Earth's Climate System
Errata and Updates
This page lists important
corrections and significant updates to the
AMS Climate Studies Textbook and Investigations
- Update to textbook Figure 3.30 caption (pg. 89): Note that according to the caption, the concentrations are plotted in ppbv (y-axis). This is incorrect. The caption should read that the y-axis units are ppb (A and B) and ppt (C).
- Discussion about feedback in Earth's climate
system: There are several discussions of the concept of
climate feedback in the Climate Studies textbook. Long-term feedback in
Earth's climate systems is predominately negative (stable), while most
climate scientists agree that short-term net feedback is positive
(unstable), amplifying the temperature changes associated with
increasing concentrations of greenhouse gases. We strongly encourage
you to further explore climate feedback in the Week 2 Weekly Climate News - Concept
of the Week (when posted).
- Discussion about Climate Sensitivity: The Week 3 Weekly Climate News
- Concept of the Week (when posted), elaborates on the
with a discussion of climate sensitivity. The concept of climate
sensitivity is essential to understanding current and past climate
change, and predicting future conditions. It measures responsiveness of
Earth's climate system to a change in radiative forcing caused by
increased atmosphere CO2, combined with feedback
in the system.
- Update to textbook Figures 4.13 and 4.15, and
Table 4.4: The March 2009 paper "Earth's Global Energy
Budget" by Kevin E. Trenberth, John T. Fasullo, and Jeffrey Kiehl in
the Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society updated energy balance numbers based on new observations and analyses.
We will be using these new numbers in the next edition of our course
textbook. The following updated figures reflect this new research:
Please note that these numbers slightly modify the planetary albedo and
- Update to textbook Figures 9.20 and 9.21: These
figures were taken from the 1990 IPCC Assessment.
In recent years, the proxy climate data used to construct these graphs
has been questioned, and the scientific consensus is that they are no
longer accurate portrayals. The IPCC Fourth Assessment report (2007) provides figures that will be used in the next textbook
edition, substituting for 9.20 and 9.21. We encourage you to examine
the following graphs:
of NH temperature variation during the last 1300 years
NOTE: a full discussion of Northern Hemisphere temperature
reconstructions is online at http://www.ipcc.ch/publications_and_data/ar4/wg1/en/ch6s6-6.html