Visualize Climate Change
Climate change is real and is affecting all of us.
However, there is a great problem in that the data supporting this statement is often highly technical and presented by bodies such as the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) in a way that is difficult or impossible for the non-specialist, or layperson, to interpret and comment upon.
If the efforts to counter climate change are to be accepted by the general population this data must be made available in a clear, politics-free format.
I am setting up this site to do exactly this.
I believe that this site – and the associated blog – will make this presently impenetrable data available to the public in a way that will allow them to make informed decisions in real time.
I have now added a range of subscription-only, bi-weekly Technology Updates on climate change, microalgae and macroalgae, anaerobic digestion and commercial-composting, biorefineries, new uses for carbon dioxide and methane, aquaculture feed, biofuels, biodegradable bioplastics, harmful algal blooms, photosynthesis, and photobioreactors that you can purchase through PayPal. You can also subscribe to a personalized Technology Update designed for your specific needs.
Some basic definitions – weather vs climate
We cannot progress very far in this subject unless we understand a few basic definitions.
‘Weather’ describes atmospheric conditions (temperature, rainfall, cloudiness, sunshine, wind-speeds) over short periods of time – hours or a few days.
‘Climate’ refers to a region’s long-term weather patterns, and is measured as an average over timescales varying from months, to seasons, years, decades or centuries.
There is a natural variability in both weather and climate.
‘Climate change’ refers to major changes in climate in response to ‘forcing agents’. These agents can be natural such as a volcanic eruption, or anthropogenic (man-made) such as the release into the atmosphere of industrial greenhouse gases (carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide) or changes in land use such as deforestation.
The climate system includes not just the atmosphere but also the oceans, land, biosphere (living organisms including humans) and cryosphere (ice regions).
To give context to our examination of climate and climate change I would like to take a quick look at the formation and history of the Earth that resulted in the creation of an atmosphere, land masses and ice regions.
These are vast topics in themselves, so we will not attempt to cover them in detail or discuss the differing interpretations of the data that exist. We will just cover them enough to give context to later discussions on climate change.
This site can be read from from to back – there are guiding links between the pages. Or you can just dip into any section that you think looks interesting.
In the first section of this site The Early Climate we will look at the formation of the Earth, and how the climate originated. We will then look at The Pre-Industrial Climate, before looking at the situation regarding The Current Climate and climate change itself.
The last section of the site will provide a plain-english ‘translation’ of the recent IPCC report – Global Warming of 1.5 chapter by chapter. I will treat other major reports on climate change in the same way.
This first issue of Visualize Climate Change is just to get things rolling. I will be continually adding more content over the coming weeks.
I value feedback so please let me have your ideas and comments. The easiest way is to email me or contact me through my main website. See the side panel for links.