Open Questions: Climatology and Global Warming

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Introduction

Is global warming real?

Greenhouse gases

Paleoclimatology

Climate modeling


Recommended references: Web sites

Recommended references: Magazine/journal articles

Recommended references: Books

Introduction



Recommended references: Web sites

Site indexes

Yahoo News Full Coverage: Global Warming & Climate Change
Links to recent news stories from various sources. Also includes links to sites dealing with global warming.
Galaxy: Climate Change
Categorized site directory. Entries usually include descriptive annotations. Has a subcategory for global warming.

Sites with general resources

New Scientist Special Report on Climate Change
Primarily offers links to many news articles from the past several years of New Scientist magazine. But there are also other features, including facts and figures, external links, frequently-asked questions, and a short bibliography.
Climate and water
A collection of articles, news stories, and other resources from the journal Nature.
Climateprediction.net
A distributed computing project in which the computers of volunteers help run a climate prediction model to investigate the accuracy of global warming predictions.
Hadley Centre for Climate Prediction and Research
"The Hadley Centre for climate prediction and research, which is part of the Met Office, provides a focus in the United Kingdom for the scientific issues associated with climate change." The Centre is the developer of the climate model used in Climateprediction.net. The Web site includes information on climate modeling and predictin.
Rapic Climate Change Home Page
"Rapid Climate Change (RAPID) is a £20 million, six-year (2001- 2007) programme of the Natural Environment Research Council. The programme aims to improve our ability to quantify the probability and magnitude of future rapid change in climate, with a main (but not exclusive) focus on the role of the Atlantic Ocean's Thermohaline Circulation."
Climate Dynamics at RAL
RAL is the Rutherford Appleton Laboratory. This site contains information on a cooperative distributed computing project for reserach in climate dynamics.
The Earth Simulator Center
Japanese research center that uses the world's currently fastest supercomputer for high-resolution climate modeling.
Global Carbon Project
"The scientific goal of the project is to develop a complete picture of the global carbon cycle, including both its biophysical and human dimensions together with the interactions and feedbacks between them." The site includes a Carbon Portal that "provides a number of resources on the carbon cycle which are relevant to research, policy and teaching."
Climate & Global Dynamics (CGD)
Site of a division of the National Center for Atmospheric Research that "pursues research as part of the Earth and Sun Systems Laboratory at the National Center for Atmospheric Research. CGD research provides understanding of the Earth's climate system and uses models to develop the capability of predicting the evolution of the climate system to the highest degree possible." Site features include news, descriptions of research programs, and information on the organization.
Climate Research Group
Part of the Department of Atmospheric Science at the University of Illinois. Site has a list of group publications, information on climate models, and some external links.
Avoiding Dangerous Climate Change
A conference held in February 2005. "The aim of the symposium is to advance scientific understanding of and encourage an international scientific debate on the long term implications of climate change, the relevance of stabilisation goals, and options to reach such goals; and to encourage research on these issues." A conference report International symposium on the stabilisation of greenhouse gases is available in PDF format.
Snowball Earth
The site provides comprehensive information on the Snowball Earth hypothesis. This includes news, teaching material, information for students, and a bibliography

Surveys, overviews, tutorials

Climate change
Article from Wikipedia. See also Global warming, Anthropogenic global warming, Climate model, Greenhouse effect, Greenhouse gas.
Snowball Earth
Article from Wikipedia.
The real holes in climate science
January 2010 news feature from Nature News "Like any other field, research on climate change has some fundamental gaps, although not the ones typically claimed by sceptics. Quirin Schiermeier takes a hard look at some of the biggest problem areas."
Why weather != climate: the engine behind climate models
July 2010 article from Nobel Intent (originally published in 2006). Gives an overview of how computer climate models work.
The Arctic Thaw Could Make Global Warming Worse
June 2009 Scientific American special edition article. "The melting Arctic is releasing vast quantities of methane. How big is this greenhouse threat? What can be done?"
Doomsday Scenarios
May 2006 article from Seed Magazine that reports on interviews with climate scientists about consequences of unchecked carbon emissions.
Climate Change: Factors and Effects
A ScienceWeek "symposium" consisting of excerpts and summaries of articles from various sources.
Paleoclimate
A ScienceWeek "symposium" consisting of excerpts and summaries of articles from various sources.
Climate Change
A special collection of articles and news stories related to climate change and global warming from New Scientist.
Predicting Climate
March 2007 Features article from ABC's The Lab providing a nice introductory article on climate prediction science.
Wrong but useful
October 2009 article from Physics World. "Many policymakers have traditionally seen climate models as irrelevant, but Gavin Schmidt argues that recent advances are making such models an essential tool in informing policy choices."
A model approach to climate change
February 2007 article from Physics World, by Adam Scaife, Chris Folland and John Mitchell. "The Earth is warming up, with potentially disastrous consequences. Computer climate models based on physics are our best hope of predicting and managing climate change."
Burying climate change for good
September 2006 article from Physics World, by Steve Furnival. "Climate change is a reality we must all face up to, and burning fossil fuels to generate electricity is the biggest contributor. Steve Furnival explains how capturing and burying the carbon dioxide produced could help avert disastrous global warming."
Antarctica unravelled
June 2006 article from Physics World, by Andrew Shepherd. "After more than a century of polar exploration, recent satellite measurements are painting an altogether new picture of Antarctica. Andrew Shepherd explains how physics is helping researchers understand the critical transformations taking place in the world's largest ice sheet."
The climatic effects of water vapour
May 2003 article from Physics World, by Ahilleas Maurellis and Jonathan Tennyson. "Contrary to common belief, the greenhouse effect may have more to do with water in our atmosphere than gases such as carbon dioxide."
Could water vapour be the culprit in global warming?
Summary of February 2001 article from Physics World, by Ahilleas Maurellis. "A recent study led by Richard Learner of Imperial College in London supports the possibility that water vapour could be a major contributor to atmospheric heating."
Climate change: the challenges
February 1998 article from Physics World, by John Houghton. "Industrialized nations at the recent climate summit in Kyoto agreed to reduce their emissions of greenhouse gases, but how can such cuts be achieved, and what are the future scientific challenges for climate researchers?"
Has man caused climate change?
June 1999 news article from PhysicsWeb about the role of human activity in global warming.
Humans are the cause of climate change
November 1998 news article from PhysicsWeb about the role of human activity in global warming.
Antarctic glaciers feel the heat
July 1998 news article from PhysicsWeb about the shrinking of an Antarctic glacier.
State of the Science: Beyond the Worst Case Climate Change Scenario
November 2007 Scientific American article, subtitled "The IPCC has declared man-made climate change "unequivocal." The hard part: trying to stop it."
Conservative Climate
April 2007 Scientific American News Scan article, subtitled "Consensus document may understate the climate change problem."
Climate Change Verdict: Science Debate Ends, Solution Debate Begins
February 2007 Scientific American In Focus article, subtitled "The IPCC summary for policymakers definitively proclaimed the globe to be warming as a result of human activity, now the science shifts to impacts and solutions."
Climate Change Science Moves from Proof to Prevention
February 2007 Scientific American Weird Science article, subtitled "Scientists have spent the past six years combing the seas, skies, land and space for data on climate change."
Is Global Warming Raising a Tempest?
September 2006 Scientific American sidebar about the relation of global warming and hurricanes.
Behind the Hockey Stick
March 2005 Scientific American Insights article, subtitled "Seven years ago Michael Mann introduced a graph that became an iconic symbol of humanity's contribution to global warming. He has been defending his science ever since."
The Darkening Earth
August 2004 Scientific American In Focus article, subtitled "Less sun at the Earth's surface complicates climate models."
The Cells That Rule the Seas
December 2003 Scientific American Insights article, subtitled "The ocean's tiniest inhabitants, notes biological oceanographer Sallie W. Chisholm, hold the key to understanding the biosphere--and what happens when humans disturb it."
Hot Words
August 2003 Scientific American News Scan article, subtitled "A claim of nonhuman-induced global warming sparks debate."
The Little Plankton That Could... Maybe
October 2002 Scientific American In Depth article, subtitled, "No one knows whether fertilizing single-celled marine organisms is a sound way to pull more heat-trapping carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere. But that hasn't stopped companies from developing plans to do so."
Aerosols in the Atmosphere
January 2002 Scientific American In Depth article, subtitled "New data could help scientists better understand how these peripatetic particles influence the earth's climate."
Climate of Uncertainty
October 2001 Scientific American News Scan article, subtitled "The unknowns in global warming research don't have to be showstoppers."
An Orbital Anomaly Once Chilled Earth
April 2001 Scientific American news article, about effects of Earth's orbit on prevailing climate.
More Proof of Global Warming
March 2001 Scientific American news article about evidence of global warming coming from satellite measurements of infrared emissions.
Debit or Credit?
February 2001 Scientific American Science and the Citizen article, subtitled "Whether CO2-consuming trees can offset global warming is far from certain."
Soot's Dirty Hand in Global Warming
February 2001 Scientific American news article, about how soot may be a leading cause of rising world temperatures.
150 Years of Warming
September 2000 Scientific American news article about studies that show earlier thawing of ice during the past 150 years.
The Heat is On
April 2000 Scientific American In Depth article, subtitled "Scientists and politicians can quibble about what or who is to blame, but the oceans have cast a clear vote: Planet Earth is warming up."
Gas Blasts
December 1999 Scientific American In Focus article, subtitled "Methane once frozen under the seafloor may help heat up the climate."
Going, Going--Gone?
April 1999 Scientific American In Focus article, subtitled "Much of the world's water is stored in glaciers and the great polar ice sheets. But these frozen reservoirs are melting rapidly, and the water they release could cause a catastrophic rise in sea levels."
Is there a vent in the global greenhouse?
March 2001 news article in Science News about how a rise in surface temperature in the western Pacific may lead to a decrease in the area of heat-trapping cirrus clouds.
Lack of oxygen locks up peat's carbon
February 2001 news news article in Science News about how carbon sequestered in peatlands and permafrost can be released into the atmosphere when moisture is lost.
Antarctic Glacier Thins and Speeds Up
February, 2001 news article in Science News about melting of the Pine Island Glacier.
Pollution in India may affect climate
January 2001 news article in Science News about computer models that show aerosols from air pollution in India may be affecting the local climate.
Clouds won't counter global warming
October 2000 news article about NASA research that indictates greater cloud cover that might result from global warming would not be sufficient to prevent the warming.


Recommended references: Magazine/journal articles

The final climate frontiers
Alexandra Witze
Science News, December 4, 2010
Scientists aim to improve and localize their predictions.
Smoke from a Distant Fire
Sid Perkins
Science News, November 6, 2010
Burning forests can send aerosols into the stratosphere and around the world.
Melting at the microscale
Alexandra Witze
Science Daily, June 19, 2010
Studying sea ice close-up may improve climate models.
Global Warming: Beyond the Tipping Point
Michael D. Lemonick
Scientific American, October 2008
Unquiet Ice Speaks Volumes on Global Warming
Robin E. Bell
Scientific American, February 2008
Not-So-Perma Frost
Sid Perkins
Science News, March 10, 2007
Warming climate is taking its toll on subterranean ice.
Impact from the Deep
Peter D. Ward
Scientific American, October 2006
A Climate Repair Manual
Gary Stix
Scientific American, September 2006
Runaway Heat?
Sid Perkins
Science News, November 12, 2005
A darkening Arctic may accelerate warming trends there.
Can We Bury Global Warming?
Robert H. Socolow
Scientific American, July 2005
Abrupt Climate Change
Richard B. Alley
Scientific American, November 2004
The Big Thaw
Daniel Glick
National Geographic, September 2004, pp. 12-33
Part of special coverage of global warming. The mostly pictorial article highlights changes of many of Earth's environments due to global warming.
[Additional resources]
Now What?
Virginia Morel
National Geographic, September 2004, pp. 56-75
Part of special coverage of global warming. Describes the evidence for global warming and how a human-induced greenhouse is implicated.
[Additional resources]
Defusing the Global Warming Time Bomb
James Hansen
Scientific American, March 2004
Spring Forward
Daniel Grossman
Scientific American, January 2004
The Case of the Missing Carbon
Tim Appenzeller
National Geographic, February 2004, pp. 88-117
It is clear that human activities, such as burning of forests and fossil fuels, are releasing carbon in the form of CO2 into the atmosphere. If this carbon remains in the atmosphere, it contributes to the greehouse effect that causes global warming. Carbon leaves the atmosphere normally through the "carbon cycle". Less than half the added carbon remains in the atmosphere, but it is a mystery where it actually goes next.
[Additional resources]
Meltdown in the North
Matthew Sturm; Donald K. Perovich; Mark C. Serreze
Scientific American, October 2003
On Thinning Ice
Sid Perkins
Science News, October 4, 2003
Are the world's glaciers in mortal danger?
On Thin Ice?
Robert A. Bindschadler; Charles R. Bentley
Scientific American, December 2002
Dust, the Thermostat
Sid Perkins
Science News, September 29, 2001
How tiny airborne particles manipulate global climate.
Pinning Down the Sun-Climate Connection
Sid Perkins
Science News, January 20, 2001
Solar influence extends beyond warm, sunny days.
Snowball Earth
Paul F. Hoffman; Daniel P. Schrag
Scientific American, January 2000, pp. 68-75
A dramatic new theory suggests that for a period of as long as 200 million years, ending less than 600 million years ago, the Earth experienced several cyclic swings between extremely cold climates (average temperature -50° C) and extremely hot climates (average temperature +50° C). The end of these extreme oscillations may have contributed to the "Cambrian explosion" of complex multicellular life forms. Authors' original version of the paper is here.
The Human Impact on Climate
Thomas R. Karl; Kevin E. Trenberth
Scientific American, December 1999, pp. 100-105
There is little doubt that climatic change in the form of global warming is occurring. But accurate simulation and prediction of such changes will depend on long term climate monitoring and data collection that is not yet being implemented.
Rapic Climate Change
Kendrick Taylor
American Scientist, July-August 1999, pp. 320-327
Earth's climate can change very rapidly, in as little time as a decade. Rapid change is likely if the rate of exchange of heat and mass between land, ocean, atmosphere, ice sheets, and space exceeds certain thresholds.
The Coming Climate
Thomas R. Karl, Neville Nicholls, Jonathan Gregory
Scientific American, May 1997, pp. 78-83
Discussion of the use of meterological records and computer models to predict future temperature and rainfall patterns.
Chaotic Climate
Wallace S. Broecker
Scientific American, November 1995, pp. 62-68
Ice cores from Greenland indicate swings in average temperature of as much as 10° C in a single decade. Flow of heat through the Atlantic Ocean may play a major role in such rapid changes, and the consequences could be very serious.


Recommended references: Books


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