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The long-delayed Kyoto Protocol on global warming overcame its last critical ... ...
Title: Announcements 1 Announcements Oct 25, 2006 2 New York Times October 1, 2004 With Russia's Nod, Treaty on Emissions Clears Last Hurdle The long-delayed Kyoto Protocol on global warming overcame its last critical hurdle to taking effect around the world on Thursday when Russia's cabinet endorsed the treaty and sent it to Parliament. The treaty is the first to require cuts in emissions linked to global warming. The United States has rejected the treaty and will not be bound by its restrictions. But the treaty, which has already been ratified by 120 countries will take effect if supporters include nations accounting for at least 55 percent of all industrialized countries' 1990-level emissions. The only way for it to cross that threshold was with ratification by Russia. In 1990, the United States accounted for 36.1 percent of emissions from industrialized countries, and Russia 17.4 percent. 3 CNN Nov. 10, 2004 Climate report leaves U.S. policy unchanged - Climate treaty considered threat to U.S. jobs and economic growth WASHINGTON (AP) -- President Bush is holding fast to his rejection of mandatory curbs on greenhouse gases that are blamed for global warming, despite a fresh report from 300 scientists in the United States and seven other nations that shows Arctic temperatures are rising. Critics say Bush's opposition is ironic because the treaty was modeled after the market-based U.S. program for cutting acid rain created in 1990 by Bush's father and often pointed to by the current administration as a success story. 4 CNN President Bushs plan offers incentives to businesses to voluntarily reduce U.S. greenhouse gas emissions by an estimated 4.5 percent over 10 years and to reduce power plant emissions. Bush's plan is dramatically lower than the estimated 33 percent mandatory reduction sought by the Kyoto agreement for the United States, the world's largest producer of greenhouse gas emissions. Bush has criticized the treaty, saying it set unrealistic goals and could damage the U.S. economy. But other nations worry about scientific concerns that climate change could lead to severe floods and droughts, rising sea levels and an increase in malaria and respiratory disease. 5 Friday, 8 September 2006, World's most wanted climate change Human-induced climate change must be treated as an immediate threat to national security and prosperity, says John Ashton, the UK's climate change envoy. He argues that we must secure a stable climate whatever the cost, as failure to do so will cost far more. 6 26 September 2006 World 'warmest for 12,000 years The world is the warmest it has been in the last 12,000 years as a result of rapid warming over the past 30 years, a study has suggested. Nasa climatologists said the Earth had warmed by about 0.2C (0.4F) in each of the last three decades. As a result, plant and animal species were struggling to migrate fast enough to cooler regions, they said. 7 Air Quality II
  • Lecture Objectives
  • What is the greenhouse effect?
  • Is global climate change/warming real?
  • What are the worst-case scenarios under global climate change?
  • 8 The Issue 9 Greenhouse Gases
  • Gases that are transparent to light, but absorb infrared radiation
  • Mainly CO2, but also chlorofluorocarbons, methane, nitrous oxide
  • General Causes
  • Burning coal, oil, gas releases CO2
  • Deforestation releases stored CO2, reduces capacity for CO2 storage
  • More CO2 emitted than can be absorbed
  • Industrialized nations
  • 10 (No Transcript) 11 The Controversy
  • Debate Are the increasing levels of CO2 due to natural climate cycles or human-generated?
  • Opponents argue that reducing emissions will hurt the economy
  • Supporters argue that not reducing emission may have catastrophic effects, so isnt it better to be safe than sorry?
  • 12 What do we know for sure?
  • Human activities are changing the composition of Earth's atmosphere.
  • Human activities are strengthening Earth's natural greenhouse effect.
  • A warming trend of about 1F has been recorded since the late 19th century.
  • http// ent/index.html 13 (No Transcript) 14 What is likely but not certain?
  • Rising levels of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere will increase global warming
  • to what extent is difficult to determine.
  • Average global temperatures will continue to rise. By how much and how fast remain uncertain
  • Could be 2.2 - 10F
  • http// ent/index.html 15 What are the big unknowns?
  • Exact local impacts on health, agriculture, water resources, forests, wildlife and coastal areas
  • Large-scale predictions easier to make than small-scale predictions
  • Will local rainfall increase or decrease?
  • Will hurricanes be more frequent or severe?
  • Will ocean currents change?
  • http// ent/index.html 16 Evidence for Global Climate Change
  • IPCC Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change
  • Appointed by the United Nations in 1988
  • Mission To study the issue and make recommendations
  • First Assessment published 1990
  • Second Assessment published in 1996
  • Third Assessment published in 2001
  • http//
  • Scientific Basis, Impacts Adaptation and Vulnerability, Mitigation, Synthesis
  • 17 Evidence for GCC
  • IPCC conclusions
  • CO2 and temperature correlated
  • 0.6?C average temperature increase since 1861
  • Declines in snow and ice cover since 1960s
  • 10-20 cm sea-level increase in last 100 years
  • human activity is the cause
  • Near unanimity of scientific opinion
  • National Research Council (U.S.) agrees
  • 18 CO2 and temperature are correlated
  • Climatic records indicate a correlation between CO2 concentration and global temperatures over the past 400,000 years
  • 19 Nature 2002 419188-190 20 0.6?C average temperature increase since 1861 21 Declines in snow and ice cover 22 Mount Kilimanjaro, one of the few places in the world where ice and snow can be found on the equator, could lose its entire ice field by 2020 because of climate change. The ice fields Ernest Hemingway once described as "wide as all the world, great, high, and unbelievably white in the sun" have lost 82 percent of their ice since 1912the year their full extent was first measured. 23 Increases in sea level (10-20 cm) 24 Human activity is the cause 25 Effects of Global Warming 26 Effects of Global Warming
  • Not uniform regional differences
  • some areas hotter, some colder, some wetter, some dryer!!!
  • These local, regional changes are difficult to predict
  • 27 Rising sea levels coastal flooding 28 Worsening Health Effects
  • Direct heat stress 2003 heat wave in France killed 15,000
  • Diseases cold weather kills many diseases, especially mosquito-borne diseases
  • malaria, dengue fever, yellow fever, encephalitis
  • Ozone pollutant near the ground
  • Cholera ENSO link
  • 29 (No Transcript) 30 Forests and Natural Areas
  • Shift northward in species distribution
  • 31 Agriculture and Food Supply
  • Increase yields for some crops, but not uniformly
  • World food supply unaltered, but problems in poor countries will likely get worse
  • Increase pest populations
  • Increase irrigation
  • 32 Disruption of Water Weather Cycles
  • Major changes to hydrological cycle
  • Increased evaporation will dry some areas
  • Exacerbate problems in Middle East Africa
  • Decreased hydropower
  • Impair navigation ability
  • Decrease water quality recreation
  • Increased precipitation will flood some areas
  • Increased intensity of storms
  • Problems with flood control
  • 33 Cascading effects extreme cooling 34 Worst-case scenario
  • Increase in freshwater input to North Atlantic could halt warmer currents thus cool Gulf Stream
  • Drastic, rapid climate changes in W. Europe (also NE United States, E. Canada)
  • Southern England like Iceland
  • 4-year study on currents started Feb 2004 (Nature 427769)
  • 35 Is there anything we can do?
  • Reduce Greenhouse Gases by
  • Reducing emissions
  • Increasing CO2 uptake
  • Political and economic issues
  • Annual US per capita contribution 22 tons of CO2 emissions per year
  • World average per capita 6 tons
  • 36 How to reduce greenhouse gases?
  • Improve energy efficiency
  • Current future buildings using available, cost-effective technologies
  • Increase investments in renewable and longer-term technologies.
  • Carbon tax stimulate development of increased efficiency
  • Removal of CO2 from atmosphere
  • plant trees
  • Stop deforestation
  • Increase CO2 storage in the ocean
  • 37 Side Benefits of reducing emissions
  • Reduced air pollution
  • Reduced human death, disease lower health care costs increased productivity
  • Improved energy efficiency
  • Reduced dependence on fossil fuels, foreign oil
  • Reduced need for expensive new power plants
  • Increased investment in alternative energy technologies
  • Who reaps benefits and who pays costs?
  • 38 VP Cheney Conservation may be a sign of personal virtue, but it is not a sufficient basis for a sound, comprehensive energy policy. Pres. Bush As you know, I oppose the Kyoto Protocol because it exempts 80 percent of the world and would cause serious harm to the U.S. economy Who reaps benefits and who pays costs? 39 Points to know April 21
  • What is the greenhouse effect? What are the greenhouse gases?
  • What do we know for sure in the controversy over global climate change? What are the big unknowns?
  • What is the IPCC? What conclusions did it reach regarding global warming? Did the National Research Council of the U.S. agree with their findings?
  • Will global warming be felt evenly across the earth? Can we predict what will happen in a given region?
  • What will happen to the hydrological cycle? What is a worst-case scenario of global warming?
  • How can we reduce greenhouse gases? What are some side benefits of emission reduction?
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