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Reflections On: Our Planet and Its Life, Origins, and Futures

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Science  18 Dec 2009:
Vol. 326, Issue 5960, pp. 1646-1655
DOI: 10.1126/science.1184937

Figures

  • Fig. 1. Keeling curve for atmospheric CO2.

    Monthly mean atmospheric CO2 at Mauna Loa Observatory, Hawaii.

    CREDIT: DR. PIETER TANS, NOAA/ESRL
  • Fig. 2.

    (A) Earthrise (24 December 1968). Image of the rising Earth taken from the Apollo 8 spacecraft. (B) Earth taken on 7 December 1972 by the crew of the Apollo 17 spacecraft at a distance of about 29,000 km. This is the first time that the Apollo trajectory made it possible to photograph the south polar ice cap. (C) Earth's cities at night. This image of Earth's city lights at night shows the spatial distribution or arrangement of settlements. White areas of light show organized areas where population is typically large.

    CREDITS: (A) NASA; (B) NASA, CREW APOLLO 17; (C) NASA
  • Fig. 3. Argo floats.

    The 3325 Argo drifting buoys shown by country of origin for measuring ocean properties deployed across the oceans in February 2009.

    CREDIT: ARGO INFORMATION CENTRE
  • Fig. 4. Global biosphere.

    Derived weekly maps of surface-ocean chlorophyll distributions from September 1997 to June 1998 reveal dynamic seasonal patterns in primary production during the 1997–1998 El Niño.

    CREDIT: NASA
  • Fig. 5. Actual CO2 emissions versus IPCC scenarios.

    Observed global CO2 emissions from both the Energy Information Adminstration and global Carbon Dioxide Information Analysis Center data, compared with emissions scenarios and stabilization trajectories.

    CREDIT: JOSEP CANADELL, GLOBAL CARBON PROJECT, 2009, BASED ON (52)
  • Fig. 6. Global surface temperature.

    Global ranked surface temperatures for the warmest 50 years. The inset shows global ranked surface temperatures from 1850. The size of the bars indicates the 95% confidence limits associated with each year. The source data are blended land-surface air temperature and sea surface temperature from the HadCRUT3 series. Values are simple area-weighted averages for the whole year (28).

    CREDIT: MET OFFICE HADLEY CENTRE, UK, AND CLIMATIC RESEARCH UNIT, UNIVERSITY OF EAST ANGLIA, UK; WORLD METEOROLOGICAL ORGANIZATION
  • Fig. 7. Reconstructing Earth's recent climate.

    (A) Observed monthly mean global temperatures (black) and an empirical model (orange) that combines four different influences. (B) Individual contributions of these influences, namely El Niño–Southern Oscillation (purple), volcanic aerosols (blue), solar irradiance (green), and anthropogenic effects (red). Together the four influences explain 76% (r2) of the variance in the global temperature observations.

    CREDIT: MODIFIED FROM (29) BY PERMISSION OF AMERICAN GEOPHYSICAL UNION
  • Fig. 8. Sea-level rise.

    Sea-level data are based primarily on tide gauges (annual, red) and satellite altimeter measurements (3-month data spacing, blue; up to mid-2006) and their trends.

    CREDIT: MODIFIED FROM (36)
  • Fig. 9. IPCC RFCs.

    Increased prospects for low-probability, high-consequence climate impact as assessed in the IPCC Third Assessment (2001) and subsequently (2009) by the same authors. Red (high risk) has moved down to smaller temperature increases since 2001.

    CREDIT: MODIFIED FROM (53) BY PERMISSION OF J. B. SMITH/PROC. NATL. ACAD. SCI. U.S.A
  • Fig. 10. A path toward stabilization of CO2 emissions.

    A stabilization triangle of avoided emissions (green) and allowed emissions (blue) is shown. The allowed emissions are fixed at 7 Gt of carbon year−1, beginning in 2004. The stabilization triangle is divided into seven wedges, each of which reaches 1 Gt of carbon year−1 in 2054. With linear growth, the total avoided emissions per wedge is 25 Gt of carbon, and the total area of the stabilization triangle is 175 Gt of carbon. The arrow at the bottom right of the stabilization triangle points downward to emphasize that fossil fuel emissions must decline substantially below 7 Gt of carbon year−1 after 2054 to achieve stabilization at 500 ppm.

    CREDIT: MODIFIED FROM (49)

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