Global Temperature Variability and ‘The Pause’

Worksheet on Global Temperature Variability and ‘The Pause’ created for ENV 798 – Communication Outside the Box

Directions: Watch the following videos and answer the questions below, pausing and rewinding when necessary.

  • Video 1 – Local vs. Global Temperature

o   What are some reasons to care about global temperature?

o   Can you think of any reasons not mentioned in the video to care about global temperature?

o   If you experience cold weather over some period of time, does this imply that the entire globe got cold? Why or why not?

  • Video 2 – Causes of global temperature change

o   What do you need to have in order to get a temperature change of the globe?

o   What is the energy source for the climate system?

o   Why does the brightness of the Sun have an effect on the global temperature?

o   What are the two broad categories of temperature change?

o   How does an energy imbalance come about for a forced temperature change? What is an example of a forced temperature change?

o   How does an energy imbalance come about for an unforced temperature change? What is an example of an unforced temperature change?

o   Does the forced vs. unforced distinction have anything to do with natural vs. human caused climate change?

o   How does increasing greenhouse gasses cause an energy imbalance?

o   In the man-walking-dog analogy what does the movement of the man represent and what does the movement of the dog represent?

o   When we see a graph of temperature are we seeing unforced temperature change, forced temperature change or both?

  • Video 3 – The global warming pause.

o   What is the pause in global warming referring to?

o   Is the pause in global warming very apparent if we zoom out and look at temperature change on a longer timescale?

o   How do scientists figure out which part of the observed temperature record is forced and which part is unforced?

o   What do climate models do?

o   If we only considered forced variability, would we expect global temperatures in 2013 to be higher or lower than they actually are in observations?

o   How do scientists figure out how long the “leash” is in the real climate system?

o   What does the length of the leash really represent?

o   Given the length of the leash, is it strange that global temperatures in 2013 are not as high as they would be expected to be?

o   Where would global temperatures be if we never increased greenhouse gasses? Given the length of the leash, is it possible that global warming could be all unforced variability (the movement of the dog).

 

  • All Videos – Please summarize the main points of the 3 videos in your own words

 

Advertisements

One Response to Global Temperature Variability and ‘The Pause’

  1. Danny Horowitz says:

    Patrick: I’ve read that the 2016 global temperature increase over 2015 was very small and within the margin of error. In your view is the increase over 2016 significant, or is it the cumulative increase since the advent of the industrial age that we should be focusing on? Or something else?
    Danny Horowitz

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s