Climate

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Simple Earth Climate Model

Keywords: albedo, black body radiation, climate, conservation of energy, energy balance, heat transfer, Stefan-Boltzmann law, surface temperature

Which planetary characteristics contribute to producing a mean surface temperature that makes Earth habitable?

Developing a simple model of Earth's atmosphere to infer what physical processes are important in maintaining a mean global temperature of about 14.5°C. Further, the model can also be used to show how this temperature can change.

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7 years 18 weeks ago

True, False, or Not Sure? Philosophy of Science in the 21st century

Keywords: nature of science, normal science, philosophy of science, post-normal science

Whatever happened to objective reality? Why is climate change so hard to prove?

A brief overview of normal and post-normal science.

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7 years 17 weeks ago

Thermal Radiation

Keywords: black body radiation, infrared, thermal radiation

All bodies emit radiation. So why don't we all shine in the dark?

Thermal radiation is a crucial part of our macro and micro environments. Although invisible to the eye it can be measured and imaged.

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7 years 14 weeks ago

Cool Roofs

Keywords: albedo, carbon dioxide, emission, energy, surface temperature

Can painting our roofs white offset tonnes of CO2 emissions??

In this article, we look at how we can save energy, reduce the Earth’s surface temperature and offset carbon dioxide emissions just by making our roofs and pavements a lighter colour!

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7 years 5 weeks ago

Energy and Power

Keywords: definition, energy, types, useage

What is energy? Why is it such a useful concept? How does it relate to power?

Energy is the capacity to do work (both are measured in Joules). Power is the rate at which energy is transformed from one state to another, often from a stored state into work (a Joule of energy transformed per second is a Watt of power). Subsistence living requires about 200 W per person. Western living requires about 10 kW per person. Humankind currently uses about 12.5 TW of power, most from fossil fuels. Ten billion people living a western lifestyle (the not-impossible goal of many futurists) would require 100 TW of power.

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6 years 5 weeks ago

What do I (we) do about my (our) carbon footprint?

Keywords: Carbon footprint, reduction

A very frequent question asked by students after learning about climate change is "But what can I (we) do about it?". Here are some ideas, all of which have benefits in addition to reducing greenhouse gases, and so are worth considering even if you reject the idea of anthropogenic global warming completely.

Here is a set of suggestions for science students who wish to take action to reduce their own and their family's or community's carbon footprint. Most of the ideas are about education and attitude. We also list three achievable ways of reducing your annual emissions by least a tonne of carbon dioxide.

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5 years 43 weeks ago

Commuting by car or cycle - which is better?

Keywords: bicycle, Carbon footprint, consumption, cycling, energy, Food, spreadsheets

It's not actually that clear...

We set out to find how much of a change it would make environmentally if one cycled instead of drove to work and then further expanded our findings to include the variables of diet composition and material goods ownership.

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5 years 27 weeks ago

CO2e

Keywords: carbon dioxide, CO2e, terminology

What does the "e" mean?

A brief primer on the meaning of "CO2e"

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5 years 26 weeks ago

Climate Models: Simulating the Earth

Keywords: climate, climate change, simulating data

Climate models can give us a great deal of information about what sort of rules the climate follows and how the climate might look like in the future. A climate model is the result of a simulation run on a virtual Earth. This simulation mimics the real Earth and its climate as well as any influences the planet might have on the climate. They are used to predict the future of the climate using computers.

The prediction of future climate is done using climate models, virtual Earths with their climates simulated many years into the future. These virtual Earths live inside computers and evolve according to complex equations solved for points in time. The results that these climate models give provide us with important information to make decisions relating to climate change before we encounter the potentially catastrophic consequences.

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2 years 7 weeks ago

Trend Analysis in the Context of Global Warming

Keywords: anthropogenic climate change, climate, climate change, trend analysis

There are many sources ranging from politicians to mass media that claim that the Earth is actually cooling, not warming as scientists say it is. Unusually cold periods and local changes in weather are generally the cause for these statements. Why are these claims inaccurate?

There are many claims made refuting the existence of global warming. Most of these claims come from looking at very short term data in a very localized region. Global warming, as the name implies, is an increase in the global temperature and conclusions about it cannot be reached using measurements localized in time and space. Doing so is called "cherry picking".

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2 years 7 weeks ago
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