The human pressure on the planet Earth and the international efforts to limit climate change UNIVERSITÀ DI ROMA SAPIENZA FLAMINIA TUMINO

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1 The human pressure on the planet Earth and the international efforts to limit climate change UNIVERSITÀ DI ROMA SAPIENZA FLAMINIA TUMINO

2 Summary: Part I Science Part II Policy Part III Carbon footprint


4 Introduction Svante Arrhenius ( ) Swedish physical chemist published a paper in 1896 calculated the strength of the greenhouse effect due to CO 2 and estimated that doubling its concentration would cause global warming of about 5 to 6 C. Image credit:

5 Earth climate system Earth s climate is the result of the physical requirement to maintain a balance between energy reaching and leaving the atmosphere Heat is transported around the Earth in both the atmosphere and the ocean and the patterns of this transport modulate climate at a given location

6 Global energy balance and greenhouse effect Earth s average surface temperature is 14 C without greenhouse effect average temperature of Earth atmosphere would be -18 C GREENHOUSE GASES they absorb (trap) heat thus preventing it from escaping the atmosphere it s a natural process of trapping in the atmosphere the heat that originates from Earth s surface after it has been warmed by the Sun

7 Oceans 2 types of ocean circulation: 1 surface (stimulated by winds and the Coriolis effect) 2 deep (result of cool water at the poles sinking and moving trough the lower ocean) 5 major basin wide gyres carry heat from the equator towards the poles

8 ENSO (El Niño Southern Oscillation)

9 ENSO (2) La Niña cool El Niño warm The resulting accumulation of warm tropical water in the Western Pacific in known as the WARM POOL (highest sea surface temperatures of the planet) On occasion, pressure difference between the 2 centers decreases and trade winds respond by weakening EL NIÑO

10 ENSO (3) Image credit:

11 Earth atmosphere Image credit:

12 Solar radiation reaching the atmosphere Image credit: Thomas Giambelluca, University of Hawaii at Manoa

13 The Keeling s Curve Plots the ongoing change in concentration of CO 2 on Earth s atmosphere since 1958 Graph credit: SCRIPPS Institution of Oceanography, University of San Diego

14 Albedo Albedo = reflectivity key property of surfaces controlling the surface energy balance has a cooling effect 30% earth planetary albedo 70% absorbed (atmosphere and ground) Albedo is influenced by: 1. density, LAI (Leaf Area Index), height of vegetation 2. soil color and moisture content 3. sun angle and slope/aspect of land surface 4. relative amount of direct and diffuse light

15 Albedo (2) Planet Earth = 0.30 Snow = Crops = Forest = Ocean = 0.08 Bare soil (dry) = Bare soil (wet) = Burned vegetation = Grassland =

16 Who are the responsible gases of global warming? 1. CO 2 carbon dioxide lasts from few decades to 1000 years 2. CH 4 methane lasts 1 decade 3. O 3 ozone (tropospheric) lasts few weeks to few months 4. N 2 0 nitrous oxide lasts 120 years 5. CFCs chlorofluorocarbons last 75 to 150 years 6. H 2 0 water vapor cycle from 2 hours to 2 days

17 Where is global warming going? Image credit:

18 Burning of fossil fuels (oil, coal, etc.), deforestation, intensive agriculture, cement production are causing: CO 2 concentration levels from 280 ppm (parts per million) in 1850 to 404 ppm of today Global temperature +0.8 C As CO 2 can reside in the atmosphere up to 1000 years irreversible climate change

19 Climate change and extreme weather events such as typhoons, cyclones and hurricanes Increase of H 2 O = 6% to 7,5% per Degree Celsius In a warmer world wet places will get wetter and dry places will get dryer Places that already observe abundant rainfall will see more moisture as air temperature raises and humidity increases while dry places will continue to see the same dry air

20 Typhoons, cyclones and hurricanes Conditions needed to form: 1. warm surface ocean +26 C 2. unstable conditions and/or pre-exiting disturbance 3. low vertical wind shear 4. high humidity Typhoons North-west Pacific Cyclones South Pacific and Indian Ocean Hurricanes Atlantic and North-east Pacific Image credit:

21 Sea level rise In some locations higher than the average (Western Tropical Pacific) AR5 IPCC Sea level rise components in mm -y : Thermal expansion 1.1 ( ) Glaciers except Greenland and Antarctica 0.76 Glaciers in Greenland 0.10 Greenland ice sheets 0.33 Antarctic ice sheet 0.27 Land water storage 0.38 Total 2.8

22 Part II: response of the international community THE IPCC AND THE CONVENTIONS

23 IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) Established by the United Nations Environmental Program (UNEP) + the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) in 1988 WG1 : The state of knowledge of the science of climate change WG2: Social and economic impacts of climate change WG3: Possible response strategies

24 UNFCCC (United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change) In 1992, countries joined an international treaty, the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, as a framework for international cooperation to combat climate change by limiting average global temperature increases and the resulting climate change, and coping with impacts that were, by then, inevitable. Source:

25 Kyoto Protocol By 1995, countries launched negotiations to strengthen the global response to climate change, and, two years later, adopted the Kyoto Protocol. The Kyoto Protocol legally binds developed country Parties to emission reduction targets. The Protocol s first commitment period started in 2008 and ended in The second commitment period began on 1 January 2013 and will end in There are now 197 Parties to the Convention and 192 Parties to the Kyoto Protocol. Source: Addition to the treaty, adopted in 1997, 84 countries signed, entered into force in 2005, 90 days after ratification by 55 parties to the Convention, which account for at least 55% of the total carbon dioxide emission for 1990.

26 Assessment Reports FAR (First Assessment Report) 1990 basis for negotiating UNFCCC SAR (Second Assessment Report) TAR (Third Assessment Report) AR4 (Fourth Assessment Report) AR5 (Fifth Assessment Report) AR6 (Sixth Assessment Report)

27 Representative Concentration Pathways (RCPs) Concentration levels are interactively calculated in the model 4 scenarios: approximate total relative forcing in year 2100 relative to 1750: 1) 2.6 Wm -2 (mitigation scenario) ppm temperature anomaly 1.5 2) 4.5 Wm ppm temperature anomaly 2.4 C 3) 6 Wm ppm temperature anomaly 3 C 4) 8.5 Wm -2 (very high emission scenario) 1000 ppm temperature anomaly 4,5 C

28 COP 21 Agreement The Paris Agreement seeks to accelerate and intensify the actions and investment needed for a sustainable low carbon future. Its central aim is to strengthen the global response to the threat of climate change by keeping a global temperature rise this century well below 2 degrees Celsius above preindustrial levels and to pursue efforts to limit the temperature increase even further to 1.5 degrees Celsius. The Agreement also aims to strengthen the ability of countries to deal with the impacts of climate change. 169 Parties have ratified of 197 Parties to the Convention On 5 October 2016, the threshold for entry into force of the Paris Agreement was achieved. The Paris Agreement entered into force on 4 November Source:

29 Part III: carbon footprint

30 Carbon footprint CO 2 is colorless, odorless non-toxic CO 2 concentration is higher in winter less photosynthesis Carbon footprint measures the impact that human activities have on the environment in terms of the amount of GHGs produced Measured in CO 2 Equivalent measured in tons of CO 2 that would cause the same level of radiative forcing as the emissions of a given GHGs Primary footprint is dominated by transportation and household electricity use Secondary footprint is about your diet, clothing and personal products Urbanization can deliver large carbon reductions by reducing per capita energy use in transport, housing and construction. You can calculate your footprint at:

31 My carbon footprint HONOLULU, HAWAII (USA), 2016 ROME, ITALY, 2017

32 Bibliography and further readings Fletcher, C. (2013). Climate Change: What the Science Tells Us. Hoboken, New Jersey, US: Wiley. Giambelluca, T.W., Q. Chen, A.G. Frazier, J.P. Price, Y.-L. Chen, P.-S. Chu, J.K. Eischeid, and D.M. Delparte, (2013). Online Rainfall Atlas of Hawai i. Bull. Amer. Meteor. Soc. 94, , doi: /BAMS-D Iyer, G., & Edmonds, J. (2017). Emission scenarios: Explaining differences. Nature Climate Change, 7(2), Peters, G. P., & Geden, O. (2017). Catalysing a political shift from low to negative carbon. Nature Climate Change, 7(9),

33 Thank you! QUESTIONS?