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Climate Change Science

Page history last edited by Oliver Bettis 13 years, 9 months ago

This page contains research, reports and presentations from recent climate science - for the most part they are published since 2008.


Overview of the Change in Climate Science Since 2001

Assessing dangerous climate change reasons for concern PNAS 2009.pdf

This is an update of the "burning embers" diagram that was included in the IPCC's Third Assessment Report (TAR) in 2001, but was excluded from the Fourth Assessment Report (AR4), published in 2007. It graphically displays how climate science has shifted during the last decade. The story of why the updated diagram was not included in AR4 gives an insight into the politics of climate change. 



This is a press release about the update to the embers diagram


This is a comment about why the burning embers diagram was excluded from AR4.

"Several authors of the 2007 report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Changeon the projected effects of global warming now say they regret not pushing harder to include an updated diagram of climate risks in the report. The diagram, known as “burning embers,” is an updated version of one that was a central feature of the panel’s preceding climate report in 2001. The main opposition to including the diagram in 2007, they say, came from officials representing the United States, China, Russia and Saudi Arabia."


What does "large scale discontinuity" mean? This paper describes tipping elements which are the large scale discontinuities.

Tipping_elements in the Earth's climate system - Lenton et al.pdf


Reports and Overviews


Report by the Public Interest Research Centre, 2008. Very clear assessment of the latest evidence of more rapid than expected climate change. Forward by Sir John Houghton, former co-chair of the IPCC and DG of the Met Office:

"Climate Safety in presenting this examination of recent climate science brings two important messages. The first is that climate change is accelerating more rapidly and dangerously that most of us in the scientific community had expected or that the IPCC in its 2007 Report presented. The second is that, because political inaction has delayed progress for so long, the imperative for extremely urgent action on both national and global scales is now paramount."


Sea Level Rise

Stefan Rahmstorf presented a new estimate of sea level rise for 2100 at the Climate Congress in Copenhagen in March 2009. This slide graphically shows the increase in estimate compared with AR4.


The millenial atmospheric lifetime of anthropogenic CO2 - Archer & Brovkin 2008.pdf

This paper contains the following diagram. It literally joins up the dots for research on sea level versus temperature throughout Earth's history. What it shows is that there is roughly a linear response of sea level to temperature. It indicates that even a small temperature change might, in the long term, cause multi-metre sea level rise. 


This is a discussion of the ethical dimension of climate policy and the potential loss of all coastal cities, which would be an act of "unprecedented barbarism".

Stern's review and Adam's fallacy - Schellnhuber 2008.pdf


Target Atmospheric CO2: Where Should Humanity Aim?

James Hansen is head of the NASA Goddard Institute. He is one of the world's leading climate scientists. His paper "Where should humanity aim?" highlights the effect of slow feedbacks such as changes to ice sheets and vegetation. Hansen believes that if humanity wishes to have a high chance of preserving planet Earth in its current state (the state in which civilization developed), then atmospheric carbon dioxide must be stabilized at no more than 350ppm and possibly substantially less. The current atmospheric level is >385ppm. Hansen believes that it is possible to reach a target <350ppm by the rapid phasing out of coal burning and management of carbon sinks such as soils and forests to draw down atmospheric CO2.

Hansen Where should humanity aim - June 2008.pdf


Campaigning organisation which promotes the target of <350ppm




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