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Transcript
Climate Change and
Global Warming
Michael E. Mann
Department of Environmental Sciences
University of Virginia
Waxter Environmental Forum
Sweet Briar College
March 14, 2002
`There is new and stronger
evidence that most of the
warming observed over
the last 50 years is attributable
to human activity'
Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change
(United Nations), Third Assessment Report, 2001
THE EMPIRICAL RECORD
Surface Temperature Changes
Climatic Research Unit (‘CRU’),
University of East Anglia
Surface Temperature Changes
Shaded: 20th century
Boxes: since mid 19th century
Surface Temperature Changes
Climate Change 2001: The Scientific
Basis, Houghton, J.T., et al. (eds.),
Cambridge Univ. Press, Cambridge,
2001
1998 Global Temperature Pattern
EL NINO/SOUTHERN OSCILLATION (“ENSO”)
Substantial interannual climate variability associated with
ENSO, but decadal variability is also evident as well. The
recent decadal trend towards El Nino conditions could be
natural or anthropogenic.
Multivariate
ENSO Index
(“MEI”)
NORTH ATLANTIC OSCILLATION
Negative Phase
Positive Phase
NORTH ATLANTIC OSCILLATION
This NAO trend could
be Anthropogenic
“PACIFIC DECADAL OSCILLATION”
Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation
There is evidence of
multidecadal natural variability
in the North Atlantic ocean
circulation
CO2
Related?
Greenhouse
Gases and
Warming
TREE RINGS
CORALS
ICE CORES
VARVED LAKE SEDIMENTS
HISTORICAL DOCUMENTS
RECONSTRUCTED
GLOBAL
TEMPERATURE
PATTERNS
European Winter Cooling During the Little Ice Age
“Little Ice Age”
European Winter Cooling During the Little Ice Age
Empirical
LIA winter cooling in
Europe associated with
an NAO trend due to solar
irradiance changes,
interacting w/
stratospheric
atmospheric dynamics
and chemistry
NASA/GISS Model
Shindell, D.T., Schmidt, G.A.,
Mann, M.E., Rind, D., Waple, A.,
Solar forcing of regional climate
change during the Maunder
Minimum, Science, 294, 21492152, 2001.
CLIMATE MODELS
The climate represents a coupled system
consisting of an atmosphere, hydrosphere,
biosphere, and cryosphere
General Circulation
Models take into
account the full threedimensional structure
of the atmosphere and
ocean
GCMs do a fairly
good job of
describing the
seasonal cycle in
surface
temperature
This alone doesn’t
guarantee that they
should do a good
job in describing
climate change!
January Temp (observations)
January Temp (model)
Modeled Internal Natural Variability Observations
INFLUENCE OF EXTERNAL FACTORS
The climate is governed by external factors, including
the intensity of solar output and volcanic aerosols
and greenhouse gas concentrations
Solar Variations
The climate is governed by external factors, including
the intensity of solar output and volcanic aerosols
and greenhouse gas concentrations
Volcanoes
The climate is governed by external factors, including
the intensity of solar output and volcanic aerosols
and greenhouse gas concentrations
The climate is governed by external factors, including
the intensity of solar output and volcanic aerosols
and greenhouse gas concentrations
GREENHOUSE EFFECT?
ENHANCED GREENHOUSE EFFECT?
CO2
Related?
Greenhouse
Gases and
Warming
SIMULATIONS OF CLIMATE CHANGE
CLIMATE FORCINGS
Volcanism
1000
1200
1400
1600
1800
Solar
Natural
2000
Simulated Annual Global Mean
Surface Temperatures
Climate Change
2001: The
Scientific Basis,
Houghton, J.T., et
al. (eds.),
Cambridge Univ.
Press, Cambridge,
2001
Forced Model
simulations
CLIMATE FORCINGS
Anthropogenic
Greenhouse
Gases
Industrial
Aerosols
Simulated Annual Global Mean
Surface Temperatures
Climate Change
2001: The
Scientific Basis,
Houghton, J.T., et
al. (eds.),
Cambridge Univ.
Press, Cambridge,
2001
Forced Model
simulations
Simulated Annual Global Mean
Surface Temperatures
Climate Change
2001: The
Scientific Basis,
Houghton, J.T., et
al. (eds.),
Cambridge Univ.
Press, Cambridge,
2001
Forced Model
simulations
Simulated Annual Global Mean
Surface Temperatures
Climate Change
2001: The
Scientific Basis,
Houghton, J.T., et
al. (eds.),
Cambridge Univ.
Press, Cambridge,
2001
Forced Model
simulations
Energy Balance Model
(“EBM”) simulation
Science
Future Surface Temperatures Trends?
Climate Change 2001: The Scientific Basis,
Houghton, J.T., et al. (eds.), Cambridge Univ.
Press, Cambridge, 2001
CONCLUSIONS
•Recent global surface temperatures are
unprecedented this century, and likely at least the
past millennium
•It is difficult to explain the recent surface warming
in terms of natural climate variability
•Recent surface warming is largely consistent with
simulations of the effects of anthropogenic
influence on climate
•Uncertainties remain regarding the precise
sensitivity of the climate to forcing, and the
regional details of expected climate changes