Prepare for extreme weather, drought, global instability, agriculture impacts, sea level rise Research geo-engineering remedies Develop 3rd and 4th generation nuclear plants Support global family planning Support & sign an aggressive treaty in Mexico City in 2010 (Copenhagen follow-on)43 Wali Memon
  44. 44. Geo-EngineeringIntentional planet-wide changes meantto mitigate impacts of global warmingProbably our only hope because, at thispoint, reducing emissions alone won’t beenough But we still need to dramatically reduce emissions! Like chemotherapy, many geo- engineering solutions have bad side-44 Wali Memon effects
  45. 45. Geo-Engineering Examples45 Wali Memon
  46. 46. Block Sunlight Put smoke in the upper atmosphere or use ships to create low-level clouds Stop the permafrost and Greenland from melting46 Wali Memon
  47. 47. Put Iron in the Ocean• Grows algae, which eat CO2 then die and sink to bottom 47 Wali Memon
  48. 48. Turn Plants into Biochar Turns into solid carbon instead of CO2 Put back on ground... helps plants grow48 Wali Memon
  49. 49. Reforest the Planet49 Wali Memon
  50. 50. Build Large ScaleCarbon Capture andStorage SystemsSuck CO2 directly outof the air & pump itunderground 50 Wali Memon
  51. 51. Some Good News We can still avoid the worst effects of climate change But must act now Need to phase out coal plants in 10 to 20 years and keep tar sands and oil shale in the ground Move back to 350 ppm (from 387 now) Transitioning to a low-carbon world is the biggest economic opportunity ever!51 Wali Memon
  52. 52. Further Reading The Weather Makers by Tim Flannery With Speed and Violence by Fred Pearce Six Degrees by Mark Lynas Storms of Our Grandchildren:The Truth About the Coming Climate Catastrophe and Our Last Chance to Save Humanity 52 Wali Memon by James Hansen
  53. 53. Q&A53 Wali Memon