Monday, January 09, 2006

Video of the Week-Wally Broeker (Columbia University)

Wally Broeker will be a familiar name to anyone with an interest in climate science. In this presentation he talks about the need for concerted action on climate change and describes the changes that very well may occur if we continue to "rock the boat".

The inocuous term global warming has never been acceptable to climate scientists, it betrays none of the complexity; indeed the globe may be warming on average but on local scales there may be cooling and there are certainly likely to be changes to the climate that have a far greater impact than the locallised warming. Changes in precipitation, evaporation, extreme weather events, the time of the year the rain falls, the intensity of the rain etc. These changes are innevitable to some degree, but if carbon emmisions are not brought down rapidly and dramatically we risk even greater re-adjustments to the climate system, changes such as the shutdown of the ocean conveyor (gulf stream in the north atlantic), changes to the monsoons and re-location of the ITCZ over Africa.

" Dr. Wallace S. Broecker is perhaps the world's leading interpreter of the Earth's operation as a biological, chemical and physical system. His research interests include paleoclimatology, ocean chemistry, isotope dating and environmental science, yet he is probably best known for his identification of a "great conveyor belt" of ocean currents that plays a critical role in earth's climate. His research has shown that the earth's climate has shifted abruptly many times in the past, and he has been a leading voice warning of the potential danger of increased greenhouse gases in earth's atmosphere."

Postscript: Climate Change, VideoA, ScienceA

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