Climate change (Class of 2019): term report assignment
Make calculation of
[A simple energy balance model of global warming].
Either R, spreadsheets, or other software can be used.
Change values at least one parameter, and document how the results differ.
(If you cannot use computers, please ask me what to do.)
I know that some of you are not familiar with computation.
For this section, I recommend you to work together.
If you try several hours please do not be desperate,
and please describe to what point you tried.
Major causes that can change total energy of the climate system
(or global mean temperature) are listed below.
- External forcing to the climate system
- (1) Solar activity
- (2) Volcanic activity
- (3) Concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere
- Agents internal in the climate system, which cause feedbacks
- (4) Snow and ice
- (5) Water vapor
- (6) Clouds
- As a convention in climate system science,
concentrations of atmospheric minor constituents except H2O
are considered to be outside the climate system.
H2O, in its three phases, are considered to be inside.
Explain how each of (1) (2) (3) (4) (5) changes input of energy to the climate system,
or output of energy from it, each in one paragraph.
- Explanation of (6) is omitted from the assignment, because it is too complex.
- Explanation of feedbacks may be included additionally, but it is not mandatory.
- For (1), just discuss energy associated to electromagnetic waves (visible light, infra-red, ultra-violet, etc.).
Discussion about high-energy particles (solar winds and cosmic rays) is difficult
and I want to avoid it.
- For (2), just discuss effect(s) to global climate.
Volcanoes do have effects to local climate as well, but I want to avoid them here.
For this section, I expect that there are corerct answers.
Evaluation of incorrect answers will be low.
Take one aspect of anthropogenic climate change which (as you think) has some undesirable impacts.
- Changes in what kind of (physical) climatic variables are relevant?
What direction or mode of changes (increase, decrease, larger variance, ...)?
- What part of ecosystems and/or human societies get impacts?
What kind of impacts?
Are they undesirable? (What is your criterion of desirability there?)
- How (you think) we can reduce the undesirable impacts (that you have identified)?
Reducing emission of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases may surely be one,
but please pick some other way(s).
- Alternatively, you can discuss a cause-and-effect sequence,
where human activity causes some environmental change
(other than changes in greenhouse gases),
and eventually affects global climate as well.
Read the book of Maslin (2013) Climate Change,
or similar introductory books that have
description of anthropogenic climate change, its impacts,
and find your subject.
Compare your thoughts with the author's, very briefly.
- Among the books listed in the page of books,
Dessler's Introduction to Modern Climate Change,
Archer & Rahmstorf's The Climate Crisis,
Hannah's Climate Change Biology,
Nordhaus's The Climate Casino
seem to be good introductory books to be referred to.
- Opinions may be different. Then, please describe just that they are different.
(I do not expect detailed discussion about the cause of the difference
or about value judgements.)
- If you did not find your subject in the book you read, please say so.
If you do not have enough time to read through a whole book to confirm it does not include your subject,
please check section titles and the key word index, and say so.
For this section, there is no single correct answer.
I expect a rich variety of approaches.
My evaluation will focus on logical consistency.
Submit answer by 1 August either by paper or by e-mail.
The expected length is one page per section.
- By paper
- Put the report in the report box in front of the office of the International House.
Use the lowest box of the 4-box set.
- Use A4 size paper (American letter size is permitted but not preferred)
in "portlait" (rather than "landscape") orientation.
- If the report consists of multiple sheets,
write your name at every sheet.
- By e-mail
- PDF format is preferrable.
Simple text files, HTML, MS Word "docx", "doc" and LibreOffice "odt" are also OK.
- The file size should be less than 2 MB.
- Send to the address "masudak at tmu.ac.jp" .
- Note: I do not send messages that I got e-mail. (Sorry)