phys- chem - biol - enviro vce conferences feb 2011

Download PHYS- Chem - Biol - Enviro VCE Conferences Feb 2011

Post on 23-Feb-2016

26 views

Category:

Documents

0 download

Embed Size (px)

DESCRIPTION

PHYS- Chem - Biol - Enviro VCE Conferences Feb 2011. Parts of t his ppt were given by Keith Burrows at the above teacher conferences. Actual presentations at conference included parts of others as well. - PowerPoint PPT Presentation

TRANSCRIPT

Climate Change Can science teachers play a part

PHYS-Chem-Biol-EnviroVCE Conferences Feb 2011Parts of this ppt were given by Keith Burrows at the above teacher conferences.Actual presentations at conference included parts of others as well.The main purpose of this ppt is to encourage teachers to get involved in spreading the word about the need for urgent action to mitigate CO2 emissions in their classes AND in the wider community. See slides at end for ways to get involved

Keith BurrowsAustralian Institute of PhysicsEducation Committee (Vic)FOR VCE Sciences conferences Feb 2011 Pic Feb 7 2009 Black Saturday sunrise. 2YES ! In fact they should have a key role: They understand the science They are good communicators

The point of this presentation is to convince science teachers that they could have a key role in communicating the science of climate change to the general public something that is essential if politicians are going to be pushed into serious action (as distinct from the current pretend action).3

Would you get on this aeroplane if 1 out of 10 engineers found dangerous cracks in the wings?

Where is the precautionary principle that we normally use when lives are in danger? We wouldnt risk our lives on a 10% chance of disaster! 4

How about if 9 out of 10 engineers said there were dangerous cracks in the wings and 1 said they didnt matter?

Much less a 90% chance of disaster!! Where is the precautionary principle that we normally use when lives are in danger? 5

Thats about the proportion of scientists saying climate change is dangerous!The proportion among scientists active in the area of climate change research is probably higher than 95% - The sceptical scientists are mainly found among retired geologists and engineers!6

Actually it is more like over 95%This image was digitally altered!Thats about the proportion of scientists saying climate change is dangerous!But the consequences of climate change could well be FAR more serious than this! (This photograph has been digitally altered!)Actually the proportion among climate scientists is more like 95+%7Since IPCC 2007: Sea level rise worse than we thought

The bad news is that there is a growing consensus that the IPCC estimates are wildly optimistic.They found that ice loss is increasing fast. Greenland is now losing about 300 gigatonnes of ice per year, enough to raise sea level by 0.83 mm. Antarctica is losing about 200 gigatonnes per year, almost all of it from West Antarctica and the Antarctic Peninsula, raising levels by 0.55 mm.(0.83 + 0.55 = 1.4 mm/yr, i.e. >1.2 metres by 2100 )AT CURRENT RATES!IPCC forecast a sea level rise of between 19 and 59 centimetres by 2100, but this excluded "future rapid dynamical changes in ice flow". 0.83 + 0.55 = 1.4 mm/yr, ie 1.4 metres by 2100. BUT thats If the RATE doesnt increase! 8

Large parts of the West Antarctic ice sheet are vulnerable to collapse which would add 3 metres to global sea levelsThere is considerable doubt about how the Antarctic ice sheet will respond when sea ice around the edges goes. It could slide off more rapidly than we think (hope!). Maybe it will last longer than we think we better hope so! Pic from New Scientist website.9

Figure 14: Observed Antarctic Warming Trend (C/decade) from 1957-2006Steig, E. J. et al., Warming of the Antarctic ice-sheet surface since the 1957 International Geophysical Year. Nature 457, (2009)Still later news: East Antarctica is also melting faster than we thought.10Figure 14. Annual mean air temperature trend in C/decade during 1957-2006 from Steig et al. [2009]. Steig, E. J. et al., (2009) Warming of the Antarctic ice-sheet surface since the 1957 International Geophysical Year. Nature 457, 459-462.

during the last interglacial period when sea level peaked at around 6 metres higher than today. His findings suggest that at one point the sea rose 3 metres within 50 to 100 years.Paul Blanchon's team at the National Autonomous University of Mexico in Cancun has been studying 121,000-year-old coral reefs in the Yucatan Peninsula, formed

Abrupt climate changes have occurred in the past. We should not think that it cant happen again. 3 m this century would be absolutely catastrophic. And thats just the sea rise add to that the changes in land fertility and ecosystem collapse. SEE New Scientist: Sea level rise: It's worse than we thought * 01 July 2009 by Anil Ananthaswamy New Scientist issue 2715. 11

Droughts dont prove climate change. However, climate models predict droughts for us and floods in N Australia just as we are getting.Our rain is due to the strong La Nina, but why is it so strong? 12

Marysville after Black Saturday. Melbourne Age web gallery. Bushfires dont prove climate change any more than cold snaps disprove it. However, climate models predict more extreme weather like Black Saturday.13

Cyclone Yasi largest since 1917 Not proof of climate change, but consistent with what we must expect. Warm oceans drive cyclones warmer ocean, more energetic cyclones.14Why Science Teachers?"I'm frustrated, as are many of my colleagues, that 30 years after the US National Academy of Sciences issued a strong warning on CO2 warming, the full urgency of this problem hasn't dawned on politicians and the general public." Stefan Rahmstorf, Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research, Germany, at the International Scientific Congress on Climate Change, Copenhagen 10-12 March 2009.There are many such statements coming from scientists. The whole climategate nonsense highlights this sense of frustration that deniers will use any little bit of contra-evidence as though it pulls down the whole case. It is nonsense but if easily creates confusion among the public.15

16Scientific community is getting increasingly frustrated at the lack of progress!

This issue of Physics World can be downloaded free from www.physicsworld.com17

The small coterie of individuals who deny humanitys influence on climate will try to use any perceived flaw in the evidence to discredit the entire picture. So how can researchers honestly describe the uncertainty in their work without it being misconstrued?18

Some of the researchers online discussion reflected a pervasive climate of suspicion their sense that any findings they released to the public could and would be distorted by sceptics.?19

The climate-research community would thus do well to use a diverse set of voices, from different backgrounds, when communicating with policy-makers and the public.20Australia's Chief Scientist, Professor Penny Sackett:

"I think that we're seeing more and more a confusion between a political debate, and the discussion of the science. I feel that these two things are being confused and it worries me"

ABCTV 7.30 Report (Feb 10)Why Science Teachers?(Until Feb 2011)21"With the uneasy consensus on climate change fostered by Kevin Rudd and Malcolm Turnbull having been dashed, a lot of voters are taking refuge with whatever their side of politics is saying.

''Because the science is so inaccessible, voters are generally forced into treating the climate change issue ideologically. For a lot of them, they don't feel that they have any choice,'' said Nielsen's research director, John Stirton, Why Science Teachers?

People desperately need a science based discussion of the issue. We can help bring it to them!22Why Science Teachers?Polls are going the WRONG WAY!

CC as 1, 2 or 3:Jan 2010 16%Oct 2010 11%Jan 2011 10%

That CC is such threat will be shown later. People need to understand at least the basics if they are to make significant changes to their way of life. At present there is almost no serious attempt to educate the public and many serious attempts to confuse them! Return to the mis-education later.23Why Science Teachers?Climate change is the most significant threat human civilization has ever faced.In order to appreciate the magnitude of the problem, it must be seen through the lens of science.A huge public education campaign is needed.(as distinct from the mis-education campaign prevalent in many parts of the media)That CC is such threat will be shown later. People need to understand at least the basics if they are to make significant changes to their way of life. At present there is almost no serious attempt to educate the public and many serious attempts to confuse them! Return to the mis-education later.24These stark conclusions about the threat posed by global climate change and implications for fossil fuel use are not yet appreciated by essential governing bodies In our view, there is an acute need for science to inform society about the costs of failure to address global warming, because of a fundamental difference between the threat posed by climate change and most prior global threats.

The conclusion from: Dangerous human-made interference with climate: a GISS modelE study J Hansen et al. Journal of Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics, 7, 22872312, 2007 Next slides 1, 2Why Us?25See next slides two crucial points elaborated next 3 slides1) ...acute need for science to inform society...We are asking everyone - EVERYONE ON EARTH - to change the way they do thingson the basis of a scientific discussion without OBVIOUS evidence. (And some public dispute about it.)Never before has the actual science been so important in the debatePeople need good reasons to change their behaviour not just scientists telling them to.Why Us?This is unique in human history. In past scientific debates - Earth and Sun, Relativity, Fluoride in water, Nuclear power, CFC refrigerants, GE food, etc. People have had different opinions, but the experts have eventually decided - and while