Determining Natural and Manmade Climate Change: Historical Review and Implications for the 1900’s and Beyond

  • Bruce Denness
Part of the NATO ASI Series book series (ASIC, volume 325)

Abstract

Global climate is forever changing over every timescale. During the past century the earth has warmed up by more than 0.5 degrees centigrade. This is largely in keeping with predictions for the greenhouse effect. Unfortunately, there have been periods of cooling during that time which must be explained by some other mechanism, i.e. short-term natural temperature changes. These natural changes confuse the interpretation of the steady greenhouse increase and have resulted in the reluctance of politicians and planners to take decisions for remedial action to accommodate expected increases in sea level and changes in the geography of drought.

Here recent models to represent natural climate change are reviewed with particular emphasis on a deterministic model which describes the variation of global temperature. The output of that model is then combined with a steadily increasing greenhouse temperature to give a composite natura and manmade global temperature which very closely matches measured changes over the past century.

The variation of local, regional and global precipitation described by the deterministic model is illustrated over various historical periods with examples from North and South America, Africa and the world as a whole. Implications for regional and global economy are discussed and comment is made on the gross global depression that the model forecasts for the 1990’s — whether or not the greenhouse effect has a substantial influence. Sea level changes are similarly reviewed and related to the model both recently and historically. Attention is drawn to accelerations of atmospheric CO2 concentration in about 1870 and 1950 according to the historical record and these are related directly to simultaneous acceleration in world Population growth.

The combination of the natural and manmade deterministic models forecasts a global temperature rise of almost 1 degree centigrade by the year 2000. Political and socio-economic implications of misinterpreting this rise as solely due to the greenhouse effect are addressed. Finally a range of practical means of containing use of fossil fuels within levels that need not exacerbate the greenhouse effect are discussed with due regard to economic considerations and secondary spin-off problems and their solution.

Keywords

Global Temperature Technological Revolution Cultural Evolution Greenhouse Effect Geophysical Model 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1990

Authors and Affiliations

  • Bruce Denness
    • 1
  1. 1.Bureau of Applied SciencesWydcombe ManorWhitwell, Isle of WightEngland

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