8 Negative Effects of Climate Change

Climate change is real, and it’s affecting us all. From severe heat waves to extreme flooding, here are 8 negative effects of climate change. You’d wish it was all just a hoax… Number 8: Destruction of archeological sites We often think about how changes in the climate are threatening the lives of humans, animals, and plants on the planet. But we fail to realize that it’s not only the living that are affected by climate change. In fact, archeological sites – priceless windows to our past – are suffering as well. High sea waves are hitting Easter Island, the famous site of the moai – mysterious giant head-and-torso statues built by ancient Polynesians. The platforms supporting the moai are slowly being damaged by sea water, and if this continues, the monolithic figures might fall off and end up at the bottom of the ocean one day. Mesa Verde National Park in Colorado is also at risk, and is cited as one of the places most vulnerable to climate change in the US.

There are thousands of archeological sites here, constructed by the ancient Puebloans thousands of years ago. But rising temperatures have caused frequent wildfires, and with it the destruction of rock carvings. This also causes the exposure of new sites and artifacts that become vulnerable to erosion and flooding. These are just two examples of many priceless ancient artifacts and ancient archeological sites in the world that are at risk. Archeologists seem to be in a race against time to document and protect these places before they are gone forever. Number 7: Food shortages We’ve mentioned how climate change and global warming leads to drought, deforestation, and pest infestation. All of this combined causes one major problem – it inhibits the ability of farmers to grow food. In order to grow, crops need to be on fertile land, which becomes largely unavailable due to water shortages.

Food shortages have not occurred widely yet, and international trade will likely prevent any major famine to affect us soon – at least not in the near future. But at the rate we’re going, food prices will soon skyrocket, both due to shortages and the need for refrigeration when extreme heat waves come hitting. Third World countries on the other hand, have it harder. In less developed countries, drought equates to star facial and suffrage sing. Prolonged drought and conflict have left 16 million people across East Africa on the brink of star facial and in urgent need of food, water and medical treatment. Number 6: Rising CO2 levels Since the Industrial Revolution over 2 centuries ago, we’ve gradually been producing more and more Carbon Dioxide on a regular basis. With large scale industrialization and the burning of fossil fuels, we’ve put a total of 2000 gigatons of CO2 in the atmosphere, and about 40% of it has stayed there.

Humans have only been roaming this planet for a relatively short period, yet today’s CO2 levels are the highest they have ever been for millions of years. C02 is one of the main gases contributing to the greenhouse effect, the process by which radiation from the atmosphere heats the planet’s surface. The greenhouse effect is essential for supporting life on the planet, but its extreme intensification has led to global warming. Number 5: Global Warming Global warming – it is the main form of climate changing, and the 2 terms are even often used interchangeably. As of right now, the Earth is warming at a scary rate, 10 times faster than at the end of the Ice Age. Since we started measuring global surface temperature in 1850, each decade seems to surpass the previous, and that rate does not seem to be slowing down. This directly affects us in a number of ways, mainly in the form of drought and extreme weathers. Since the previous century, mega droughts have been appearing everywhere all over the Earth.

Rainfall has been scarce, farms get deserted, and lakes are drying up. Some lakes have even dried up completely, and are no longer existent. An example is Bolivia’s Lake Poopo, which was once its country’s second largest lake. The process of global warming brought increased temperatures to the region, and its evaporation rate multiplied exponentially since the 1990s. By December 2015, Lake Poopo had completely dried up, leaving only a few marshy areas. According to scientists, it is unlikely that it will ever recover. While some places are affected by drought, other places are more vulnerable to extreme weathers in the form of heat waves and storms. The frequency and duration of heat waves has increased greatly within the past half century, and are only going to get worse. Heat waves alone kill more people in the United States compared to natural disasters like tornadoes, earthquakes, and floods combined. Global warming also affects storm formation, by decreasing the temperature difference between the poles and the equator.

Some experts have found a correlation between global warming and the intensity of recent Atlantic Ocean tropical cyclones such as Katrina, Wilma, and Sandy. Number 4: Losing our forests Climate change affects all life on the planet, and this includes forest ecosystems, many of which have been destroyed indirectly by global warming. Bark beetles are major pests that feed and breed between the bark and wood of various tree species, damaging them in the process. These insects thrive in warm temperatures, and as a consequence of global warming, have expanded their ranges and proliferated widely in the forests of North America and Europe. Millions of acres of forest have been destroyed due to bark beetle infestation in recent years. Another cause of widespread deforestation is wildfire. While climate change does not directly cause trees to burn up, wildfires are generally the result of forests getting extremely dry.

Global warming lessens the humidity of forest areas, making them vulnerable to catch on fire. Forests in the western coast of USA, particularly in California, get set ablaze often during dry seasons. If rain fell more often, these forest fires would be extinguished much quicker. There has indeed been a notable increase in wildfires in California within the last decade compared to the decade before, meaning a correlation with climate change is very much likely, and would probably get worse with rising temperatures. Number 3: Insufficient energy to meet demands Since the dawn of mankind, people have learnt of various ways to keep themselves warm – from starting simple fires to creating electric-powered heaters. One of the main reasons for energy demand used to be heating, as people needed to survive long and chilly winters. But a global trend that started in the past century has seen a reversal, especially with the invention of cooling devices like refrigerators and air conditioners.

With the climate getting warmer and warmer, the demand for cooling has skyrocketed. With the increase in carbon emissions and the resulting hot temperatures, the demand for more energy to produce cooling is getting out of control. The worse thing is that this creates a neverending heat-producing cycle. More demand results in more power plants and cooling devices being created, which when used, emits more carbon that heats up the environment. Our only hope is the creation and use of clean energy sources that could keep up with the demands while breaking this vicious cycle. Research and development in solar power shows promise. On the other hand, hydro-electric power is expected to fall behind, as global warming and droughts have caused a decrease in river water levels. Without enough water flow, generators at the dams will not be able to provide energy.

Meanwhile, sea levels are rising, creating a potential risk of flood and storms that could cripple power generators along coastlines. This would disrupt power transmission to entire cities, and create a more desperate demand for energy. Number 2: Melting ice caps & rising sea levels Water covers more than 70% of our planet, and they absorb most of the heat added to the atmosphere. So it’s only natural that is where the extreme changes of climate change are seen. Sea levels around the world have been rising a 10th of an inch every year, and they’re already up 8 inches since 100 years ago. There are two reasons for this. One water expands as it gets warmer. Two, because glaciers, ice caps and icebergs are melting, so they add up to the ocean’s water volume. White sea ice is essential in reflecting sun rays back up into the atmosphere.

Without an ice layer, the dark ocean absorbs the heat rays, feeding the cycle forward. Summer sea ice in the Arctic has decreased a staggering 40% since just 40 years ago, making it the lowest in 1400 years. Antarctica is also experiencing a similar thing, with its western glaciers melting at an alarming rate. At this current rate, the oceans would be up a meter higher by the end of this century. Coastal settlements would be flooded, and many of them would become uninhabitable. And it’s not just cities, but entire nations are also at risk of being wiped off the map. The island country of Maldives is particularly endangered, and is at risk of being swallowed up by the ocean within the next few decades. Their leaders’ pleas to the world to cut global greenhouse gas emissions have been generally ignored, and they are already looking into purchasing new land from neighboring countries to settle their people in the future. Number 1: Animal extinction All the damages caused by climate change is not only affecting us humans, but nearly all the other species on the planet are also struggling to adapt to these changes that we have caused. A lot of animals, mostly birds, are seen beginning their seasonal migrations a lot earlier.

For instance, scientists have found that the Icelandic black-tailed godwits have started migrating 2 weeks earlier than normal to escape the summer heat. Some animals are moving away from their natural habitats towards cooler areas in higher elevations. The distribution patterns of Adelie penguins across Antarctica have also changed significantly. They are known to mainly feed on Antarctic krills, which are small crustaceans that stay under ice caps. But with fewer ice caps remaining, Adelie penguins find themselves in short of food supply leading to mass migrations. All this migration of various animal species is indeed a sign of the climate getting warmer every year. We have also seen a disturbing change within the behavior of several animals. The melting of polar ice in the summer has led to Polar bears channel arising their own cubs out of desperation in order to stay alive. The ocean is our planet’s largest carbon sink. With more Carbon Dioxide released into the atmosphere, more of it ends up dissolving into the ocean, causing a decrease in the water’s pH levels.

Although still far away from turning the ocean into acid, creatures with calcium shells are really sensitive to these slight changes. The ocean is on the course of hitting a pH level of 7.8 within a century, which would mean the end of about one third of the ocean’s species. The Orange-spotted filefish has already gone locally extinct around Japan due to extensive coral bleaching and hypersensitivity to warm waters. Some animal species have already gone totally extinct. The Golden toad that was once native to the forests of Costa Rica was last sighted in 1989, having likely all bite off due to high temperatures. They were known to mate in wet conditions, and the repeated dry seasons presumably ended their species..

Hitler Denial: cartoonist Stuart McMillen discusses his climate change comic

G'day, I'm Stuart McMillen, and thanks for reading my comic Hitler Denial. Now, as I shoot this video, we are in the lead-up to an important global climate summit that will happen in Paris in December 2015. And as you probably know, the climate scientists are telling us that we need to cut our CO2 emissions within the next two or three decades to avoid overshooting 2ºC of global warming. Now I'm here at Parliament House in Australia, and unfortunately the leaders of my country… …like the leaders of all countries are currently proposing weak emission reduction targets. So, the climate scientists are telling us that we need to cut by 80, 90 or 100%… …but the leaders are proposing cuts of 20, 30, or 40%. In other words, the leaders are only proposing token gestures. They're shooting so low, that our actions will do nothing to solve the problem. Now look, of course if you talk to the politicians about this they'll say, "well, we're just proposing realistic solutions!" But what does that word 'realistic' actually mean? If you ask me, what's "realistic" is just what's convenient to the people who are comfortable with the business-as-usual status quo.

And of course, what's "realistic", what's "unrealistic" is heavily dependent upon the assumptions… …that go into the spreadsheets, that go into the models that the economists use when the economists advise our politicians. And I think on this matter, the economists are showing just how little they understand about the physical word that surrounds us. They're showing how ignorant they are of the threat that climate change poses to our civilisation. So what do I know? I know that the climate scientists are telling us that we need to make the cuts. I know that the engineers are telling us that we can make the cuts. But the engineers are also telling us that they need the permission, they need the funding of the politicians in order to start rolling out their technologies on a big scale. So what I'm saying is, in the lead up to the Paris climate summit, we need our politicians to start acting like leaders. We need our politicians to be like Winston Churchill.

To forget about what's convenient, what's "realistic"… …and to do what is necessary to solve the problem. Now look, if you liked my comic Hitler Denial, please help me to draw more comics like it by clicking the purple button beneath this video. Please join my recurring monthly crowdfunding campaign, which you can do for as little as $1 per month. However, if you pledge $10 per month, I will send you a series of limited edition, hand-numbered postcards featuring my artwork. Every time I send a new postcard, there will be a different piece of artwork for you every time. Now look, I don't know anything about you, I don't know anything about your budget… …but, I'm guessing you can probably afford to spend $1 per month, especially if it's going to a guy like me, drawing comics like that. And look, from the way things are going for me as a freelance cartoonist right now, I'm telling you I could really do with that extra $1 per month. So please, think about how much you enjoyed your reading experience… ..

.and click the purple button. And look, I mean you might as well do it right now while you're thinking about it! So, purple button! Anyway, thanks for reading, thanks for watching, and I'll see you next time. Hitler Denial comic: http://HitlerDenial.com One-off donations: http://bit.ly/HitlerDenialPDF Recurring monthly donations: http://patreon.com/stumcm.

UQx DENIAL101x 3.4.3.1 Daily and yearly cycle

Scientists predict that human-caused global warming should result in certain specific patterns of warming. Because these patterns are consistent with what we expect to happen as a result of the increased greenhouse effect, they’re considered “fingerprints” of the human influence on the Earth’s climate. As far back as 1865, physicist John Tyndall predicted that warming caused by the increased greenhouse effect should cause nights to warm faster than days, and winters to warm faster than summers. He was able to make this prediction by knowing that at night and during the winter, the Earth’s surface cools by radiating heat out to space. Greenhouse gases trap some of this heat, slowing that nighttime and winter cooling. The sun doesn’t shine all the time, the greenhouse effect is at work 24/7. Additionally the moon gives us a good counter-example because it doesn’t have an atmosphere. During the day, there’s nothing between the Sun and the Moon’s surface to block incoming sunlight.

At night, there are no greenhouse gases to trap the outgoing heat from the Moon. As a result, the difference between day and night temperatures is extreme. Daytime temperatures on the moon reach 120˚ Celsius, or 250˚ Fahrenheit. Nighttime temperatures fall below minus 200˚ Celsius, or minus 330˚ Fahrenheit. At the other extreme, Venus has a runaway greenhouse effect, much bigger than the greenhouse effect on Earth. Its temperature is an intense 460˚ Celsius, or 730˚ Fahrenheit. It’s like this day and night, all year long. Venus doesn’t even have seasons because its greenhouse effect is so strong. As these two examples illustrate, the bigger the greenhouse effect, the smaller the difference between daytime and nighttime temperatures. We know humans are increasing the greenhouse effect on Earth by burning more and more fossil fuels. If the greenhouse effect is increasing, then the difference between nighttime and daytime temperatures, and between winter and summer temperatures, should be shrinking. There’s a common myth that global warming is caused by the Sun rather than humans.

That myth fails to account for the available evidence. If the Sun were responsible, we would see an entirely different pattern of global warming. In that scenario, we would expect to see the Earth warming most when sunlight is bombarding the surface the most – during the daytime, and during the summer season. That means that if the Sun were responsible, we would see days warming faster than nights, and summers warming faster than winters. These expected patterns of global warming give scientists a clear test to determine whether the evidence matches the fingerprints of human or solar-caused warming. It took over 130 years before John Tyndall’s prediction was confirmed, but over the last few decades, surface measurements have found nights warming faster than days, and winters warming faster than summers. The difference between nighttime and daytime temperatures, and winter and summer temperatures, is shrinking, just as Tyndall anticipated would happen due to the increased greenhouse effect.

Fingerprints in the Earth’s climate change, like these changes in global warming patterns, clearly point to humans, and not the Sun, as the culprit responsible for global warming over the past century..

Bill Nye Explains Climate Change, Acidification With Simple Science Experiments | TODAY

>>> AND YOU GUYS, I'VE GOT TO SAY — >> YOU LIKE THAT? >> JUST FOR YOU. >> YOU LOOK PRETTY SHARP. IF YOU LIKE TO WORRY ABOUT THINGS YOU'RE LIVING IN A GREAT TIME. >> OKAY. >> SO — THIS IS JUST A TRADITIONAL DEMONSTRATION TO SHOW YOU THE BIG PROBLEM. I'M GOING TO MAKE A MARK ON THIS RED TAPE. AS WE WARM THIS WATER, IT EXPANDS. HERE YOU ARE — HOLD THE BULB. >> HOLD THE BULB. >> SHEINELLE HOLD THE BULB, BOTTOM PART. YOU KNOW IT WILL GO UP. >> SURE. >> THE RED LIQUID WILL GO UP. >> YEAH, YEAH, YEAH. >> SAME IS HAPPENING HERE. THERE YOU GO. AND THE SAME IS HAPPENING WITH THE WORLD'S OCEAN, EVERYBODY. YOU GET THIS ENORMOUS OCEAN JUST A LITTLE BIT WARMER, IT GETS BIGGER, JUST LIKE THIS. JUST LIKE THIS. AND WHEN IT GETS BIGGER, EXOTIC PLACES LIKE NORFOLK, VIRGINIA, GALVESTON, TEXAS TO A LESSER EXTENT MANHATTAN, ARE GOING TO HAVE WATER COMING IN TO YOUR LIVING ROOM, AND PEOPLE ARE GOING TO LEAVE.

WHO'S GOING TO PAY FOR IT? ABANDON HOUSES. IT'S GOING TO BE A DRAG. SEE THAT? IN JUST A FEW SECONDS, WATER EXPANDS. JUST AS, JUST LIKE THE SPIRIT AND THE THERMOMETER. YOU DON'T NEED TO TAKE THAT WITH YOU. >> I'M WALKING BECAUSE — YOU'RE RIGHT. SOMETHING I HADN'T THOUGHT ABOUT. >> DOES GO UP. RIGHT? >> IT DOES. >> MOVING ALONG. THINGS TO DO. >> ANOTHER EXAMPLE. >> ANOTHER IMPORTANT THING. SO HERE IN THE WORLD IN WHICH WE LIVE, THERE WE ARE ADDING CARBON MONOXIDE TO THE AIR EXTRAORDINARILY FAST. THE CARBON MONOXIDE IS MIXING WITH THE OCEAN. HERE'S SOMETHING YOU CAN DO AT HOME. NOTHING BUT FUN. RED CABBAGE, BOILING WATER. >> UH-HUH. >> PRODUCES THIS LIQUID. CRAIG, IF YOU WOULD, PUT THE SHMINKIEST TINY SHMINK OF VINEGAR IN THIS ONE. >> A TINY DROP? >> USE YOUR JUDGMENT. >> WHOA. IT TURNED RED AS IF BY MAGIC. IT'S NOT MAGIC, IT'S — >> VINEGAR.

>> SCIENCE. >> SCIENCE. >> SCIENCE! >> IF YOU WOULD, NOW, BLOW BUBBLES INTO THIS, ALSO. >> BECAUSE YOU BREATHE OUT CARBON DIE Y CARBON DIOXIDE. >> LIKE BREATHING INTO THE EARTH? >> INTO THE AIR. ADDING CARBON DIOXIDE MIXING WITH THE OCEAN FORMING CARBONIC ACID. WHAT SHE'S MIXING HERE. LOOK, IT'S CHANGING COLOR. ADDING THIS TO THE OCEAN IT'S BECOMING MORE AAID– ACIDIC, HARD ON SEA LIFE. YOU'RE WALK, THIRSTY AND SOMEONE HANDS YOU A BOTTLE OF VINEGAR INSTEAD OF WATER. WHAT WE'RE DOING TO THE ATMOSPHERE. THREE THINGS WE WANT FOR EVERYBODY IN THE WORLD. >> CLEAN WATER. >> RIGHT ON. >> CLEAN AIR? >> YEAH, CLEAN AIR, BUT I WAS GOING TO SAY, THE SECOND THING IS, RENEWABLY PRODUCED, RELY ELECTRICITY AND THE THIRD THING IS ACCESS TO THE INTERNET, FOR EVERYBODY IN THE WORLD. >> WE ALWAYS LEARN SOMETHING NEW.

>> TRY THIS AT HOME AND THINK BIG ABOUT CLIMATE CHANGE. LET'S CHANGE THE WORLD. >> I HAVE TO SAY, THANK YOU. IF YOU'D LIKE TO WATCH HIS NEW SHOW "BILL NYE SAVES THE WORLD.".

Attack on science

Hayhoe: These days, to get attacked, all we have to do is step foot off campus and tell anybody, even a local Kiwanis club, or a local church, or even a group of elementary school kids, that climate change is real, and then the angry letters start to flood in. Mann: Typically the attacks are not really about the science. The attack on the science is a proxy for what is really an effort to discredit science that may prove inconvenient for certain special interests. Oreskes: That’s when I started getting attacked. And that was when life sort of changed, it was a bit going through the looking glass. I started getting hate e-mail. What happened then was I mentioned to a couple of colleagues what was going on, and one of my colleagues at Scripps, at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography, said to me, “You should talk to Ben Santer.

Something sort of similar happened to him.” Santer: I remember sitting in a bar in Madrid with Stephen Schneider, the late Stephen Schneider, immediately after the final sentence had been agreed on in the 1995 report, a sentence that’s forever engraved on my memory. The balance of evidence suggests a discernible human influence on global climate. Here we are at this bar, and Steve says to me, “This changes everything, you know. Your life is going to be changed forever.” I had no idea what he was talking about. I really didn’t. Hayhoe: There is definitely a pattern of what happens: nasty e-mails, complaints to your university, requests for your e-mails, and a lot of attacks online. Mann: Often it takes the form of an attack on individual scientists. It’s part of the strategy of ad hominem attack.

Santer: Go after the scientist. Go after their integrity. Go after their funding. Make life miserable for them. Mann: I have received letters in the mail that in one case contained a while powder that I had to actually report to the FBI. They had to come to my office and investigate this and send this off to a lab to make sure that it wasn’t anthrax or some very dangerous substance that my entire department would have been subject to because of this. Santer: Then there’s the power of the Internet, which really was not available back in 1995, to harness your supporters to go after individual scientists, send them threatening e-mails or worse, and let them know, “We’re watching you. We don’t like you. We don’t like what you do.

” Mann: One of the tactics that you see in climate change denialism is an effort to spin and misrepresent peer reviewed scientific studies. So often studies that say one thing, for example, show that some aspect of climate change is even worse than we thought, will somehow be spun by climate change deniers as if it doesn’t provide evidence for concern. Oreskes: Clearly misrepresenting scientific information, cherry picking scientific data, one egregious example that we talk about in the book is an early work by Jim Hansen that Bill Nierenberg, Bob Jastrow and Fred Seitz take out of context and use it to argue that climate change is caused by the sun when, in fact, if you go back to the original paper, Hansen is arguing exactly the opposite. Santer: I think an additional weapon in the arsenal is Freedom of Information Act requests, which are being used not really to advance understanding or, again, shed light on complex scientific issues but as a tactic to threaten, to intimidate, to throw a spanner in the works to take up your time.

Mann: They will bully editors to try to get them to retract articles that are a threat to their case, their case being that climate change isn’t real, it’s not something to worry Oreskes: The weirdest day of my whole life practically was the day I got a phone call from a reporter in Tulsa, Oklahoma ,who said to me, “Are you aware of the fact that Senator James Imhofe is attacking you?” [laughter] I was like, at that time, I honestly didn’t know who Senator Imhofe was. In fact, I think I had been to Oklahoma maybe once but, I mean, and so I said, “No, I have no idea.” At first I thought he was making a mistake, this was some other, well, I have a very unusual name, so it didn’t seem plausible it was some other Naomi Oreskes. And then he had, he read to me from this speech that Imhofe was making and it was part of what we all are very familiar with now that I was a part of the “global conspiracy,” the scientific conspiracy to bring down global capitalism. And I remember thinking, “Conspiracy?!? Scientists are not that organised.” Santer: hacking e-mails, releasing them, all of these things. The technology has moved on since 1995, but it’s the same playbook: don’t really focus on the science and advancing understanding, contributing, but tear down, destroy.

Hayhoe: I think the best we can do is shield ourselves from the attacks and try not to dwell on them, unless it’s a safety issue, in which case we should take appropriate steps, and try to move on, focusing on what we want to achieve rather than what’s trying to hold us back. Mann: So if you are a prominent scientist, if you participate in the public discourse, as I’ve often said, you better develop a thick skin because you will be attacked personally. Hayhoe: My number one rule of thumb is: do not Google myself. I don’t want to see. My number two rule of thumb is to not read the comments section. I don’t want to know. Oreskes: One of the things that I think is really important us that by writing about these things and by documenting about it in a scholarly way with high standards of documentation, we can explain to our colleagues, our institutions, editors at journal, and the public and the media what this is. Because this is not a scientific debate.

I mean if I have one message that’s what my message has been all along and it still is: this is not a scientific debate; it’s a political debate. But it’s a political debate being made to look like a scientific debate. We now know why people do that. Because it’s a very very effective strategy because if you can make people think it’s a scientific debate then people will think it’s too soon to act. But if people see the truth, if they realise that this is a political debate, that it’s related to people’s ideologies to their values, structures, that gives a whole different cast. So it’s very very important for people to understand the character of what this thing is. Santer: Some things are worth fighting for. That perhaps was the most profound lesson for me back then: that a clear public understanding of the science, doing the kind of thing that you’re doing here, that was truly worth fighting for..

Carbon cycle

House: The carbon cycle is, very simply, it’s about the cycling of carbon through natural systems – through plants, through soils, through the ocean – and back out into the atmosphere. Le Quéré: In the natural carbon cycle, there’s a lot of fluxes of carbon dioxide, so the carbon goes in and out of the ocean, in and out of the terrestrial biosphere every year. House: The carbon is constantly flowing between these different systems and large amounts of carbon moves all the time. Le Quéré: I mean in the terrestrial biosphere, in the trees and the forests, it’s very easy to see. If you live in a place that has a forest area with seasons, you see in the winter the trees they have no leaves, and the spring comes and the leaves build up. This is all good carbon dioxide that goes in the leaves. And in the fall and in the autumn when the leaves fall down then their carbon is emitted back in the atmosphere.

So you have a huge signal there of CO2 going in and out of the atmosphere. House: So the ocean will take up the CO2, it dissolves in the surface of the ocean and also when the ocean will release CO2 to the atmosphere and that depends on the concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere and the concentration of CO2 in the ocean. And they form a balance with each other. There’s a continuous massive exchange of carbon dioxide between the atmosphere on land and the atmosphere on the ocean. That is roughly in balance until we introduce human change. Osborn: The experiment that we’re inadvertently perhaps conducting with the climate system is to move huge volumes of carbon from these stores undergrounds in the form of fossil fuels and bringing them to the surface and burning them and adding this carbon to the atmosphere. Le Quéré: What we’re doing now is putting everything out of balance, so we’re adding carbon to the atmosphere. It’s new carbon. It’s not part of the natural cycle.

It’s one that we’ve dug out of the fossil reservoir where they were stored, and we’ve put them back in the atmosphere. This is new carbon, and it puts the system out of balance. House: Although the human emissions are much smaller than the natural fluxes, the natural fluxes approximately are in balance and so they’re not causing an increase of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. The human emissions, however are very rapid, and the natural systems don’t have time to respond to them. And so you get a net imbalance of raised carbon dioxide concentrations in the atmosphere. Lunt: It’s unequivocal that the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is increasing and is increasing fast and is increasing faster than ever. House: Oh the rate of change now is incredibly rapid, and what’s more it’s pushed us outside the bounds of what we’ve seen in terms of atmospheric concentration throughout the Ice Ages. Thompson: We have not had levels of C02 at 400 parts per million by volume in 800,000 years of history. House: In the Earth’s past throughout in and out of the Ice Ages, the concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere ranged between about 180 parts per million to 280 parts per mission.

And it took thousands of year for it to change between those states. The difference is now it’s gone up to 350 and even topping 400 parts per million on a single day basis. And that’s happened over a period of a couple hundred years. Friedlingstein: Every single generation is emitting more than the previous generation because emission of CO2 increased exponentially. We emit it so far, if you start from the beginning, which is like the industrial revolution in 1750 or something, when we start to burn fossil fuel, from that time up until today we emitted something like 2000 gigaton of CO2. More than half of this has been emitted over the last 50 years. Thompson: And we know where that CO2 is coming from because we do the isotopes of the carbon. We know it’s coming from fossil fuels. Le Quéré: So carbon is increasing in the atmosphere, but it doesn’t entirely stay there, so about half of the emission and maybe a bit more than half of the emission that we put in the atmosphere ends up in the natural environment. It ends up in the ocean and in the forest. Friedlingstein: For the carbon cycle today absorbed about half of the emissions we put in the atmosphere, so we emit, as I said, 40 gigaton of CO2 per year, about half of it, 20 gigaton of CO2 are taken back from the atmosphere by the land and by the ocean.

House: There’s a multitude of different processes that remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. So for example, CO2 from the atmosphere dissolves in the surface of the ocean and then that’s turned over and taken into the deep ocean. Really for that amount of CO2 to be completely removed from the atmosphere it has to be completely dissolved and go down into the deep ocean. And then we’re talking about geological timescales – so hundreds and thousands of years. Le Quéré: So what happens when we put carbon emissions into the atmosphere, new carbon from burning fossil fuel or from different station, what happens is this takes a long time for this carbon to readjust in the land and ocean. Eventually if we’re prepared to wait long enough, so that’s thousands of years, a lot of this carbon, maybe 70 percent will end up in the ocean, and the reason this takes time is that you have different adjustment times, so the CO2 goes in the surface ocean, it takes about 1 year to dissolve. But how it is transported from the ocean’s surface to the intermediate and to the deep ocean depends on the ocean circulation.

The ocean circulation takes hundreds to a thousand years to mix the entire ocean. That’s the timescale that is really relevant here is taking a molecule of CO2, we’ve put it in the atmosphere, how long is it going to take before it ends in the deep ocean? House: So about 65 to 80 percent of the carbon dioxide pulse that’s put into the atmosphere will be removed within about 2 to 200 years. The rest of it, the remaining 35 percent, will take between 2 and 20 millennia to be completely removed from the atmosphere. So roughly you have to think whatever we’re doing today, whatever CO2 is being emitted, roughly a third of it is going to stick around essentially forever really when you consider it in our lifetime. Pelto: We can’t change the atmosphere, the chemistry, with one of the main constituents carbon dioxide by 25 percent and expect nothing to happen. You change your diet by 25 percent. You decide you’re going to start consuming 25 percent more calories, and you don’t change your exercise or anything else. You can’t realistically expect nothing to happen. And that’s what you have to understand.

If we change fundamentally our atmosphere chemistry, we can’t expect climate to stay the same..

Can We Reverse The Damage Done To Earth?

Hey there and welcome to Life Noggin! Right now we are living in a dangerous time where many powerful political leaders don’t believe that climate change is caused by human activity. However, according to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, it is very likely that most of the increase in global temperatures since the mid-20th century is caused by the human-related increases in greenhouse gas concentrations. And if we keep emitting more of these gases, the effects of global warming will continue and may even worsen. But there /are/ ways to help prevent this from happening — including some cool innovations and simple things you can do yourself. To start, let’s talk about one of my favorite topics: gassy cows. See, as part of their digestive process, cattle produce a lot of gas — including a particular greenhouse gas called methane. This gas is emitted by natural sources like wetlands, but is also emitted by human activities like coal mining, landfills, and raising livestock.

And even though it doesn’t last as long in the atmosphere compared to carbon dioxide, it’s much better at trapping heat. That really makes burping and farting cows seem a lot less funny, doesn’t it? But anyway, to prevent all this methane from getting into the atmosphere, researchers at Argentina’s National Institute of Agricultural Technology developed an…interesting accessory. Meet the inflatable backpack — the hottest new trend of the season. Basically, this inflatable bag is connected to a tube running to the cows’ stomachs, which collects the gas the cows emits, which fills the bag. It’s kind of adorable in a weird, weird way… But it’s also really useful because the researchers found that the cows emitted a few hundred liters of methane every day, which can later be reused for other purposes. Go Argentina! Another awesome innovation involves turning the carbon dioxide gas into a common household item — baking soda! So get out your whisks and aprons, folks, because helping the planet is about to get a whole lot tastier! A firm called Carbon Clean Solutions is currently working with a chemical plant in India to strip carbon dioxide gas from the plant’s flue gas.

The chemical they use to do this is apparently less corrosive, less expensive, and more efficient than other chemicals that do the same thing. And even more, Carbon Clean Solutions estimates that they can capture around 60,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide per year. Previously, a process called carbon capture and storage was used where carbon dioxide is captured from power plants or industrial processes, transported, and stored in deep underground rock formations. However, this process is far from perfect and likely more expensive than it will be to turn the gas into baking soda instead. But even with these two innovations, there’s still a lot left to do. And eventually, we’ll have to stop burning fossil fuels and switch to renewable, clean energy. This will be a long process, but there’s still some simple things that you can do now to help. One is to drive less, take more public transportation, or just walk or bike places. Another is to turn off lights and unplug your electronics and maybe even invest in solar panels for your house.

We need to start saving our planet and every little effort will help. What do you do to help the planet? Let us know in the comments below. If you ever want to know what happens when a planet dies, make sure to check out this video. Make sure you come back every Monday for a brand new video. As always, I’m Blocko and this has been Life Noggin. Don’t forget to keep on thinking!.

Making sense of the slowdown

The Earth’s climate is controlled by the energy balance at the top of the atmosphere. If more heat enters the atmosphere than leaves, then the planet warms. Adding heat trapping gases changes the balance, which in turn causes warming. Ocean heat measurements show that the planet is indeed absorbing heat. Despite this fact, it is often claimed that the global warming has stopped. This claim is inspired by evidence that warming of the atmosphere has been slower over the past one and a half decades. This slowdown is sometimes called the hiatus. However, there are other factors which affect the atmosphere over shorter periods. These can cause faster or slower warming of the atmosphere. To understand the slowdown in warming, we need to understand some of these factors.

If we look at the global surface temperature over the past 3 decades, there are big changes in temperature from year to year. We know the cause of some of these variations. One of the biggest is the El Nino cycle. El Nino is a phenomena in which heat is stored up in the western Pacific Ocean, and then released to the atmosphere in the eastern Pacific. This happens over the course of a few years. El Nino is not predictable, but we can track it in retrospect through sea surface temperature measurements. If we compare past El Nino cycles with temperature changes over the past three decades, we can see that there is a strong relationship between the two. El Nino years tend to be hot years. Recent years have been dominated by the cool phase of the cycle. This is responsible for some of the slowdown in warming. However, El Nino doesn’t explain everything. There are cooler periods in the early eighties and nineties which don’t fit the El Nino cycle.

These were caused by two major volcanic eruptions, El Chichon and Pinatubo. Dust from the volcanoes spread in the upper atmosphere, cooling the surface. Smaller eruptions happen all the time, but can also affect temperatures. There has been an increase in the number of small eruptions over the past few years, offsetting a bit of the greenhouse warming. Another factor is the solar cycle. Satellites tell us that the sun varies in brightness with the sunspot cycle. The last cycle has been particularly weak. A dim sun also offsets a little bit of warming. Yet another factor is pollution. Rapid industrialisation in Asia has led to more particulate pollution in the atmosphere, which also has a cooling effect. The final factor is in the observations themselves. Two of the major temperature data providers, the UK Met Office and NOAA, don’t include the Arctic in their global temperature calculation, because there are no weather stations there.

But the Arctic has been warming faster than anywhere else on the planet. Missing it out leads to an underestimation of the rate of warming. To recap, greenhouse gases have continued to grow over the last one and a half decades. But over the same period, volcanoes, the weak sun and pollution have had a cooling effect, and the rate of warming has been underestimated as well. Two recent studies have put all of these together. If we ignore the short term influences, climate models predict faster warming than we have observed. However, if we use global temperature estimates, and add the influence of El Nino, volcanoes, the weak sun and pollution into the models, then the agreement is good. What can we conclude from this? When we put everything we know into the models, the answers match what we observe. So the slowdown in warming makes sense in retrospect, and doesn’t give us a reason to doubt the models.

However, we couldn’t have predicted it in advance, because we can’t predict volcanoes, pollution or the sun. The slowdown in warming has created a whole family of myths with different levels of sophistication. At one extreme, it is possible to argue that the hiatus should reduce our estimates of climate sensitivity. This is a genuine scientific argument, although the analysis we have just seen suggests that no reduction is required. At the other extreme, it is sometimes claimed that the hiatus disproves the role of CO2 in global warming. They claim that CO2 has increased, but the world hasn’t warmed. This is an example of a strawman, and a complex cause fallacy. Climate science doesn’t claim that CO2 is the only factor which affects temperature. This is why the hiatus is so hard to deal with. The myths may be wrong, but they are simple and convincing. The complex cause fallacy exists because people like things to be simple, but explaining the complex drivers of climate is hard. But in the end, all the hiatus myths revolve around drawing attention away from the big picture. When we look at the big picture, the hiatus does not change our understanding of human caused global warming.

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Hottest Year Ever, and Amazing Gecko-Man Getup!

[Intro] You remember the difference between weather and climate, right? If not, this month is a good time to learn the difference. If you live anywhere in North America, you’re probably coming out of one of the earliest and longest cold snaps you can remember. Records were broken or tied all over the Midwest, Northeast, and South as a wall of arctic air brought a week and a half of subfreezing temperatures. But that and whatever else is going on outside your window right now is weather, the short-term conditions of the atmosphere wherever you are. By contrast, patterns of weather across bigger areas and over years and decades and centuries is climate. And for sure, it can be hard to square the weather your neighborhood is experiencing with the larger trends of climate, because, for example, even though it may not feel like it right now, 2014 is shaping up to be the warmest year on record.

The Earth, the entire Earth, just had its warmest October ever, according to new data from NASA and the Japanese Meteorological Agency. The months of April, May, June, August, and September were also the warmest on record, going back to the 1800s. And this includes the oceans, which have been causing a lot of confusion when it comes to global warming. Despite rising greenhouse gas levels, the ocean’s surface temperature has remained relatively steady since the year 2000. This phenomenon has come to be known kind of unfortunately as the global warming hiatus, and it marked a slowdown in the rise of overall global temperature as well. The hiatus wasn’t predicted by climate models in the 1990s, which, of course, led some people to say that all of climate change prediction must be faulty. But global warming never actually paused during this so-called hiatus.

Instead, it turns out that the heat was absorbed deep within the ocean. Most scientists think this happened because of something called the Interdecadal Pacific Oscillation, or IPO. This is a natural fluctuation in atmospheric pressure over the Pacific ocean, and it has two modes, high and low, switching between the two every ten to thirty years. When the IPO is low, trade winds accelerate along the equator and cause heat from the surface to sink deeper into ocean waters, while bringing colder water to the surface. When the IPO is high, these winds weaken, and all that heat rises back to the surface. Since 1999, the IPO has been in low mode, making the oceans unusually cool, at least at the surface. Now there are signs that the IPO has finally switched into high gear. According to new data from the International Pacific Research Center in Hawaii, the North Pacific began to warm in January, and then throughout the spring, all the heat trapped in the deep ocean rose to the surface and began expanding.

By summer, the mean surface temperature of the world’s oceans was the highest it’s ever been since recording began in the mid-1800s. And that heat continued to rise into the atmosphere, which might explain why we just saw the warmest October on record. So yes, the warmest October ever, followed by one of the coldest Novembers, is weird. But so is saying that global warming was on “hiatus” when really it wasn’t. Now, we humans are really good at taking inspiration from nature when we want to invent something cool; it’s called bionics. When we wanted to fly, we studied birds. When we wanted to swim faster, we studied frogs. Now, we’re taking a page from geckos. The U.S. Department of Defense, along with Draper Laboratory, revealed this week a pair of hand-held climbing paddles they’ve invented that are inspired by geckos’ feet. It’s said to be the first bionic technology that allows people to climb walls of glass. Geckos are some of the best climbers in the world. They can run up windows and hang from ceilings.

Their toes are adhesive, but not like tape, which is pressure-sensitive. Geckos can actually turn off the stickiness of their toes. Each toe is covered with millions of tiny hair-like strands, called setae. Each strand, in turn, branches off into hundreds of individual bristles, called spatulae, kind of like your paintbrush. These spatulae are so small that they can fit inside of the contours of what looks like a smooth surface, like glass. They can also form weak electrostatic bonds with the molecules in the glass. This attraction is called the Van Der Waals force, and billions of these attractions at the molecular level can get a gecko to stick to just about anything, until it breaks the bond by lifting its foot. To scale up the Van Der Waals force for human use, defense scientists build hand-sized paddles covered in billions of nano fibers called micro-wedges.

These wedges were made of a silicon-based polymer, which, like a gecko’s spatulae, can bond through Van Der Waals forces when pressed on a smooth surface. Using just these paddles, a 90-kilogram man was able to climb almost 8 meters up a glass surface. The defense department says these paddles can be used in places like war zones, when soldiers need to climb a building without ropes or ladders, but I always end up thinking of other applications for this type of technology, most of which involve fighting crime in skintight suits. Though somehow, “The Amazing Gecko-Man” doesn’t have the same ring to it. Thanks for joining me on this week’s Scishow News. If you want to help us share science with the world, you can become a supporting subscriber at Subbable.com/SciShow. There, you can get SciShow swag, like a key-chain, laptop decal, or t-shirt, but no amazing gecko-man suits.

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Human CO2 emissions trump volcanoes’

In the past 150 years, human emissions have put a lot of carbon dioxide in the air. We now measure a concentration of about 400 parts per million. This is about 40% higher than at any time in the past 400,000 years. Of all of the conclusions of modern climate science; this is one of the most reliable. But, despite all of the evidence, some people persist in claiming that the recent rise in carbon dioxide is all natural— for example, they say that instead of it being caused by humans, it all came out of volcanoes. Now, it is quite true that volcanoes emit some carbon dioxide. Over very long periods of geological time those small amounts can add up to make a really significant change to the atmosphere.

However, over a couple of hundred years, the emissions aren’t large enough to make a difference. There are two main classes of volcano: there are the ones that erupt under the ocean and the ones that erupt into the air. Both kinds are linked to the goings-on at the boundaries of the tectonic plates and to the upwelling of hot rock from the Earth’s mantle; the layer below the Earth’s crust. The undersea volcanoes are by far the more numerous, making up about 90% of the world’s volcanoes, although few of us have ever seen them. These volcanic chains are where new ocean crust is produced. But undersea volcanoes don’t produce very much carbon dioxide—only about 100 million tonnes per year—about the same amount as an average US state emits. Humans produce about 350 times as much carbon dioxide as the undersea volcanoes do. Carbon dioxide not only gets produced at the oceanic ridges, it also gets consumed there. What happens is that the newly formed basaltic rock undergoes chemical changes when it contacts seawater. This reaction absorbs carbon dioxide from the water at a rate of about 150 million tonnes per year.

The mid-ocean ridge volcanic processes as a whole, therefore, probably consume more carbon dioxide than they emit. We are much more familiar with the kind of volcanoes that erupt into the air. The biggest chain of these is the so-called “Pacific Ring of Fire”. This is a belt running all the way around the ocean from New Zealand to Japan, then to Alaska and down to the Andes. Old oceanic crust is consumed at these places and they form volcanoes that produce much more carbon dioxide than the ones under the sea. The magma in these volcanoes comes not just from the Earth’s mantle, but also from the melting of the more carbon and water-rich rocks in the crust. One reason these types of volcano tend to be more explosive is because of the larger amount of water vapour and carbon dioxide in their magma. Mount Etna in Sicily is one of the most prolific carbon-dioxide producing volcanoes in the world. It produces about 13 million tonnes per year, but this amount is still only about half as much as what Sicily’s five million people emit from burning fossil fuels.

In addition, dormant volcanoes and volcanic lakes together emit as much carbon dioxide as the actively erupting volcanoes do. Altogether, volcanoes that emit carbon dioxide into the air produce much more than undersea volcanoes: about five times as much. Volcanic rocks on the surface undergo weathering and this chemical process absorbs carbon dioxide out of the air, about 180 million tonnes per year, that’s approximately one-third of the amount put into the air by volcanoes. So if we add up all the sources of volcanic carbon dioxide, we get 640 million tonnes per year. Once we subtract the carbon dioxide that the reactions with volcanic rocks consume, we are left with a net 310 million tonnes per year. This last amount is roughly equal to the human emissions from the country of Turkey, that’s less than one percent of all human emissions. Human emissions for the planet as a whole in 2012 were 60 to 120 times bigger than volcanic emissions. Carbon dioxide emissions from cement-making alone are 3 to 6 times bigger than those from volcanoes.

Not only are volcanic emissions much too small to account for the rising carbon dioxide levels in the air, but, over the past few thousand years, natural emissions and natural sinks must have been in rough balance. The carbon dioxide composition of the air started to change really quickly after the 1950s. We can readily explain this as being due to the greatly increased rate of consumption of fossil fuels after the end of the Second World War. On the other hand, if volcanoes had suddenly started to erupt many times faster in the second half of the twentieth century, we surely would have noticed. After all, volcanoes don’t just silently produce carbon dioxide, they also throw out huge quantities of ash and magma and they often cause havoc for humans living nearby. Only about 40% of the carbon dioxide emitted from any source remains in the air, the rest goes into the oceans and is taken up by plants on land.

If we add up the carbon dioxide emissions and convert them into concentrations in the air, we see that emissions from humans over the past hundred years fit the observations like a glove, but the volcanoes don’t even come close. People who incorrectly blame volcanoes for the change in the air take the fact that volcanoes do indeed produce some carbon dioxide and then they jump to the false conclusion that this amount is enough to explain the increase we have measured. And they haven’t done the basic arithmetic that shows that it isn’t nearly enough to make any real difference at all in such a short time period. We know what caused the recent rise in carbon dioxide concentrations. We did..