Warren Washington, NESL-CGD, NCAR
NCAR Earth System Laboratory, Climate and Global Dynamics Division
Wednesday March 16, 2011 - 11:00 a.m.
Foothills Lab 2, Room 1022 (Large Auditorium)
The climate has always changed. The most recent assessments have convinced most climate scientists that humankind is changing the earth’s climate and that significant global warming is taking place. Some scientists are skeptical of this view and think the observed changes result from natural climate variability or other causes. A brief review of recently observed 20th century climate change will be presented and compared with climate model simulations. I will also show computer simulations of future climate change from a low carbon emission scenario where the world decides to shift from a fossil fuel based energy strategy to increased conservation, renewables, and possibly nuclear. There will also be a discussion of the scientific uncertainties and societal impacts along with an analysis of policy options including possible geoengineering of the climate system. The broader social science issue of environmental justice will also be discussed.