GPHY 314- Final Exam Guide - Comprehensive Notes for the exam ( 29 pages long!)

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Queen's
GPHY 314
FINAL EXAM
STUDY GUIDE
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GPHY 314 CLIMATE CHANGE
Lecture 1
Midterm end of September
Download IPPCC Report free on OnQ
Prof Benjamin Amann, office hours E113a Mac, Wed. 1:30-6:00pm
Aim of the course
- make you aware that climate changes, and has always been
- provide you with knowledge of scientific facts + uncertainties
- help you explain what climate change is, and to assess whether what you
see in the News is right or totally misleading
Climate Change Glacier loss
Motivation: Glacier Mass Balance
- Air temp (°C) in the EU Alps was more than twice the increase in global
mean temp over 50 years
- 80% total glacial coverage (an important water resource) culd disappear
in the next decades
- in 40 years, Grinnell Glacier lost c. 40% of its acreage. At worst-case
scenario, all the glaciers in the Glacier National Park will disappear by the
year 2030
Motivation: Arctic Sea Ice
- Arctic temperature has increased at twice the rate as the rest of the globe.
- The Arctic sea ice is melting at an alarming rate (12% per decade) that
suggest the Arctic will be ice-free by 2030 Great Implications
Today’s lecture
- How does the climate system work?
- Time scales of climate change (why looking back in time?)
- Components of Earth’s climate system
- Climate forcing and responses
o Intro to the different types and scales
o Cycles
o Rates and interactions
Climate vs. Weather
- weather can change from minute-to-minute, hour-to-hour, day-to-day,
and season-to-season
- climate, however, is the average of weather over time and space
- Weather is what you see outside on any particular y. Eg. It is 25 degrees
and sunny in Kingston or it could be -5 degrees with heavy snow
- Climate. E.g. you can expect snow in the Northeast in January or for it to
be hot and humid in the Southeast in July. Climate also includes extreme
values such as record high temperatures or record amounts of rainfall
Climate = longer time scales (weather and climate get confused in the climate
debate)
Time: in a Climate Change context
- age of the earth about 4.5 billion years
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- focus: % Earth’s history
o tectonic
o orbital
o glacial/deglacial
o historical
o instrumental period(1825) when we started to have observation
from satellites etc.
Climate layered over time scales
Time Scale vs Resolution more detailed the younger you go, better
resolution
Why looking so far back in time?
- earth’s climate changes were governed by natural variability
- we are, as humans, driving climate changes
- but if our time is different from past history, what useful information can
we gain from the past for our current and future climate?
- Differentiate continued natural variability and projected variability
o Difference is human interference
Climate Sciences has 5 main components;
- atmosphere/air
- vegetation
- water
- land surface
- ice
Different techniques, different research, different expertise but all
interconnected
How does it work?
- aim
- research questions
- hypothesis
o verified = theory publication
o non verified publication
- conclusion
immense revolution of knowledge, however many important questions
still remain…Basis for Earth’s Climate System
Components of the Climate System
- components
- forcing
- responses
- (input, machines, output)
Other forcing? Anthropogenic (human based)
- agriculture
- industry
- transport
Natural Climate Forcing 3 types
1. Tectonic process
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