The book use an approach that explains the mechanisms but is equation-free. It is written from the point of view of a physicist and treats the physical processes in detail providing a deep understanding in particular of the energy balance and the greenhouse effect. It avoids technical jargon and presents the issues in a simple and clear manner. In addition to the fuller explanations, the approach is innovative. The record of past climates is used as a benchmark to assess current climate changes and to apprehend the true magnitude of coming changes that stem from human activity. It is for this reason that such emphasis is given to understanding the mechanisms (Parts 1 and 2) and the lessons from past climates (Part 3). The central subject of the book is thus that of Work Package 1 of IPCC, namely “Climate changes in the past and to come”. Although many topics are covered, the book focuses on the fundamental mechanisms that underlie climate equilibrium. These are discussed in depth and placed in a hierarchy, which provides a better perspective of the different factors, parameters and mechanisms that drive the variations in the average climate. One of its novelties is to present the notion of average climate in terms of energy required to maintain the climate. This allows the reader to understand the basic role of the available energy on the Earth and to generalise the concept of climate on the scale of the whole planet. In this way the fundamental importance of the greenhouse effect is introduced, as well as the average temperature as an indicator of climate change, i.e., the pertinence of the temperature – energy parameter. This is why it describes the average climate in terms of the three key components : temperature, rainfall and wind. Special attention is given to the energy balance of the planet in all its aspects and to understanding clearly the mechanism of the greenhouse effect and the physical notion of temperature. These last two form the basis of the perturbation generated by human activity and the means of quantifying its impact. By presenting the detailed climate archives over the last few million years (Part 3, Lessons of the Past), in particular the glacial - interglacial cycles of the Quaternary era, the mechanism that drives the natural climate changes is revealed, and the lessons to be learnt from the past follow naturally. Emphasis is laid on the means of characterizing and quantifying global climate change: -Global warming is accompanied by an average rise in temperature that increases with latitude. Mean latitudes experience a rise in temperature twice as great as that of the overall average (a finding that is confirmed by the recent warming and which is forecast in the models for the 21st century). -Throughout the whole of the Quaternary era (last few million years) the warm interglacial periods never encountered a rise in the average temperature greater than 2°C beyond the current warm period. This provides a reference for the global warming that is approaching. -Finally, with respect to biodiversity, the glacial - interglacial cycles of the past illustrate how the impact of large temperature changes can affect the biosphere, and promote greater biodiversity at lower latitudes. These points serve to circumscribe the magnitude of the changes, both in the climate and in the biosphere, that are in store in the 21st century. The whole of Part 4 (Recent evolution in the climate) summarizes the consequences of the recent global warming. The interest here is to illustrate the observed impact on the planet of a global climate change. This highlights the predictions of the models, which are entirely consistent with these observations (Part 5).
Explores the role of the ocean in fast climate changes in the past and conceivable future. The first half of the 16 papers present data interpretation, hypotheses based on data analyses, and ideas that shed new light on past climates and their evolution. The remaining papers describe climate system models that focus on the global ocean, starting with simpler, ocean-only models that develop into full, three-dimensional models of entire climate systems. Topics include the key climate transitions during the Quaternary period, stochastic resonance in the North Atlantic, and the relationship between glacial- to-interglacial changes of ocean circulation and eolian sediment transport. No index. c. Book News Inc.
Tackling the issue of global warming head-on for a teen audience, Bridget Heos examines the science behind it, the history of climate change on our planet, and the ways in which humans have affected the current crisis we face. It’s Getting Hot in Here illustrates how interconnected we are not just with everyone else on the planet, but with the people who came before us and the ones who will inherit the planet after us. This eye-opening approach to one of today’s most pressing issues focuses on the past human influences, the current state of affairs, the grim picture for the future—and how young readers can help to make a positive change.
Reconstructing climatic changes in deserts and their margins at a variety of scales in space and time, this book draws upon evidence from land and sea, including desert dunes, wind-blown dust, river and lake sediments, glacial moraines, plant and animal fossils, isotope geochemistry, speleothems, soils, and prehistoric archaeology. The book summarises the Cenozoic evolution of the major deserts of the Americas, Eurasia, Africa and Australia and the causes of historic floods and droughts. The book then considers the causes and consequences of desertification and proposes four key conditions for achieving ecologically sustainable use of natural resources in arid and semi-arid areas. Climate Change in Deserts is an invaluable reference for researchers and advanced students interested in the climate and geomorphology of deserts: geographers, geologists, ecologists, archaeologists, soil scientists, hydrologists, climatologists and natural resource managers.
'Earth's Climate' summarises the major lessons to be learned from 550 million years of climate changes, as a way of evaluating the climatological impact on and by humans in this century. The book also looks ahead to possible effects during the next several centuries of fossil fuel use.
Committee on Sea Level Rise in California, Oregon, and Washington,Board on Earth Sciences and Resources,Ocean Studies Board,Division on Earth and Life Studies,National Research Council
Author: Committee on Sea Level Rise in California, Oregon, and Washington,Board on Earth Sciences and Resources,Ocean Studies Board,Division on Earth and Life Studies,National Research Council
Publisher: National Academies Press
Tide gauges show that global sea level has risen about 7 inches during the 20th century, and recent satellite data show that the rate of sea-level rise is accelerating. As Earth warms, sea levels are rising mainly because ocean water expands as it warms; and water from melting glaciers and ice sheets is flowing into the ocean. Sea-level rise poses enormous risks to the valuable infrastructure, development, and wetlands that line much of the 1,600 mile shoreline of California, Oregon, and Washington. As those states seek to incorporate projections of sea-level rise into coastal planning, they asked the National Research Council to make independent projections of sea-level rise along their coasts for the years 2030, 2050, and 2100, taking into account regional factors that affect sea level. Sea-Level Rise for the Coasts of California, Oregon, and Washington: Past, Present, and Future explains that sea level along the U.S. west coast is affected by a number of factors. These include: climate patterns such as the El Niño, effects from the melting of modern and ancient ice sheets, and geologic processes, such as plate tectonics. Regional projections for California, Oregon, and Washington show a sharp distinction at Cape Mendocino in northern California. South of that point, sea-level rise is expected to be very close to global projections. However, projections are lower north of Cape Mendocino because the land is being pushed upward as the ocean plate moves under the continental plate along the Cascadia Subduction Zone. However, an earthquake magnitude 8 or larger, which occurs in the region every few hundred to 1,000 years, would cause the land to drop and sea level to suddenly rise.
Glaciers in the Andes are particularly important natural archives of present and past climatic and environmental changes, in significant part because of the N-S trend of this topographic barrier and its influence on the atmospheric circulation of the southern hemisphere. Strong gradients in the seasonality and amount of precipitation exist between the equator and 30° S. Large differences in amount east and west of the Andean divide also occur, as well as a change from tropical summer precipitation (additionally modified by the seasonal shift of the circulation belts) to winter precipitation in the west wind belt (e. g. , Yuille, 1999; Garraud and Aceituno, 2001). The so-called 'dry axis' lies between the tropical and extra tropical precipitation regimes (Figure 1). The high mountain desert within this axis responds most sensitively to the smallest changes in effective moisture. An important hydro-meteorological feature on a seasonal to inter-annual time-scale is the occurrence of EN SO events, which strongly control the mass balance of glaciers in this area (e. g. , Wagnon et ai. , 2001; Francou et ai. , in press). The precipitation pattern is an important factor for the interpretation of climatic and environmental records extracted from ice cores, because much of this information is related to conditions at the actual time of precipitation, and this is especially so for stable isotope records. Several ice cores have recently been drilled to bedrock in this area. From Huascanin (Thompson et ai. , 1995), Sajama (Thompson et ai.
The Science of Global Warming and Our Energy Future
Author: Edmond A. Mathez,Jason Smerdon
Publisher: Columbia University Press
Climate Change is geared toward a variety of students and general readers who seek the real science behind global warming. Exquisitely illustrated, the text introduces the basic science underlying both the natural progress of climate change and the effect of human activity on the deteriorating health of our planet. Noted expert and author Edmond A. Mathez synthesizes the work of leading scholars in climatology and related fields, and he concludes with an extensive chapter on energy production, anchoring this volume in economic and technological realities and suggesting ways to reduce greenhouse-gas emissions. Climate Change opens with the climate system fundamentals: the workings of the atmosphere and ocean, their chemical interactions via the carbon cycle, and the scientific framework for understanding climate change. Mathez then brings the climate of the past to bear on our present predicament, highlighting the importance of paleoclimatology in understanding the current climate system. Subsequent chapters explore the changes already occurring around us and their implications for the future. In a special feature, Jason E. Smerdon, associate research scientist at Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory of Columbia University, provides an innovative appendix for students.
James Salinger,Mannava VK Sivakumar,Raymond P. Motha
Reducing the Vulnerability of Agriculture and Forestry
Author: James Salinger,Mannava VK Sivakumar,Raymond P. Motha
Publisher: Springer Science & Business Media
This book reviews the latest assessments of climate variability and climate change, and their impacts on agriculture and forestry, and recommends appropriate adaptation strategies for reducing the vulnerability of agriculture and forestry to climate variability and climate change. Among other solutions, the text offers management strategies to mitigate greenhouse gas emissions from different agroecosystems, and proposes the use of seasonal climate forecasts to reduce climate risk.
Eldredge Bermingham,Christopher W. Dick,Craig Moritz
Author: Eldredge Bermingham,Christopher W. Dick,Craig Moritz
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
Synthesizing theoretical and empirical analyses of the processes that help shape these unique ecosystems, Tropical Rainforests looks at the effects of evolutionary histories, past climate change, and ecological dynamics on the origin and maintenance of tropical rainforest communities. Featuring recent advances in paleoecology, climatology, geology, molecular systematics, biogeography, and community ecology, the volume also offers insights from those fields into how rainforests will endure the impact of anthropogenic change. With more than sixty contributors, Tropical Rainforests will be of great interest to students and professionals in tropical ecology and conservation.
The Arctic is one of the world's regions most affected by cultural, socio-economic, environmental, and climatic changes. Over the last two decades, scholars, policymakers, extractive industries, governments, intergovernmental forums, and non-governmental organizations have turned their attention to the Arctic, its peoples, resources, and to the challenges and benefits of impending transformations. Arctic sustainability is an issue of increasing concern as well as the resilience and adaptation of Arctic societies to changing conditions. This book offers key insights into the history, current state of knowledge and the future of sustainability, and sustainable development research in the Arctic. Written by an international, interdisciplinary team of experts, it presents a comprehensive progress report on Arctic sustainability research. It identifies key knowledge gaps and provides salient recommendations for prioritizing research in the next decade. Arctic Sustainability Research will appeal to researchers, academics, and policymakers interested in sustainability science and the practices of sustainable development, as well as those working in polar studies, climate change, political geography, and the history of science.
The Earth's climate is already warming due to increased concentrations of human-produced greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, and the specter of rising sea level is one of global warming's most far-reaching threats. Sea level will keep rising long after greenhouse gas emissions have ceased, because of the delay in penetration of surface warming to the ocean depths and because of the slow dissipation of excess atmospheric carbon dioxide. Adopting a long perspective that interprets sea level changes both underway and expected in the near future, Vivien Gornitz completes a highly relevant and necessary study of an unprecedented age in Earth's history. Gornitz consults past climate archives to help better anticipate future developments and prepare for them more effectively. She focuses on several understudied historical events, including the Paleocene-Eocene Thermal Anomaly, the Messinian salinity crisis, the rapid filling of the Black Sea (which may have inspired the story of Noah's flood), and the Storrega submarine slide, an incident possibly connected to a sea level occurrence roughly 8,000 years old. By examining dramatic variations in past sea level and climate, Gornitz concretizes the potential consequences of rapid, human-induced warming. She builds historical precedent for coastal hazards associated with a higher ocean level, such as increased damage from storm surge flooding, even if storm characteristics remain unchanged. Citing the examples of Rotterdam, London, New York City, and other forward-looking urban centers that are effectively preparing for higher sea level, Gornitz also delineates the difficult economic and political choices of curbing carbon emissions while underscoring, through past geological analysis, the urgent need to do so.
While debates over the consequences of climate change are often pessimistic, historical data from the past two centuries indicate many viable opportunities for responding to potential changes. This volume takes a close look at the ways in which economies—particularly that of the United States—have adjusted to the challenges climate change poses, including institutional features that help insulate the economy from shocks, new crop varieties, irrigation, flood control, and ways of extending cultivation to new geographic areas. These innovations indicate that people and economies have considerable capacity to acclimate, especially when private gains complement public benefits. Options for adjusting to climate change abound, and with improved communication and the emergence of new information and technologies, the potential for adaptation will be even greater in the future.
Chih-Pei Chang,Michael Ghil,Mojib Latif,John M Wallace
Author: Chih-Pei Chang,Michael Ghil,Mojib Latif,John M Wallace
Publisher: World Scientific
This book focuses on two major challenges in the climate sciences: 1) to describe the decadal-to-centennial variations in instrumental and proxy records; and 2) to distinguish between anthropogenic variations and natural variability. The National Taiwan University invited some of the world's leading experts across the areas of observational analysis, mathematical theory, and modeling to discuss these two issues. The outcome of the meeting is the 23 chapters in this book that review the state of the art in theoretical, observational and modeling research on internal, unforced and externally forced climate variability. The main conclusion of this research is that internal climate variability on decadal and longer time scales is so large that sidestepping it may lead to false estimates of the climate's sensitivity to anthropogenic forcing. Contents:Attribution of Climate Change in the Presence of Internal Variability (John M Wallace, Clara Deser, Brian V Smoliak, and Adam S Phillips)A Mathematical Theory of Climate Sensitivity or, How to Deal With Both Anthropogenic Forcing and Natural Variability? (Michael Ghil)Fluctuation-dissipation Theorem with Application to Climate Change Studies with Seasonal Impact (Xiaoming Wang)Parametrization of Cross-scale Interaction in Multiscale Systems (Jeroen Wouters and Valerio Lucarini)Dynamics of Nonlinear Error Growth and the "Spring Predictability Barrier" for El Niño Predictions (Wansuo Duan and Mu Mu)An Adaptive Approach for Nonlinear and Nonstationary Data Analysis (Norden E Huang)Internal Southern Ocean Centennial Variability: Dynamics, Impacts and Implications for Global Warming (Mojib Latif, Torge Martin, Wonsun Park, and Mohammad H Bordbar)Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation and Climate (Rong Zhang)North Atlantic Multi-Decadal Variability — Mechanisms and Predictability (Noel S Keenlyside, Jin Ba, Jennifer Mecking, Nour-Eddine Omrani, Mojib Latif, Rong Zhang, and Rym Msadek)A Review of the Dynamics of Pacific Interdecadal Climate Variability (Zhengyu Liu)Global-Scale Decadal Hyper Modes (Dietmar Dommenget)Evidence for a Recurrent Multi-Decadal Oscillation in Global Temperature and Possible Impacts on 21st Century Climate Projections (Ka-Kit Tung and Jiansong Zhou)Variability of Sea Ice Extent Over Decadal and Longer Timescales (John E Walsh and William L Chapman)Multi-year Prediction and Predictability (Timothy DelSole, Michael K Tippett, and Liwei Jia)Decadal Hydroclimate Variability Across the Americas (Richard Seager)The Interhemispheric Pattern and Long-Term Variations in the Tropical Climate over the 20th and 21st Centuries (John C H Chiang)Climate of China in the Holocene (Wang Shaowu, Wen Xinyu, and Huang Jianbin)North Atlantic Hurricane Activity: Past, Present and Future (Rym Msadek, Gabriel A Vecchi, and Thomas R Knutson)Observed Variations of Western North Pacific Tropical Cyclone Activity on Decadal Time Scales and Longer (Johnny C L Chan)Record-Breaking Increase of Tropical Cyclone Heavy Rainfall in Taiwan in the First Decade of 21st Century (Chih-Pei Chang, Hung-Chi Kuo, and Chung-Hsiung Sui)Multi-Decadal Variability in Indian Summer Monsoon Rainfall Using Proxy Data (Bhupendra N Goswami, Ramesh H Kripalani, Hemant P Borgaonkar, and Bhaskar Preethi)The South-Flood North-Drought Pattern Over Eastern China and the Drying of the Gangetic Plain (Sumant Nigam, Yongjing Zhao, Alfredo Ruiz-Barradas, and Tianjun Zhou)Impacts of Aerosols on the Asian Monsoon — An Interim Assessment (William K M Lau and Kyu-Myong Kim) Readership: Graduate students, academics and researchers in atmospheric sciences, oceanography, mathematics, and climate change. Keywords:Climate Change;Multidecadal Variability;Climate Variability Asia-Pacific Weather
"When combined with computer model simulations, paleoclimatic reconstructions are used to test hypotheses about the causes of climatic change, such as greenhouse gases, solar variability, earth's orbital variations, and hydrological, oceanic, and tectonic processes, This book is a comprehensive, state-of-the art synthesis of paleoclimate research covering all geological timescales, emphasizing topics that shed light on modern trends in the earth's climate." --Book Jacket.
The Past, Present, and Future of Rising Sea Levels
Author: Brian Fagan
Publisher: A&C Black
The past fifteen thousand years - the entire span of human civilization - have witnessed dramatic sea level changes, which began with rapid global warming at the end of the Ice Age, when sea levels were more than 700 feet below modern levels. Over the next eleven millennia, the oceans climbed in fits and starts. These rapid changes had little effect on those humans who experienced them, partly because there were so few people on earth, and also because they were able to adjust readily to new coastlines. Global sea levels stabilised about six thousand years ago except for local adjustments that caused often quite significant changes to places like the Nile Delta. So the curve of inexorably rising seas flattened out as urban civilizations developed in Egypt, Mesopotamia, and South Asia. The earth's population boomed, quintupling from the time of Christ to the Industrial Revolution. The threat from the oceans increased with our crowding along shores to live, fish, and trade. Since 1860, the world has warmed significantly and the ocean's climb has speeded. The sea level changes are cumulative and gradual; no one knows when they will end. The Attacking Ocean tells a tale of the rising complexity of the relationship between humans and the sea at their doorsteps, a complexity created not by the oceans, which have changed but little. What has changed is us, and the number of us on earth.
In recent years climate change has become recognised as the foremost environmental problem of the twenty-first century. Not only will climate change potentially affect the multibillion dollar energy strategies of countries worldwide, but it also could seriously affect many species, including our own. A fascinating introduction to the subject, this textbook provides a broad review of past, present and likely future climate change from the viewpoints of biology, ecology and human ecology. It will be of interest to a wide range of people, from students in the life sciences who need a brief overview of the basics of climate science, to atmospheric science, geography, and environmental science students who need to understand the biological and human ecological implications of climate change. It will also be a valuable reference for those involved in environmental monitoring, conservation, policy-making and policy lobbying.