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02.09.2014
Washington, May 29 : Reforestation and afforestation, the creation of new forests, may lower the potential of forests for climate change lessening, scientists at the University of Oklahoma and the Fudan University in Shanghai, China, have found.
Yiqi Luo, professor of ecology in the OU College of Arts and Sciences Department of Botany and Microbiology, and Changzhang Liao, Bo Li and Changming Fang, professors of ecology in the Fudon University Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, examined whether plantations have the same ecosystem carbon stock as natural forests. By synthesizing 86 experimental studies between plantations and their natural forest counterparts, Luo and colleagues found plantations substantially reduce carbon stock in ecosystems in comparison with natural forests. The study challenges the idea that planting non-native or native-improved growth species on historical forest land yields greater carbon accumulations rates. Plantations established on non-forested fields such as agricultural lands do help with the control of carbon emissions; however, converting farmland to forests decreases the amount of carbon absorbed by the soil. To minimize negative effects of plantation, appropriate forest management practices need to be adopted.
The workshops provide an overview on climate change with demonstrations of cutting-edge resources from NASA, NOAA and the UW-Madison. GLOBAL AND REGIONAL CLIMATE CHANGE, utilizes e-learning technology to clarify graphs and concepts from the 2007 Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Summary for Policy Makers with content intricately linked to the Essential Principles of Climate Literacy. College credit is available from the UW-Madison but there is also an option to take the entire course asynchronously and print out a certificate upon completion.
In 2012 CIMSS launched a new initiative to help teachers engage students in regional climate studies via the CIMSS iPad Library where teachers can borrow iPads like books for the entire school year.
The iPads were loaned out for the 2013-14 school year at the 2013 ESIP Teacher workshop at UNC Chapel Hill. Educators who took the on-line course for credit have designed and submitted grade-specific lesson plans that support teaching and learning around climate change.
Climate change, also known as global warming, is one of the most important and profound environmental issues facing the planet.
The past century has seen dramatic increases of CO2 and other GHG emissions, particularly from burning fossil fuels like coal, oil and to a lesser extent, natural gas.
Feedbacks are important drivers of climate change as well as sources of uncertainty for projected changes. If cities were stocks, you’d want to short Phoenix.Of course, it’s an easy city to pick on. Do you trust your local weather forecaster to tell you the precise highs and lows for this day next year? Climate, on the other hand, is a measure of the typical, or average, weather for a particular place or time of year.
Natural climate variability refers to the variation in climate parameters caused by non-human forces.
The climate system is interconnected and contains relationships in which an event in one geographic area causes changes in another area, often times thousands of miles away.
El Niño-Southern Oscillation (ENSO) is the most important source of interannual teleconnections across the globe and causes large changes in Southwest climate. Radiative forcing measures the influence that climate-altering factors have on the energy balance of the Earth. In a state of equilibrium, solar radiation entering the atmosphere equals the radiation that leaves the atmosphere. Greenhouse gases (GHGs) such as carbon dioxide, methane, and water vapor, are naturally part of the Earth’s atmosphere.


The enhanced GHG effect occurs when gases such as carbon dioxide are emitted into the atmosphere in quantities that increase temperature. Extreme events, such as floods, heat waves, and hurricanes, are rare weather occurrences that often cause the greatest damage to society. Any climate variable can be characterized by a probability distribution, which conveys the likelihood that an event will occur. They argue against the replacement of natural forests by reforestation, also known as plantations, to help stave off climate change. Site preparation without burning, for example, leads to less soil carbon loss than that with burning. With support from NASA, CIMSS developed workshops and on-line resources to support G6-12 teachers as Ambassadors of Climate Literacy in their local schools and communities. However, users are always free to skip this log-in option and go directly to course content at any time. The topic of climate change refers to changes in climate across the entire planet—whether the changes are shifting patterns of precipitation, drought, desertification, sand storms, extreme weather events, shrinking glaciers or accelerated sea level rise. While weather details changes over short periods of time, like when anvil-shaped clouds burst in the late afternoon during monsoon season, climate describes average conditions over longer intervals.
The heating gives rise to weather phenomena experienced as changes in rain, temperature, and winds that are complex and chaotic. There are two types of natural variability: those external and internal to the climate system.
These teleconnections are a natural consequence of the chaotic atmospheric system but have a recurring pattern that can be observed over periods of weeks to years. It is characterized by a temperature change in tropical Pacific sea surface temperatures that alters the strength and direction of atmospheric trade winds. Examples of factors that can alter the Earth’s energy balance include atmospheric concentrations of greenhouse gases, aerosols from volcanoes and air pollution, and the amount of solar radiation delivered to the Earth by the Sun.
These gases trap heat from the Sun’s radiation in the atmosphere and act as powerful amplifiers of temperature. Usually, the implication is that the sources for these additional quantities stem from human activities, such as burning fossil fuels.
Using a normal distribution, or bell curve, to represent natural variation in temperature from an average, this figure illustrates how climate change will not only affect average temperatures, but also extremes. Often, these distributions have a shape similar to a bell-curve, with the average, and therefore most frequent condition, occurring in the middle and extreme events falling at the ends of the frequency distribution (Figure 3). It is also likely that while some events will become more common and powerful, others will become less frequent and intense, like in the temperature example mentioned above. Converted soil loses 80 percent of capability to degrade methane as compared to natural forests when it is developed as a plantation. To avoid ecosystem degradation associated with plantations, restoration measures need to be implemented to engineer ecosystems toward their natural potentials.
The full program included a workshop followed by a 6-week distance learning course culminating in a technology-supported virtual community of climate change educators.
Understanding this distinction and other basic concepts such as radiative forcing and the enhanced greenhouse gas effect can clarify how the climate is changing and how humans have contributed to that change. Because of this chaotic nature, weather forecasts of more than a few weeks often are not accurate.


Whereas a particular thunderstorm is a weather event, the numerous storms of the monsoon season are a characteristic of the Southwest’s late summer climate.
Variations in the Sun, volcanic eruptions, and changes in the orbit of the Earth around the Sun exert an external control on climate variability. Although many teleconnections have been identified, combinations of only a small number of patterns can account for much of the interannual variability in the climate2. This modification in turn causes additional atmospheric changes, including decreased winter precipitation in parts of the U.S. Over the long term, the amount of incoming solar radiation absorbed by the Earth and atmosphere is balanced by the Earth and atmosphere releasing the same amount of outgoing longwave radiation. The radiative forcing of a particular factor, such as atmospheric concentrations of carbon dioxide (CO2), is the change in the energy balance that results from a change in the factor, such as an increase in CO2 concentrations.
The natural greenhouse gas effect (Figure 2) helps to elevate the average temperature in the lower atmosphere to a comfortable 60 degrees Fahrenheit. Since projections are for warmer temperatures, this implies more hot and extreme heat days than what has occurred in the past. In the case of an increase in the average temperature, the number of days with extreme temperatures will also increase, while the number of days with cold temperatures will decrease. Carbon dioxide - CO2– is constantly being released through respiration, plant decomposition and the burning of fossil fuels. Climate is often represented by statistics, such as the mean and standard deviations, which describe the variability around the mean.
These processes are the driving force behind changes that occur over long time periods, such as oscillations between ice ages and interglacial periods.
When the radiative forcing of a factor is positive, increases in the factor cause warming of the atmosphere. Without GHGs, average atmosphere temperatures would fall below the freezing point of water at approximately 32 degrees F. So while with every breath you release CO2 into the air, the main cause of GHG emissions and the main contributor to climate change is anthropogenic. Natural variability is also influenced by processes internal to the climate system that arise, in part, from interactions between the atmosphere and ocean, such as those occurring in the tropical Pacific Ocean during an El Niño event.
Contribution of Working Group I to the Fourth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change [Solomon, S., D. Weather also varies over the course of a day, as nighttime temperatures typically fall below daily values, and over seasons, when summer temperatures soar above those of winter.
In essence, weather describes the evolution of the current state of the atmosphere and short-term fluctuations in variables like temperature and precipitation at a location over periods of minutes to several weeks.
In any given year, natural variability may cause the climate to be different than its long-term average. AWWA Research Foundation, Denver, Colorado and University Corporation for Atmospheric Research (UCAR), Boulder, Colorado.



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