This page is focused on evidence, local predictions, and planning related to the broadly accepted theory of human-induced global warming. That theory has resulted from the convergence of multiple lines of evidence that describe:
- the greenhouse effect of CO2 gas in an atmosphere
- the recent dramatic increase in carbon dioxide concentration in the atmosphere only explained by human activity
- the observed recent increase in mean earth surface temperature.
- the paleolithic record showing a relationship between carbon dioxide concentration and earth surface temperature
- our inability to explain temperature increase from factors other than CO2 concentration
- observed increases in sea level, reduced polar ice coverage, and global glacier retreat.
- global climate modelling which both validates the CO2 theory, and identifies feedback mechanisms anticipated to accelerate warming
This increase in surface temperature and CO2 concentration are anticipated to drive predicable changes in precipitation patterns, summer high temperatures, sea level, ocean acidity, and other dynamics that fundamentally affect ecosystem functions, and the human society and economy. The vast majority of new research appears to be focused on understanding the rate and dynamics of global warming.
Lines of Evidence
- "The existence of the greenhouse effect was argued for by Joseph Fourier in 1824. The argument and the evidence was further strengthened by Claude Pouillet in 1827 and 1838, and reasoned from experimental observations by John Tyndall in 1859. The effect was more fully quantified by Svante Arrhenius in 1896. However, the term "greenhouse" was not used to refer to this effect by any of these scientists; the term was first used in this way by Nils Gustaf Ekholm in 1901" (Wikipedia 3/7/2016.)
- Berkeley Earth is an independent research group developed by Richard Muller, who was skeptical of the quality of historical temperature record, and the selective use of temperature data, and developed a privately funded project between 2010 and 2014 to redevelop the recorded earth temperature record, using all available data and a transparent methodology. That work verified global warming observations. This work led Dr. Muller to change his stance on the recorded temperature record.
- Antarctic ice cores stored at Oak Ridge National Laboratory provide a 800,000 record of atmospheric carbon dioxide concentration and temperature at the time of ice formation, used to verify the linkage between CO2 concentration and earth surface temperature.
- The Mona Loa continuous carbon concentration record documents recent and continuous increases in atmospheric carbon dioxide (See Scripps university for visualization)
- Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change - represents 195 countries and completed extensive assessments and a synthesis report in 2014.
- http://www.skepticalscience.com/ is a private effort to synthesize and amass information that presents scientific evidence directly addressing the arguments of individuals that discount the likelihood of global warming.
- WDFW has assembled information about climate change in Washington
- The UW Climate Impacts Group published the substantive Washington Climate Change Impacts Assessment in 2009. Mauger et al 2015 puget sound climate change provides a more detailed analysis.
- Mote et al 2003 preparing for climate change salmon water and forests provides an overview of potential social-political conflict over salmon, water, and forest fire likely triggered by climate change.
- The Climate Impacts Group Publications Page has a wide variety of literature or climate impacts.
- USGS and TNC are developing a Coastal Resilience Tool to support local planning with predictions of future inundation regime.
- NOAA has developed a new website serving their resources: http://www.climate.gov/
- USDA has its own climate change hub: http://www.usda.gov/oce/climate_change/regional_hubs.htm
- The Institute for Tribal Environmental Professionals has a website: http://www4.nau.edu/tribalclimatechange/tribes/northwest.asp
- Earth Island Institute and have set up the Climate Adaptation Knowledge Exchange
It may be useful to more concisely summarize evidence and ongoing efforts around the following potential topics (based in part on the Washington Climate Change Impacts Assessment). There may be several ways to organize information given the interactions among drivers, feedback loops, and the potential to organize information by either impacts or drivers:
- Sea Level Rise
- Precipitation Pattern Change
- Climate Change and Salmon Habitat Impacts
- Reduced Snow Pack Impacts on Water Supply
- Increased River Flooding
- Intense flooding is driven by "atmospheric river" events. Rainfall intensity is anticipated to increase. This changes the paradigm about rain-on-snow being the driver of changing hydrograph.
- Rain on snow events are theoretically captured by peak flow models, but an intensive analysis of model dynamics has not been completed.
- Reserviors will affect river flow vulnerability.
- Glacial Retreat, Peak Flow and River Sediment
- Ultimately change in west slope wild fire regime may affect sedimentparticles of clay, silt, sand, gravel, or cobble, transported by water, are called sediment. input.
- Increased Summer Temperature and Drying
- Ocean Acidification
The following pages are categorized under climate change:
- Climate change
- Coastal Blue Carbon Project
- Coastal Resilience to Climate Change
- Initiative 1631 - Protect Washington Act
- Measuring Carbon in Ecosystems
- NorWeST Database
- Predicting Sea Level Rise Impacts on Ag Production
- Sea Level Rise Risk Evaluation
- UW Climate Impacts Group
The following documents are categorized under climate change:
- Fagherazzi et al 2012 salt marsh evolution models
- Hamlet et al 2001 climate change and water resources
- Kirwan & Murray 2007 tidal marsh evolution model
- Kirwan and Guntenspergen 2010
- Mauger et al 2015 puget sound climate change
- Morris et al 2002 coastal wetland sea level rise
- Mote et al 2003 preparing for climate change salmon water and forests
- Mudd et al 2009 tidal marsh, sea level, productivty and carbon
- Alberti et al 2016 puget sound future drivers.pdf
- CIG 2016 climate change in floodplains.pdf
- Climate Solutions 2018 washington pathway to clean energy.pdf
- Dittbrenner et al 2017 snohomish coastal resilience proposal.pdf
- Friends of the San Juans 2014 armoring impacts and sea level rise.pdf
- Fuller 2015 stillaguamish pore water salinity memo.pdf
- Mauger & Kennard 2017 climate change and flood hazard management.pdf
- Mauger et al 2016 climate change and floodplain decision support.pdf
- Melillo et al 2014 national climate assessment USA.pdf
- SnoCD 2016 DRAFT climate change effects on agricultural drainage proposal.pdf
- Whitely Binder & Morse 2016 stillaguamish puyallup climate change interviews.pdf
- Whitman & Hawkins 2014 armoring impacts of forage fish.pdf