Archive by category | Climate prediction

AGU Chapman: Meridional madness

AGU Chapman: Meridional madness

Today’s theme at the AGU Chapman Conference on Abrupt Climate Change is that big baddie of climatic tipping points, the shutdown (and rebooting) of the Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation, or AMOC. Could this massive system go down again? Tom Delworth of NOAA took on that question and offered up some interesting new modelling evidence.  Read more

AGU Chapman: It’s all about the bumps

A scant 21,000 years ago, Columbus, Ohio, was blanketed by the Laurentide ice sheet. Today it is home to the Byrd Polar Research Centre at Ohio State University, where this morning I sat in a glacially air-conditioned lecture hall watching an animation of that sheet flickering rapidly back and forth across Columbus and the rest of the northern parts of the continent. Such strobe-light climate change from the Earth’s past is the focus of the AGU Chapman Conference on Abrupt Climate Change, being held here this week.  Read more

AGU 2009 Joint Assembly: Global change, local impacts

Level 7 of the Metro Toronto Convention Centre is situated above Level 8, and Level 6 is higher still. Once you find your way around, it’s seems the perfect place to study atmospheric inversions and other climatological phenomena. That’s what is happening at the centre this week during the Joint Assembly of the American and Canadian Geophysical Unions, along with a half-dozen other Earth and space science societies.  Read more

Reconciling sea ice models with reality

Reconciling sea ice models with reality

The Arctic has been losing summer sea ice fast. At the end of the melt season in September 2008 the ice extent was barely above its record low of 2007, even after a much cooler summer. Most climate models did not anticipate the pace of this ice disappearance and still can’t replicate it. And as shown in the figure above, the futures projected by models are all over the map.  Read more

AGU 2008: Uncertainty and overshooting 2°C

As speculation grows that agreeing a global deal on climate change may extend well beyond the 2009 deadline, the risk of overshooting the EU’s target to limit the increase in global temperature to 2°C over pre-industrial levels looks increasingly likely.  Read more

AGU 2008: Peak fuel reserves

Whether peak oil is good news for the climate ultimately depends on what replaces oil as our staple fuel source. It will be unsurprising to most that replacing dwindling oil reserves with coal would do little to solve the climate problem, but how much coal remains is also highly uncertain, according to Prof. David Rutledge of Caltech, who spoke to the press at the AGU this morning.  Read more