Knowledge of solar irradiance variations is rudimentary prior to the commencement of continuous space-based irradiance observations in Models of sunspot and facular influences developed from the contemporary database have been used to extrapolate daily variations during the year cycle back to about using contemporary sunspot and facular proxies, and with less certainty annually to Circumstantial evidence from cosmogenic isotope proxies of solar activity 14C and 10Be and plausible variations in Sun-like stars motivated an assumption of long-term secular irradiance trends, but recent work questions the evidence from both.
Very recent studies of the long term evolution and transport of activity features using solar models suggest that secular solar irradiance variations may be limited in amplitude to about half the amplitude of the year cycle. Warming will continue, but its impacts are difficult to project. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change IPCC , which involves hundreds of scientists in assessing the state of climate change science, has estimated that, by , global surface temperatures will be from 2. During a feedback process, a change in one variable, such as carbon dioxide concentration, causes a change in temperature, which then causes a change in a third variable, such as water vapor, which in turn causes a further change in temperature.
Understanding Climate Change Feedbacks looks at what is known and not known about climate change feedbacks and identifies important research avenues for improving our understanding. Other scientific uncertainties relate to the regional effects of climate change and how climate change will affect the frequency and severity of weather events.
Climate Data Records from Environmental Satellites: Interim Report | The National Academies Press
It is very likely that increasing global temperatures will lead to higher maximum temperatures and fewer cold days over most land areas. Some scientists believe that heat waves such as those experienced in Chicago and central Europe in recent years will continue and possibly worsen. The larger and faster the changes in climate, the more difficult it will be for human and natural systems to adapt without adverse effects. There is evidence that the climate has sometimes changed abruptly in the past—within a decade—and could do so again.
Abrupt Climate Change: Inevitable Surprises outlines some of the evidence for and theories of abrupt change. This shutdown could make it much cooler in Northern Europe and warmer near the equator. It is important to recognize that while future climate change and its impacts are inherently uncertain, they are far from unknown. In the Arctic regions, where temperatures have risen almost twice as much as the global average, the landscape and ecosystems are being altered rapidly.
Observations and data are the foundation of climate change science. There is nothing more valuable to scientists than the measurements and observations required to confirm or contradict hypotheses. In climate sciences, there is a peculiar relation between the scientist and the data. Whereas other scientific disciplines can run multiple, controlled experiments, climate scientists must rely on the one realization that nature provides. Climate change research requires observations of numerous characteristics of the Earth system over long periods of time on a global basis.
Climate scientists must rely on data collected by a whole suite of observing systems—from satellites to surface stations to ocean buoys—operated by various government agencies and countries as well as climate records from ice cores, tree rings, corals, and sediments that help reconstruct past change. Collecting and archiving data to meet the unique needs of climate change science. Most of the instrumentation and observing systems used to monitor climate today were established to provide data for other purposes, such as predicting daily weather; advising farmers; warning of hurricanes, tornadoes and floods; managing water resources; aiding ocean and air transportation; and understanding the ocean.
However, collecting climate data is unique because higher precision is often needed in order to detect climate trends, the observing programs need to be sustained indefinitely and accommodate changes in observing technology, and observations are needed at both global scales and at local scales to serve a range of climate information users.
Every report on climate change produced by the National Academies in recent years has recommended improvements to climate observing capabilities. A central theme of the report Adequacy of Climate Observing Systems is the need to dramatically upgrade our climate observing capabilities. The report presents ten climate monitoring principles that continue to be the basis for designing climate observing systems, including management of network change, careful calibration, continuity of data collection, and documentation to ensure that meaningful trends can be derived.
Another key concept for climate change science is the ability to generate, analyze, and archive long-term climate data records CDRs for assessing the state of the environment in perpetuity. In Climate Data Records from Environmental Satellites , a climate data record is defined as a time series of measurements of sufficient length, consistency, and continuity to determine climate variability and change.
The report identifies several elements of successful climate data record generation programs, ranging from effective, expert leadership to long-term commitment to sustaining the observations and archives. Integrating knowledge and data on climate change through models.
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Climate models are built using our best scientific knowledge, first modeling each process component separately and then linking them together to simulate these couplings. Climate models are important tools for understanding how the climate operates today, how it may have functioned differently in the past, and how it may evolve in the future in response to forcings from both natural processes and human activities. Climate scientists can deal with uncertainty about future climate by running models with different assumptions of future population growth, economic development, energy use, and policy choices, such as those that affect air quality or influence how nations share technology.
Models then offer a range of outcomes based on these different assumptions. Since the first climate models were pioneered in the s, the accuracy of models has improved as the number and quality of observations and data have increased, as computational abilities have multiplied, and as our theoretical understanding of the climate system has improved. Climate Modeling offers several recommendations for strengthening climate modeling capabilities, some of which have already been adopted in the United States.
At the time the report was published, U. The report identified a shortfall in computing facilities and highly skilled technical workers devoted to climate modeling. Federal agencies have begun to centralize their support for climate modeling efforts at the National Center for Atmospheric Research and the Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory. However, the U. There will be winners and losers from the impacts of climate change, even within a single region, but globally the losses are expected to outweigh the benefits.
The regions that will be most severely affected are often the regions that are the least able to adapt. For example, Bangladesh, one of the poorest nations in the world, is projected to lose Several islands throughout the South Pacific and Indian Oceans will be at similar risk of increased flooding and vulnerability to storm surges.
Coastal flooding likely will threaten animals, plants, and fresh water supplies. Tourism and local agriculture could be severely challenged. Wetland and coastal areas of many developed nations including United States are also threatened. For example, parts of New Orleans are as much as eight feet below sea level today. However, wealthy countries are much more able to adapt to sea level rise and threats to agriculture.
Satellite monitoring of volcanic plumes, for example, has a very real impact on air traffic control. We will become less able address these issues, and assess their implications for our coastal communities.
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These models will be increasingly important to the U. As an example, air quality forecasts, which use the global perspective of satellites to identify pollution transport across borders, will become less accurate, with negative implications for both human health and urban pollution management efforts. I would like to thank the Committee for inviting me to testify, and I would be delighted to answer any further questions.
Note that the Glory mission was subsequently restored. The latest plan for LDCM is to implement the mission as a free-flyer. The term space weather refers to conditions on the Sun and in the solar wind, magnetosphere, ionosphere, and thermosphere that can influence the performance and reliability of space-borne and ground-based technological systems and that can affect human life and health.
There is no single definition of chemical weather, but the term refers to the state of the atmosphere as described by its chemical composition, particularly important variable trace constituents such as ozone, oxides of nitrogen, and carbon monoxide. Chemical weather has a direct impact in a number of areas of interest for this study, especially air quality and human health.
Advances in satellite information, data assimilation techniques, and more powerful computers to run more sophisticated numerical models, have lead to more accurate weather forecasts and warnings. The additional advanced notice has a significant positive effect on many sectors of our economy. House of Representatives, June 21, Anthes, Ph.
My name is Richard Anthes, and I am the President of the University Corporation for Atmospheric Research, a consortium of 70 research universities that manages the National Center for Atmospheric Research, on behalf of the National Science Foundation, and additional scientific education, training and support programs.
I am also the current President of the American Meteorological Society. The National Research Council is the unit of the National Academies that is responsible for organizing independent advisory studies for the federal government on science and technology.
Among the key tasks in the charge to the decadal survey committee were to:. The NRC survey committee has prepared an extensive report in response to this charge, which I am pleased to be able to summarize here today. Over leaders in the Earth science community participated on the survey steering committee or its seven study panels. It is noteworthy that this was the first Earth science decadal survey, and the committee and panel members did an excellent job in fulfilling the charge and establishing a consensus — a task many previously considered impossible.
A copy of the full report has also been provided for your use. It is also one of the most important challenges for society as it seeks to achieve prosperity, health, and sustainability. These changes are not isolated; they interact with each other and with natural variability in complex ways that cascade through the environment across local, regional, and global scales. Addressing these societal challenges requires that we confront key scientific questions related to ice sheets and sea level change, large-scale and persistent shifts in precipitation and water availability, transcontinental air pollution, shifts in ecosystem structure and function in response to climate change, impacts of climate change on human health, and occurrence of extreme events, such as hurricanes, floods and droughts, heat waves, earthquakes, and volcanic eruptions.
Yet at a time when the need has never been greater, we are faced with an Earth observation program that will dramatically diminish in capability over the next years. In April, , my co-chair, Dr. His testimony highlighted the key roles played by NASA and NOAA over the past 30 years in advancing our understanding of the Earth system and in providing a variety of societal benefits through their international leadership in Earth observing systems from space. He also noted that NASA had cancelled, scaled back, or delayed at least six planned missions, including a Landsat continuity mission.
As you have all heard, the certified NPOESS program delays the first launch by 3 years, eliminates 2 of the planned 6 spacecraft, and de-manifests or de-scopes a number of instruments, with particular consequences for measurement of the forcing and feedbacks that need to be measured to understand the magnitude, pace, and consequences of global and regional climate change. It is against this backdrop that I discuss the present report.
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Substantial loss of capability is likely over the next several years due to a combination of decreased budgets and aging satellites already well past their design lifetimes. This will result in an overall degradation of the system of Earth observing satellites, with the following potential consequences:. Models predict it will start to slowly recover. Without observations we may not be able to verify its recovery or explain why it is occurring.
Measuring this small imbalance is critical to determining how fast Earth is warming and when the warming will stop.
Related Climate Data Records from Environmental Satellites, National Academy
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