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env100 note 46.docx

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ENV100 Lecture NotesFeb 13 2012 Climate Change continuedReading Chapter 14 What do the paleoclimate studies and climate models tell us about trends in global climate The IPCC summarizes evidence of climate change and predicts future impactsTrenda pattern that persists within a data set even after shortterm fluctuations and anomalies have been accounted forIntergovernmental Panel on Climate Change IPCC o 4th Assessment Report 2007 o Consensus of scientific climate research from around the world o Trends in surface temperature precipitation patterns snow and ice cover sea levels storm intensity and other factorsAverage temperature has changedIPCC Report IV concludes that average surface temperatures have been rising since 1906 with most of the increase occurring in the last few decadesth Most of the observed increase in globally averaged temperatures since the mid20 century is very likely due to the observed increase in anthropogenic greenhouse gas concentrations IPCC IV 2007 p 8Carbon dioxide is the anthropogenic greenhouse gas of primary concernNot the most potent greenhouse gas but it is abundant o Major contributor to the anthropogenic or enhanced greenhouse effectHuman activities have boosted atmospheric concentrations from 280 parts per million ppm to 387 ppm in 2008Human activity has released carbon from sequestration in longterm reservoirsHuman activities accelerate the fluxes of material from one reservoir to another in biogeochemical cycles o Burning fossil fuels transfers CO2from lithospheric reservoirs into the atmosphereo Deforestation transfers CO2from terrestrial reservoirs into the atmosphere Other greenhouse gases also contribute to warmingMethane from fossil fuel deposits livestock landfills and crops such as riceNitrous oxide from feedlots chemical manufacturing plants auto emissions and synthetic nitrogen fertilizersOzone from photochemical smog
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