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Global Warming Policy

Objective
To model the impact of various factors on atmospheric carbon and temperature change; to assess alternative policies altering these factors; and to select an optimal policy.

Structure of the Analysis
 Introduction

Identification  Exposure Assessment  Exposure-Response Assessment  Risk Characterization  Policy Jusitification

 Hazard

Introduction: The Issue  The carbon cycle (its transfer and transformation in the environmental system) is perturbed by human activities  This perturbation results in an increase in atmospheric carbon dioxide over time  This increase results in increased absorption of solar radiation in the atmosphere .

.Introduction (continued)  This increase in radiation absorption increases the temperature of the atmosphere (or does it??)  This increased temperature alters the climate (or does it??)  This alteration of climate produces unacceptable loss of value (or does it??)  Policies can prevent this loss of value.

Hazard Identification If global warming did occur. what are some of the possible effects and how well are these established? .

ocean and ice currents)  Aqueous (air moisture and hydrologic cycle)  Static (pressure and density of air. ice and land)  Kinetic (wind. water. composition of the atmosphere) .Properties of Climate  Thermal (temperature of air.

two Januaries) . given over space and time  Climatic Variation.g.the average and variability of each property from the previous slide.Definitions  Climatic State.the difference between climatic states at two related points in time (e.

g.the deviation of a climatic state at some period of time from that which is typical at that period (e.Definitions (cont’d)  Climatic Variability. .  Climatic Anomaly.the variance over some defined period of time (e. monthly over the past 1000 years).g. an extreme January).

Factors Affecting Climate  Shape. location and scale of ocean circulation  Amount and location of ice (Cryosphere)  Amount of clouds (reflected radiation and absorption of radiation)  Amount of incoming solar radiation .

microbes)  Extent of evaporation  Albedo of the land’s surface .Continued  Composition of atmosphere (greenhouse gases.  Composition of biota (flora. fauna. water vapor) from anthropogenic and non-anthropogenic sources. particles.

It is well established that atmospheric carbon has increased significantly over the past century See Figures 11-14 and 11-15 .

As have other greenhouse gases See Figures 11-17 for nitrous oxide. 11-19 for methane and 11-21 for CFCs .

The Temperature has Changed Dramatically Over Time See Figure 11-11 in Text. but less than 2 degrees C in the recent past . Note the temperature swings of up to 10 degrees C.

Evidence for this Change: sediments  Ancient soil composition  Layered Ice Cores  Positions of Ice Sheets  Tree Rings  Written records and artwork  Ocean .

 Crop shift to higher latitudes in the North and higher altitudes.Temperature Change is Associated with:  Change in Ice Coverage Change in amount of water in oceans (related to above). . Prediction of several cm per degree C increase in temperature due to ice melt and expansion of heated water.

some decline).  Change in precipitation patterns (see Figure 11-26) and soil moisture.Continued  Increase in wind energy and patterns (cell flow) due to change in differential heating over the earth’s surface. .  Change in crop productivity due to change in precipitation patterns (some areas improve.

Continued  Salt water intrusion into groundwater supplies.  Glaciers recede .  Displacement of populations from coasts (sea level and storm surges).  Loss of sanitation near coast.

But is any of this due to increased carbon in the atmosphere? There has been an apparent pattern of increased carbon dioxide in the atmosphere and temperature (see Figure 11-9 in text) There has been a measured 0.5 degrees C increase in temperature since the industrial revolution .

.But there also are distinct arguments against this:  The bulk of the recent increase came between 1910 and 1940. before the most rapid carbon rise (consider volcanic emissions and sulfates).  Could be an incorrect comparison of temperature records due to locations and methods.

Continued  Could simply be the Milankovitch Cycle (see Figure 11-8 in text) related to eccentricity of orbit.g.  There are negative feedback mechanisms not currently incorporated in models (e. tilt of the earth and time of perihelion). cloud cover) .

Feedback Mechanisms  Temperature increases. temperature goes up (positive). temperature goes down (negative). microbial growth increases. . atmospheric carbon goes up. water vapor increases. albedo of atmosphere increases. decay of plants increases.  Temperature increases.

plants grow. rate of transfer from atmosphere to flora goes up. albedo of surface goes down. temperature goes up (positive) .Feedback (cont’d)  Atmospheric carbon goes up. carbon goes down. temperature goes down (negative).  Temperature goes up. ice caps melt revealing dark rock.

. northern Europe gets colder (negative) but equator warms (positive). atmospheric carbon goes down. ocean phytoplankton grow. more freshwater in oceans.  Temperature goes up. temperature goes down (negative).Feedback (cont’d)  Temperature goes up. ocean circulation pattern slows. rate of transfer of carbon from atmosphere to ocean goes up.

 Temperature increases. temperature differential between regions increases. more light reflected. more salt swept from ocean to atmosphere. albedo goes up. less fuel used in winter (stops onset of ice age). temperature decreases (negative). wind increases. less carbon in atmosphere.Feedback (cont’d)  Temperature increases. temperature decreases (negative) .

if it occurs. probably would not be uniform over the earth See Figure 11-25 and consider local factors controlling the microclimate .The predicted heating.

what will be the impact on loss of value? .Exposure Assessment Under any given policy which alters the factors controlling atmospheric carbon. what will be the amount of atmospheric carbon after 1000 years? or Under any given policy.

The Conceptual Model .

 Existential energy needs for developed world dropped to current underdeveloped world values for transportation and commerce.  Ocean phytoplankton increased 5%. . so population is under control in 20 years.Factors Adjusted from Baseline  Kbr set to 0.1.  10% of barren land changed to deciduous forest.

Predicted Increase in Atmospheric Carbon .

Exposure-Response Assessment What is the relationship between exposure (the amount of atmospheric carbon at 1000 years) and response (the temperature increase)? .

Intensity from the sun (watts/m2) Fraction reflected by the atmosphere Fraction entering the atmosphere Fraction reaching the earth's surface Fraction absorbed in the atmosphere Fraction reflected at the surface Fraction absorbed at the surface Fraction reaching space Fraction absorbed in the atmosphere Fraction back out as radiation Fraction back out as air currents. etc Fraction reaching space Fraction absorbed in the atmosphere .

Exposure-Response Curve .

Risk Characterization What is the predicted exposure (amount of atmospheric carbon) and response (temperature increase) under my selected policy? How confident am I in these predictions? .

with a temperature increase of 1.7 degrees C .My predicted exposure is 1150 BMT at 1000 years.

.  This model predicts my policy will result in a level of atmospheric carbon of 1150 BMT after 1000 years if nothing in the model changes during that time.Policy Justification I have used a simplified model of the interactions between major components of the environmental system.

at least in the sense of being conservative.Policy Justification (cont’d)  The model predicts a temperature increase of 2 degrees C over 1000 years.  This amount of atmospheric carbon and temperature increase are acceptable. .  The policy is acceptable (feasible??).  I have reasonable confidence in the predictions of the model.

into my model (ontological)  I have used these features in a mathematical model and applied correct mathematical procedures to develop predictions (logical)  I have used a correct procedure (literature review) to develop parameter values (methodological) . including the climate system.Why do I think I my selection is rational? I have incorporated many of the features of the environmental system.

although I did not consider policy feasibility!!  My goals were defined (valuational)  I understand the meaning of all of the terms I have employed (conceptual clarity) .Rational? (cont’d) I have considered reasons for uncertainty in the model and parameter values (epistemological)  My analysis was performed within time deadlines (practical).