Global situational awareness and early warning of high-consequence climate change.

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Global monitoring systems that have high spatial and temporal resolution, with long observational baselines, are needed to provide situational awareness of the Earth's climate system. Continuous monitoring is required for early warning of high-consequence climate change and to help anticipate and minimize the threat. Global climate has changed abruptly in the past and will almost certainly do so again, even in the absence of anthropogenic interference. It is possible that the Earth's climate could change dramatically and suddenly within a few years. An unexpected loss of climate stability would be equivalent to the failure of an engineered system on a ... continued below

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50 p.

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Backus, George A.; Carr, Martin J. & Boslough, Mark Bruce Elrick August 1, 2009.

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Description

Global monitoring systems that have high spatial and temporal resolution, with long observational baselines, are needed to provide situational awareness of the Earth's climate system. Continuous monitoring is required for early warning of high-consequence climate change and to help anticipate and minimize the threat. Global climate has changed abruptly in the past and will almost certainly do so again, even in the absence of anthropogenic interference. It is possible that the Earth's climate could change dramatically and suddenly within a few years. An unexpected loss of climate stability would be equivalent to the failure of an engineered system on a grand scale, and would affect billions of people by causing agricultural, economic, and environmental collapses that would cascade throughout the world. The probability of such an abrupt change happening in the near future may be small, but it is nonzero. Because the consequences would be catastrophic, we argue that the problem should be treated with science-informed engineering conservatism, which focuses on various ways a system can fail and emphasizes inspection and early detection. Such an approach will require high-fidelity continuous global monitoring, informed by scientific modeling.

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50 p.

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  • Report No.: SAND2009-4702
  • Grant Number: AC04-94AL85000
  • DOI: 10.2172/973663 | External Link
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 973663
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc931530

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Office of Scientific & Technical Information Technical Reports

Reports, articles and other documents harvested from the Office of Scientific and Technical Information.

Office of Scientific and Technical Information (OSTI) is the Department of Energy (DOE) office that collects, preserves, and disseminates DOE-sponsored research and development (R&D) results that are the outcomes of R&D projects or other funded activities at DOE labs and facilities nationwide and grantees at universities and other institutions.

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Creation Date

  • August 1, 2009

Added to The UNT Digital Library

  • Nov. 13, 2016, 7:26 p.m.

Description Last Updated

  • Dec. 5, 2016, 6:26 p.m.

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Backus, George A.; Carr, Martin J. & Boslough, Mark Bruce Elrick. Global situational awareness and early warning of high-consequence climate change., report, August 1, 2009; United States. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc931530/: accessed October 20, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.