Extremely Cold Ebook

Bitterly Cold Defense Guide

This eBook guide teaches you how to defend yourself and your family from the incoming cold that has hurt people all over the nation. The Polar Vortex has struck the United States, and it will continue to bring cold and freezing to people all over the nation. You can try to ignore the problem, but that does not make it go away. In fact, not preparing for the cold is what gets a lot of people killed. Last year, at least 21 people died as a result of the cold. You do NOT want to be one of those people! This ebook guide teaches you to defend yourself against the bitter cold and learn to deal with all of the hazards that accompany bitter cold temperatures. Leon Wilde, author and speaker at survival camps, brings you this book to help you survive the bitter winter temperatures. Don't get caught unawares!

Bitterly Cold Defense Guide Overview

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Author: Leon Wilde
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Lesser Extreme Cold Weather Events

An early sketch of the Gulf Stream by Ben Franklin. The Gulf Stream plays an important role in maintaining the balance that prevents a new Ice Age. In his book Water in Buildings, Architect William Rose tells us that according to the insurance industry the greatest losses from freezing weather conditions don't occur in parts of the country that commonly freeze. The claims come much more from the southern United States than from the northern states. Texas and Florida were highest on a per capita basis Minnesota was the lowest. We can attribute this to the surprise factor Minnesotans build such that freezing pipes are unlikely, whereas southerners may be caught by surprise by an unexpected cold wave. Insurance companies paid around 4.5 billion in the 10-year period 1985-1995 in claims for pipes bursting (Rose). Frozen pipes, ice dams, heaving foundations and overloaded roofs are all rare conditions in the north where people are prepared for them, but become epidemic when very cold...

Cold weather during the Dark Ages

The abandonment of Cahokia marked the end of a period when the climate was relatively warm and moist over all of the Northern Hemisphere. That warm period followed a period of cold weather lasting from the second half of the third century until the ninth century c.e. There was heavy snow over much of Europe in the winter of 763-64, and the intense cold killed many olive and fig trees. The winter of 859-60 was so cold that the ice was thick enough to bear the weight of horse-drawn wagons on the Adriatic Sea close to Venice. In some places the cold period lasted even longer. The winter of 1010-11 was so harsh that there was ice on the Bosporus, the narrow waterway linking the Sea of Marmara and the Black Sea, in northern Turkey, and even on the River Nile in Egypt. During this cold episode, winter snow and ice also became more common in China, and lychee and mandarin orange trees were killed by frost. Then warmer conditions returned. According to records from the royal gardens at Kyoto,...

On the Other Hand A New Ice

Colder Winters Held Dawn of New Ice Age screamed a front page Washington Post headline on January 11, 1970. The Post writer David R. Boldt reported that some climatologists were arguing that Earth had entered a cold period in 1950 and it could last for hundreds of years. In support of this argument, the climatologists noted that the global temperature had dropped 0.6 F (0.33 C) since 1950. If the current rate of decline continued, in 240 years Earth's temperature would be 7.2 F (4 C) lower and gripped by an ice age climate more snow in winter, less snow melting in summer. As far as the University of Wisconsin meteorologist Reid A. Bryson (1920- ) was concerned, There's no relief in sight. The arguments in favor of cooling were mainly based on the amount of atmospheric dust. A Smithsonian study had shown a 16 percent decrease in sunlight in the Washington, D.C., area over the previous 50 years. Other scientific groups had reported that the amount of dust in the air over the North...

A new ice age

Arrhenious in 1908 and Callendar in 1938 had proposed that increasing carbon dioxide might save the world from a new ice age and these words were echoed again in the 1970s (Fleming, 1998 Mitchell, 1972). The extreme sensitivity of energy balance models, however, turned out to be due to the simple way the model represented the climate and not a true picture of the climate response. Energy balance models have increased in sophistication and are still in use today, mostly to study climates in the geological past. The legacy of these early modelling results remain, however, to haunt the present. It is also true that we are on the downturn of the next glacial cycle and are heading towards a new glacial maximum. Past inter-glacials have lasted between 10 000 and 14 000 years and this one is already 10 000 years old. However, to cite this as a rationale for not worrying about global warming is to forget about time-scales. Global warming will occur over the next few decades to hundred of...

The North Pacific High

A similar jet stream trough can develop over eastern Europe in conjunction with an intensification of the Bermuda high. Spain and Portugal then have balmy, fair weather, while rains drench Norway, Sweden, Holland, and Poland, and bitter-cold storms sweep across the Russian plains. In the southern hemisphere, the effects of jet stream troughs are less brutal in terms of cold temperatures, but the tip of South America is frequently blasted by raw, wet gales as storms sweep around troughs in that region.

Albedo and temperature

Light that is not reflected is absorbed. We make use of this fact. In cold weather we often wear dark clothes, hoping they will absorb such heat as the Sun delivers, and in hot weather we wear light-colored clothes to reflect heat. Winter clothes are also thicker, of course, and we wear more layers of them, and summer clothes are thinner and we wear fewer layers. That is really why winter clothes are warm and summer clothes keep us cool, but the albedo of the clothes contributes to the effect. The difference is between approximately 0.10 for dark winter clothes and 0.90 for light summer clothes.

Uphill battle for downhill skiing

Climate change won't hurt just cold weather tourism islands that lure people to the beaches each winter need to be thinking about rising sea levels and storm surges, and how those changes will affect their infrastructure. Coral-reef tourism could change or even cease, and the tourist season in certain countries could shift.

Deciding Whether an Air Source Heat Pump Is Right for

I Air-source heat pumps are better for some climates than for others. If you live in a climate that requires heating and cooling in approximately equal amounts, an air-source heat pump is a viable option. If you need a lot more heating than cooling, a stove system is a better bet (with portable air conditioners, if need be). In moist, cold weather, air-source heat

How Does Biodiesel Work

Biodiesel have a higher-temperature gel point (the point where they begin to solidify similar to Jell-O in a refrigerator) than conventional diesel fuel. This could lead to cold-weather starting problems because of lack of fuel flow, but it doesn't seem to be a major problem. And it can be addressed by the addition of a fuel heater, if necessary. Another more vexing problem is the solvent qualities of biodiesel. Introduced into an engine that has been using conventional diesel fuel, the solvent action of the biodiesel fuel can loosen deposits and gunk and lead to fuel filter and fuel injector clogs.

Climate Change Effects

If warming was all that happened with global warming, then homes in the southern states should be in pretty good shape for dealing with climate change, but that's not how climate change appears to be progressing. Instead, we have swings with unexpected and extreme cold weather events. If you hear that Florida citrus growers have to protect their crops against frost, you can be pretty sure that homes in Florida with their vapor barriers on the exterior of the building will be accumulating moisture in the walls during cold snaps. The warm indoor moisture will try to dry to the cold exterior. When it hits the cold exterior surface of a wall that has reduced permeability, that moisture will also begin to condense and potentially lead to problems if the cold snap lasts more than a few days.

Oil And Gas Supplies And Prices

Simply because market traders and operators considered oil prices too high and unsustainable after the summer peak of world oil demand in August 2006, oil prices were clipped by about 25 percent in a few weeks, only to increase again with the onset of cold weather in big consumer markets. On the supply side, world oil production and supply is now rigid, stagnant, and inflexible. It is unlinked and disconnected from the demand side. On that side robust growth is the reality, albeit denied or countered with misleading data that present world oil demand growth as at very low rates. In addition, because oil prices were considered too high but not amenable to speculative downsizing in summer 2006, this tack shifted to world traded gas, resulting in absurdly low gas prices equivalent in energy terms to oil at about US 17 per barrel.

Worldwide Relationships Of Weather Variations

In addition to changes in the amount of meandering, and connected with them, changes occur in the strength of the main wind flow each year in the round of the seasons, from one spell of weather to another and from one climatic epoch to another. And when the upper westerly winds are most strongly developed around the globe, with only modest waves in the pattern of the circumpolar flow, the wave-length or spacing of these waves increases. The spacing also increases if and when the main stream is displaced towards higher latitudes without change of strength. Changes in the spacing of the troughs and ridges in the pattern of the circumpolar vortex mean changes in the positions around the hemisphere that are affected by extensions of the cold polar and warm subtropical regimes respectively. They also mean changes in the positions at which the cyclonic disturbances develop and the frequency, and speed, with which their rain belts and often stormy surface winds are steered along various...

Alternative Fuels and Technologies

Electric Vehicles Our experience with electric vehicles (EVs) at Tufts has been positive despite their limited travel distance between charges. The Toyota RAV4 EVs are limited to about 70 miles in warm weather and significantly fewer in cold weather. While the vehicles reduce emissions (when the batteries are discharged between charges), their best feature is their educational value. Our EVs are used by staff in mail services and public safety, so they are highly visible all over campus. Two other EVs are in our university-wide Zipcar shared-vehicle program, so many people can get behind the wheel and have an EV driving experience. Zipcar reports that some members are loyal EV drivers. Harvard University has been using B20 to fuel all of its diesel vehicles since 2003.22 This includes the fleet of shuttle buses that circulate around Harvard's campus, a densely populated residential area in Cambridge, Massachusetts. The reduced particulate emissions have met with widespread support...

The North Atlantic Oscillation

The NAO shifts between a deep depression near Iceland and high pressure around the Azores, which produces strong westerly winds, and the reverse pattern with much weaker circulation. The strong westerly pattern pushes mild air across Europe and into Russia, while pulling cold air southwards over western Greenland. This flow also pulls cold air down into the eastern Mediterranean and Middle East producing colder, wetter winters than normal. The strong westerly flow also tends to bring mild winters to most of North America. One significant climatic effect is the reduction of snow cover, not only during the winter, but also well into the spring. The reverse meandering pattern often features a blocking anticyclone over Iceland or Scandinavia, which pulls arctic air down into Europe, with mild air being funnelled up towards Greenland. This produces much more extensive continental snow cover, which reinforces the cold weather in Scandinavia and eastern Europe, and this often extends well...

Hydrologic Effects and Water Resources

Available surface water depends largely on how much snow falls and how long it is stored in the Sierra Nevada and Cascade mountain ranges each winter. Higher temperatures mean that more precipitation will fall as rain and less as snow.27 Growing evidence suggests that the rain-to-snow ratio is already increasing as a consequence of global warming. Several studies indicate that annual stream flow from the Sierras in the fall and winter has increased during the second half of the twentieth century, and spring flow has decreased.28,29 In general, snow lines in California's mountains will rise 500 vertical feet for each degree centigrade increase in atmospheric temperature.30 Therefore, a future 3 C increase will raise the snowline 1,500 feet. Higher temperatures also mean earlier snowpack melt.31-33 Assuming a 3 C temperature increase, the combined effect of less snow and earlier snowpack melt will reduce the amount of water stored in the snowpack by an estimated 33 percent in an average...

How glaciers begin and move

A glacier begins as a fall of winter snow that fails to melt the following summer. This snow is called firn and its edge, beyond which the winter snow does melt in summer, is the firn line. More snow falls the following winter, to become a new layer of firn, and its weight compresses the snow beneath it until the snow turns into solid ice. Although it does not melt in summer, some snow and ice are lost. When the Sun shines strongly, ice can vaporize without melting first. This is called sublimation. The wind can also remove loose, powdery snow. This type of loss is called ablation. If there is a zone of accumulation, where the winter snowfall exceeds losses by sublimation and ablation, then a glacier will form.

Climate History What Has Happened

Scientists can reconstruct the cyclical expansion and contraction of polar caps and other ice masses from ice core samples taken from Greenland and Antarctica. When snow falls on high, cold glaciers the air trapped between snow grains is eventually transformed into air bubbles as the snow is compressed into ice from the weight of subsequent accumulations. The ratio of two oxygen molecules with different molecular weights (O16 and O18 isotopes) is a proxy record for the temperature conditions that existed when the snow was deposited. By studying these air bubbles and ice, scientists have been able to determine that the ice buildup from 90,000 years ago to 20,000 years ago was quite variable and was followed by a (geologically speaking) fairly rapid 10,000-year transition to the (current) climatically very stable Holocene period. The Holocene is the 10,000-year interglacial period in which human civilization developed and modern plant and animal distributions shifted into their current...

Impacts of projected snowcover changes on ecosystems

More frequent winter thaws can also affect ecosystems. Thawing changes the mechanical properties of snow dramatically. This can reduce the insulating properties of the snow cover, with increased potential for frost penetration into the soil and root damage to certain plant species. During the brief thaw, soil microbial activity may also release greenhouse gases. This occurs at a time when plant uptake of carbon, which could offset the increase in atmospheric carbon, is not possible, and adds to atmospheric concentrations of greenhouse gases. In addition, re-freezing occurs after thawing, which forms ice layers that can be on the surface, throughout the snow cover or, if snow falls after a thawing event, under the snow in contact with the ground. Ice layers can act as a mechanical barrier, preventing herbivores such as musk oxen66 and reindeer from digging through the snow to reach critical lichens and other forage (see box on the snow-loving deer of the Arctic). This greatly affects...

Seaice research International Polar Year and looking to the future

Ponds freeze over, snow falls on the surface and new ice forms at the underside of the ice floe. Individual floes freeze together to form larger floes. Rafting and ridging occurs (Figure 5.13) and leads (narrow channels of open water) are formed. Ridges, which can be several metres high, and ice keels, which can extend more than 20 m below sea level, affect wind drag and water drag. Dust and sediments are incorporated into snow and ice through atmospheric and oceanic processes, and ice algae and other organisms colonize the brine channels and the under-sides of ice floes.

Overview of Terrestrial Ecosystems in East Asia

Zonobiomes of East and Southeast Asia (after Walter 1979). (I) Equatorial with diurnal climate (II) tropical with summer rains (III) subtropical-arid (IV) winter rain and summer drought (V) warm-temperate (maritime) (VI) typical temperate with a short period of frost (VII) arid-temperate with a cold winter (VIII) cold-temperate (boreal) (IX) Arctic. Fig. 13.1. Zonobiomes of East and Southeast Asia (after Walter 1979). (I) Equatorial with diurnal climate (II) tropical with summer rains (III) subtropical-arid (IV) winter rain and summer drought (V) warm-temperate (maritime) (VI) typical temperate with a short period of frost (VII) arid-temperate with a cold winter (VIII) cold-temperate (boreal) (IX) Arctic. Figure 13.1 illustrates the climatically defined biomes of East Asia (after Walter 1979). A zonation of thermally defined biomes can be seen from south to north (equatorial to warm-temperate to typical temperate with a short period of frost). Interior of China is...

The ka BP climate simulations

An international project for paleoclimate modeling at 6 kaBP (PMIP Paleaoclimate Modeling Intercomparison Project) was launched in 1990s and has made great progresses. However, some important issues have not resolved so far. The PMIP designed a program for AGCM (Atmospheric General Circulation Model) simulations in which variations of solar radiation is considered as a major dynamic force for 6 kaBP climate. As the solar radiation variation played a unique role in the simulations, consequently most of the AGCMs have simulated the paleoclimate of 6ka BP with a general pattern of a warm summer and a cold winter over the major continents of the world.

Clouds From The Earth

Some clouds of debris are produced by volcanic eruptions. After the eruptions of Mount St. Helens in 1980, for example, much of the United States was affected by the volcanic dust that rose to the top of the troposphere and was caught and carried by the jet stream. Volcanic dust has been blamed for cooling trends lasting several years. Some scientists believe that the legendary cold summer of 1816 and the cold winter of 1983-1984 were caused by a prolonged reduction in the amount of solar heat received by the earth, and that this heat reduction was the direct result of blockage and reflection of solar energy by airborne volcanic dust. In both cases, massive volcanic eruptions months earlier threw tremendous amounts of dust into the upper troposphere and stratosphere.

Maine lobstering general information

Lobsters are not found in rivers or estuarine areas as they require highly saline water. Recent studies indicate that lobsters migrate locally. They tend to migrate in towards the shore during the warm months and into deeper water in the cold winter months. Water temperature affects migration, growth rates, mortality, and

Figuring out a floor plan

I Place rooms in such a way as to maximize the positives and camouflage the negatives. For example, a western exposure is typically hot and uncomfortable in the late afternoons and evenings, so putting the garage on that side of the house creates a buffer. Or perhaps the view from one side of the house is unattractive, in which case the garage should go there. You can also achieve a buffer from cold winter winds

Constraints on the Weather Derivatives Market

Weather can serve as a hedge or as a source of incremental value in trading commodities. This can be done on an outright basis, by betting on a cold winter while, at the same time, also buying natural gas or heating oil. A hedged strategy might involve buying natural gas and selling cold-side weather exposure, where the weather position will lose if the winter is indeed cold, but be more than offset by the value of the natural gas contracts. (O'Hearne 2005, 16 Nicholls 2005b)

Most warming in high latitudes

This is the expected response to increased carbon dioxide. It occurs because during the Arctic winter the surface radiates its absorbed heat, and the temperature plummets. Cold, dense, subsiding air produces large anticyclones. Air flows outward from the anticyclones, and the extreme cold means that the air contains little moisture. Water vapor is the most powerful of all greenhouse gases, but the air over the Arctic is so dry in winter that the greenhouse effect is very small. Consequently, adding another greenhouse gas carbon dioxide has a disproportionately large effect. This is why all climate models predict a strong warming effect over the Arctic.

A warmer earth is beneficial to humans

Humans have not fared well during times of extreme cold. Seventy thousand years ago, the Earth experienced a volcanic winter followed by a thousand-year ice age. According to scientists at Stanford University, the human population might have dropped to 2,000, pushing our species to the brink of extinction. During the most recent ice age, it was much more difficult for humans to survive than it was during the interglacial period that followed. Even today, cold is deadlier to humans than heat. Europeans were shocked by the 2003 heat wave that killed 15,000 people, but Bjorn Lomborg points out that 1.5 million Europeans die from excess cold every year.

Direct Effects of Temperature Extremes Heat Waves and Cold Spells

The very old and very young, and those with preexisting health concerns, are the most at risk due to thermal extremes. At one end of the spectrum, unprecedented heat waves have resulted in a significant increase in the number of heat-related mortality cases. Such hazards are made worse by the ''urban heat island'' effect in cities, where heat stored in cement and metal materials during the day is released at night. On the other hand, overexposure to extreme cold temperatures can lead to frostbite and death. Although climate change is anticipated to increase average winter temperatures and thus decrease wintertime mortality, the overall direct risks of thermal extremes are considered to be adverse.

Extreme weather events

Defining such extremes cause problems when trying to assess variability. As a result, many changes have been found to be due to these inconsistencies. Only tropical cyclones (Hurricanes) in the North Atlantic are thought to have changed and that was a decrease in activity (Nicholls et al., 1996). There is some evidence for less extreme cold temperatures, but no increase in high temperature events, even though mean temperatures have increased. Given the lack of global data on the time-scales needed, no firm conclusions can yet be drawn, but there appears to be no increase in extreme weather events or climate variability at global scales. At regional scales there is some evidence of change, but the change is not uniform with some areas exhibiting greater variability and others lower variability.

Changes in other climatic variables

Is a highly integral part of the climate system, measurements of the various parameters are limited. Mountain glaciers appear to have retreated worldwide and it is thought that this is likely to be due to changes in temperature rather than changes in any other climatic variable such as precipitation and cloudiness which also affect glacial advance and retreat. Sea-levels have increased by 10 to 25 cm this century but the rate of rise has not been increasing. Global warming would cause a rise in sea level. As the oceans warm they expand and the sea level will rise accordingly. Melting glaciers will cause sea levels to rise as will melting of the Greenland ice sheet. The melting of the polar ice caps is very difficult to assess. The extreme cold, especially over Antarctica, as well as the subsidence of air, means that very little precipitation falls over the ice caps. If there is a warming, then more precipitation will fall in the interior so the ice sheets will grow, leading to a sea...

Modeling The Last Glacial Period

Part of the PMIP effort was focused on the LGM to understand the impacts of extreme cold conditions and to study the feedbacks associated with a decrease in CO2 atm and ice sheet elevation of 2 to 3 km above North America and northern Europe. The LGM was simulated by 17 models through the PMIP program that prescribe a series of set boundary conditions (Pinot et al., 1999). An update of the ice sheet extent and height was provided by (Peltier, 1994). As a result of the Laurentide and Fennoscandian ice sheets being 1,000 meters lower than the previous reconstruction (CLIMAP, 1981), CO2 atm was prescribed to be 200p.p.m.V, as inferred from Antarctic ice cores (Raynaud, et al., 1993), and Earth's orbital parameters were changed according to their values at 21,000 yr bp. Over the oceans, two sets of experiments were defined one with SST changes prescribed from estimates (CLIMAP, 1981), the other with SSTs computed using coupled atmosphere-mixed layer ocean models and assuming no change in...

Cold Drought Wetwildfires

Global Change Research Program, the warming projected by climate models over the next several decades suggests increases in rain episodes over frozen ground or rapid snow melting events that can increase flooding. Over the coming century, winter snowfalls and periods of extreme cold will probably decrease. Of major concern for this area are changes in the intensity and frequency of hurricanes.

Appendix Environmental Controls on Net Primary Productivity

Extremely cold and hot temperature limit the rate of photosynthesis. Within the range of temperatures that are tolerated, the rate of photosynthesis generally rises with temperature. Most biological metabolic activity takes place between 0 and 50 C. The optimal temperatures for plant productivity coincide with the 15-25 C optimum temperature range of photosynthesis.

Superconducting magnetic energy storage

Superconductivity offers, in principle, the ideal way of storing electric power. The storage system comprises an electromagnetic coil of superconducting material which is kept extremely cold. Off-peak electricity is converted to DC and fed into the storage ring, and there it stays, ready to be retrieved as required. Provided the system is kept below a certain temperature, electricity stored in the ring will remain there indefinitely without loss.

What Do People Pay

Have documented the importance of temperate climate as a key determinant of cross-city real estate prices in both Italy and Russia.30 Perhaps not surprisingly, rents are lower in frigid Siberia than in Moscow, where it is merely extremely cold. Similarly, using census data from the United

Climate change will do more than just raise the temperature

Second, climate change may also lead to conflict due to an increase in abundance. Again, this will need to be a relative rather than an absolute measure. Suppose a resource becomes more available because of climate change. For example, the warming of extremely cold areas may allow resource extraction that was previously non-economic. Oil and gas fields in northern Canada, Alaska, and Siberia are likely to become accessible with warming, and thus economically viable. Both energy and mineral resources underlie Antarctica. Competition over newly available resources may lead to conflict, especially when these resources turn up in places where boundaries are not clearly set. New arable lands will emerge which will quickly become sought-after property.

Observed changes in climate and their effects

Warming of the climate system is unequivocal, as is now evident from observations of increases in global average air and ocean temperatures, widespread melting of snow and ice and rising global average sea level (Figure SPM.1). 1.1 Observed decreases in snow and ice extent are also consistent with warming (Figure SPM.1). Satellite data since 1978 show that annual average Arctic sea ice extent has shrunk by 2.7 2.1 to 3.3 per decade, with larger decreases in summer of 7.4 5.0 to 9.8 per decade. Mountain glaciers and snow cover on average have declined in both hemispheres. 1.1

Direct and Indirect Evidence

All indications are that the earth's atmosphere is warming. We might expect to observe other signs around the world that are consistent with this conclusion. Global ocean temperature and sea level are beginning to rise in small but measurable amounts. Rapid melting of snow and ice observed in many parts of the world provides a more dramatic signal that global warming is underway. This chapter will explore the signs of warming that are beginning to show up in various places around the world. Here are a few brief examples

Reaction System Support Structure

Plate2 The TIROS-N spacecraft, having a length of 3.71 m and a weight of 1421 kg. The four instruments of particular meteorological importance are shown in the numbered boxes. 1. Visible and infra-red detector - discerns clouds, land-sea boundaries, snow and ice extent and temperatures of clouds, earth's surface and sea surface. 2. Infra-red detector - permits calculation of temperatures profile from the surface to the 10-mb level, as well as the water vapour and ozone contents of the atmosphere in cloud-free areas. 3. Device for measuring temperatures in the stratosphere. 4. Device for measuring microwave radiation from the earth's surface which supplements unit 2 in cloudy areas (NOAA National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration). Plate 9 DMSP visible image of the coastal area off New England at 14 33 hours GMT, 17 February 1979. A northerly airflow averaging 10ms-1, with surface air temperatures of about -I5 C, moves offshore where sea-surface temperatures increase to 9 C within...

Northern Hemisphere trends

Figure 5.4 Time series of the difference in Arctic sea-ice extent in March (maximum) and September (minimum) from the mean values for the time period 1979-2006. Based on a linear least squares regression, the rate of decrease in March and September was 2.5 per decade and 8.9 per decade, respectively. Source Data courtesy of National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC) Figure 5.4 Time series of the difference in Arctic sea-ice extent in March (maximum) and September (minimum) from the mean values for the time period 1979-2006. Based on a linear least squares regression, the rate of decrease in March and September was 2.5 per decade and 8.9 per decade, respectively. Source Data courtesy of National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC) Source Data courtesy of National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC) Source Data courtesy of National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC)

Glacier changes and water availability in the tropical Andes

The melting of glaciers may lead to water shortages for millions of people. Among the Andean countries at risk are Bolivia, Ecuador and Peru, where glaciers feed rivers all year round. On the Pacific side of Peru, 80 per cent of the water resources originate from snow and ice melt. During the dry seasons, glacier-fed surface waters often constitute the sole water resource for domestic, agricultural (Figure 6B.17) and industrial uses, not only for rural areas but also for major cities. A reduced glacier runoff will aggravate the problems associated with the water availability, especially if a potential warming leads to earlier snow melt, regional reductions in precipitation and an increase in evaporation1,141.

Components of the Earth System

This section introduces the cast of characters and briefly describes their roles and interrelations in the ongoing drama of climate. The atmosphere, which in some sense plays the starring role, has already been introduced in Chapter 1. The interplay between atmospheric radiation and convection regulates the temperature at the Earth's surface, setting the limits for snow and ice cover and for the various life zones in the biosphere. The stratospheric ozone layer protects the biosphere from the lethal effects of solar ultraviolet radiation. Atmospheric wind patterns regulate the patterns of oceanic upwelling that supplies nutrients to the marine biosphere, they determine the distribution of water that sustains the terrestrial (land) biosphere, and they transport trace gases, smoke, dust, insects, seeds, and spores over long distances. Rain, frost, and wind erode the Earth's crust, Other components of the Earth system also play important roles in climate. The oceans are notable for their...

Weather versus climate

A small change in the average relative to a huge variability also raises the question of whether a change in the average will even be noticeable. One way that the average weather matters is in precipitation. Ground water tends to accumulate, reflecting rainfall over the past weeks and months and years. It may not matter to a farmer whether it rains on a Tuesday or Saturday, but if the average rainfall in a region changes that could spell the difference between productive and nonproductive farming. A change in the average climate will change the growing season, the frequency of extreme hot events, the distribution of snow and ice, the optimum growth localities of plants and agriculture, and the intensity of storms.

Weatherrelated natural hazards and climate change

Recent weather-related disasters such as the examples in Chapter 1 have demonstrated the vulnerability of many communities to natural hazards caused by extreme weather windstorms, floods, hailstorms, snow and ice storms, droughts, wildfires, heatwaves and cold waves. Therefore any increase in the frequency or severity of such events would probably be the most noticeable and damaging aspect of anthropogenic climate change, particularly where vulnerability to these hazards is also increasing (Houghton, 1997, chapters 1 and 6). Moreover, it has been known for some time that because such events are related to extreme statistical fluctuations in the weather about its average values, changes in average weather conditions (e.g. global warming) can be accompanied by significant changes in the frequency of extreme weather events too (Wigley, 1985). It certainly seems that extreme events such as the great storm of 1987 in the UK and the 1988 heatwave in the USA helped to stimulate public...

Working Group Iii Threats Due To Climate Change Global Problems In A Regional Context

The region is one with a continental climate. There is a large annual temperature range, with cool to cold winters and warm to hot summers. Precipitation is concentrated in the summer, but commonly some precipitation occurs in all seasons. There is a general decrease in total annual precipitation from west to east. In addition to the strong seasonality, there are large inter-annual variations in temperature and precipitation. A major characteristic of the region is that all areas have snow accumulation in winter and a spring thaw. Some regions have permafrost, while higher elevations often have permanent glaciers. Topographically, the west has many flat open plains, while the east has many major mountain ranges interspersed with open basins. Commonly, atmospheric water availability refers to the difference between precipitation and evaporation. In this region with annual snow accumulations and melting cycles, and with permanent glacial ice, the concern with atmospheric water...

Especially Affected Systems Sectors and Regions

In already dry regions in the mid-latitudes, in drier parts of the tropics (predominantly developing countries), and in regions that depend on melting snow and ice for river and stream flows, water resources will be adversely affected. Glaciers in regions such as central Asia and the Himalaya and Tibetan plateau are melting faster than expected. Large adverse effects on water supply availability are predicted, threatening billions of people with water insecurity. Developing countries are not the only ones at risk. Serious water supply impacts have been seen in Australia from the 2001-07 drought the most extreme and hottest drought recorded for this continent. Water inflows into Australia's largest and most important river basin, the Murray-Darling, are expected to decline 15 percent for each 1 degree Celsius of warming, and dramatic and adverse impacts are forecast for the water supply for large cities in southeast Australia.13

The Global Atmospheric Research Programme becomes engaged in the climate issue

As already mentioned, in 1967 Manabe and Wetherald had deduced the expected change of the surface temperature due to a doubling of the atmospheric carbon dioxide concentration, using a simple model of the heat balance in a vertical column through the atmosphere. Now Manabe (1975) presented the results obtained by employing for the first time a three-dimensional model (general circulation model, GCM) of the atmosphere, thus taking into consideration geographical differences and indirect effects, for example those due to changes of the distribution of snow and ice. Other assumptions were the same as those made before by Manabe and Wetherald (1967). Manabe was, however, now able to reproduce for the first time the spatial distribution of the mean temperature in winter and summer without enhanced greenhouse gas concentrations quite well, which of course is required in the validation of any climate model. While Arrhenius had estimated the warming due to doubling of the atmospheric carbon...

Where is the carbon going

Thus our perturbation of the carbon concentration might eventually be righted, but only after thousands of years. And that's assuming that this large perturbation of the atmosphere doesn't drastically alter the ecosystem. It's conceivable, for example, that the acidification of the surface waters of the ocean might cause a sufficient extinction of ocean plant-life that a new vicious cycle kicks in acidification means extinguished plant-life, means plant-life absorbs less CO2 from the ocean, means oceans become even more acidic. Such vicious cycles (which scientists call positive feedbacks or runaway feedbacks) have happened on earth before it's believed, for example, that ice ages ended relatively rapidly because of positive feedback cycles in which rising temperatures caused surface snow and ice to melt, which reduced the ground's reflection of sunlight, which meant the ground absorbed more heat, which led to increased temperatures. (Melted snow - water - is much darker than frozen...

Act on Personal and Political Levels Especially Community Participation

Deborah drives a Volvo, a car that only gets 23 miles to the gallon. She knows that gasoline plays a big role in current environmental and political problems. She is outraged by the way that her country has militarized the Middle East, treating it as if it is a cheap gas station, because of our dependence on oil. A small portion of what the world pays for militarization could solve many of our environmental problems (see Fig. 8.1). Deborah is disturbed that she contributes her share to global warming and international wars by burning a fossil fuel so often. However, she drives to work every morning anyway, because her environmentally irresponsible behavior has structural dimensions beyond her immediate control Her office is 20 miles from where she lives and there is no mass transit system. Snow and ice in the winter, and deer year round on the country road make driving a lighter weight car unsafe. Roads are built and maintained by tax dollars that she did not allocate. Yet she knows...

Impacts of extreme events

Snow and ice are key components of the hydrological cycle in the Alps, and the seasonal character and amount of runoff is closely linked to cryospheric processes, such as the timing of the spring snowmelt and the water that is added to rivers by seasonal glacier melt towards the end of the summer. Because of the sensitivity of mountain glaciers to temperature and precipitation, changes in climate have been shown to result in shifts in seasonal snowpack (Beniston et al., 2003). In temperate mountain regions, glacier ice is often close to its melting point, so it may respond rapidly to apparently minor changes in temperature. The persistence and intensity of the 2003 heat

Potential Impacts of Climate Change

In a warmer climate, sea level will rise due to two primary factors (i) the thermal expansion of ocean water as it warms, and (ii) the melting of snow and ice from mountain glaciers and polar ice caps. Over the last century, the global-mean sea level has risen about 10 to 25 cm. Over the next century, current models project a further increase of 25 to 100 cm in global-mean sea level for typical scenarios of greenhouse gas emissions and resulting climate effects (IPCC, 1996a Neumann et al., 2000). Figure 1.7 shows the sea level rise calculated with the ISAM model for the four SRES scenarios assuming a climate sensitivity of 2.5 C for a doubling of the CO2 concentration. A sea level rise in the upper part of the range could have very detrimental effects on low-lying coastal areas. In addition to direct flooding and property damage or loss, other impacts may include coastal erosion, increased frequency of storm surge flooding, salt water infiltration and hence pollution...

Effects of forest cover change on ecosystem services and society

As a result of these counterbalancing effects of fire on climate from trace gas emissions (a heating effect) and energy exchange (a cooling effect), the net effect of fire on climate appears to be a modest cooling of climate, with this effect being concentrated near areas that burned (Randerson et al, 2006). This balance between heating and cooling is sensitive to burn severity (the amount of carbon released) and vegetation trajectory (the time required for late successional conifers to return to dominance). If fire severity or the areal extent of wildfire continue to increase, as projected, we expect this to increase both the positive feedbacks to warming (greater carbon emissions) and the negative feedbacks (longer time before return to the low-albedo conifer vegetation), with the net effect on climate feedbacks depending on the magnitude of these two effects. One thing that appears certain, however, is that the negative feedbacks to climate will predominate locally within the...

Michael Bender Todd Sowers and Edward Brook by The National Academy of Sciences

The density of ice at the surface of an ice sheet is typically 0.3-0.35 g cm-3 the corresponding porosity is 62-67 . Settling and packing cause the density to rise rapidly to about 0.55 g cm-3 by a depth of 10-30 m. Below, recrystallization and other processes drive a somewhat slower increase in density, which continues until individual crystals are fused together into an impermeable mass of glacial ice (1). At the bubble closeoff depth, about 10-15 of the volume is air, and the density is about 0.81-0.84 g cm-3 (2, 3). The firn is the zone of porous snow and ice above the closeoff depth, and the depth interval in which bubbles close is termed the firn-ice transition. Below the transition, densification continues by the compression of bubbles due to hydrostatic pressure.

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Values (in summer) show the largest increases where soil moisture is most reduced, and 20-year return minimum daily temperature values (in winter) show the largest increases at high latitudes where snow and ice have retreated. All these predictions also imply that the frequency of cold waves will generally reduce, and the frequency of heatwaves will increase.

Changes in other hydrological and temperature extremes

The other main hazards relating to precipitation extremes are hailstorms, snow and ice storms, and drought, with its associated wildfire hazard. Hail develops within thunderstorms, where particles of ice grow by accretion of supercooled liquid drops within the cumulonimbus cloud. Hailstones can grow to large sizes only if they remain in the cloud for some minutes, in the strong updraughts associated with severe thunderstorms. In the United States the main prevalence of hailstorms is in the western Great Plains. Though they generally cause relatively few fatalities, hailstorms are extremely damaging to property (e.g. cars) and to crops. Changnon and Changnon (2000) have carried out an analysis of hailstorm frequency in the United States over the past century. They find large multidecadal fluctuations with considerable regional variations. There are no consistent trends, with most stations reaching their lowest level over the last twenty-year period (1976-95), but some showing a peak at...

Water as a unifying concept

A definition of climate exclusively concerned with the atmosphere ignores the coupling that exists between the atmosphere and the land and ocean surfaces. Therefore, the traditional view of climate as a static or constant entity does not fulfill the requirements of a contemporary construct of the climate system. The modern climate system (Fig. 1.1) is depicted as five subsystems linked by exchanges of energy, mass, and momentum among the subsystems. The coupling of the subsystems results in a dynamic climate undergoing constant change. This is a more accurate depiction of the actual natural processes involved in the continuous redistribution of energy, moisture, and momentum accomplished by the atmosphere's close interaction with the land, oceans, vegetation, and snow and ice at the Earth's surface. Climate is a direct response

Electrical Energy Transport

In winter, lightning is not a severe problem, but snow and ice can collect on power lines and tear them down. This results in interruptions that last for a number of days because thousands of kilometers of wire must be replaced. Winter interruptions are less common than summer interruptions, but when they occur they often last longer because the damage is greater and the repair crews have a difficult time working in ice and snow. 162

The greenhouse effect

The gas concentration and average atmospheric lifetime must also be taken into account. The effect of methane, with a lifetime of about 12 years, is therefore less damaging than one might expect in view of its GWP. We must nevertheless bear in mind that the mechanisms involved in atmospheric circulation of these gases and their exchanges with the soil and the oceans are complex. This leads to uncertainties regarding the long-term behaviour of CO2 in the atmosphere and on the time required to return to equilibrium, in case of disturbance. The return to equilibrium occurs initially through absorption over several centuries of most of the CO2 in the atmosphere by the oceans and the biosphere, followed by a very slow mineralisation reaction during which CO2 is incorporated into carbonated rock, over a timescale of up to 100 000 years. This timescale extends well beyond our current forecast capabilities, especially since a new ice age is predicted to occur in 10 000 years. Whatever the...

Senator Inhofe Credited for Prompting Newsweek Admission of Error on s Predictions of Coming Ice

Newsweek cited information culled from the BMI report that for more than 100 years journalists have quoted scientists predicting the destruction of civilization by, in alternation, either runaway heat or a new Ice Age. But he was unwilling to admit that what the media now say about climate change could be wrong. Newsweek wasn't alone in its climate revisionism. The October 12 New York Times included an editorial that criticized Inhofe for his criticism of the Times. Inhofe's comments, according to the article, were a brisk survey of the way the news media have covered climatic predictions over the past century. It continued, Cooling, warming - we never get it right.

Slow recovery and the origin of the traditional Christmas scene

The world began to recover during the 18th century, but the recovery was hesitant. The winter of 1708-9 was mild in Ireland and Scotland, but the sea froze along the Flemish coast and people crossed the Baltic on foot. In 1716 the Thames froze so solidly that the tide raised the ice by 13 feet (4 m) without disturbing the fair being held on it. The 1720s and 1730s, on the other hand, brought some of the mildest winters of the century, although the summer of 1725 was the coolest ever recorded. Cold winters returned in the 1740s. The average temperature over the whole of 1740 in England was 44 F (6.8 C), the coldest ever recorded. The glacial retreat began around 1860 in the Alps and Scandinavia, and it has continued at a fairly steady rate since then. That is when the recovery from the Little Ice Age became firmly established. There were still cold winters, with substantial amounts of ice on the Thames in 1894-95, and in 1924 people could walk across the narrow strait from Malmo,...

Time years in the future

The relevance of variability seems to be easily neglected while the concentration upon averages can influence the policy debate. For example, Rowlands (1995 242) notes the impact of the 1988 hot summer in North America in raising concern over global warming policy at that year's international conference in Toronto and Congressional hearings in Washington DC. The subsequent cold winters then eradicated memories of that hot weather, and dispelled fears of global warming until the next hot summer. The policymakers' misconception of the role of variability can be gleaned directly from transcripts of Congressional hearings. There Senator Ford is found asking Dr Hansen to explain why winters in the Ohio River area were, in his experience, more severe, as if this were counter-evidence to a global warming hypothesis (Hansen, 1988 80). A decade or even a few years of colder temperatures

Weather Derivative Instruments

Table 8.1 offers a simplified example of weather hedging using a put option and a swap, with a strike cumHDD of 4,000 and a tick price of 60,000. When the seasonal heating degree days are aggregated (cumHDD), the put option protects the company during a mild winter, while the company retains its sales advantage in the event of cold winters. When entering into a swap, however, the financial exposure is shared, leaving each party less exposed to the risk of adverse weather (Ellisthorpe and Putnam 2000). The reverse argument can be made using CDDs in a moderate summer, when less power is required for air conditioning. For a recent comparison between returns from hedged and unhedged portfolios, see Ameko (2004).

The Physical Environment and Natural Resources

The climate of the 48 mainland states is temperate, having cold winters and hot summers. The states east of the 100th meridian are characterized as humid, with 20-60 inches on average of annual rainfall distributed throughout the year those west of the 100th meridian have an average between 5 and 20 inches, distributed mainly in the winter months. Topographically, the country extends westward from the Atlantic coastal plain at

Evaporation and evapotranspiration

Stilling Well Evapori

Free water surfaces present the least resistance to water molecule exchange with the air since the water-surface vapor pressure is a maximum for any given temperature. Snow and ice surfaces present greater resistance relative to a free water surface because water molecules in snow and ice are bound in a more rigid molecular structure. Land surface resistance to evaporation varies with the surface roughness and the structure of the plant canopy related to the nature of the vegetation, with the soil type and texture, and with the degree to which the vegetation and soil are wet. Wind is the primary atmospheric resistance factor, but surface geometry and atmospheric stability also contribute. In essence, wind promotes efficient transport of water molecules away from the surface and maintains a vapor pressure gradient that supports the maximum evaporation determined by available energy.

Current State Of The Issues Atmospheric turbidity

Environment Problems

One of the first environmental issues to be considered in a global context was the rising level of atmospheric turbidity, which was the centre of concern in the mid-1970s. It linked air pollution with the cooling of the earth. Cooling had been taking place since the 1940s, and some writers saw the world descending into a new Ice Age. It was clear a decade later that the cooling had reversed, and atmospheric turbidity began to receive less attention. Evidence also began to appear indicating that increased atmospheric turbidity might actually contribute to atmospheric warming. Currently, it raises little concern among the general public, except under exceptional circumstances such as those created by the Kuwaiti oil fires and the eruption of Mount Pinatubo. Both of these events initiated cooling and serve as a reminder that exceptional conditions capable of augmenting turbidity cannot be ignored. Although air pollution may be serious in specific areas, the human contribution to...

Anthropogene Warming Period

One beneficial consequence of climate change is that it will allow people to work and live in today's extremely cold climates. The warming will allow new types of agriculture, resource extraction, and transportation modes. Sea traffic through the Arctic Polar areas will be increasingly possible with time, and offer the dream that many explorers have sought the Northwest Passage through Canada and the Northeast Passage above Russia.

Ex Post Analysis Of The First Phase Of Eu

Historic Eua Prices

The most important causes of the price movements of EUAs on the EU ETS market have been (relative) fuel prices, weather conditions, and market information. Of prime importance were the relative prices of coal and gas. With higher market prices of natural gas, as in late 2005 and early 2006, power plant operators may find it profitable to switch to coal (at the margin). They thereby increase their demand for EUAs because coal emits more CO2 per unit of energy than natural gas. Higher demand for EUAs increases their market price, and makes CO2-reducing (e.g., energy-saving) measures more attractive at the margin, thereby offsetting the rise in emissions because of the switch to coal. The price of EUAs has also been shown to be affected by unanticipated changes in weather conditions during extremely cold weather. Information disclosure on overall supply and demand in the market has been shown to have had the largest effect on prices. Finally, the expectation by the market participants of...

When Air Is Squeezed And Stretched

Convergence And Divergence Air

Frontal cyclones are always accompanied by clouds. As a low-pressure system approaches, the first sign is an increase in high-altitude, thin clouds. The clouds thicken and become lower, until the sky is a dull overcast and rain or snow falls. If the center of a frontal cyclone in the northern hemisphere passes to the south, the weather becomes chillier, and the winds shift from south to east, then to the north and northwest. If the center of the system passes to the north, the rain or snow may abate, and the temperature usually rises. The wind shifts to the southwest. A day or two later, the sky becomes cloudy again. In the summer, fair-weather clouds give way to towering cumulonimbus, and heavy thunderstorms are common. In the winter, freezing rain or snow falls, driven by strong westerly or northwesterly winds.

Planetary energy balance

Imparts a bounce to the air that supports transferring the heated air by convection. The smallest quantity of net radiant energy goes to underlying soil layers or is used to melt snow and ice (Peixoto and Oort, 1992). For a land area, the partitioning of net radiation, Rn, among alternative energy fluxes is expressed as

Climate changes during the Holocene

The Aztecs settled to the east in the Basin of Mexico at c. 1345 AD, most probably driven from the north by particularly dry conditions, which were connected with a severe El Nino event (Manzanilla, 1997). After their settlement the climate became more humid, and at c. 1382 AD, the level of Lake Texcoco rose, flooding Tenochtitlan (now Mexico City) for 4 years. Extreme wet conditions prevailed until 1450 AD, after which a few years of extremely cold and dry conditions prevailed. During these dry years, which were also a period of famine, the temperatures were below normal levels. Later, and prior to the conquest by the Spaniards (around 1500 AD), the climate was very wet and the Aztecs had to build dams to protect Tenochtitlan from being flooded. A shift to slightly drier conditions, and droughts, occurred after the conquest by the Spaniards, during the period 1521-1640 AD, which suggests that the country was influenced by the sub-tropical pressure belt. Still during this period the...

Active solar space heating

Thermosyphoning

Active solar water space heating is not yet a fully established technology, compared to solar-heated DHW. The first generation of solar water heating systems were usually retrofitted to individual dwellings, which normally had limited potential for really significant reduction of their space heating needs through upgraded insulation, etc. Practical considerations limited the size of the hot water storage that could be retrofitted, and hence the actual solar collector area used was relatively small only a fraction of the roof area, for example. And for most installations the temperature of the water in the thermal store during cold weather was lower than that at which conventional radiators are efficient. In such situations it made perfect sense to use solar heating for DHW only - and even then a conventional back-up heater was invariably installed as well. Space heating relied on other technologies, from woodburning stoves to gas-fired boilers.

Greenhouse Gas Concentrations

When precipitation falls as snow, it may become frozen into a glacier, which is a moving body of ice that persists over time. Glaciers form when annual snowfall exceeds annual snowmelt. Each winter snow falls and is compressed into firn, a grainy, ice--like material. If summer temperatures stay below freezing, the firn remains to be buried by more snow the following year. The weight of many years of accumulating firn eventually squeezes the deeper firn into ice. The ice at the bottom of a glacier is older than the ice at the top. Glaciers and ice sheets may store water for hundreds or even thousands of years.

The search for cycles

On the longer timescale there is widespread assumption that, say, cold winters or hot summers come every so many years. The general public tends to accept that such patterns exist and that the application of suitable scientific analysis will find the key to unlock the door to long-term predictability of the weather. Similar arguments apply to cold winters in industrial countries. In January 1977, the eastern United States almost ground to a halt. The intense cold precipitated an energy emergency and the total economic cost of the disruption was estimated in 1977 prices to be nearly 40 billion. Subsequent studies suggested that there is an as yet unexplained link between the 11-year cycle in the variability of the Sun and winter temperatures in the south-eastern United States. The link was, however, a complicated one that involved both solar variability and a periodic reversal of the winds in the stratosphere over the equator. Although the value of this proposed connection has not...

Do Icecore And Oceansediment Data Relate To

Only is the rate of deposition of these sediments much slower than the build up of ice cores (decadal accumulation rates typically being of the order of a millimetre rather than a metre), but also burrowing creatures searching for food stir up the top layers of the ooze. Only where conditions near the seabed are anoxic is the deposition undisturbed (see below). Nevertheless, many of the major features are the same, and the differences are, in part, a reflection of the difference in what the data are recording. In the case of the cold-water foraminifera (Neoglobigerina pachyderma) the variation from 0 to 100 covers the range from warm surface waters, typical of the Holocene, to the ice-filled waters of the severest stages of the ice age. So this curve picks out the coldest periods most clearly. The truly notable feature is the additional emphasis given to the prolonged cold period from 70 to 63 kya, to the cold spell at around 36 kya and to the frequency of extreme cold from 30 to 15...

What Were The Main Conflicts During The Little Ice

The same scene played out in the Baltic area, and many in Estonia starved to death. The cold climate especially affected Sweden by increasing death and migration, both of which greatly weakened the state. During the Great Northern War, which occurred in an extremely cold period (1700-1721), Sweden lost most of its empire to Denmark, Poland, and Russia. The socio-political impact of the Little Ice Age followed Europeans to the New World. Two cases focus on extremes during the Little Ice Age. The first case concerns the collapse of precipitation patterns in transition zones and the disappearance of the Anasazi. The second case focuses on shorter-term periods of extreme cold and the year without summer. There were sharp extremes in temperature during the Little Ice Age. The period actually had two temperature low points, one during the late 1400s and early 1500s, and another during the late 1700s and early 1800s. This latter extreme cold period, coupled with a catastrophic geologic event...

Air ground and water source energy

Underfloor Ducted Air Conditioning

Drawbacks include aesthetics - the external elements can be visually obtrusive -compressor noise, and a high risk of the external coils icing up in cold weather. Defrosting is needed, a function normally performed by switching the heat pump into reverse. However, this cools the inside of the building while it occurs. Prolonged low ambient air temperatures can be a real problem. As the temperature falls the heat pump must do more work in order to move the same amount of heat into the building - which will be losing more heat anyway. Ultimately the pump will be using one unit of electricity for every unit of heat that it moves into the building, and will be highly stressed. To cope with such extremes, many small packaged air source heat pumps have back-up electrical resistance heaters built in. Much the same comments apply to water source energy installations. These are only possible when there is a suitable water source on or close to the site, or even below it. Lakes, ponds, rivers...

Climate Colors Life Satisfaction

Dotted around the globe are many ancient buildings and structures left behind by societies that collapsed or vanished. Not infrequently, these monuments provide stark evidence of the part extremely cold and hot climates can play in human civilizations (Burroughs, 1997 Diamond, 2005). From the Norse who once lived by the shores of iceberg-strewn fjords on Greenland's west coast to the Maya who once lived in the seasonal-desert environment of the Copan Valley in western Honduras, past societies seem to have been overwhelmed by the effects of prolonged adverse weather. Even today, vast areas around the poles are rendered uninhabitable by ice sheets, and huge deserts at lower latitudes are equally effective in limiting human population. Human societies clearly tend to shun overly demanding cold and hot climates.

Wheat and People Coevolve

Green Revolution Drawings

It is possible to ask the question, Why wheat A variation on the same subject would be Why the changing fortunes of the different types of wheat Some paleobotanists have argued that the hexaploid Triticum aestivum originated only after the tetraploid emmer moved from its origins in southwestern Asia with a Mediterranean climate to the area of what is now north Iran and southern Russia. There emmer bred with wild Aegilops squarrosa to produce hexaploid wheat. This new type of wheat may have been more ecologically flexible because it grew well in the Mediterranean climate of emmer (mild winters, warm and dry summers) and in the more continental climate of Aegilops squarrosa (cold winters, hot and humid summers).36 Thus the hexaploid's ecological strength and its good bread-making qualities were perhaps the key to Triticum aestivum s dominance in contemporary wheat growing.

Siting the thermometer

Toward the latter part of the 18th century, meteorologists began to notice that the air often felt warmer than the temperature shown by the thermometer, especially on fine days in spring. On investigation they found that the thermometer was measuring the temperature of the layer of air next to the north-facing wall. The temperature of this air was controlled by that of the wall itself and the wall was often colder than the air some distance away, out in the open. This was especially true in spring, when the wall was just beginning to warm up after the cold winter. Under these conditions the thermometer reading was too low. In summer the opposite happened. The warm wall raised the temperature of the air next to it and the thermometer reading was too high.

Fossil Fuels and Climate Change

Fossil Fuels Cement

Climate change, and especially global warming, is receiving much attention and is considered as one of the most pressing and severe global environmental problems facing humanity. Its significance has been widely reported to the general public by the media, always eager to emphasize the possible catastrophic consequences of global warming and link it even to claimed extreme weather experienced in the recent years. The Hollywood film The day after tomorrow, an environmental catastrophe movie in which a new ice age sets in over the northern hemisphere in a matter of days, gave many people the impression that an increasing greenhouse effect will have practically instant, drastic, apocalyptic consequences on our climate. It adds to the fear that global warming could result in the short-term destruction of ecosystems, cause more powerful and devastating storms and hurricanes as well as melting of the polar ice caps followed by flooding of low-lying coastal areas in Bangladesh, The Maldives,...

The Sporer Minimum Dalton Minimum and Maunder Minimum

Then, in 1889, Maunder read an article by another German astronomer, Friedrich Wilhelm Gustav Sporer (1822-95). Sporer was also studying sunspots and he had discovered something very interesting. Astronomers had been observing and recording sunspot activity for centuries, but Sporer found that very few had been observed between approximately 1400 and 1520. This period came to be known as the Sporer Minimum. It was a time of very cold weather. People called it a Little Ice Age. The Baltic Sea froze over completely in the winter of 1422-23. There were famines. Norse colonies in Greenland were abandoned because their crops failed and the sea froze over, preventing them from fishing. The colonists were starving and the survivors had no choice but to return to Scandinavia. The Maunder Minimum, as it came to be known, was another period of cold weather. In London, the River Thames froze so firmly a fair was held on it. Mountain glaciers advanced. The area covered by sea ice increased. In...

Wet summers poor harvests and famines

The famine of 1313-17 affected the whole of western Europe and was most severe in 1315, when harvests failed everywhere. Countless people died, and there were also huge losses of sheep and cattle due to disease outbreaks as well as starvation. In the summer of 1315 the wet weather resulted from the distribution of pressure. Large high-pressure areas were stationary over Greenland and Iceland in the north and the Azores in the south, with low-pressure areas between them. This pressure pattern produced easterly and northeasterly winds across northern Europe, bringing cold, moist air from the Arctic and dry air from eastern Europe and Asia. Throughout the remainder of the 14th century the weather became even more extreme. There were prolonged spells of very cold weather, but also droughts, most notably in 1343, 1344, 1345, 1353, 1354, 1361, and 1362.

Interior and eastern North America

Central North America has the typical climate of a continental interior in mid-latitudes, with hot summers and cold winters (Figure 10.17), yet the weather in winter is subject to marked variability. This is determined by the steep temperature gradient between the Gulf of Mexico and the snow-covered northern plains also by shifts of the upper wave patterns and jet stream. Cyclonic activity in winter is much more pronounced over central and eastern North America than in Asia, which is dominated by the Siberian anticyclone (see Figure 7.9A). Consequently there is no climatic type with a winter minimum of precipitation in eastern North America.

Mountain Glaciers In Retreat

Kilimanjaro Aerial

Mountain glaciers are in rapid retreat around the Earth, with very few exceptions. Climbers have been rescued from the Matterhorn in the Swiss Alps as thawing mountainsides crumble under them. During the summer of 2003, Mont Blanc, Europe's tallest, was closed to hikers and climbers because its deteriorating snow and ice was too unstable to allow safe passage. The mountain was crumbling as ice that once held it together melted during a record warm summer in Europe. The snow and ice crown of Mount Kilimanjaro in equatorial Africa, made famous by Ernest Hemmingway a century ago, may vanish before the mid twenty-first century. Kilimanjaro will no longer live up to its name, which in Swahili means mountain that glitters. Mount Kenya's ice fields have lost three-quarters of their entire extent during the twentieth century. By 2002 Mount Kilimanjaro had lost 82 percent of its ice cap's volume since

Changes in temperature extremes

More specifically, in the United States, two studies focused on the northeastern United States support the notion that changes in the number of days exceeding certain thresholds have occurred. Cooter and LeDuc (1995) showed that the start of the frost-free season in the northeastern United States occurred 11 days earlier in the 1990s than in the 1950s. In an analysis of 22 stations in the northeastern United States for 1948-93, DeGaetano (1996) found significant trends to fewer extreme cold days, but trends to fewer warm maximum temperatures as well. More recently, Easterling (2002) found decreases in the number of days where the minimum temperature fell below freezing (0 C) in the United States for the period 1948-99, with the largest decreases occurring in the western United States.

Tree rings and isotopes

We know now that the Maunder Minimum is real. Maunder's data were reliable and a period when there were very few sunspots did indeed coincide with a period of very cold weather. We know he was right because there is other evidence to support him, evidence that was not available in his own day. So the tree-ring climate record, together with written records, confirmed the period of cold weather. The radioisotopes confirmed the reduction in solar output. Together they showed that Maunder had been correct.

Health Benefits From Warming

Pim Martens has written that while the overall impact of global warming on human health is expected to be markedly negative, human beings may experience a few positive outcomes. Some diseases that thrive in cold weather (such as influenza) may find their ranges and effects reduced in a warmer world. The elderly might die less frequently of cardiovascular and pulmonary ailments (heart diseases) that peak during cold weather. Whether the milder winters could offset the mortality during the summer heat waves is one of the questions that demands further research, Martens wrote (Martens, 1999, 535).

Preface On Global Warming

Action on climate change, citing the economic arguments of politicians and hinting at the vested interests of climate scientists. Then, the warnings were dire but the evidence appeared scant - and both could still remember 1970s predictions of our falling into a new ice age.

Equilibrium and stability

Furthermore, the climate system is full of occurrences of feedback. There is even one in the simple equation above, that is albedo and the ice-albedo feedback. Albedo is not a constant but is temperature dependent as described in the previous section. Therefore in the above equation albedo can be rewritten as a function of mean global surface temperature (Ts). When the mean surface temperature is high enough there will be no snow or ice and the albedo will be independent of temperature. The albedo can then be assigned a relatively low but constant value. Similarly, when the planet is cold enough it will become covered with snow and ice and again the albedo will be independent of the surface temperature. This time the albedo will take a high constant value. In between these two extremes the planet will be partially ice covered, with the amount of ice cover, and thus albedo, depending on Ts. Then a simple empirically based equation can be derived between albedo and Ts. A simple equation...

Ozone In The Stratosphere

Ozone Pressure Latitude

Ozone measurements were first made in the 1930s. Two properties are of interest (i) the total ozone in an atmospheric column. This is measured with the Dobson spectrophotometer by comparing the solar radiation at a wavelength where ozone absorption occurs with that in another wavelength where such effects are absent (ii) the vertical distribution of ozone. This can be measured by chemical soundings of the stratosphere, or calculated at the surface using the Umkehr method here the effect of solar elevation angle on the scattering of solar radiation is measured. Ozone measurements, begun in the Antarctic during the International Geophysical Year, 1957-58, showed a regular annual cycle with an austral spring (October-November) peak as ozone-rich air from mid-latitudes was transported poleward as the winter polar vortex in the stratosphere broke down. Values declined seasonally from around 450 Dobson units (DU) in spring to about 300 DU in summer and continued about this level through the...

Preface To The First Edition

Atmospheric chemistry occurs within a fabric of profoundly complicated atmospheric dynamics. The results of this coupling of dynamics and chemistry are often unexpected. Witness the unique combination of dynamical forces that lead to a wintertime polar vortex over Antarctica, with the concomitant formation of polar stratospheric clouds that serve as sites for heterogeneous chemical reactions involving chlorine compounds resulting from anthropogenic chlorofluorocarbons all leading to the near total depletion of stratospheric ozone over the South Pole each spring witness the nonlinear, and counterintuitive, dependence of the amount of ozone generated by reactions involving hydrocarbons and oxides of nitrogen (NOx) at the urban and regional scale although both hydrocarbons and NOa are ozone precursors, situations exist where continuous emission of more and more NOv actually leads to less ozone.

The Antarctic Ozone Hole

Atmospheric scientists wondered Why was an ozone hole forming over Antarctica, and why in the spring Years of work have found answers to these questions. Global atmospheric circulation patterns carry air and its pollutants toward the poles. During the long, dark Antarctic winter, a strong wind, called the polar vortex, circles the pole in the middle to lower stratosphere, trapping frigid air over the polar region. When air temperatures get cold enough, below approximately -110 F (-80 C), polar stratospheric clouds (PSCs) form. Rather than growing from pure water like other clouds, PSCs arise from droplets of nitric acid and water ice. These clouds are crucial to ozone destruction because the CFCs attach to the droplets' surfaces and then break apart, releasing molecular chlorine (Cl2). In the spring, when the Sun's light first hits the PSCs, UV breaks the Cl2 into chlorine ions (Cl) and ozone destruction begins. As spring progresses, the Antarctic air mass warms and begins to move...

Climatic Regimes of the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem

Generally, the climate of the GYE is characterized by long, cold winters and warm, dry summers. Spring and autumn in Yellowstone tend to be short, transitional periods rather than full-fledged seasons (Dirks and Martner 1982, Despain 1987, 1991). Weather systems travel into the area from several locations. Moist air ap

It got cold and they died

The Norse farmers had developed an economy around the attributes of a landscape still dominated by glaciers and a climate controlled by the North Atlantic. First and foremost, they were livestock and dairy farmers, practicing a traditional husbandry that was common to Scandinavia. Through the cold winter, they stabled their animals indoors. In spring and summer, every patch of viable ground was used for pasture to sustain livestock through the growing season and to harvest for winter fodder. In the warmer seasons, they fished for cod and traveled up the western coast to hunt seals and caribou for food. They hunted walrus for fur and for their ivory tusks, their most important export to Iceland, Ireland, and Norway.

The importance of airtightness

It has long been recognised that buildings, even when all doors, windows and other openings are closed, are not fully airtight. Wind forces create pressure differences which give rise to an unquantifiable and often unwanted air flow through a building, usually called air infiltration to distinguish it from planned ventilation. In cold weather, air infiltration leads to an additional heat load and may also cause discomfort due to cold draughts. In hot weather, it can disturb the temperature control and air distribution performance of ACMV equipment. Both of these effects make the correct sizing of heating and temperature control equipment difficult, and in the past have often led to deliberate oversizing to compensate. Furthermore, the relative importance of air leakage has increased as insulation and energy conservation standards have risen. This is because the heat loads due to air infiltration are proportionally more significant.

The Global Climate System

Subsystems the atmosphere (the most unstable and rapidly changing) the ocean (very sluggish in terms of its thermal inertia and therefore important in regulating atmospheric variations) the snow and ice cover (the cryosphere) and the land surface with its vegetation cover (the lithosphere and biosphere). Physical, chemical and biological processes take place in and among these complex subsystems. The most important interaction takes place between the highly dynamic atmosphere, through which solar energy is input into the system, and the oceans which store and transport large amounts of energy (especially thermal), thereby acting as a regulator to more rapid atmospheric changes. A further complication is provided by the living matter of the biosphere. The terrestrial biosphere influences the incoming radiation and outgoing re-radiation and, through human transformation of the land cover, especially deforestation and agriculture, affects the atmospheric composition via greenhouse gases....

The past million years

To go back before recorded human history, scientists have to rely on indirect methods to unravel much of the story of the past climate. A particularly valuable information source is the record stored in the ice that caps Greenland and the Antarctic continent. These ice caps are several thousands of metres thick. Snow deposited on their surface gradually becomes compacted as further snow falls, becoming solid ice. The ice moves steadily downwards, eventually flowing outwards at the bottom of the ice-sheet. Ice near the top of the layer will have been deposited fairly recently ice near the bottom will have fallen on the surface many tens or hundreds of thousands of years ago. Analysis of the ice at different levels can, therefore, provide information about the conditions prevailing at different times in the past.

Erosion Of Arctic

During the summer of 2004, enough Arctic ice to blanket Texas twice over was lost. In the past, low-ice years were often followed by recovery in years following, when cold winters allowed ice to build up or cool summers kept ice from melting. That kind of balancing cycle stopped after 2002. If you look at these last few years, the loss of ice we've seen, well, the decline is rather remarkable, said Mark Serreze of the National Snow and Ice Data Center at the University of Colorado (Human, 2004, B-2). The year 2004 was the third year in a row with extreme ice losses, indicating acceleration of the melting trend. Arctic ice has been declining about 8 percent per decade, and the trend is accelerating.

Changes in climate extremes

Less cold weather More More cold record weather cold weather The most obvious change we can expect in extremes is a large increase in the number of extremely warm days and heatwaves (Figure 6.8) coupled with a decrease in the number of extremely cold days. Many continental land areas are experiencing substantial increases in maximum temperature and more heatwaves. An outstanding example is the heatwave in central Europe in 2003 (see box on page 215). Model projections indicate, as shown in Figure 6.8c, much increased frequency and intensity of such events as the twenty-first century progresses.

Box Adequacy of gassupply infrastructure and risks of shortages

Recent supply problems in several markets have refocused attention on gas-supply security. The loss of US gas-production capacity through hurricane damage in 2005 resulted in a surge in prices that choked off a substantial amount of industrial demand, rebalancing the market. The high degree of interconnectivity of the North American network enabled supplies to be redirected. In the event, no customer was forced to stop using gas. But other countries that have not liberalised their gas markets to the same degree cannot rely on market forces to bring demand back into balance with supply during a crisis. In the winter of 2005 2006, cold weather and higher-than-usual use of gas for power generation led to a surge in demand in Italy. A lack of cross-border capacity and fixed prices to most customers resulted in physical shortages that could only be addressed through plant closures through administrative decree, the temporary relaxation of environmental standards to allow fuel oil to be...