Monthly Archives: December 2007

Basic Radiative models/Earth’s climate system analysis Pt. 3

From parts One and Two, we’ve discussed the TOA energy balance as well as the role of the greenhouse effect, and what happens with the addition of more greenhouse gases. In the final piece of this series, I’ll discuss the surface energy budget, and simple principles of atmospheric circulation.

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Basic Radiative models/Earth’s climate system analysis Pt. 2

From Part 1 we should be able to calculate the energy balance of a planet, and should be able to calculate the equilibrium blackbody temperature of an isothermal spherical zero-albedo planet, as a function of distance from a sun having a given photospheric temperature (the outer layer of the sun).

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Basic Radiative models/Earth’s climate system analysis Pt. 1

I thought I would work backwards a bit and go over some of the basics of radiative transfer/balance in the climate system, and how daily weather systems work. The post is rather broad, and (hopefully) easy-to-read version of what factors determine the Earth’s climate.

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Corals in Peril

In the latest issue of Science, Hoegh-Guldberg et al. 2007 (subscription required) reports on the effects on coral reefs due to the strong influences of both the increase in global temperatures, and the acidification of ocean because of high atmospheric CO2 levels, of which are now higher than any time in at least 800,000 years, and probably longer.

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The Scientific Basis for Anthropogenic Climate Change

The Scientific Basis for Anthropogenic Climate Change

Note* The graphs that appear here can be clicked for enhanced versions

Climate Science can be a bit like detective work when dealing with an issue such as global warming. First of all, we have a “detection and attribution” process where we spot a problem, and then try to find a suspect. Like they do on CSI, you find a body, and then go and find evidence to put blame on someone or something. Right now, the problem is the globe is warming, and it appears that anthropogenic CO2 plays a large part in this trend.

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A glacier perspective

The following images were presented by Dr. Lonnie Thompson at the latest AGU conference in California, in a powerpoint presentation. Just gives a bit of a persective on what is going on around the world. Ice is one of the first reactors to a climate change, and the pictures show that we are in a new climate. The images are from different parts of the world: the Himalays in Tibet, to the Andes in South America, Alaska, Glacier National Park, Italy, Africa, etc

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Some Definitions/Acronyms

Quite a lot of times on the internet, there is a vast amount of confusion on exactly what something means; even things like “global warming” can be misunderstood as “temperature of the Earth,” or that the “greenhouse effect” is bad. Here, I will try to clear some up, or at least how I will use the terms in my posts. Note that there are generally authoritative definitions on the subject, such as those used in the IPCC glossary at http://www.grida.no/climate/ipcc_tar/wg1/518.htm , or by the National Academies, etc.

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Hello world!

Hi, this is Chris. This blog is made for the purpose of discussing the issues of climate change; this includes the science, impacts, and mitigation of climate change. Scientists are clear on a few issues- the globe is warming, and we’re responsible. Climate Sensitivty is enough to be worried. It will take effort, and money, to solve the problem but the benefits outweigh the risks.

In the process, we’ll discuss many skeptical arguments against Anthropogenic Global Warming (to see how they stack up), as well as the up-to-date literature on what is going on today. More to come!