Hot answers tagged

46

The Dustbowl occurred during the 1930s because of a combination of man-induced drought and the (mis)use of relatively new farming practices. In the 1920s, the spread of automotive (and tractor) technologies made it possible to "plow up" the Great Plains. This resulted in the loss of a lot of natural moisture and the creation of drought conditions in lands ...


32

"So much work"? Actually, compared to the global rate of greenhouse gas emissions, it's a case of "so little work"! From a scientific perspective the 'economists' solution' of carbon trading was always unlikely to achieve the required carbon cuts, as has been verified by their ineffectiveness over the last decade or so. As farrenthorpe points out, the rate ...


28

That would have many consequences. For example the Coriolis force would change the sign. Thus wind around pressure systems would switch the direction from north and south hemisphere, but also the Ekman spiral in the ocean would be affected. Surface heating at sloped terrain will different, as the sun would rise in the West. This would change thermal induced ...


28

The main resistance that winds have to their movements comes from the topography and surface obstacles. Therefore, as a general rule the closer to the surface the less wind you will find. But I guess you are interested in the winds in areas clear of surface obstacles, otherwise the answer would a be a cave or a dense forest somewhere. To figure out what is ...


26

Firstly it is worth demonstrating that 97% of climate scientists agree that climate-warming trends over the past century are very likely due to human activities. W. R. L. Anderegg, “Expert Credibility in Climate Change,” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences Vol. 107 No. 27, 12107-12109 (21 June 2010); DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1003187107. P. T....


23

The phenomenon is called seasonal lag. There's a more extensive answer elsewhere on this site but the basic idea is that temperature lags behind insolation by several weeks, because it takes time to change the mean temperatures of the land, the atmospehere, and especially oceans change their mean temperature. This diagram tries to show the lag, along with ...


23

Your premises are flawed due to the lack of two critical details: Population rise; the sheer number of people on the planet that are consuming resources has risen to 7 billion people. Standard of Living; a greater percentage of people in the world live a "Western" style, which consumes more goods per capita. You should study something like the Global ...


22

Depending on the assumptions you make, the Moon would suddenly have a retrograde orbit. If the moon had a retrograde orbit, it would have tremendous consequences. Retrograde orbits tend to become less distant over time, meaning the moon would either be much closer to the Earth with huge tidal effects or come more close in the future. At some point, the Moon ...


22

There is no significant geomagnetic influence on the cycle of glacials and interglacials. I think the easiest way to determine this is to consider geomagnetic reversals. A reversal obviously involves the largest possible change in the direction of the magnetic field (a full 180°). It also involves some of the largest changes in field intensity, because ...


20

We don't really know. Climate models agree that the feedback is profound. Significant. Unfortunately, they do not agree about the magnitude of the feedback. Nor about the sign. The problem is that there are competing feedbacks. Clouds act similar to greenhouse gases, because they absorb and re-emit terrestrial radiation. But they also reflect solar ...


20

I bet you live on the eastern half of North America, which had a cold winter of 2013-2014, Europe and Alaska had a very warm winter, and China had its second warmest January. Jennifer Francis of Rutgers has been advocating the Arctic or Polar Amplification theory (Wikipedia). In which she hypothesises that warming of the Arctic has been greater than lower ...


19

The record the article is referring about seems to be the same as registered at Guiness World Records: On 13 September 2012 the World Meteorological Organisation disqualified the record for the highest recorded temperature, exactly 90 years after it had been established at El Azizia, Libya, with a measurement of 58°C. The official highest recorded ...


18

The major differences between weather and climate models are many. At their core lie the same set of primitive equations, but from here there are many differences. A weather model only (skillfully) predicts about 10 days into the future, while a climate model integrates forward in time for hundreds of years. The main difference here is that in a weather ...


18

Polar regions are colder than equatorial ones for a simple reason - geometry. More specifically, it is caused by the greater angle of the Sun's rays to the surface of the Earth. As you go farther north, the Earth's (mostly) spherical surface bends back from the direction of the Sun's rays, and the same amount of photons are spread over a larger area. What'...


17

The paper you linked lists as its first reference Volokin and ReLlez, 2014; a paper that addresses the magnitude of the Earth's greenhouse effect. The validity of the paper you found largely hinges on the reputation of the Volokin and ReLlez, so we will investigate that one first. The science of Volokin and ReLlez The traditional way to determine the '...


16

It is true that the Gulf Stream plays a role on the different climates of each region; I would not call it an 'urban legend' as Richard Seager and other scientists put it, however it seems that how much it actually changes the climate is currently under debate. From Wallace Broeker: One of the major elements of today's ocean system is a conveyor-like ...


16

You might take a look at the Technical Summary of the most recent IPCC Assessment Report (5). Thematic Focus Element #3 is "Comparing Projections from Previous IPCC Assessments with Observations" It says: Global Mean Temperature Anomaly Relative to the 1961–1990 mean, the GMST anomaly has been positive and larger than 0.25°C since 2001. ...


16

No, greenhouse gases do not absorb infrared radiation from the sun... the Earth is really the source of infrared. The amount of infrared energy from the sun that reaches Earth is insignificant. Visible light from the sun heats the Earth, NOT infrared light. The visible light passes through the atmosphere and is absorbed by the surface of the Earth. Then, ...


16

I am interested in understanding how to tell if a single day of 'abnormal' weather is due to climate change or not. You can't. The day-to-day, locale-to-locale variations in weather are huge compared to the changes that occur from year-to-year and decade-to-decade, averaged over the surface of the Earth. Most of those climatological variations are periodic ...


16

Ivar's graph is mischievous in trying to imply that there should be an exact correlation. The global air temperature is not a good parameter to chart against CO2 emissions because the increasing heat doesn't just warm up the air. Most of the heat goes into warming the upper layers of the oceans, but it is not a linear relationship. The ratio of air and ocean ...


15

This answer is not complete, but it is a start. One of the most significant differences is: Weather models use measurements, whereas climate models do not Put another way: a weather model is an initial value problem. The initial values that go in are of essential importance for the result to be correct. A climate model solves what is primarily a ...


15

It sounds like you are asking for a simple climate model that treats the globe as a homogeneous system. A Zero-dimensional energy balance model may be of interest (see this Penn State site ) which uses a starting point that is also basically described in this post: Temperature as a function of luminosity and greenhouse gas concentrations If you solve for ...


15

No, global warming is not nonsense, and if you are suspicious of the above 'graph' then you are acting wisely. Climate deniers, like flat Earthers, Biblical literalists and many more, use pseudo-science, 'sleight of hand' and cherry picking of data to give false, but superficially plausible impressions. The above is a case in point. Their starting half-...


14

First, a correction. Most climate scientists are climatologists rather than meteorologists. Climatology and meteorology, while related, are quite distinct sciences. Meteorologists and climatologists don't see eye to eye. The consensus amongst meteorologists regarding climate change is not nearly as strong as it is amongst climatologists. Many meteorologists ...


14

The Atatacma desert comprise a very large area of more than 100,000 square kilometers, that host very different climates. The main factors driving the climatic variability are the distance to the Pacific ocean and elevation. This latter factor is very strong, as the Atacama desert covers a formidable elevation range, from sea level to almost 7,000 m, at the ...


13

The Gulf Stream is one reason why. The other is the Labrador current. The warm Gulf Stream runs southwest to northeast, and carries warmth from the Gulf of Mexico to western Europe. Hence, this part of the world is warmer than other parts of the world where the latitudes are similar, but the currents are "neutral." The cold Labrador current runs northeast ...


13

This has been in the news in the last week or so here in Canada: Hippie Carbon offset business: 2013: Couple converts family land to ‘carbon farm’. Using more wood in buildings from quick growing farmed trees as a long-term sequestration: Wooden skyscrapers. From the Kyoto rules on what counts in this space, this document provides some good details also ...


13

Unlikely but theoretically possible. As the bits of tree work their way down to the sea, they are going to oxidise and release CO2. This would appear to our eyes as "rotting" and breaking down. Leaves aren't going to make it, although they might get buried in river sediments. Trunks might. Once they reach the open sea, they are going to have to become water ...


13

Whether the high temperatures of the core is strictly necessary to maintain a habitable temperature at the surface I'm not sure, as the global temperatures are largely controlled by insolation and the greenhouse effect. The black-body radiation temperature of the Earth is about -18 °C, and even a more realistic estimate of the surface temperature ...


Only top voted, non community-wiki answers of a minimum length are eligible