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Climate Past Future

Climate Past Future

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Published by: David Spratt on Jan 18, 2012
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12/06/2014

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Eocene

 peak


Our
climate:
past
and
future
 Lessons
from
a
warmer
world


PETM
natural
 greenhouse
event
at
 55
million
years
ago.

This
is
a
graphical
interpreta/on
by
David
Spra7,
Melbourne
Climate
Ac/on
Centre,

 of
aspects
of
recent
paleo‐climate
research
by
Hansen
et
al,
available
in
draA
form
at:
 h7p://arxiv.org/abs/1105.1140
 h7p://www.columbia.edu/~jeh1/mailings/2011/20110118_MilankovicPaper.pdf
 h7p://www.columbia.edu/~jeh1/mailings/2011/20110514_PaleoAndImbalance.pdf
 Version
1.5
of
6
June
2011



Antarc3c
glacia3on
~
34
million
years
ago…


Relative temperature

Eocene

 peak


Around
34
million
years
 ago,
glacia/on
of
 Antarc/ca
at
tail‐end
of
 protracted
upper
Eocene
 cooling.


Northern
hemisphere
glacia3on
~
4.5
million
years
ago…


Relative temperature

Eocene

 peak


Around
~4.5
million
years
ago,
northern
hemisphere
glacia/on.
 Associated
with
the
rise
of
the
Panama
Cordillera
which
isolates
 the
Pacific
from
the
Atlan/c
oceans
and
leads
to
intra‐oceanic
 circula/on
(Gyres)
which
introduces
warm
currents
and
moisture
 to
the
North
Atlan/c
–
resul/ng
in
increased
snow
fall
and
 forma/on
of
ice
in
Greenland,
Lauren/a
and
Fennoscandia.


The
last
million
years…


Relative temperature

Climate
swings
 between
ice
ages
 and
warm

 inter‐glacial
periods
 over
last
million
 years.
 CO2
between
180
 and
300
parts
per
 million.


Carbon
dioxide
 and
methane
 over
last
 500,000
years

The
last
10,000
years
–
the
Holocene


Relative temperature

Peak
 Holocene
 temp.


Peak
of
Holocene
(over
last
10,000
years
up
1900AD)


Holocene:
aAer
the
 last
ice
age,
rela/vely
 stable
temperatures
 (+/–0.5C)
and
sea‐ levels
over
last
10,000
 years
–
the
period
of
 human
civilisa/on


Today
temperature
rises
above
the
Holocene
maximum


CO2
level
today
(2011)
is
391ppm
but
 “thermal
iner/a”
(delay
as
ocean
mass
 warm)
means
temperature
will
increase
 further.
 Temperatures
have
risen
~0.83C
since
 1900
and
are
now
~0.6C
over
peak
 Holocene.

2010


Relative temperature

Peak
of
Holocene
(over
last
10,000
years
up
1900AD)
 Global
average
temperature
now
~0.6C
above
peak
Holocene


2
degrees
–
goodbye
to
Greenland
ice
sheet…

When
climate
system
 reaches
equilibrium,
 present
level
of
CO2
will
 produce
>2C
of
warming
 with
feedbacks…

+2C


Relative temperature

Peak
of
Holocene
(over
last
10,000
years
up
1900AD)
 Global
average
temperature
now
~0.6C
above
peak
Holocene
 2C
of
warming:
consequence
of
current
level
of
greenhouse
gases


…
which
is
sufficient
for
large
 parts
of
Greenland
and
West
 Antarc/c
ice
sheets
to
be
lost,
 leading
to
at
least
a
5‐10
metre
 sea‐level
rise
over
/me


“Goals to limit human-made warming to 2°C.. are not sufficient – they are prescriptions for disaster” — Dr James Hansen

Relative temperature

+2C


Peak
Holocene:
over
last
10,000
years
up
1900AD
 Global
average
temperature
now
~0.6C
above
peak
Holocene
 2C
of
warming:
consequence
of
current
level
of
greenhouse
gases


4
degrees
–
goodbye,
goodbye
…

Best
present
emission
reduc/on
 commitments
by
all
governments
 (if
implemented)
will
s/ll
lead
to
 4
degrees
of
warming
by
2100…


Relative temperature

+4C


Peak
of
Holocene
(over
last
10,000
years
up
1900AD)
 Global
average
temperature
now
~0.6C
above
peak
Holocene
 2C
of
warming:
consequence
of
current
level
of
greenhouse
gases
 4C
of
warming






…and
likely
loss
over/me
 of
all
ice
sheets.
No
ice
 sheets
on
planet
=
70
 metre
sea‐level
rise
over
 /me…


…
amongst
many
devasta/ng
impacts.
 




Read
more
about
4
degrees
ho7er
at
 




h7p://www.climateac/oncentre.org/resources


Relative temperature

+4C


Peak
of
Holocene
(over
last
10,000
years
up
1900AD)
 Global
average
temperature
now
~0.6C
above
peak
Holocene
 2C
of
warming:
consequence
of
current
level
of
greenhouse
gases
 4C
of
warming






…
the
alterna3ve
scenario
(Hansen
et
al

2011)


6%
annual
reduc/on
in
CO2
emissions
star/ng
2013
plus
100
 billion
tonnes
of
reforesta/on
between
2031
and
2080
 reduces
CO2
to
below
350ppm
by
end
of
century.

Source:
“The
Case
for
Young
People
and
Nature:
A
Path
to
a
Healthy,
Natural,
Prosperous
Future”
(draA
paper)
by
 James
Hansen,
Pushker
Kharecha,
Makiko
Sato,
Paul
Epstein,
Paul
J.
Hearty,
Ove
Hoegh‐
Guldberg,
Camille
 Parmesan,
Stefan
Rahmstorf,
Johan
Rockstrom,
Eelco
J.Rohling,
Jeffrey
Sachs,
Peter
Smith,
Konrad
Steffen,
Karina
 von
Schuckmann,
James
C.
Zachos

 h7p://www.columbia.edu/~jeh1/mailings/2011/20110505_CaseForYoungPeople.pdf


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