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Lecture 3

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Betsy Bennett Purvis

PSY435- Lecture 3 (Jan. 30 , 2014) TED talk- Nicolas Kristof -our changes ripples out at least 3 lengths (if there are nodes of change all over the place, you can hit a majority) -graphite and diamond metaphor -changes can happen extremely rapidly  possibility for NON-LINEAR rates of change -reason why? Has to do with INTER-dependence (two things effect each other and have influence on each other) -A  B (and feedback loop)  rates of change can change -if positive feedback loops happen in society you can see change dramatically changing- you never know Climate Change: -the science of climate change has changed a lot (over the past 10 and 5 years) -the basic knowledge now is a lot less of a hypothesis than a long time ago (the consensus has changed a lot over the years) -global warming- energy in and energy out and the balance gives just the climate we have -greenhouse gases have been going up dramatically since the industrial revolution -Mauna Loa observatory in Hawaii (they are tracking CO2 concentrations)  led to the first data set -seasonal variations in CO2 concentrations over the year (the inhalation and exhalation of the biosphere) -noticed that year after year the concentration is increasing (graphed out) -whose to know that it’s not all just part of the natural revolution, maybe there are other things as factors, sample size is too small, etc., etc. -now they have mapped this out in about a million years looking at fluctuations in CO2 emissions (sinusoidal) – changes in solar radiation, tilts, ice age, etc., etc. (Malechevich cycles etc.) -you end up with a range from the highest crest to lowest trough -between 290- 180 ppm (over a million years!) -since the industrial revolution CO2 concentrations were at 400ppm (the peak!) -superimpose a temperature graph that will look almost exactly the same (thus correlated with CO2) -the CO2 graph lags behind the temperature graph by 100 years (temp. changes happen FIRST) -interdependence means that both things cause each other -big problem if it is A  B -there are macro changes in the Earth that drive small fluctuations in temperature -if CO2 was stabilized those changes can be minimal -but big changes causes changes in temp, then amplifies other factors to change CO2 and perpetuate other processes -the notion that there is dissent in the scientific community is a lie because these are fundamental research basics (there isn’t any community that states that these correlations flat out do not exist) -earlier metaphor of global warming (a bad marketing term)  climate destabilization -the term now is climate change -climate forcings- energy in and out measure and energy effects of major global events (climate forces) -changes in the ‘energy budget’ -the bigger the temperature gradient, the more wobbly the “top”, the polar air starts to force its way down -the poles are heating up way faster than anywhere else -what about ice libido? -with feedback loops you can get nonlinear states -feedback loops: 1) Ice reflects sun’s energy  water -the shrinkage of the ice has been about 1% a year -rate of change is also changing -arctic is a big heater (ice turns into water) 2) Methane -a GHG and captures more potent than CO2 (depends on the time scale) -methane degrades fairly quickly -CO2 even if it captures less energy it is in the atmosphere for many years -increasing methane in the air (captures way more heat) = hotter temperature = less ice, etc., etc. -what releases methane? Stuff rotting -The north is PERMAFROST- once it melts, it rots -methane is going up -methane plumbs (huge) and unknown amount of them -Arctic Methane Emergency group, desmogblog, global climate coalition, Paul Beckwith IPCC- world’s collective voice of climate change (not really) -a global collaboration amongst the world’s scientists trying to work together and a report comes out as best consensus of the data -confidence of their hypothesis is increasing (not much change in hypothesis) -climate knowledge is also accelerating so these reports are dated -the projections from IPCC are more conservative and less urgent  because it is a compilation -it is also politically influenced by OIL COMPANIES and governments -many forces clawing back what they are trying to say -average warming of the globe in the world will be between 1 to 6 degrees -1.6-1.8 degrees are already locked in -oceans are also warming and hide the effects of warming in the atmosphere by a couple of years -sea level rises is really not that important- although its freaky and it’s not a small thing -but it’s not as important as FOOD (indispensible)- big problem for EVERYBODY -freaky TED talk- Jeremy Jackson (Marine biologist)- How we wrecked the oceans -we have overfished- most of the species are at or over biological collapse (the ocean is on the surgery table)  al gore’s fishing video (watching areas get depleted and industries move and move) -jelly fish don’t need many nutrients  there is a population boom in jellyfish -phytoplankton are also diminishing in the oceans (about 1% a year)- lost about 50% of the bottom of the food chain -acidification of the ocean- has to do with the CO2 in the atmosphere t
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