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Climate Change Problem Solving
(AOSS 480 // NRE 480)
Richard B. Rood
Cell: 301-526-8572
2525 Space Research Building (North Campus)
[email protected]
Winter 2010
January 7, 2010
Class News
• Ctools site: AOSS 480 001 W10
• 2008 Class On Line:
• First Reading: Spencer Weart’s The Discovery of Global
– And in particular two subsections
• Carbon dioxide greenhouse effect:
• Simple climate models
Who am I?
Course Description Overview
Some Questions and Discussion
Glimpse in the Climate Change Problem
What is the Point of View that I Bring?
• Scientist and manager at NASA publishing in ozone
modeling, climate modeling, data analysis, highperformance computing.
• Worked on multi-agency strategies for climate modeling
and addressing the interface between the science of
climate change and the use of climate information by
• Participant in national and international assessments of
ozone depletion and environmental impact of aircraft.
• Teaching this course for the fifth time.
What is the Point of View that I Bring?
• “Complex problems with no known solutions.”
• There is something of “text” evolving on the web
from my blogs.
– Blog data base.
What are the pieces which we must consider?
(what are the consequences)
Societal Success
Standard of Living
Belief System Values Perception Cultural Mandate
Societal Needs
information flow: research, journals, press, opinion, …
From Course Description
• Identify the important elements of science,
policy, economics, public health, etc.
– Where should we pay attention?
– What do we know versus what do we believe?
• Identify and map the interactions between
these elements and connections to other
external elements
– How big is the problem?
• How is all of this changing?
Course Project
• Reflective of workplace …
– “Complex Problems with no Known Solutions.”
• Groups of individuals with varied expertise
• Responsive to “news”
– Relationship of news to science
• Project will provide recommendations, a strategy for addressing the
complex problem.
– What are first steps?
– What do we need to look out for as these steps are taken?
• Monitor progress // briefing during the course
– Use of community web page
– Development of wiki book
– Possible publication on widely accessed web site.
• Presentation at end of course
Course News
• Project
– Grade will be determined on the project
• Start to think about them – perhaps today
• Teams that bring together several elements of the project
– Should be no larger than 4 people.
– Should not be your friends that have the same background.
• Should be defined by late January
– I will provide a template for thinking about the problem.
• We will visit and re-visit the projects over the course
– That means I will provide management / customer oversight.
• Final presentations at the end
– Five or less small (1 page) writing exercises during the course.
Who are we?
• Name
• Major or Interest
• Any particular reason you wanted to take
this course.
• When some one asks you about global
warming, or you hear about global
warming, what is your first reaction?
• Do you think that the planet is warming?
– Is this warming consequential?
– Is this warming manmade?
– Can we do something about it?
Glimpse into the issues of Climate Change
• Some global climate predictions
The motivator: Increase of CO2
(Keeling et al., 1996)
Basic physics
of temperature
ncrease is very
simple, noncontroversial.
The prediction:
Note: There i
from many
models, man
that there will
be warming.
(1.5 – 5.5 C)
Also, it’s still
going up in
Projected Global Temperature Trends
2071-2100 temperatures relative to 1961-1990.
Special Report on Emissions Scenarios Storyline B2 (middle of the road warming).
IPCC ‘01
Observed Temperature Anomaly in 2005
See Also: Osborn et al., The Spatial Extent of 20th-Century Warmth in the Context of the
Past 1200 Years, Science, 311, 841-844, 2006
Observed Temperature Anomaly in 2008
See Also: Osborn et al., The Spatial Extent of 20th-Century Warmth in the Context of the
Past 1200 Years, Science, 311, 841-844, 2006
IPCC 2007:
The last
~100 years
What parameters/events do we care about?
• Temperature
• Water
– Precipitation
– Evaporation
– Humidity
• Droughts
• Floods
• Extreme Weather
• Air Composition
– Air quality
– Aerosols
– Carbon dioxide
• Winds
• Clouds / Sunlight
The impact of climate change is
Water for Ecosystems
Water for People
Water for Energy
Water for Physical Climate
• We’ll really get started next time!