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Published on April 3, 2008

Author: Gourangi

Source: authorstream.com

Communicating Climate Change Science (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) :  Tim Killeen Director, National Center for Atmospheric Research President, American Geophysical Union AGI Geoscience Leadership Forum 30 April 2007 Communicating Climate Change Science (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) Slide2:  National Science Foundation funded Center, >1,000 Scientists and engineers, 48 year history Earth System Sciences: Computational and Observational Science and facilities for Weather, Climate, Chemistry, Space Weather, Society-Environment Interactions National Center for Atmospheric Research American Geophysical Union World’s largest Geophysics Society (>49,900 members, 20% students, 130 countries) Interdisciplinary science for the atmospheric and ocean sciences; solid-Earth sciences; hydrologic sciences; and space science AGU Mission AGU Council, 2005 EOS, Vol. 86, No. 23, 219, 2005 :  AGU Mission AGU Council, 2005 EOS, Vol. 86, No. 23, 219, 2005 AGU is a worldwide scientific community that advances, through unselfish cooperation in research, the understanding of Earth and space for the benefit of humanity. AGU is advancing the Earth and space sciences by catalyzing and supporting the efforts of individual scientists within and outside the membership. We are organizing and disseminating information for the scientific community. As a learned society we meet our obligation to serve the public good by fostering quality in the Earth and space sciences and bringing the results of research to the public. These efforts are yielding greater numbers and diversity of well-educated students and young professionals in the Earth and space sciences, and are increasing the public's understanding and appreciation of the value of science and support for it. The Two Cultures:  The Two Cultures What scientists say: 90% of scientists think few members of the press understand the nature of science and technology 66% said most press members have no idea how to interpret scientific results 69% said most reporters have no understanding of scientific method More than 50% have had a bad experience What journalists say: 85% of reporters think scientists are somewhat or not at all accessible 62% think scientists are so intellectual or immersed in their jargon that they cannot communicate Results from survey, used in NCAR media training, 2007 NCAR Scientists Involved in IPCC Working Group I:  NCAR Scientists Involved in IPCC Working Group I AGU’s Climate Statements:  AGU’s Climate Statements 1998 (reaffirmed in 2002) AGU believes that the present level of scientific uncertainty does not justify inaction in the mitigation of human-induced climate change and/or the adaptation to it. 2003: The global climate is changing and human activities are contributing to that change. 2007: Planned The Challenge of Simulating the Global Earth System:  The Challenge of Simulating the Global Earth System Atmosphere Hydrosphere Cryosphere Biosphere Slide8:  The Earth System From Andi Andreae Slide10:  CCSM Working Groups Need for High Resolution:  Need for High Resolution Science Driven Demand for Supercomputing:  Science Driven Demand for Supercomputing Modern Climate Model Simulations:  Modern Climate Model Simulations NCAR’s Bluesky Supercomputer: 1600 Processors Peak speed: 8.3 Teraflops Characteristics of NCAR Model: ~1 quadrillion operations/simulated year UN IPCC ~10,800 years simulated Rate of simulation: 3.5 sim. years/day Output: 10 GB/simulated year Data volume for IPCC: ~110 TB (~200,000 Data CDs) Development effort: ~1 person-century Community Climate System Model and the IPCC:  Community Climate System Model and the IPCC Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Fourth Assessment Report:  Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Fourth Assessment Report NCAR Community Climate System Model (CCSM-3). Open Source 8-member ensembles 11,000 model years simulated “T85” - high resolution IPCC 2007 Summary for Policymakers::  IPCC 2007 Summary for Policymakers: So, how best to communicate? (some results):  So, how best to communicate? (some results) Tony Blair:  Tony Blair “What is now plain is that the emission of greenhouse gases…is causing global warming at a rate that began as significant, and is simply unsustainable in the long-term. And by long-term I do not mean centuries ahead, I mean within the lifetime of my children certainly; and possibly within my own. And by unsustainable I do not mean a phenomenon causing problems of adjustment. I mean a challenge so far-reaching in its impact and irreversible in its destructive power, that it alters radically human existence.” Slide19:  A lifetime of climate change… NASA Slide20:  Global mean temperatures are rising faster with time Period Rate Years /decade Slide21:  Time Scales in the Climate System Slide22:  Probabilistic Outcomes Wigley Ann avg 1980-1999 ice thickness:  Ann avg 1980-1999 ice thickness IPCC AR4 Dash=March extent White=Obs Extent Simulated late 20th century ice conditions Abrupt Ice Retreat Could Produce Ice-Free Arctic Summers by 2040:  Abrupt Ice Retreat Could Produce Ice-Free Arctic Summers by 2040 Recent retreat of Arctic sea ice is likely to accelerate so rapidly that Arctic Ocean devoid of ice during summertime as early as 2040 Study by Marika Holland and teams from University of Washington, and McGill University Several reasons for the abrupt Ice loss in a gradually warming world. “Positive Feedback” As the ice retreats, the ocean transports more heat to the Arctic and the open water absorbs more sunlight, further accelerating the rate of warming and leading to the loss of more ice Ice Retreat Animation Projections of Degradation of Near-Surface Permafrost:  Projections of Degradation of Near-Surface Permafrost Lawrence and Slater, 2005 Future changes in frost days from the climate model show greatest decreases in the western and southwestern U.S., similar to late 20th century:  Future changes in frost days from the climate model show greatest decreases in the western and southwestern U.S., similar to late 20th century Changes in snowpacks/ timing of runoff have occurred & will continue:  Changes in snowpacks/ timing of runoff have occurred & will continue Large circles indicate sites with trends that differ significantly from zero at a 90% confidence level; (Courtesy of Michael Dettinger USGS, based on Stewart et al. 2005.) Observed streamflow timing changes (Center of mass) Observed: 1948-2002 Trends are projected to continue through the 21st Century… with increased winter flood risks & lower summer low-flows in many rivers. Slide28:  Ozone (Dobson Units) Global Average Total Ozone Column Ozone Recovery in the 21st Century National Security and the Threat of Climate Change:  National Security and the Threat of Climate Change CNA Corporation, 2007: National security consequences of climate change should be fully integrated into national security and national defense strategies US should commit to a stronger national and international role to help stabilize climate changes at levels that will avoid significant disruption to global security and stability U.S. should commit to global partnerships that help less developed nations build the capacity and resiliency to better manage climate impacts DoD should enhance its operational capability… through energy efficiency DoD should conduct an assessment of the impact on U.S. military installations world-wide of rising sea levels, extreme weather events, and other possible climate change impacts over the next 30 to 40 years. National Security and the Threat of Climate Change:  National Security and the Threat of Climate Change CNA Corporation, 2007: “There is no known natural forcing that can account for the severity of the recent warming. For example, while claims are made that the variation in the intensity of the Sun is responsible, the solar radiation’s effect on the climate is estimated to be less than 5% as strong as that of human-induced greenhouse gases.” Precipitation patterns have changed Extreme weather events are more frequent and Ice and snow cover is disappearing Oceans are warming Sea levels are rising Ocean salinity has changed Lessons Learned:  Lessons Learned Large efforts to develop comprehensive scientific viewpoints can be extremely significant in influencing public debate The key question “what do we do about climate change?” is much less well addressed than the scientific case for climate change itself. Issues of timescales, rates, “greenhouse effect”, and uncertainty all need careful treatment. The propensity of the media to describe arguments continues to lead to public confusion. Responsibly informing societal decision makers with the best available science is tough for individuals trained as scientists. Bottom line: “The IPCC Fourth Assessment Report is currently the most comprehensive assessment of the scientific literature on climate change, and effectively and accurately communicates to policymakers and the public the state of human knowledge on this topic.”

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