September 25, 2007
1. Recap -> will bring you up to speed.
2.Evidence -> there is major changes in terms of climate.
What’s Happening, and What Can We Expect
You have seen this slide before. Both sections of the lesson are on-line but after 2 weeks I will remove
them. I will try to give you a series of quotes and often they state ‘truisms’ and they are short. They
are obviously what you think is true. The first is by Aldous Huxley, 1927 – Brave New World. If you
haven’t read it you should read it. That and 1984, read them next summer. “Facts do not cease to exist
because they are ignored.” I was talking to a guy the other day who if you look at his hands they look
like he works hard every day. I told him what I did and I talked about cows. He told me about his herd
and he has 35 cows. Twice a day he has to milk them. He asked about what I did and I told him.
Farmer and professor are worlds apart. He told me about his neighbour and he wondered if global
change even exists. They are skeptical. Is it a hoax? What are the facts? I told him I would send him
the stuff to make a choice for himself. I don’t know if he will take me up on my offer. He provides our
milk and consumes a large amount of fossil fuel with his tractors etc.
Donald Rumsfeld, Feb. 2002 – who is he? He was the equivalent of the Minister of Defense in the US
government, basically Bush’s side-kick. He implemented the police in Iraq. There is a profound of this
gobbly-gook and he isn’t a stupid man, actually he is a smart man but it does apply to global change
(reads quote). What does “unknown unknowns” mean? We are entering a period where we can’t
really predict. There are areas that we can’t predict in the short run. This statement (originally I
thought he was an idiot and I still do) with respect to global change I think there are ‘truisms’ in this
mind-twisting quote that is probably right.
Components of the Climate Change Process
Up to this point we talk about human activities and this shows where we are going and where we have
been. I will show you this from time to time. We are looking to some extent at the direct and indirect
changes in climate change drivers. A good deal of focus is on the gases (aerosols, greenhouse). We
will talk about natural influences at the end of the lecture and finish it off the next day. We will talk
about the solar processes, earth orbit, and volcanoes. It is these processes that cause long-term changes
no matter what we do. We are going then to radiative forcing. How do these factors interact to change
the amount of sunlight that is retained in the earth?
If you are going to keep a balance what goes in has to come out. Remember the numbers 340 or 342
Wm-2. You will see how much our contribution is to the trace gasses.
Here again this is the greenhouse effect and it happens in the troposphere. Here is the colour cartoon
(already showed you) and you see the major players in this system. There are other players in this
BGYC58H3F.September ,25, 2007 LECTURE 3 1