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251, #2, climate change

EGRS/PSTD climate change

Julia Nicodemus

on 29 August 2018

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Transcript of 251, #2, climate change

The Earth's Climate is Changing
Climate Change is the Result of Human Activity
Business As Usual Results in Grim Predictions
Mitigation & Adaptaion: It
Be Changed
Unpacking the AR5 SPM
What should be done?
If you were given the task of reading this for a senator and telling her what she needed to know--what the IPCC wants her to understand--what would you tell her? What should our policy goals be? What needs to happen?
Policy vs. Individual Action
Should solutions come primarily from policy changes?
Is there a point in changing our behaviors when the problem is so big compared to anything we can do?
Who is Responsible?
"Mitigation and adaptation raise issues of equity, justice, and fairness. Many of those most vulnerable to climate change have contributed and contribute little to GHG emissions. Delaying mitigation shifts the burdens from present to future." (IPCC, pg 17) What is fair? What's right?
What is the IPCC?
The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change
Leading international body for assessment of climate change
Established by the UN Environment Programme and the World Meteorological Organization and endorsed by the UN general assembly in 1988
Thousands of scientists from around the world contribute to the work (none are paid), which is an objective & complete assessment of the state of knowledge on climate change.
195 countries participate and endorse the reports, acknowledging the authority of their scientific content.
Fourth Assessment Report:
Climate Change 2007
Working Group 1:
The Physical Science Basis
1,056 pages
Working Group 2:
Impacts, Adaption, & Vulnerability
1,000 pages
Working Group 3:
Mitigation of Climate Change
890 pages
Synthesis Report
52 pages
Each report has a Technical Summary (usualy around 100 pages) and a Summary for Policymakers (20-50 pages)
TSU is a Technical Support Unit, funded & hosted by the government of the chair of the working group (who is elected by peers)
Fifth Assessment Report:
Climate Change 2014
Working Group 1:
The Physical Science Basis
Over 2,000 pages
Cites 9,200 peer reviewed studies
Working Group 2:
Impacts, Adaption, & Vulnerability
About 1800 pages
Cites over 12,000 peer reviewed studies

Working Group 3:
Mitigation of Climate Change
About 1400 pages
Almost 10,000 peer reviewed studies
Synthesis Report
About 140 pages
Summary For Policymakers
26 pages
Climate Change
Policy meets Science & Engineering
EGRS/PSTD 251, Day 2
What stood out to you? What did you not understand? What would you like to talk about from the report?
Take two minutes to think about and make notes on these questions (using the reading, this video, and/or Hot Planet).
What are the main points that the IPCC is making in the Summary for Policymakers (SPM) of the 5th Assessment Report (AR5)?
So then why aren't we doing more to mitigate climate change??
How do you think policymakers (in the US or any other country) respond to this report? In what ways is it a good report for policymakers? In what ways might the language or content not reach them? In what ways have we seen them politicize this topic? What do you think of that? Policymakers might be elected officials or career civil servants or policy analysts.
Relative to average of 1986-2005
Relative to average of 1986-2005
Based on CO2-eq (ppm) in 2100
Temperature change by 2100
"The risks associated with temperatures at or above 4C include substantial species extinction, global and regional food insecurity, constraints on common human activities, and limited potential for adaptation. (high confidence)"
"Warming will continue beyond 2100... Surface temperatures will remain approximately constant for many centuries after a complete cessation of net anthropogenic CO2 emissions. A large fraction of anthropogenic climate change resulting from CO2 emissions is irreversible on a multi-century to millennial timescale." (pg 16)
"It is vitually certain that global mean sea level rise will continue for many centuries beyond 2100... The threshold for the loss of the Greenland ice sheet over a millennium or more and an associated sea level rise of up to 7m, is greater than about 1C (low confidence) but less than about 4C (medium confidence)." (pg 16)
A Summary for Policymakers?
we doing?
Since taking office, President Trump...
announced his intention to withdraw from Paris Agreement (earliest that can technically happen is November 2020).
abandoned Obama's Clean Power Plan, which set state-specific goals for emissions reductions in electric sectors
intends to roll back CAFE standards, which set industry-wide standards for increasing fuel efficiency in cars
The Paris climate agreement was a international huge step towards taking measures to mitigate and adapt to climate change. But, is it enough?
Full transcript