Changing Planet: Past, Present, Future

Lecture 3 – Earth's Climate: Back to the Future

by Daniel Schrag, PhD

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  1.  1.  Start of Lecture Three
  2.  2.  Profile of Dr. Schrag
  3.  3.  Introduction to the importance of climate
  4.  4.  Earth has been much warmer and much colder in the distant past
  5.  5.  Methods for reconstructing paleoclimate
  6.  6.  Modern Earth is in an ice age
  7.  7.  The influence of atmosphere on planetary climates
  8.  8.  Animation: Greenhouse Effect
  9.  9.  Animation: The Geologic Carbon Cycle
  10. 10.  The geologic carbon cycle as a planetary thermostat
  11. 11.  When Earth was very cold: Snowball Earth
  12. 12.  Subduction of ocean sediments affect CO2 levels
  13. 13.  High CO2 has driven warm periods of Earth's history
  14. 14.  The rate of climate change is critical
  15. 15.  Q&A: Do you believe in global warming?
  16. 16.  Q&A: How does water vapor amplify the greenhouse effect?
  17. 17.  The Keeling curve shows the increase in CO2 level
  18. 18.  Modern CO2 levels are increasing at a very high rate
  19. 19.  Some of emitted CO2 will stay in the atmosphere for a long time
  20. 20.  Projecting CO2 levels for the next century
  21. 21.  Decisions today affect Earth for tens of thousands of years
  22. 22.  Unprecedented CO2 levels make future climate predictions difficult
  23. 23.  Glaciers are melting at an unprecedented rate
  24. 24.  Predicted consequences of rising CO2 levels
  25. 25.  Climatological data confirms temperatures are rising
  26. 26.  Animation: Dramatic Retreat of Arctic Sea Ice in 2012
  27. 27.  Arctic sea lanes are now unfrozen and open
  28. 28.  Melting of Greenland and Antarctica
  29. 29.  Consequences of dramatically rising oceans
  30. 30.  Q&A: Response to doubt about anthropogenic climate change?
  31. 31.  Q&A: Is there concern regarding water vapor from hydrogen cars?
  32. 32.  Q&A: How can agriculture adjust to rising temperatures?
  33. 33.  Global climate change: Mitigation and adaptation
  34. 34.  Adapting to sea level rise: A consequence of climate change
  35. 35.  Sources of energy over the last 200 years
  36. 36.  Three ways to reduce CO2 emissions
  37. 37.  Energy use reduction through efficiency
  38. 38.  Solar and wind energy: Successes and challenges
  39. 39.  Cheap natural gas competes with clean energy
  40. 40.  Mitigation through carbon capture
  41. 41.  Burning coal is dangerous to public health
  42. 42.  The possibilities and problems of climate engineering
  43. 43.  Our responsibility is to be educated and to educate others
  44. 44.  Q&A: Do our CO2 emissions overpower the weathering thermostat?
  45. 45.  Q&A: How do warming temperatures increase storm severity?
  46. 46.  Q&A: Could cooling by geoengineering slow weathering?
  47. 47.  Credits


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