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Climate Change Searching for the Truth! The Greenhouse Effect What is the greenhouse effect? It is heat from the sun being trapped by the gases in our atmosphere. – A greenhouse effect you may relate to is that of a closed car on a cold, sunny day in winter. – The greenhouse effect is a GOOD thing! It allows for life on our planet! The Greenhouse Effect What are greenhouse gases? They are gases in the atmosphere that trap and radiate heat from the sun. – – – – Major greenhouse gases include: water vapor, carbon dioxide, CFC’s, methane, nitrous oxide. Water vapor is one of the most important greenhouse gases. It accounts for 95% of greenhouse gases and its level in the atmosphere is not directly affected by human activity. Carbon dioxide is the greenhouse gas that is most directly affected by human activity. (Although it only makes up .04% of our atmosphere.) Methane released by warming oceans and defrosting soil of the tundra can also raise global temperatures. The Greenhouse Effect http://www.uic.com.au/graphics/ueg1-1.gif Climate Change Historically, two circumstances have caused global climate change: - An increase in the solar output of the sun (warming the Earth) -Volcanic eruptions (cooling the Earth) www.bnsc.gov.uk The Eruption of Tambora “1816 is probably the best known example of a volcanically-induced climate cooling event. It was largely caused by the eruption of Tambora, Indonesia, in April 1815, in one of the largest known eruptions of the past few millennia. The aerosol veil caused Northern Hemisphere cooling of up to 1 degree Celsius, and considerably more locally, with effects lasting until the end of 1816 and extending to both hemispheres. Snow fell in New England in June and abnormally cool temperatures in Europe led to widespread famine and misery, although the connection to volcanic aerosols was not realized at the time. Image of the volcano is from the NASA Space Shuttle, showing the 7 kilometrewide caldera depression formed in 1815. (Image: NASA.) ” www.geolsoc.org.uk • Tambora Climate Change – Fact… The Earth is getting warmer. (by about 1 degree F during the past 150 years) en.wikinews.org Climate Change- Fact… Sea level has risen by about 10 – 25 cm (about 7 inches) in the past 100 years. earthobservatory.nasa.gov Climate Change – Fact … • Glaciers are melting in Greenland, N. America, S. America, and Europe. • Ice shelves are breaking off in Antarctica. • The interior of Antarctica is getting colder! • Polar pack ice in the Arctic Circle is forming later in the fall and melting earlier in the spring. Glaciers Melting In Greenland www.earthman.tv Evidence of Climate Change – Antarctic Ice Shelves Breaking http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/low/science/nature/1880566.stm Evidence of Climate Change – Antarctic Ice Shelves Breaking “In 1995 the northern part of the Larsen ice shelf (known as Larsen A) collapsed – a process observed by Envisat’s predecessor spacecraft ERS. On 18 March 2002 another part known as Larsen B followed it, as captured by ASAR. During this most recent collapse a 200-metre-thick shelf with an area of 3,300 km2, equivalent in size to more than a third of the island of Corsica or the whole of Luxembourg, was lost.” Credits: H. Rott www.esa.int/export/images/LARSEN_bild01_L.jpg What is the Kyoto Protocol? It is agreement on global warming reached by the UN Conference on Climate Change in Kyoto Japan in 1997. The major industrial nations (163 as of April ’06) pledged to reduce their emissions of greenhouse gases between 2008 and 2012. A new treaty has not been developed. www.npointercos.jp The Kyoto Protocol Why didn’t the United States ratified the Kyoto Protocol? - It would be very expensive to carry out (about $400 billion/ year) - Our government wants more information on the causes of global warming. gallery.globalclimatecampaign.org One Major Issue The issue of climate change is probably one of the most important of our day. No scientist questions that we have experienced a warming phase lately. The question is the cause of the warming – is it caused by people releasing carbon dioxide into the atmosphere or by natural forces such as the sun and water vapor? If we have caused it, we should take steps to fix it. If we have not caused it, we should not take costly and ineffective steps to fix what we cannot control. One Troublesome Molecule • CO2 is a trace greenhouse gas. How trace, you might ask?? • It composes .04% of the atmosphere. • That’s 4 molecules out of 10,000! • It’s measured in PARTS PER million! One Troublesome Molecule • CO2 is released in combustion reactions when we burn fossil fuels, from volcanoes, weathering rocks & warm ocean waters and when we exhale. • CO2 is used by plants in the process of photosynthesis – to make food and grow! • No matter what you may hear from the media or the president of the USA, CO2 is NOT a toxic gas! Nor is it pollution. The Carbon Dioxide Connection • A carbon sink is a place that absorbs and stores CO2. – Carbon sinks include oceans and terrestrial forests. – The natural process that removes carbon dioxide from the atmosphere is photosynthesis – which explains why carbon sinks absorb CO2! • This also explains why excess CO2 acts as a fertilizer to forests! www.climatechangenorth.ca Two Opposing Groups • United Nations IPCC 1. What is their purpose? Established in 1988 “to provide the decision-makers and others interested in climate change with an objective source of information about climate change.” (ippc.ch) 2. Who are these people? Composed of “hundreds of scientists all over the world (who) contribute to the work of the IPCC as authors, contributors and reviewers.” (ippc.ch) 3. What was the outcome? Compiled 4 IPCC Assessment Reports - 1990, 1995, 2001, 2007 - used by governments around the world to create policies that address climate change. (ippc.ch) 4. Official website – http://www.ipcc.ch (Fun reading!) 5. These are the MANMADE CLIMATE CHANGE people. The View of the United Nations IPCC 1. This era of global warming “is unlikely to be entirely natural in origin” and “the balance of evidence suggests a discernible human influence on the global climate.” 2. IN OTHER WORDS: People, by burning fossil fuels are causing global warming! (And it’s going to be a catastrophe - like in The Day After Tomorrow!) The View of the United Nations IPCC 3. This is referred to as the consensus view. (A “consensus” means that everyone agrees!) “The vast majority of scientists agree that global warming is real, it’s already happening and that it is the result of our activities and not a natural occurrence.” (climatecrisis.net – Gore’s website) Heartland.org The View of the United Nations IPCC 4. IPCC’s Proposed Solution: a. Limit our use of fossil fuels by conservation b. Carbon trading (Cap and Trade) – which punishes companies for using energy c. Develop alternative sources of energy. The Science of the United Nations IPCC 1. … Studies that show that atmospheric carbon dioxide levels have gone up in the past century. The Carbon Dioxide Connection As stated earlier, CO2 is a greenhouse gas over which people have some control. In 1958, the geophysicist Charles keeling began taking measurements of CO2 in the atmosphere from atop Mauna Loa in Hawaii. He found that the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere increased. (From 314 ppm in 1958 to 358 ppm in 1994 ) www.eoearth.org Remember – CO2 is measured in PARTS PER MILLION! sepwww.stanford.edu/.../MaunaLoa103.3.jpg The Science of the United Nations IPCC 2… Computer models that attempt to predict what would happen to Earth’s climate. These models doubled and tripled the levels of CO2 without taking into account the effect of the sun or water vapor (which accounts for 95% of greenhouse gas effect due to its role in forming clouds). These models then predicted a huge hot spot along the equator that did not happen! (Joseph L. Bast, ICCC Conference) The Greenhouse Effect – Greenhouse Gases: Water Vapor Notice the solar radiation that is reflected back to space from the tops of the clouds and the heat that is reflected back to Earth’s surface by the bottom of the clouds. Water vapor’s role in the greenhouse effect is not completely understood and is difficult to model in computer simulations on global warming. http://science.hq.nasa.gov/oceans/images/water_cycle.jpg The Science of the United Nations IPCC 3. …Hockey-stick Graph Climate studies that mostly date from about 1750 to the present day. The infamous “hockey-stick” graph by Mann et. al. 1998 did go back to 1000 BC but completely ignored the major shifts in climate known as the “Medieval Warming” and the “Little Ice Age.” The hockey-stick graph is on top and the corrected graph is shown on the bottom. “The large, full-colour “hockey-stick” was the key graph in the UN’s 2001 report, and the only one to appear six times. The Canadian Government copied it to every household. Four years passed before a leading scientific journal would publish the truth about the graph. Did the UN or the Canadian government apologise? Of course not. The UN still uses the graph in its publications.” http://globalwarming.worldwidewarning.net/ Mann’s Graph Corrected… Mann’s data (lower, darker line) was faulty – ignoring the fertilizing effects of carbon dioxide on bristlecone pine trees. His study contradicted what is known about the Medieval Warming and the Little Ice Age from hundreds of historical sources and scientific papers. Who are the Skeptics? *ICCC Attendees and More Than 31,072 Like-minded American Scientists 1. What is their purpose? Met in March of 2009 to “confront the issue, “Global warming: Was it ever really a crisis?” and to “answer questions overlooked by the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).” 2. Who are these people? Composed of scientists from such prestigious places as MIT, Harvard, NASA, NOAA’s Hurricane Research Division, and Colorado State University who presented research that is skeptical of manmade global warming. 3. What was the outcome? They came to an alternative consensus that global warming was never really a crisis and is NOT caused by human activity. 4. Official website – http://www.heartland.org/events/NewYork09/newyork09.html 5. These are the people who are SKEPTICAL OF MANMADE CLIMATE CHANGE. The View of the Skeptics 1. “Since 2007, more than 31,072 American scientists, including 9,021 with PhDs, have signed a petition which says, in part, "There is NO convincing scientific evidence that human release of carbon dioxide, methane, or other greenhouse gases is causing or will, in the foreseeable future, cause catastrophic heating of the Earth's atmosphere and disruption of the Earth's climate.” (Heartland.org) Timothy Ball, Former Professor of Climatology, Univ. of Winnipeg The View of the Skeptics 3. IN OTHER WORDS: People are NOT causing global warming! With thousands of scientists disagreeing with the “consensus” view, it doesn’t appear to be a consensus at all! William Gray Colorado State University World’s Greatest Hurricane Expert in the World www.iceagenow.com The View of the Skeptics 5. Proposed Solution: a. Learn as much as possible about natural climate cycles b. Adapt for the future. c. Do NOT waste money on costly and ineffective measures to limit carbon dioxide emissions. d. Focus on helping people in poverty. (Heartland.org) Willie Soon Harvard-Smithsonian Astrophysicist The Science of the Skeptics 1… Ice core studies that show that global temperatures rise and fall BEFORE carbon dioxide levels rise and fall. These studies suggest that global warming causes the release of carbon dioxide – from carbon sinks such as the ocean - rather than carbon dioxide causing global warming! http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/paleo/icecore/ antarctica/vostok/vostok.html The Science of the Skeptics 2… Sunspot data that suggests that the sun has a lot more to do with heating Earth than a trace greenhouse gas like carbon dioxide! www.friendsofscience.org The Science of the Skeptics 3… Climate studies that go back over a thousand years (and more). Again, take a look at our Earth’s average temperatures (shown as a fluctuation above or below 20th century average temperatures). Note the period of global cooling in the 1970’s – well into the industrial revolution when carbon dioxide levels were going up exponentially! Time Magazine did a cover story in the 70’s to warn the world about Global Cooling! Greenland… sdnn.com It was a lot warmer back in Medieval days than it is now and they weren’t burning a whole lot of fossil fuels! (Did you ever wonder why the Vikings called Greenland, ‘Greenland?’) People were also living longer and growing crops where none had grown before. It was a good thing! www.friendsofscience.org Toryaardvarkwordpress.com One Final Thought… The issue of what causes climate change is far from settled. cityofatlantic... Manmade Climate Change… Proponents of Manmade climate change (such as Al Gore and his friends at the United Nations) point to carbon dioxide as the major cause of global warming because… Manmade Climate Change… 1. Measurements have shown that atmospheric carbon dioxide levels have increased in the past 150 years since the beginning of the Industrial Revolution. (Carbon dioxide is a trace greenhouse gas.) 2. At the same time, global temperatures went up in the 1980’s and 1990’s (after a cooling phase in the 1970’s) – with 1998 being the hottest year on record. 3. They concluded that it was carbon dioxide (carbon emissions) that caused the global warming. (And they have computer models to prove it!) Skeptics of Manmade Climate Change Scientists (like William Gray, Willie Soon and Timothy Ball) that are skeptical of the manmade climate change hypothesis do not think that carbon dioxide is the major cause of global warming because … Skeptics of Manmade Climate Change 1. Although atmospheric carbon dioxide levels have gone up in the past 150 years, there are studies that show that these levels rise and fall AFTER global temperatures rise and fall. 2. During those same 150 years of rising carbon dioxide levels, *the Earth warmed and cooled. 3. If rising carbon dioxide levels cause global temperatures to go up, then there should not be any cooling phases when in fact there were two cooling phases. (In the 1930’s and 1970’s) Skeptics of Manmade Climate Change *Global temperatures have gone up and down throughout recorded and prerecorded history – before the Industrial Revolution began in the 1800’s and before people began to burn large amounts of fossil fuels. * In 2008, Earth experienced a cooling.