Assessing Climate Change: Temperatures, Solar Radiation and Heat Balance

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Springer Science & Business Media, Feb 12, 2008 - Science - 390 pages

Despite the inadequacies of the temperature measurement network, there is little doubt that much of the Earth has been undergoing a moderate warming since about the start of the 20th century, although this warming has been more pronounced in some areas, and it wavered in mid-century. A critical question facing mankind is: Has this global warming been primarily due to natural fluctuations (e.g. increases in total solar irradiance (TSI) coupled to positive feedback effects, changes in ocean heat transport flows, or other variations) or anthropogenic impacts (primarily greenhouse gas production)?

Global warming alarmists believe that the increases in 20th century temperatures are mainly due to increases in greenhouse gases and offer the "hockey stick" picture of global temperature history as evidence of the uniqueness of the 20th century. Nay-sayers dispute these predictions, claiming that the recent rise in temperature has significant regional exceptions, and is likely to be just another in a series of natural fluctuations in climate, not associated with greenhouse gases. They place little faith in climate models, and claim that the "hockey stick" picture of global temperature history is a "fraud" approaching the dimensions of cold fusion.

Published books on global warming and climate change tend to reflect the views of either the alarmists or the nay-sayers. They often start with the conclusion and then attempt to build the case by selecting or analyzing the data to support their thesis, e.g. global warming as a great threat or global warming as a fiction. In this book Donald Rapp attempts to assess the evidence in an objective way. Although he is not a climate scientist by profession, very few climate scientists have taken a broad systems view of the problem of global warming. Donald Rapp is a professional systems engineer, having taught in universities for 14 years and with over 25 years’ experience managing various programs for NASA. His experience has required the ability to move into a highly technical field, assimilate the content, organize the knowledge base and succinctly describe the field, its content, its unresolved issues and achievements. This is precisely what Donald Rapp does in this book in relation to global climate change. As such his approach is refreshingly different.

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Contents

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Page 294 - Decreased cold-related human morbidity and mortality. Decreased risk of damage to a number of crops, and increased risk to others. Extended range and activity of some pest and disease vectors. Reduced heating energy demand. Increased flood, landslide, avalanche, and mudslide damage. Increased soil erosion. Increased flood runoff could increase recharge of some floodplain aquifers. Increased pressure on government and private flood insurance systems and disaster relief.
Page 294 - Increased incidence of death and serious illness in older age groups and urban poor Increased heat stress in livestock and wildlife Shift in tourist destinations Increased risk of damage to a number of crops Increased electric cooling demand and reduced energy supply reliability...
Page 114 - Climate change in polar regions is expected to be among the largest and most rapid of any region on the Earth, and will cause major physical, ecological, sociological, and economic impacts, especially in the Arctic, Antarctic Peninsula, and Southern Ocean (high confidence6).
Page 263 - Loa site is considered one of the most favourable locations for measuring undisturbed air because possible local influences of vegetation or human activities on atmospheric CO2 concentrations are minimal and any influences from volcanic vents may be excluded from the records. The methods and equipment used to obtain these measurements have...
Page 294 - Decreased risk of damage to a number of crops. and increased risk to others * Extended range and activity of some pest and disease vectors * Reduced heating energy demand More intense precipitation events (Very...
Page 95 - Ice Age' associated with the fifteenth to nineteenth centuries. These only affected part of the Northern Hemisphere and are therefore more prominent in local records, for instance those from central England. The increase in temperature over the twentieth century is particularly striking. The 1990s are likely to have been the warmest decade of the millennium in the Northern Hemisphere and 1998 is likely to have been the warmest year.
Page 286 - We envision a future economy in which hydrogen is America's clean energy choice, flexible, affordable, safe, domestically produced and used in all sectors of the economy as well as all regions of the country.
Page 352 - Barnett, TP; DW Pierce; KM AchutaRao; PJ Gleckler; BD Santer; JM Gregory; and WM Washington (2005), "Penetration of human-induced warming into the world's oceans,
Page 45 - Between 1680 and 1730, the coldest cycle of the little ice age, temperatures plummeted, the growing season in England was about five weeks shorter than it was during the twentieth century's warmest decades.
Page 43 - Age dial mass balances were sufficiently predominant for the glaciers to remain enlarged, although their fronts oscillated. Similarly during the Medieval Warm Period climatic conditions caused mass balances to be negative, and volumes of glaciers to be reduced, so that they retracted substantially, though their fronts no doubt fluctuated, as they have been observed to do during the wanning of the twentieth century.

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