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How big and soon and where will temp changes be?

  1. Jul 31, 2007 #1
    How possible is it that the changes in temp will continue to increase until, for a vague example: by the year 2020 we'll have 160 degree summers and -100 degree winters? (or some variation of extreme perpetual temp alteration)?

    Nearly everyday reached 100 degrees in Salt Lake City all summer, will next summer be 105 all summer? And will the crops in Cali fail further than before to an even greater cold this coming winter?

    Dan
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Jul 31, 2007 #2

    Ivan Seeking

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    I don't think anyone expects changes that large. To the extent that we do see radical changes, it will certainly not be that soon according to any model that I've seen [i.e. predictions from various models]. Realistically, floods, pests, population displacement, more intense storms, and disease are the biggest concerns. Heat waves are a concern as well, but not 160 degree heat waves. :biggrin:

    On the down side, mass extinctions only require something like a 10 degree increase in the average temp, so we don't need 160 degree days to be in trouble. Currently, I believe that we have seen something like a 2 degree increase in the average temp over the last century, but I would have to review the literature to be sure about the latest conclusions and any consensus that might exist. And of course, only part of the temp rise is attributed to human activity with any confidence.
     
    Last edited: Jul 31, 2007
  4. Aug 2, 2007 #3
    Ivan Seeking,

    The increase in global temperatures the last century is ~.7oC. And all of that warming can be attributed to human activity, since man made aerosols are artificially suppressing the increased radiative forcings from GHG.

    As Pinker et al demonstrate, as the atmosphere clears, instantaneous radiative flux continues to increase while solar irradiation has remained constant or even decreased.
     
  5. Aug 3, 2007 #4

    Ivan Seeking

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    So according to this, the change has been between 1 and 1.7 degrees F over the last century, with a mean of .74 degrees C as you stated.

    http://ipcc-wg1.ucar.edu/wg1/Report/AR4WG1_Pub_SPM-v2.pdf

    venturerite, if you go to page 13 of 18 of this report, you will find some predictions about future climate change.
     
    Last edited: Aug 3, 2007
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