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env100 note 43.docx

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ENV100 Lecture NotesFeb 8 2012 Global Climate Change continued Reading Chapter 14 What is an Isotope see Chapter 2 o Znumber of protons atomic number o Nnumber of neutrons o NZatomic mass number Lighter water preferentially evaporatesLighter water accumulates and is stored in ice cap seasonal layeringHeavier water becomes concentrated in ocean water Correlations between atmospheric dust CO2 CH4 18O and temperature o Globally cold year More light water locked up in ice caps so ocean water starts out heaviero Globally warm year More light water released from ice caps so ocean water starts out lighter Models are another fundamentally important tool for climate studyGeneral circulation models GCMs o 3d mathematical models of climate system o Link atmospheric oceanographic hydrospheric and biospheric processes with geography and altitude o PurposesImprove weather forecastingRun simulations of presentday climate patterns as a way of testing climate modelsPredict future global climatic changesThere are some sources of uncertainty in GCMsShort time length of instrumental recordsComplexity and feedbacks in climate system o Role of clouds o Impacts of vegetational and soil moisture changes on moisture content of atmosphere o Response of ice soil to warming o Relationship of solar variations to climate o Causal relationship between atmospheric GHGs and surface temperatureComputer limitationsFuture anthropogenic contributions to GHGs
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