Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Predicting the climate of the 21st century

17.02.2003


Warming land and ocean surfaces, melting glaciers, rising sea levels, and other recent evidence strongly suggest that Earth’s climate is already changing rapidly because of the buildup of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, according to Warren Washington, senior scientist and head of the Climate Change Research Group at the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR). Computer models of Earth’s climate support these observations, he says, and indicate more severe changes yet to come.



Even if societies successfully cap worldwide greenhouse gas emissions, the global climate will continue to warm into the 22nd century, though at a slower rate than if no attempt is made to control the emissions, Washington says. Policy makers must prepare to adapt to a changing climate even while slowing the greenhouse gas buildup, he says. Washington will present these conclusions in his talk, "Predicting the Climate of the 21st Century," at the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science in Denver on February 16.

"Scientific confidence in the ability of models to project future climate has increased," says Washington. "Meanwhile, recent experiments and routine monitoring have found evidence of global climate changes already occurring that are much larger than can be explained by the climate’s natural variability." In his talk, Washington will explain how a computer model of global climate works and highlight what the most sophisticated models in the United States and elsewhere are now telling us about present and future climate.


A rise in the average global temperature is a convenient marker to indicate changes in actual climate extremes that affect our environment, says Washington. For example, heat waves, as well as floods and droughts, will become more severe and occur more often. The first freeze dates will arrive later, and hard freezes will become less frequent in some areas. Rainfall and snowfall will increase or decrease, depending on the region. The difference between daily high and low temperatures will shrink in many areas as average temperature rises. Such climate changes occurring around the globe are likely to affect disease and health patterns and threaten ecosystems, with important implications for forest survival, food supply, biodiversity, land use, and pollution.

"We are already seeing many of these changes," says Washington. "The debate on whether climate change is occurring has ended. The question is how much will take place and what are its impacts."



ABOUT THE PRESENTER: Warren Washington is an internationally recognized expert in atmospheric science and climate research and a pioneer in computer modeling of Earth’s climate. He was appointed to the National Science Board in 1994, reappointed in 2000, and elected its chair in May 2002. The board has dual responsibilities as national science policy adviser to the president and Congress and as governing board for the National Science Foundation. Washington has advised five administrations, from presidents Jimmy Carter through George W. Bush. He has served on numerous boards and committees and has garnered many awards for his scientific achievements. Washington has conducted scientific research on staff at the National Center for Atmospheric Research since 1963.

ON THE WEB: For a more complete biography of Warren Washington, see http://www.cgd.ucar.edu/ccr/warren.

The University Corporation for Atmospheric Research manages the National Center for Atmospheric Research under primary sponsorship by the National Science Foundation. Opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.



Anatta | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.ucar.edu/ucar/
http://www.ucar.edu/communications/newsreleases/2003
http://www.cgd.ucar.edu/ccr/warren

More articles from Earth Sciences:

nachricht Geophysicists and atmospheric scientists partner to track typhoons' seismic footprints
16.02.2018 | Princeton University

nachricht NASA finds strongest storms in weakening Tropical Cyclone Sanba
15.02.2018 | NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center

All articles from Earth Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: In best circles: First integrated circuit from self-assembled polymer

For the first time, a team of researchers at the Max-Planck Institute (MPI) for Polymer Research in Mainz, Germany, has succeeded in making an integrated circuit (IC) from just a monolayer of a semiconducting polymer via a bottom-up, self-assembly approach.

In the self-assembly process, the semiconducting polymer arranges itself into an ordered monolayer in a transistor. The transistors are binary switches used...

Im Focus: Demonstration of a single molecule piezoelectric effect

Breakthrough provides a new concept of the design of molecular motors, sensors and electricity generators at nanoscale

Researchers from the Institute of Organic Chemistry and Biochemistry of the CAS (IOCB Prague), Institute of Physics of the CAS (IP CAS) and Palacký University...

Im Focus: Hybrid optics bring color imaging using ultrathin metalenses into focus

For photographers and scientists, lenses are lifesavers. They reflect and refract light, making possible the imaging systems that drive discovery through the microscope and preserve history through cameras.

But today's glass-based lenses are bulky and resist miniaturization. Next-generation technologies, such as ultrathin cameras or tiny microscopes, require...

Im Focus: Stem cell divisions in the adult brain seen for the first time

Scientists from the University of Zurich have succeeded for the first time in tracking individual stem cells and their neuronal progeny over months within the intact adult brain. This study sheds light on how new neurons are produced throughout life.

The generation of new nerve cells was once thought to taper off at the end of embryonic development. However, recent research has shown that the adult brain...

Im Focus: Interference as a new method for cooling quantum devices

Theoretical physicists propose to use negative interference to control heat flow in quantum devices. Study published in Physical Review Letters

Quantum computer parts are sensitive and need to be cooled to very low temperatures. Their tiny size makes them particularly susceptible to a temperature...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

2nd International Conference on High Temperature Shape Memory Alloys (HTSMAs)

15.02.2018 | Event News

Aachen DC Grid Summit 2018

13.02.2018 | Event News

How Global Climate Policy Can Learn from the Energy Transition

12.02.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

'Lipid asymmetry' plays key role in activating immune cells

20.02.2018 | Life Sciences

MRI technique differentiates benign breast lesions from malignancies

20.02.2018 | Medical Engineering

Major discovery in controlling quantum states of single atoms

20.02.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>