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Earth has warmed (facts)

Why it has warmed (theories)

Why theories are believable

End

What we know about climate change


Exeter Climate Systems
University of Exeter

Workers Educational association, 22 November 2008

Earth has warmed (facts)

Why it has warmed (theories)

Why theories are believable

End

What we know about climate change

The Earth has warmed (facts) Why it has warmed (theories) Why the theories are believable

Earth has warmed (facts)

Why it has warmed (theories)

Why theories are believable

End

Evidence that the Earth has warmed

Less ice
Smaller glaciers Less snow cover Less sea-ice

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Higher sea level Higher temperatures


Warmer seas Higher air temperature

Earth has warmed (facts)

Why it has warmed (theories)

Why theories are believable

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Smaller glaciers: Chacaltaya Glacier 1940 2005

Bolivia, 16S, 5260m alt., melts into La Paz

Earth has warmed (facts)

Why it has warmed (theories)

Why theories are believable

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Smaller glaciers: Change in length of glacier tongues

Earth has warmed (facts)

Why it has warmed (theories)

Why theories are believable

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Less snow cover: Snow cover 1920 2005

Black line is 10 yr average 5-95% range

Earth has warmed (facts)

Why it has warmed (theories)

Why theories are believable

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Less sea ice: Summer min Arctic sea ice extent 1980 2005

Earth has warmed (facts)

Why it has warmed (theories)

Why theories are believable

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Higher sea level: Global mean sea level 1880 2000

Dierence (mm) with 1961 1990 mean

Earth has warmed (facts)

Why it has warmed (theories)

Why theories are believable

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Warmer seas: Sea surface temperature 1850 2005

Tropical Atlantic relative to 1961 1990 mean

Earth has warmed (facts)

Why it has warmed (theories)

Why theories are believable

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Higher air temperature: Global Temperature 1850 2000

Rises and accelerates

Earth has warmed (facts)

Why it has warmed (theories)

Why theories are believable

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Why it has warmed (theories)

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Natural variability Orbital changes Brighter sun More greenhouse gases

Earth has warmed (facts)

Why it has warmed (theories)

Why theories are believable

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Natural variability? Summer 2003 was a 5 event

Earth has warmed (facts)

Why it has warmed (theories)

Why theories are believable

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Orbital changes? Milankovitch Cycles

Ice ages triggered by especially cold NH summers. No natural ice age expected for 30,000 years.

Earth has warmed (facts)

Why it has warmed (theories)

Why theories are believable

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Slightly brighter sun: Total Solar Irradiance 1980 2005

Via satellite measurements

Earth has warmed (facts)

Why it has warmed (theories)

Why theories are believable

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Slightly brighter sun: Total Solar Irradiance 1600 2000

Reconstructed dataset

Earth has warmed (facts)

Why it has warmed (theories)

Why theories are believable

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More CO2 from fossil fuels: CO2 and O2 concentrations

CO2 from Mauna Loa and Baring Head, New Zealand

Earth has warmed (facts)

Why it has warmed (theories)

Why theories are believable

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More greenhouse gases: Greenhouse gases 0 2005

Earth has warmed (facts)

Why it has warmed (theories)

Why theories are believable

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Greenhouse eect

Like a blanket. Where least GHGs, extra GHG has most eect.

Earth has warmed (facts)

Why it has warmed (theories)

Why theories are believable

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Greenhouse eect

Earth has warmed (facts)

Why it has warmed (theories)

Why theories are believable

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Greenhouse eect

1834 Joseph Fourier says atmosphere can retain heat

Earth has warmed (facts)

Why it has warmed (theories)

Why theories are believable

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Greenhouse eect

1859 John Tyndall says CO2 and H2 O are greenhouse gases

Earth has warmed (facts)

Why it has warmed (theories)

Why theories are believable

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Greenhouse eect

1895 Svante Arrhenius: 40% rise in CO2 can end ice age

Earth has warmed (facts)

Why it has warmed (theories)

Why theories are believable

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Greenhouse eect

1938 G.S.Callendar: climate sensitivity is 2K, more at poles

Earth has warmed (facts)

Why it has warmed (theories)

Why theories are believable

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Greenhouse eect

1970s Sulphate aerosol clouds are cooling

Earth has warmed (facts)

Why it has warmed (theories)

Why theories are believable

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20th Century temperature change

Thick lines: multi-model ensemble mean

Earth has warmed (facts)

Why it has warmed (theories)

Why theories are believable

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20th Century continental temperature change

Earth has warmed (facts)

Why it has warmed (theories)

Why theories are believable

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Sources of graphics

Wikipedia commons BBC Hulton Picture Library Encyclopaedia Brittanica G.S. Callendar Archive, UEA All other graphics are from www.ipcc.ch

Earth has warmed (facts)

Why it has warmed (theories)

Why theories are believable

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How do we know what we know?