Climate change management is a global challenge that requires social science as much as it requires natural science.
Your Complete Guide to the Climate Debate
We provide a brief introduction to the physical science of climate change, written to provide essential background for economists and other social scientists. We also highlight some key areas in which economists—including those studying macroeconomics, political economy, and development—are in a unique position to help climate science advance. You may purchase this paper on-line in. GOV" domain name, or a resident of nearly any developing country or transition economy. The email address must be connected to a subscribing college, university, or other subscribing institution.
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Of course, a few years does not a trend make but these results appear to be in conflict with the current upward trend. Their data extends to m of ocean depth in contrast to Loehle , Pielke , and Willis data that only extends to m. However, when considering the heat content of the upper m of ocean, global mean heat content and height changes are clearly associated with a positive trend during the 6 years of measurements. Murphy et al.
They considered the emission of energy by a warming Earth by using correlations between surface temperature and satellite data and show that the heat gained since is already quite significant. Their findings are illustrated below.
CBK Associates | A Kid’s Guide to Climate Change & Global Warming
Cook, The oceans are taking in almost all of the excess heat since the s which underscores the point that ocean heat content is a better indicator of global warming than atmospheric temperatures. Much of this ocean heat will be vented to the atmosphere in the future thus accelerating global warming.
Precipitation Trends: Figure 7. The PDSI is a prominent index of drought. The smooth black curve shows decadal variations.
So how did we get here?
Note also the wetter areas, especially in eastern North and South America and northern Eurasia. Zhang et al.
It is for this reason that Zhang et al. Regional precipitation pattern predictions are NOT a strong suit of the models which modelers have stated. What this image does show however, is that areas of green and yellow show where the model trends match those of the observed trends and the models do a decent job of forecasting the correct trends in most regions. CEI is the arithmetic average of the following five or six indicators of the percentage of the conterminous U.
Sea-Level Rise: Sea-level rise due to global warming is a serious threat, especially to coastal communities in developing countries. Sea level gradually rose in the 20th century and is currently rising at an increased rate, after a period of little change between AD 0 and AD Sea level is predicted to rise at an even greater rate in this century, with 20th century estimates of 1.
When climate warms, ice on land melts and flows back into the oceans raising sea levels. Also, when the oceans warm, the water expands thermal expansion which raises sea levels. The latest observations show that sea levels have risen faster than previous projections. One can view the impact of sea level rise of various US cities at their interactive Website. Climate Change and Hurricanes: A recent paper published by some of the top hurricane researchers in the field Knutson, et al. According to a review of the most recent literature, Vechi, Swanson, and Soden conclude that predicting the future of hurricane activity is at a crossroads.
Vechi et al.
The complete guide to modern day climate change
PDI is the cube of the instantaneous tropical cyclone wind speed integrated over the life of all storms in a given season; more intense and frequent basinwide hurricane activity lead to higher PDI values. The upper end of the projections exceeds levels by more than a factor of two. Combined with rising sea levels, coastal communities face a bleak future if absolute SST determines hurricane activity and strength.
Most scientists say that over the next few decades, at least, the likely prospect is a gradual worsening of climate-related problems. But beyond a few decades, they are less willing to rule out catastrophes like the disappearance of polar sea ice, which could potentially cause profound climatic disruption. Worsening air pollution from forest burning, agricultural waste incineration, urbanization, and rapid industrialization — with increasing public awareness — might drive protests against authorities , such as those recently in China, India, and Iran.
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The document does not explicitly mention the burning of fossil fuels, but that is a main cause of the poor air quality the plagues many cities in the developing world, and has even caused deteriorating air quality in places like London. Burning coal and oil not only causes climate change, it throws particles into the air that can cause asthma, heart attacks and other health problems.
The World Health Organization estimates that three million people die prematurely every year because of outdoor air pollution, and over four million more because of indoor exposure to dirty fuels used for heating and cooking. Accelerating biodiversity and species loss — driven by pollution, warming, unsustainable fishing, and acidifying oceans — will jeopardize vital ecosystems that support critical human systems.
Recent estimates suggest that the current extinction rate is to 1, times the natural extinction rate. As the document implies, scientists are not entirely sure how much the rate of extinction has sped up because of human activities, but they do think it has accelerated.
The biggest thing missing from this document is any explicit attribution of the cause of global climate disruption. Scientists have largely ruled out any natural explanation, concluding that the human release of greenhouse gases explains basically all the warming that has occurred since the 19th century.