2008 05 10 Nasa Langley Climate


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2008 05 10 Nasa Langley Climate

  1. 1. William H. Calvin University of Washington Seattle, Washington USA Black Mtn. Mountain glaciers gone by 2050 1
  2. 2. Models predicted more rain for northern Europe, less for southern – and with more floods and droughts for all.
  3. 3. 60 years of climate change The new extremes do the damage, not shifts in the average. Don’t need a thermometer or models to see the trouble and extrapolate to big trouble ahead. 3
  4. 4. 60 years of climate change • High winds (trend from wave heights) • Heavy weather floods (strong trend) • Wildfires (strong trend) • Drought (global step in 1983, doubled) • Ice melting (strong trend) 4
  5. 5. 2 1 High Winds 3 Cyclone Nargis hit Burma in May 2008 with winds of 200 to 250 km/h (120 to 150 mph). Authorities have reported over 22,500 dead, with a further 41,000 people still missing 5
  6. 6. Cyclone Nargis Floods Myanmar (Burma) May 2008
  7. 7. 7
  8. 8. Wider extremes in climate get us closer to flip thresholds. Garbage truck flip eastside Blown-over garbage truck in Bill Gates’ 8 neighborhood of Seattle in 1999
  9. 9. If wind speed Nonlinear 6X increases 20%, from 50 mph to 60 mph, the damage goes up not 20% but 500%. [6X insurance claims] 9
  10. 10. Heavy Weather The heavens opened (US government photo)
  11. 11. Logged hillside collapse Chehalis WA flood 2007
  12. 12. Chehalis WA flood 2007
  13. 13. More Fires J. M. W. Turner (1835) DETAIL: Burning of the Houses of Parliament
  14. 14. With drought and heat comes more fire. Con of temp and wildfire 17
  15. 15. Drought Vincent van Gogh Olive Trees with Yellow Sky and Sun 1889
  16. 16. 2008 drought-caused shortages
  17. 17. 32°N 32°N
  18. 18. The 1983 stepwise increase in global drought
  19. 19. Areas with Mediterranean Climates are in drought trouble comes down dry comes down dry hot moist air rises hot moist air rises comes down dry comes down dry NORMAL TROPICS EXPANDED TROPICS 22
  20. 20. the viscous cycle of ice-albedo feedback
  21. 21. ABSORBS most sunlight REFLECTS most sunlight
  23. 23. Sea ice loss is 35 years ahead of schedule 26
  24. 24. 60 years of climate change Extremes do the damage, not shifts in the average. Don’t need a thermometer or models to see the trouble and extrapolate to big trouble ahead. 27
  25. 25. It’s also getting warmer The 2003 heat wave in Europe killed 35,000 people. Salvador Dalí. The Persistence of Memory. 1931
  26. 26. 70% Sea + 30% Land = Global mean temp
  27. 27. 30
  28. 28. ―At a rate of warming of 0.3°C per decade [reaching 3°C by 2100], only 30% of all impacted ecosystems can adapt [fast enough], and only 17% of all impacted forests.‖ R. Leemans, B. Eickhout , ”Another reason for concern: regional and global impacts on ecosystems for different levels of climate change.” Global Environmental Change 14 (2004) 219–228 doi:10.1016/j.gloenvcha.2004.04.009 31
  29. 29. Global Mean Annual Temperature Hold thermometer 1 meter above surface, average over globe (70% ocean). The interior of continents run a fever about twice that of coastal areas. So for a global fever of 2°C, think 4°C for the interior (about 8°F). With a 2° fever, we lose all of the mountain glaciers, all of the coral reefs, and create enough climate refugees to trigger resource wars and genocides. A 1.6° fever will take Greenland into the local summer temperature range that produced a 6 m rise in sea level 125,000 years ago. 32
  30. 30. Abrupt Changes in Climate J. M. W. Turner, 1840. quot;Slavers Throwing overboard the Dead and Dying — Typhon coming on‖
  31. 31. The Tortoise and the Hare is a fable attributed to Reaction times The Aesop. The hare soon left Tortoise the tortoise far behind and decided to take a nap and the midway through the Hare course. The tortoise, crawling slowly but steadily, won the race. Think of our race finish line, however, as the drop off for a fast descent into Hell. The hare jumps and naps, but the tortoise’s progress is slow and sure. 34
  32. 32. • The IPCC reports Reaction times The treat climate as if Tortoise it moved in a and the stately manner like a tortoise. Hare • They all assume that the Hare conveniently takes a long nap. • That is not a safe assumption. 35
  33. 33. The people who study the abrupt climate shifts of the past have an aphorism: Climate is like a drunk: Left alone, it sits. Forced to move, it staggers. 36
  34. 34. The Sword of Damocles suspended by a single horse hair above the throne. Richard Westall, 1812 The Sword of Damocles
  35. 35. Daniel C. Nepstad (2007), quot;The Amazon’s Vicious Cycles: Drought and Fire in the Greenhouse.quot; A report to the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF), p.7
  36. 36. The Amazon is drying & burning under the influence of deforestation & climate-change-induced drought 39 Just after 1998 El Niño Nepstad et al., Forest Ecology & Management 154, 2001
  37. 37. How to rearrange atmospheric circulation in only a few months All it takes is a big El Niño If a big one lasted two years instead of one….
  38. 38. Burn locally, crash globally On top of that, a 50% increase in the rate of CO2 growth thereafter, due to loss of carbon sinks. 40% increase in excess CO2 within a few years
  39. 39. The Big Burn also causes a mass extinction event: about half of all Amazon species will go extinct. 42
  40. 40. Sea Level Rise Refugees Edvard Munch, The Scream
  41. 41. Greenland 125ka Sea level rose 6 m (20 ft) warming only 1.6°C (3°F). 44
  42. 42. FL 6m 45
  43. 43. 1.6°C/3°F
  44. 44. NC-to-MA 6m 47 150 km incursion
  45. 45. DC +6m White House Capitol Hill 6 m (20 ft) rise in sea level 48
  46. 46. Many river deltas in Asia will be inundated. 70 million climate refugees, just from Bangladesh. 49
  47. 47. 1. Famine 2. Pestilence 3. War 4. Genocide Albrecht Dürer The Revelation of St John: The Four Riders of the Apocalypse, 1497-98, Woodcut, 39 x 28 cm, Staatliche Kunsthalle, Karlsruhe 50
  48. 48. Not a good time to be any kind of a minority Francisco de Goya El Tris de Mayo 1808
  49. 49. What to do?
  50. 50. MOST OBVIOUS: Adopt the strategies of the successful Public policy makes a big difference. US vs CA electricity growth 53
  51. 51. the elephant in the room ―a large issue with influence over a discussion that is not mentioned by the participants.‖
  52. 52. Different attitudes toward using policy to promote a ―public good‖?
  53. 53. Policy for restoring climate • New-style coal plants? • CCS has 40% efficiency hit • Transportation Goes Electric • Not just CO2 but CO2e (methane, nitrous); makes agriculture just as bad a problem as cars. • Taking carbon out of circulation 56
  54. 54. BEWARE OF ―EFFICIENCY‖ The growth in energy use already includes •75% reduction in refrigerator power •30% improvement in gasoline engine efficiency since 1980s, yet no change in MPG because bigger engines!
  55. 55. CO2 comes from Pie for FF and equivalents * CO2 58
  56. 56. Plug-in hybrids and all-electric vehicles, recharged overnight Put those streetlights on motion-detector switches. 59
  57. 57. Plug-in hybrid (Prius with extra batteries, recharged overnight in garage) 60
  58. 58. Converting Commuters Hydrogen produced by clean electricity for fuel cell car. Compressed air vehicles, again using clean electricity to produce an inter- mediate mobile fuel. 61
  59. 59. Air car (with free air cooling) India’s largest automaker is set to start producing the world’s first commercial air-powered vehicle. ―Some 6,000 zero-emissions Air Cars are scheduled to hit Indian streets in August of 2008. This six- seat taxi is powered entirely by a tank filled with compressed air.‖ Air engine, run backward to June 2007 issue of 62 recompress air overnight. Popular Mechanics.
  60. 60. REDUCING EMISSIONS IS NOT ENOUGH: Must take Create carbonC sinkscirculation excess new out of 1. Plant many more trees 2. Manage the ocean to sink more CO2 3. Wave-driven pump to carry surface waters down to depths. 4. Artificial photosynthesis 5. Burn biomass, capture and store CO2 6. Store biomass in sealed landfills.
  61. 61. Big effort up front because 1. Already in danger zone for lurches 2. Need safety margin for later 3. Will otherwise be on track for 3°C
  62. 62. Why the Climate Fix needs to be primarily Technofix 1. Need to bypass Tragedy of the Commons stalemates. 2. Need something that will prevent developing countries from repeating our mistakes, even when a government is barely competent. 3. Need big progress in next ten years. – Clone and give away existing solutions.
  63. 63. Tesla 1901
  64. 64. • Deep geothermal Deep geothermal diagram(―heat mining‖) pumps down water, gets steam back up to run steam turbine. • No pollution, small footprint, steady output. • Also suitable for developing Just google: countries. ―MIT geothermal report‖ 69
  65. 65. The table is from Chapter 19 in Global-Fever.org
  66. 66. IPCC’s gradual, no-jump scenarios Climate refugees, war, genocides 3.0° 2.0° Loss of glaciers, coral reefs 0.7° 71
  67. 67. The Climate Optimist J. M. W. Turner Norham Castle
  68. 68. The climate optimist pp.274-5 in Global Fever • In the next twenty years from 1890 to 1910, we got the quantum, the theory of relativity, the photoelectric effect, the first textbook of psychology, and such marvels as neurosurgery, motion pictures, air conditioning, airplanes, and radio. Steam turbines also began generating electricity. 73
  69. 69. The climate optimist pp.274-5 in Global Fever • In the 1960s and 1970s, we discovered the genetic code, continental drift and chaos theory, put communication satellites in geosynchronous orbits, went to the moon, did heart transplants, invented the Internet and personal computers. Scientists started using email and spreadsheets. 74
  70. 70. The climate optimist pp.274-5 in Global Fever • Much can happen in only twenty years. • With our current scientific momentum, theThird Industrial Revolution has likely started — but now it needs to be fast and focused. 75
  71. 71. URGENT: There is not time for mass education or for researching a best or safest solution to our climate crisis. We are already into a planetary emergency and must respond with the vigor with which countries have prepared for war. 76
  72. 72. President Franklin D. Roosevelt used the metaphor of a ―four alarm fire up the street‖ that needed to WW2 quote be extinguished immediately, whatever the cost. From a standing start in late 1941, the automakers converted—in a matter of months, not years—more than 1,000 automobile plants across thirty-one states . . . In one year, General Motors developed, tooled, and completely built from scratch 1,000 Avenger and 1,000 Wildcat aircraft . . . GM’s duck `was designed, tested, built, and off the line in ninety days’ . . . Ford turned out one B-24 [bomber] every 63 minutes. —Jack Doyle, Taken for a Ride, 2000 Now there’s a source of optimism: we did it before. 77
  73. 73. The End My books and talks may be found at: WilliamCalvin.org Edvard Munch, The Scream 78
  74. 74. Can read PDF chapter files at Global-Fever.org