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 NASA finds newly formed tropical storm lan over open waters
17.10.2017 | NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center

nachricht The melting ice makes the sea around Greenland less saline
16.10.2017 | Aarhus University

All articles from Earth Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Neutron star merger directly observed for the first time

University of Maryland researchers contribute to historic detection of gravitational waves and light created by event

On August 17, 2017, at 12:41:04 UTC, scientists made the first direct observation of a merger between two neutron stars--the dense, collapsed cores that remain...

Im Focus: Breaking: the first light from two neutron stars merging

Seven new papers describe the first-ever detection of light from a gravitational wave source. The event, caused by two neutron stars colliding and merging together, was dubbed GW170817 because it sent ripples through space-time that reached Earth on 2017 August 17. Around the world, hundreds of excited astronomers mobilized quickly and were able to observe the event using numerous telescopes, providing a wealth of new data.

Previous detections of gravitational waves have all involved the merger of two black holes, a feat that won the 2017 Nobel Prize in Physics earlier this month....

Im Focus: Smart sensors for efficient processes

Material defects in end products can quickly result in failures in many areas of industry, and have a massive impact on the safe use of their products. This is why, in the field of quality assurance, intelligent, nondestructive sensor systems play a key role. They allow testing components and parts in a rapid and cost-efficient manner without destroying the actual product or changing its surface. Experts from the Fraunhofer IZFP in Saarbrücken will be presenting two exhibits at the Blechexpo in Stuttgart from 7–10 November 2017 that allow fast, reliable, and automated characterization of materials and detection of defects (Hall 5, Booth 5306).

When quality testing uses time-consuming destructive test methods, it can result in enormous costs due to damaging or destroying the products. And given that...

Im Focus: Cold molecules on collision course

Using a new cooling technique MPQ scientists succeed at observing collisions in a dense beam of cold and slow dipolar molecules.

How do chemical reactions proceed at extremely low temperatures? The answer requires the investigation of molecular samples that are cold, dense, and slow at...

Im Focus: Shrinking the proton again!

Scientists from the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics, using high precision laser spectroscopy of atomic hydrogen, confirm the surprisingly small value of the proton radius determined from muonic hydrogen.

It was one of the breakthroughs of the year 2010: Laser spectroscopy of muonic hydrogen resulted in a value for the proton charge radius that was significantly...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

ASEAN Member States discuss the future role of renewable energy

17.10.2017 | Event News

World Health Summit 2017: International experts set the course for the future of Global Health

10.10.2017 | Event News

Climate Engineering Conference 2017 Opens in Berlin

10.10.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Osaka university researchers make the slipperiest surfaces adhesive

18.10.2017 | Materials Sciences

Space radiation won't stop NASA's human exploration

18.10.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Los Alamos researchers and supercomputers help interpret the latest LIGO findings

18.10.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>