GEOG 001 Chapter Notes - Chapter 13: Runaway Greenhouse Effect, Greenhouse Gas, Keeling Curve

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Geog 1
Physical Geography
Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC)
Kind of the gold standard on climate change
They have been around for a really long time, there are a bunch of reports that they
have done
Who: Globally recognized climate scientists. Founded by UN Environmental
Program and World Meteorological Association. Est. 1988. Four reports to date; a
5this in process
Mission: Analyze best available data to develop predictions of the course of climate
Greenhouse gas levels
Temp. increases
Potential sea level rises
Human impacts
Ecological effects
Greenhouse Gas Sources
CO2 from fossil fuel burning (big one!)
Methane (CH4) rice fields and ruminant gas production (burping and flatulence =
17% of methane production mostly from livestock)
Release of methane from tundra and marine sediments release enhanced by
warming of environment potential for runaway greenhouse effects
Natural climate change?
The Keeling Curve: CO2 vs. Time and Season
50 years of data of rising CO2
Undeniable that were seeing changes in CO2 and temperature
The big question is what is causing it?
Vostok-Antarctica Ice Core: (Vostok in Russian part of Antarctica)
o A 420,000 year record from core of ice 3,623 in length.
Nobody is arguing that the Earth is getting warmer, people are arguing about how it is
getting warmer.
** Natural Factors (forcings) alone cannot explain recent temperature anomalies (variations)
Observation and models do not follow how the natural processes of temperature
change shown in historical (ice core data)
Natural/ Anthropogenic forcings together can explain greater percentage of recent
temperature variations
Observation natural plus anthropogenic forces follow recent temperature rise patterns.
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