Published by the American Geophysical Union as part of the Geophysical Monograph Series, Volume 137. Weather bureaus around the world have accumulated daily historical records of atmospheric conditions for more than a century to help forecast meteorological conditions three to five days ahead. To gain insight into the impact of possible future climate warming and constrain predictive models for a warm future, climatologists are seeking paleoclimatologic and paleoceanographic records from the most recent intervals in the Quaternary when conditions were demonstrably warmer than they are today. In the past 2.5 My, Earth climate has oscillated from cold (glacial) to warm (interglacial) intervals. We currently live in a warm interval, the Holocene, during which the climate has remained relatively constant for about 10 ky. Because the Holocene is nearly as long now as the previous interglacial, scientists have projected the possibly imminent onset of another ice age, excluding human intervention. Whether or not this will occur is a question of some significance, and has sparked debate. Finding an analogue to our current status in other recent interglacials offers substantive aid in clarifying the question just mentioned, and others, concerning global climate change over varying geologic time periods.
To understand climate change today, we first need to know how Earth’s climate changed over the past 450 million years. Finding answers depends upon contributions from a wide range of sciences, not just the rock record uncovered by geologists. In Earth’s Climate Evolution, Colin Summerhayes analyzes reports and records of past climate change dating back to the late 18th century to uncover key patterns in the climate system. The book will transform debate and set the agenda for the next generation of thought about future climate change. The book takes a unique approach to the subject providing a description of the greenhouse and icehouse worlds of the past 450 million years since land plants emerged, ignoring major earlier glaciations like that of Snowball Earth, which occurred around 600 million years ago in a world free of land plants. It describes the evolution of thinking in palaeoclimatology and introduces the main players in the field and how their ideas were received and, in many cases, subsequently modified. It records the arguments and discussions about the merits of different ideas along the way. It also includes several notes made from the author’s own personal involvement in palaeoclimatological and palaeoceanographic studies, and from his experience of working alongside several of the major players in these fields in recent years. This book will be an invaluable reference for both undergraduate and postgraduate students taking courses in related fields and will also be of interest to historians of science and/or geology, climatology and oceanography. It should also be of interest to the wider scientific and engineering community, high school science students, policy makers, and environmental NGOs. Reviews: "Outstanding in its presentation of the facts and a good read in the way that it intersperses the climate story with the author's own experiences. [This book] puts the climate story into a compelling geological history." -Dr. James Baker "The book is written in very clear and concise prose, [and takes] original, enlightening, and engaging approach to talking about 'ideas' from the perspective of the scientists who promoted them." -Professor Christopher R. Scotese "A thrilling ride through continental drift and its consequences." - Professor Gerald R. North "Written in a style and language which can be easily understood by laymen as well as scientists." - Professor Dr Jörn Thiede "What makes this book particularly distinctive is how well it builds in the narrative of change in ideas over time." - Holocene book reviews, May 2016 "This is a fascinating book and the author’s biographical approach gives it great human appeal." - E Adlard
Life on our planet depends upon having a climate that changes within narrow limits – not too hot for the oceans to boil away nor too cold for the planet to freeze over. Over the past billion years Earth’s average temperature has stayed close to 14-15°C, oscillating between warm greenhouse states and cold icehouse states. We live with variation, but a variation with limits. Paleoclimatology is the science of understanding and explaining those variations, those limits, and the forces that control them. Without that understanding we will not be able to foresee future change accurately as our population grows. Our impact on the planet is now equal to a geological force, such that many geologists now see us as living in a new geological era – the Anthropocene. Paleoclimatology describes Earth’s passage through the greenhouse and icehouse worlds of the past 800 million years, including the glaciations of Snowball Earth in a world that was then free of land plants. It describes the operation of the Earth’s thermostat, which keeps the planet fit for life, and its control by interactions between greenhouse gases, land plants, chemical weathering, continental motions, volcanic activity, orbital change and solar variability. It explains how we arrived at our current understanding of the climate system, by reviewing the contributions of scientists since the mid-1700s, showing how their ideas were modified as science progressed. And it includes reflections based on the author’s involvement in palaeoclimatic research. The book will transform debate and set the agenda for the next generation of thought about future climate change. It will be an invaluable course reference for undergraduate and postgraduate students in geology, climatology, oceanography and the history of science.
The First Edition of the Encyclopedia of Global Warming and Climate Change provided a multi-authored, academic yet non-technical resource for students and teachers to understand the importance of global warming, to appreciate the effects of human activity and greenhouse gases around the world, and to learn the history of climate change and the research enterprise examining it. This edition was well received, with notable reviews. Since its publication, the debate over the advent of global warming at least partially brought on by human enterprise has continued to ebb and flow, depending literally on the weather, politics, and media coverage of climate summits and debates. Advances in research also change the discourse as new data is collected and new scientific projects continue to explore and explain global warming and climate change. Thus, a new, Second Edition updates more than half of the original entries and adds new perspectives and content to keep students and researchers up-to-date in a field that has proven provocatively lively.
Experts in climate and water sciences from Canada, the United States, Brazil, Denmark, Germany, Belgium, France, Serbia, and other European countries and the UNESCO gathered at the Serbian Academy of Sciences and Arts on the occasion of the 130th birthday anniversary of the geophysicist Milutin Milankovitch. The collection of their presentations is opened by an update on the climate situation after the Fourth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. Further topics include various issues of paleoclimatology, in particular as it helps reduce uncertainties from which prospects for climate change suffer; ecohydrology and climate change at the watershed scale; and regional climate models, which are discussed in terms of both their improved modeling and their use in studies of a polynya in the Antarctica and expected changes in the Mediterranean region.
"The hot dry seasons of the past few years have caused rapid disintegration of glaciers in Glacier National Park, Montana...Sperry Glacier...has lost one-quarter or perhaps one-third of its ice in the past 18 years... If this rapid rate should continue...the glacier would almost disappear in another 25 years..." "Born about 4,000 years ago, the glaciers that are the chief attraction in Glacier National Park are shrinking so rapidly that a person who visited them ten or fifteen years ago would hardly recognize them today as the same ice masses." Do these reports sound familiar? Typical of frequent warnings of the dire consequences to be expected from global warming, such reports often claim modern civilization's use of fossil fuels as being the dominant cause of recent climate warming. You might be surprised to learn the reports above were made nearly thirty years apart! The first in 1923 prior to the record heat of the Dust Bowl years during the 1930s. The second in 1952 during the second decade of a four-decade cooling trend that had some scientists concerned that a new ice age might be on the horizon! Did the remnants of Sperry Glacier disappear during global warming of the late 20th century? According to the US Geological Survey (USGS), today Sperry Glacier "ranks as a moderately sized glacier" in Glacier National Park. What caused the warmer global climate prior to "4,000 years ago" before Glacier National Park's glaciers first appeared? Are you aware that during 2019 the National Park Service quietly began removing its "Gone by 2020" signs from Glacier National Park as its most famous glaciers continued their renewed growth that began in 2010? Was late 20th-century global warming caused by fossil fuel emissions? Was it really more pronounced than early 20th-century warming? Or was late 20th-century warming perfectly natural, in part a response to the concurrent peak strength of one of the strongest solar grand maxima in contemporary history? These and other questions are addressed by "Looking Out the Window." Be a juror in the trial of carbon dioxide in the court of public opinion and let the evidence inform your verdict.
The 34th Saas-Fee advanced course of the Swiss Society of Astronomy and Astrophysics (SSAA) took place from March 15 to 20, 2004, in Davos, on the subject of The Sun, Solar Analogs and the Climate. PresentlytheSwissmountainresortofDavosisprobablymostwellknown for hosting an event on globalization. However, it is because Davos also happens to be the seat of the Physikalisch-Meteorologisches Observatorium Davos and World Radiation Center, that this course on a “global” subject was hosted here. Exceptionally, the topic of this course was not purely astrophysical, but themembersoftheSSAAdecidedtosupportitallthesameduetothetimely topic of global warming and its possible link to solar variations. In these times of concern about global warming, it is important to und- stand solar variability and its interaction with the atmosphere. Only in this way can we distinguish between the solar and anthropogenic contributions to the rising temperatures. Therefore, this course addressed the observed va- ability of the Sun and the present understanding of the variability’s origin and its impact on the Earth’s climate. Comparing the solar variability with that of solar analog stars leads to a better understanding of the solar activity cycle and magnetic activity in general, and helps us to estimate how large the solar variations could be on longer time scales. Inspiteofthefantasticweatherandsnowconditionswhichreignedduring this week, the participants assiduously took part in the lectures. This is proof ofthehighqualityofthelecturesthatthethreespeakers,JoannaHaigh,Mike Lockwood and David Soderblom, delivered. We deeply thank them for their contributions and e?orts and hope that the readers will enjoy the book as much as we enjoyed their lectures.