Liz Hadly Tracks the Impact of Climate Change in Yellowstone

[NARRATOR:] Yellowstone National Park. Founded in 1872, it is considered to be the first national park in the world. [CARROLL:] There's really important lessons from Yellowstone. Great lessons. As the first national park, this is the place that saved some of the great mammals. But this vast, carefully-managed ecosystem can't protect itself from forces on the outside. Global forces of environmental change that are happening so quickly, that their impact is being felt here, by both plants and animals. [NARRATOR:] Sean Carroll is visiting Yellowstone with Liz Hadly, who has been studying the biodiversity of Yellowstone for 30 years. They are here to trace the threads that connect the plants and animals living in this park. Their first stop is a grove of whitebark pine trees. [HADLY:] This is what a healthy tree looks like, this bark. You know, first of all, you can see this is kind of what's given whitebark its name.

This is what a healthy tree should look like. So the stand that we're in is really in good shape. [NARRATOR:] This particular tree has had a hungry visitor [HADLY:] So these are bear claw marks. Well, what's it doing here? Why is it approaching this tree? Well, it's because whitebark pine produce very high-nutrient seeds. The bears will come here right before they go into hibernation and this is when they really pack on a lot of fat in order to overwinter. The nutrients from those seeds is directly correlated with overwinter survival of bears… [NARRATOR:] But grizzly bears cannot reach most of the pinecones, because they're too high up on the trees. So they rely on a smaller animal for their snack.

Red squirrels easily get up to the pine cones to eat the seeds, storing the excess in ground burrows, or middens. Further down the path, they find evidence that a hungry grizzly bear dug up one of the hiding places. [HADLY:] …and all around us are middens from squirrels and this is what the bears go after, and indeed, here is a pile of bear scat. And in this scat… are seeds from whitebark pine. [CARROLL:] So this is most all seed… [HADLY:] 100% seeds from whitebark pine. [CARROLL:] Yeah. He found what he was looking for… [HADLY:] He dug up the midden, and there they are. [NARRATOR:] These three organisms– the tree, the squirrel, the bear– represent a healthy food web. But a tiny creature is threatening the survival of all three organisms. [HADLY:] OK, Sean, this tree, it's been hit by the mountain pine beetle. What happens with these, what you see, the evidence, are these little holes.

What happens when you see this kind of response on the part of the tree, is that the beetles won. This tree is dead. [CARROLL:] How old do you think this tree is? [HADLY:] This tree? Probably 700 years or so. [CARROLL:] 700 years. And how long does it take the beetles, once they attack, to kill a tree like this? [HADLY:] So, once they attack… this is a big attack. It's a day or two. [CARROLL:] A day or two? [HADLY:] A day or two. [CARROLL:] After 700 years. [HADLY:] After 700 years. [NARRATOR:] The beetle has always existed in Yellowstone. It's not a foreign species. What has changed is where and for how long it survives. [HADLY:] The warming climate in this high-elevation region is allowing beetles to move into these… what were previously high-elevation cold regions. And now they're high elevation, it still gets cold, but it's not cold enough to kill the beetle. So they're surviving longer, and killing whitebark pine.

[CARROLL:] So the warmer Yellowstone has created an opportunity for the beetles, but to the detriment of the whitebark pine. [HADLY:] Absolutely. [NARRATOR:] The changing climate is also affecting life lower down the mountain. [HADLY:] There's a pond right here. This is a pond that sometimes holds water earlier in the year. You can see it's drying out, it's almost dry now. Look over here. Look at the dust over there where the bison are moving around. That pond no longer stores water at all. You can see that's dry. Ponds are less permanent. There are fewer ponds that retain water. And there are more ponds that never get water at all. [CARROLL:] And why is that? [HADLY:] So, it's… We've been getting less rainfall and temperatures have gotten warmer, even just over the last couple of decades. [CARROLL:] What effects do the drying ponds have on the wildlife? [HADLY:] So, the big effect that we've noticed is on the amphibians.

So we've monitored amphibians for the past 20 years, and what we see is that there are fewer ponds that have amphibians, so there's fewer populations of amphibians, there's been a decline in the species diversity within the ponds that have amphibians to begin with, and there are fewer populations for each species in the area. [NARRATOR:] They visit a pond where aquatic life used to be teeming. [HADLY:] OK, Sean, so this is perfect amphibian habitat. You see the cover around the margins of the pond, you see cover for birds, and for salamanders and frogs. [CARROLL:] But I don't hear the frogs. [HADLY:] No. You used to hear the frogs. I don't hear the frogs either. [CARROLL:] So there's a really incredible parallel between what's going on with the amphibians and what's going on with the whitebark pine..

. [NARRATOR:] Like the whitebark pine forests high in the mountains, habitats for amphibians here in the valleys are being degraded by climate change. [CARROLL:] Yellowstone shows us that it's possible to protect animals, even those that have been pushed virtually to the brink of extinction. We don't want lions and bears and tigers to go the way of the dinosaur, to be gone forever. Just something that we'd see in a museum, and have no idea what they looked like, what they lived like. [HADLY:] Yellowstone is a special place. It's a success story in many ways. But it's not immune to global threats. Climate change, invasive species, population growth. All of these can chip away at the diversity here. Our work is not done..

The Science of Climate Change Q&A – Australian Academy of Science

The science of climate change is unlike anything else I have ever seen as a scientist. It makes people across the world feel like their experts in a way that they never do in science. This document tries to put you know why science is so concerned about climate change in words and ways that hopefully the average politician or the average punter can understand. If you start from the simple physics it's cause and effect. If you're going to pump greenhouse gases into the atmosphere, sorry guys it's going to get hotter. It's clear from the scientific evidence that climate is changing and it's also clear that the major cause for that change is human activity. So increased greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. Temperatures have already risen, so we have to learn cope with the existing rise in temperatures. Which ain't just going to go away. We need to adapt to survive in the warmer climate that has already developed.

In the time that human civilisation has been here, climate has been remarkably stable. There had been changes but the changes we see now over the last 150 years are equal and greater than that and the projections we have for the next 100 years are far greater than the changes we've seen over the last 5-6000 years. And as you gradually increase the temperature you also cause a whole range of climatic changes. Places that were dry become wetter and vice versa and of course we as humans have put all our infrastructure in places suitable for the current climate. and when we suddenly go through and talk about changing the weather by 2 degrees Celsius, you are asking to essentially scram all this money we've spent. It means most of Sydney could eventually be underwater, not tomorrow but in 100's of years. It is a big issue. it's people sitting in local councils.

It's people sitting in state government. it's people sitting in business and industry who actually have the answers. It is actually mobilizing those people to recognise the risks from climate change and to do something about them. When there is even a tiny gap of information that becomes a 50/50 argument. That is that the science may be right or maybe it's wrong. 50/50 even though its 99 to 1 Or not engaging hyperbole. We're not riding in some sort of wave that's short-term. This is real. It is our best bet and I am 99% confident that science has got the right answer..

The Paris climate negotiations, explained

What is the Paris climate conference? Well, you can think of it as a dinner party for 25,000 people and none of them really get along that well and they have to save the world from total climate disaster But will it actually work? To start, let's take a look back the last 25 years of negotiations. In 1992 in Rio de Janeiro the UN created a treaty to stabilize greenhouse gas levels so they wouldn't actually mess with the climate. But the treaty mostly just said that countries should figure out how to actually accomplish that goal using other future treaties. The Kyoto Protocol required industrialized countries to cut their GHG emissions… a little but developing countries including China and India weren't required to curb emissions at all and the US didn't ratify the treaty. So that didn't really work. After 12 years of negotiations dragged on the big dinner party that was supposed to result in a planet saving deal actually went pretty badly.

So last year, in Lima, diplomats agreed on a new approach. Let a country decide for itself how it will fight climate change …but commit to it, dammit. These countries specific pledges are called Intended Nationally Determined Contributions or INDCs. So now we're in Paris where diplomats hope to reach an agreement that centers around countries INDCs. But how can companies accountable to those pledges… and what actually goes into them? There are a bunch of different options on the menu And, the prices vary dramatically. So India leans over to the United States and says "I got 300 million people without electricity" "I think I'm just gonna stick with a bunch of the cheap coal." And the U.S., kinda hypocritically says "No way India, you've got to try the green energy, it is phenomenal." And India says "No, I really think I want the coal.

You used to love it, you look great and I think I should give it a shot." And then China leans over to Indian and deadpans " you should really try the green energy." But if India think it deserves to use cheap and easy coal to speed up its development and lift several millions out of poverty Who is the U.S. or China to say that it shouldn't? And that's just the first course. There are plenty of other courses to be picked through and paid for. How much effort do we put forth preventing climate change by regulating power plants or replacing fossil fuel subsidies with renewable energy subsidies versus adapting to it, by say, building seawalls versus compensating those already screwed by it, by awarding emergency funding to repair damage caused by natural disasters. The more we can mitigate climate change the less we actually have to adapt to it but climate change is already hitting some communities heavier than others.

Furthermore, can we make clean technology easy for developing countries to acquire? And what doesn't even need to be developing country? How do we make sure that countries have the strongest institutions and best information to deal with climate change? And then, as with all dinners the tensest moment arrives. What do we do with the bill? Countries could develop cheaply and sustainably if richer countries were covering a lot of the expense. After Copenhagen richer countries agreed to mobilize a hundred billion dollars annually by 2020 in funding for countering climate change in developing countries. But where exactly will the money come from and how much more will be needed? All these questions are on the table in Paris. So what might actually be achieved? In 2010, world leaders decided that you have to keep global warming below 2 degrees Celsius or we'd be in for full-scale world felt. The bad news is that there's no way any Paris agreement will achieve that, but the good news is that doesn't mean the world has to end. If we continue things business as usual we would be in for 4.5 degrees of warming, but if countries committed to existing INDCs, that helps us bring that down to about 3 degrees.

Hotter than we want, but better than nothing. And a Paris deal could at least start to figure out how to mobilize that money and technology to make that follow through happen. And the better news is that even if Paris totally flops and everybody's just hurling Brie and baugette at one another, cities and private companies can take action to cut emissions and make a difference. In fact, they are the real key players here, because diplomacy isn't real climate action. How does an treaty matter if no one does what it says. Grist will be in Paris this November and December covering the climate conference. Check in with us then for all the policy news and baugettes you could ever want. Subtitles by the Amara.org community.

Climate Change: The Evidence and Our Options

– Ya know, you're slowing settling. I'm Teresa Mangum, the director of the Obermann Center for Advanced Studies here on campus. And our mission on campus is to encourage research, scholarship and arts practice across disciplines. And also across the community and the university. So, this conference today, could not be a better example, I hope, I think, of what happens when we put the arts, humanities, social sciences and scientists in a pot and stir. I wanna start by just very briefly thanking the organizers who have done an amazing job. They have worked very hard to put this conference together. And you'll be hearing from them over the next two days. But they are Brad Cramer, from a professor in Earth and Environmental Sciences. Barbara Eckstein from English. And Tyler Priest, who is in both History and Geographical and Sustainability Sciences. They've also been supported by Erica Damon and Andrew Hirst, two wonderful students here at the university that you'll get to know over these next few days.

And we've had numerable community and campus partners work with us to plan this conference and to support it. And they are all noted in the program. But I want to mention just a few of our community partners that include the Old Capitol Museum, the Englert Theatre and FilmScene. And then our co-sponsors on campus. Our main co-sponsors include the University of Iowa's International Programs, the Office for the Vice President of Research and Economic Development, the University of Iowa College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, the National Foundation's Iowa Experimental Program to Stimulate Competitive Research, the Ida Cordelia Beam Distinguished Visiting Professorships Program, the University of Iowa Provost Office, the Center for Global and Regional Environmental Research here, and the College of Public Health, and Environment and Health Sciences Research Center. And I hope that you will take a look at the program at the many other departments and offices who generously contributed to make this conference happen.

I'll also just mention that following the lecture and discussion, we are having a reception at Brix, which is just a few blocks away on Linn Street. And we welcome you to join us. I'm gonna say two words and then turn things over to Todd to get us started. A 2012 essay in the Los Angeles Review of Books, bears the title "Welcome to the Anthropocene." The author David Biello, is the editor who oversees environment and energy for the journal Scientific American. In this review, Biello ponders the rising sea of literature about the fate of the environment. His comments are a fitting beginning for our conference. He writes, "It is far less interesting "to write about all the ways the world is wrong "than all the potential solutions. "Even in the heart of the most cancerous situation "the Gowanus Canal, where I live," he writes, "the Superfund site, "there is still beauty and hope to be found. "Plants carve a roothold "in the canal's collapsing wooden walls, "jellyfish pulse beneath kaleidoscopic oil slicks, "and green algae blooms in the fecund waters, "thanks to occasional pulses of sewage overflow.

"One day, oysters the size of dinner plates could return." He goes on, "Gliding in a canoe through this toxic waterway, "among the most polluted in the country, if not the world, "affords a unique perspective on nature's resilience "as well as humanity's. "After all, the Gowanus would not have "become a Superfund site "and therefore on the way to a cleaner future "if not for those of us who wanted "to use it for something different "than a flushing tunnel for waste. "Things can get better, "and there's a large portion of humanity "working towards that these days, "a global hive mind connected by the internet. "In the end, science will give us clues and imagination "but it is our own imagination that will light the way." And he concludes with a challenge that I would pose to all of us. "The most important literature we write in the Anthropocene "will be the words that enable us "to ensure breathable air, "drinkable water, nutritious food, "and the persistence of the abundant life "that makes it all possible on this rocky mothership.

"We'll also need a robust history to keep us honest, "We need an enduring, resilient, hopeful literature "for the Anthropocene." The organizers and my wonderful staff have spent the past two years debating, studying, fundraising, teaching and collaborating, as they planned this conference for us. Now, working together as artists, performers, activists, and all the rest, scholars and scientists. It's our job to find those words and images. And then to use them to inspire change. We're counting on our collective imagination to cast a bright light. And our collective conversations over the next few days, to take us farther along the way. Welcome, to the Anthropocene. (applause) – Good afternoon, thank you for braving the cold to come here about global warming. We have a great program in store for you.

I'm happy to see so many people show up and especially see so many of my students here. It's really nice to have this finally underway. Just another, Teresa mentioned some of the sponsors. I also want to pay a special thanks to Teresa and her staff at the Obermann Center. She's a fabulous leader. And gave us great counsel and direction in planning this conference. I also want to mention the Assistant Director of the Obermann Center, Jennifer New, who was really one of the creative forces in planning this symposium. Erin Hackathorn, who's been our field marshall, and has handled all the financial and logistical details in really an exceptional way. And Miriam Janechek, who has created the digital presence. The great website, if you haven't taken a look at that. and looked through the resources page and what we've created. The Twitter feed, it's really a nice resource that I hope will stay around for a while.

I'm not gonna talk about the Anthropocene so much as I wanna just say a few words via intoduction, about energy in Iowa. Many of our participants come from outside of Iowa, long ways. And maybe wondering why we're talking about energy in Iowa, which is for most people, is a farm state, not an energy state. But Iowa really is an energy state. I moved here a couple years ago from Houston, where you could find an energy symposium or energy conference everyday of the week. So it is a little unusual to be talking about energy in Iowa. But it probably won't be, as we move forward. It is a corn and soybean state. 23 million, 36 million acres devoted to corn and soybean. And if you paid attention to the Obermann Factoid Friday's, you would know that this is more than all the land in the U.

S. national parks in the lower 48 states combined. But it takes a lot of energy to plant and fertilize and harvest and transport those crops. And probably even more important, 47% of the coy, soy, I'm sorry, 47% of the corn crop in Iowa goes to the production of ethanol fuel. Iowa produces 30% of the nation's ethanol. And somewhere close to 47,000 jobs are linked to the ethanol industry, regardless of what you think of it. And so, Iowa is an energy state in a kind of contradictory way. Some people might, from some perspectives. It is also the third largest wind-producer in the United States, after Texas and California. More than 5,000 megawatts of installed capacity, 3,200 utility-scale turbines. 27% of the state's electricity generation comes from wind. Iowa was the first state to pass a renewable portfolio standard in 1983 that required the utilities to purchase wind power. And there's something close to 8,000 jobs connected to the wind energy industry in the United States.

Another way in which Iowa's linked to energy that may not be obvious, but will become more obvious in the next several years, is that North Dakota Bakken Crude rolls along the eastern and western borders of the state by rail. Another way that Iowa is getting close, or closer to the fracking industry, the hydraulic fracking industry, is just across the border in Wisconsin and Minnesota. We have large-scale frac sand mines, that mine the St. Peter Sandstone, which is a uniform and perfectly round form of sand that they use in hydraulic fracturing in Pennsylvania and especially in the Bakken. And it's threatening to spill over into some of the northeast counties of Iowa. So fracking, even though we don't actually, ya know, frack for oil and gas in Iowa, we are very closely connected to it. Iowa's long been a crossroads for migration and transportation.

And it is becoming a crossroads for energy too. There are two controversial transportation proposals that are before the state at the moment. One has a corridor running diagonally from the northwest corner of the state to the southeast corner of the state. under study for the construction of a pipeline to carry Bakken crude oil to Patoka, Illinois. And, along a sort of similar corridor, but a deviating corridor from the Bakken line, is a proposed, a proposal for a 500 mile high-voltage direct current transmission line that would bring wind power from the Buffalo Ridge region of Iowa, and South Dakota and Nebraska, to Illinois to plug into the grid in Illinois and deliver cleaner energy. It's called the Rock Island Clean Line. So wind, hydrofractured crude, ethanol, and then also solar.

Just last year, the Iowa Supreme Court ruled in favor of third-party power purchasing agreements. Which is going to provide a boon to, and it's called the Eagle Point Solar case if you're interested in learning more about it. Which will be a boon to solar power development in Iowa. So a lot of things happening around energy in this state. So, I think it's an appropriate moment to think about energy cultures. To think about energy transitions. And in the context of our concern over the environment and over climate change. So, we'll be having fabulous speakers speaking to some of these larger issues. But I just wanted to, ya know, make sure you had that in mind, that we, even though you may not think of Iowa as an energy state, we are an energy state. So, welcome and thank you. I hope you can stay around for events tomorrow, Saturday. And enjoy the program.

And I'll turn it over to my co-organizer, Brad Cramer. (applause) – I'd like to once again thank everybody for coming out this afternoon. As well as, of course, all of our organizers and sponsors for this wonderful event. And very shortly, we'll have our esteemed colleague, Dr. Lonnie Thompson, up here to speak to you. And just very quickly wanted to discuss this topic of the Anthropocene. And hopefully, cut off some denial science very quickly before it ever begins. And so there is indeed yes, a debate among scientists, over whether or not the Anthropocene should be an official designation within the geologic time-scale. Okay, as it turns out, there is actually a group of people in the world whose responsibility is to determine official names for parts of earth history. Okay, very much like Pluto is no longer a planet, right? That's because a group of people decided that Pluto was no longer a planet. That does not mean that Pluto doesn't exist.

(audience laughs) It just means that it's not a planet anymore. Okay, same issue with the Anthropocene. The concept of the Anthropocene is very much predicated upon this idea that humans are now the dominant factor in geologic change on earth. Whether or not it is an official part of the geologic timescale is irrelevant to that conversation, okay. So, the fact that we are clearly the dominant factor of geological change on earth. That's not being debated. Whether or not it becomes an official time period, that's a completely different discussion okay. So, what Dr. Thompson will be up here to give us a wonderful lecture here in just a moment, is about the evidence of impact on climate by humans. Some of the best evidence that we have today comes from ice cores. Ice cores give us the ability to determine all sorts of perimeters in terms of the ancient atmosphere in the ancient earth system.

Dr. Thompson spent much of his career working on recovering those ice cores from very high altitudes, very inconvenient places. All sorts of difficult challenges to actually get at those records. And much of that discussion is what he'll be presenting us today. So without any further adieu, please Lonnie if you would come on up. I give you Dr. Lonnie Thompson, who is a distinguished university professor at the Ohio State University. He's also a senior research scientist at the Byrd Polar and Climate Research Center. Yes, and will be giving you your first lecture on our symposium of the Anthropocene. (applause) And one last request is please turn off your cellphones. Okay, thank you. – Alright, thank you very much. Thank you Brad. It's my pleasure to have an opportunity to come and speak to you today.

And I want to thank the organizing committee for inviting me. It's my first time to Iowa City. And I've enjoyed my interactions with faculty and students. And so I wanna talk about climate change and the evidence that we have found from the glaciers. And I wanna start out with some graphs, because that's what scientists do. But I'm going to change. I hope to serve as a transition into other disciplines because I do not believe. I've been studying climate for 30 years. and producing records. And if you look at the trends that we're on, we're still on those trends. And so how do we bring about change? And that's really gonna take all of us working together. First I wanna say that this is not a one-person activity.

It takes a team. Anything that you do takes a team, and we have a great team at Ohio State. We've had students and post-doc's take support from various organizations that make these things happen. And we've now drilled in 16 countries around the world. That could not be done without the collaboration of people in countries around the world to make that happen. So, it's really a team effort. But I think the problem is an extremely important one. So first of all, the earth's climate is changing. And the world is getting warmer, even though you might not think that here in Iowa today. But there's no debate about this. This is a scientific consensus around the world. And then we'll talk about glaciers as recorders of climate change. And this is when we drill into them. We get an ice core, we can look at how climate has changes through time. And then glaciers also are indicators of climate change. They respond when it gets warmer.

They retreat when it gets colder. They advance. So they are also an indicator of how things are changing. And I will also show you some evidence that in some places these glaciers are smaller then they've been in over 6,000 years. But then I wanna go onto the human side of climate change. And about eight years ago, I determined that we need a better understanding, Scientists need a better understanding of people. And why we do anything. And I had an invitation to speak to behavior analysts. 5,000, international conference, of why we do what we do as humans. And I thought this would be an opportunity. But when I was preparing for that talk, I. B.F. Skinner was one of the founding fathers of that discipline. And he was very optimistic when he was young, and middle-aged. But by the time he became 80, he was very concerned about whether we as species, can act in our own best interests.

And there were two things he was concerned about that relates to climate. And one is, one of our characteristics, is that immediate consequences outweigh delayed consequences. When we talk about climate change, we often talk about, ya know, what's gonna happen 20 years, 50 years, or in our children's lifetime. And so we, as a species, do not react. We're here and now type of people. And then, consequences for the individual outweigh consequences for others. We might be concerned about people being displaced in Bangladesh, but we'll be more concerned if we are displaced. And that's just some of the basic of our characteristics. Then I wanna talk a little about our options, and what I see is the greatest challenges in the 21st century. Then at the end, kind of a segue to Marles lectures, there's a new documentary produced by Ethan Steinman.

And it's called "Glacial Balance." But what he did was to go down the access of the Andes in South America. Looking at what's happening to the glaciers. and interviewing people that you would probably never hear from that live in these remote parts of the world. And we're all part of this human species on the planet. And so you get a different perspective from that. He also went up and filmed our last drilling project in that part of the world. So, there's a real difference between weather and climate. And I wanna talk a little bit about that. Global climate change involves many changes. It's not just temperature. We're looking at things like changes in precipitation, sea level, glaciers, sea ice, ecosystems. There's so many parts of our systems that are impacted by these changes. There have been three major scientific assessments in the last year, in 2014, that concur that carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases, as well as aerosols, into the earth's atmosphere are the dominant cause of the warming that we've seen since the 1950's on this planet.

Our need for energy underpins the documented rise in greenhouse gases, and we need to address how we will power the human enterprise in the coming decades and centuries, because of that. So, if we look at the temperatures, How they're changing. These are our instrumental records. And we can see that temperatures have risen about .95 degrees C or 1.7 degrees Fahrenheit over the period for which we have been measuring temperatures on the planet. And our warmest years on record have been 2005, 2010 and 2014. And probably the more telling of this is that if you look at the 15 warmest years on record, 14 have occurred since the year 2000. So, the planet is definitely getting warmer. And we can look at to where that warming is occurring and you can see that it's centered up here in the high latitudes in the Arctic and their reasons for the feedbacks in that region.

The climate of the last 30 years has been remarkable. There's been an increase in frequency and intensity of extreme weather events. And there are examples of these, and I'm gonna show some of those. The amounts of droughts and fires that occur on a global scale. And the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change models predict that these types of system responses to global climate change will become more frequent as we go forward in time. If you look at the decade, the decade changes in temperatures starting from 1961 to 1970, and coming up to 2001 to 2010, you can see how these are concentrated in the higher latitudes and on the continental areas of the planet. And particularly, this arctic amplication is occurring. As you melt back the sea ice, reduce the size of the glaciers. You're exposing darker surfaces that absorb more radiation, natural radiation coming in. And this tends to accelerate this process.

This is our record of what's happening to sea ice up in the Arctic. This is a closed basin. And in 2012, we had the minimum amount of sea ice and it was 19% below the previous minimum which was in 2007. And when you look at these records, what you're gonna see is the timing of when these things are occurring. And this is, it doesn't really matter which record you're looking at, you see the same trends that are taking place. So, amongst the changes, these are the Northern Hemisphere spring snow cover. And this has been decreasing, as you can see here. That's also another indicator of warming. If you look at the change in the global average, upper ocean heat content, you can see how that is rising over this same period of time. However, as human beings, we respond to what's happening in our own backyard.

And I wanna use this as an example. This is, I'm from Ohio, so last year was a very cold year in Ohio and in eastern U.S. And particularly in January. So if you look at the temperature distributions on the planet in January, you can see that yes, in our part of the world, it was extremely cold. But they were setting record temperatures up in Alaska, over in southern Greenland, and over in the Beijing area in China. And when you look at these temperatures of the planet, you have to look at the global average. And so, January 2014, actually was earth's fourth warmest January since we've been keeping instrumental records. Even though you would never be able to prove it in this part of the world. I'd like this diagram to show the difference between the weather and climate. And in this diagram, the man walking the dog, is the climate.

And if you ever watch the one walking the dog, they go in a straight line. However, the dog is going from fire hydrant to a piece of paper and going back and forth. Well the dog, is actually the weather. And I think probably, and Mark Twain said it best, when he said, "Climate is what you expect, "weather is what you get." And I wanna use Iowa City as an example. Last January, in Iowa, the 30 year average we would have expected to see temperature average of 23.6 degrees Fahrenheit, or minus 4.7 degrees C. But what ya got was weather which was 13.1 degrees Fahrenheit, and minus 10.5 degrees C. So there's a big difference in taking averages over 30 years and looking at this season to season variability. There's been natural mechanisms changing the climate on this planet through time.

And these are a few of them here. Changes in the output of the sun. We have an 11 year solar cycle. We have a 90 year Gleisburg cycle. And the energy from the sun is what drives the climate on this planet. We have changes in the amount of volcanic aerosols in the atmosphere. Every time we have a major eruption that puts tephra and sulfates into the stratosphere. The temperature at the surface of the planet actually cools for one or two years until that material falls out. We have internal variability. We have monsoons, we have ENSO's. And these have been with us for thousands of years, and they affect the climate. Now on top of that, we have the human factors. And these are non-natural mechanisms. These are changes in the concentrations of greenhouses gases. And we can measure that. Our longest record comes from in the atmosphere, actual measurements from model NOAH. We measure those gases in the air bubbles, in the ice, and we can take that record back in time to get a perspective on that. Changes in aerosols and particles also can cause changes in climate.

Sulfate aerosols can actually lead to cooling. And black carbon can actually lead to warming. So it depends on what types of particles we're looking at. Then there's also changes in reflectivity, or the albedo of the planet. As we need more and more land to support what is now 7.3 billion people on the planet. And when you change the surface of the vegetation, you change the albedo of the planet. So, a lot of different ways that we are impacting. Now, this is the immediate disturbing diagrams. These are the measurements at model NOAH that Charles Keeling started. He passed away in 2005. And if you go to the National Academy of Sciences, when you go into the hall, you'll see this on the wall. And unfortunately, there have been five IPCC reports. And if you look at the trend, it's not only increasing, it's actually accelerating. And we first crossed 400 parts per million by volume in 2012. And this year we crossed it in January of this year. We'll probably get up to about 402 parts per million by volume later this spring. Now, this is probably to me, the most interesting video that I've seen that kind of captures the Anthropocene relative to CO2.

So, I want you to take a look at this. This allows you to actually see how CO2 is emitted, where it's being emitted from. This is a NASA video for the year of 2006. And we'll take a look at that. – [Voiceover] Hi, this is Bill Putman. I'm a climate scientist at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center. What you're looking at is a super-computer model of carbon dioxide levels in the earth's atmosphere. The visualization compresses one year of data into a few minutes. (lighthearted music) Carbon dioxide is the most important greenhouse gas affected by human activity. About half of the carbon dioxide emitted from fossil fuel combustion remains in the atmosphere. While the other half is absorbed by natural land and ocean reservoirs. In the Northern Hemisphere we see the highest concentrations are focused around major emissions sources over North America, Europe and Asia.

Notice how the gas doesn't stay in one place. The dispersion of carbon dioxide is controlled by the large-scale weather patterns within the global circulation. During spring and summer, in the Northern Hemisphere, plants absorb a substantial amount of carbon dioxide through photosynthesis. Thus, removing some of the gas from the atmosphere. We see this change in the model as the red and purple colors start to fade. Meanwhile, in the Southern Hemisphere, we see the release of another pollutant, carbon monoxide. This is a gas that's both harmful to the environment and to humans. During the summer months, plumes of carbon monoxide stream from fires in Africa, South America and Australia. contributing to high concentrations in the atmosphere. Notice how these emissions are also transported by winds to other parts of the world. As summer transitions to fall, and plant photosynthesis decreases, carbon dioxide begins to accumulate in the atmosphere. Although this change is expected, we're seeing higher concentrations of carbon dioxide accumulate in the atmosphere each year. This is contributing to the long-term trend of rising global temperatures.

The Orbiting Carbon Observatory-2, or OCO-2, will be the first NASA satellite mission to provide a global view of carbon dioxide. OCO-2 observations and atmospheric models like GEOS-5, will work closely together to better understand both human emissions and natural fluxes of carbon dioxide. This will help guide climate models toward more reliable predictions of future conditions across the globe. – I don't believe I've seen a better video to actually visualize and show you how these concentrations vary and they get distributed. And the fact that we all live on the same planet, and it's all connected. And to me, it's a very telling video. There's always been natural greenhouse effect on the planet. And that keeps the earth warm. About 14 degrees C or 57 degrees Fahrenheit, which makes life as we know it, possible. So what we're really concerned about is the enhanced, the anthropogenic greenhouse gases that are warming the earth even more. It's the added effect. And this is not new.

The science of the impacts of greenhouse gases, we've known for over 200 years. But we've, these earlier scientists didn't know is that we would develop the technology to extract all these fossil fuels, the carbon of the past, and release it so quickly back into the atmosphere. So this is certainly, the science is not new, it's based on chemistry and physics. We have models that allow us to look at how any one forcing will impact the climate on the planet. And I'm just gonna show a couple of these. This is going from the North Pole to the South Pole. This is what you would expect, if in the atmosphere, from greenhouse gases. We expect the troposphere, down where we live, to warm. But we'd expect the stratophere above, to actually cool. If you're looking at changes due to volcanic eruptions, You put material into the stratophere, tephra and aerosols, that will absorb radiation coming from the sun And the stratosphere will warm and the surface will cool. If you're looking at its driver being the sun, that radiation goes through both the stratophere and the troposphere.

So of you have an increase in output of the sun, both layers will warm equally. And you can combine all of these forcings. And that's done here. So you look at what we know about the last 100 years. And look at how we have expected temperatures to change. That's a model. And models are models. But what you can do is you can actually go out and measure, observe what's happened in the real atmosphere. And if you do that, what you see is up in the stratosphere, temperatures have been cooling. over the period for which we have a record. Except during times when we have volcanic eruptions like Egon, El Chichon, Pinatubo. Temperatures rise. Down in the troposphere, where we all live, temperatures have been rising at all levels in the atmosphere. So the response is expected from greenhouse forcing. And it's predicted by the climate models. It is not forced by the sun.

If it was forced by the sun, both of those layers would be warming. So this is how you fingerprint what the drivers are that are causing the changes that we're seeing. We also satellite observations of the solar output over the period when we've been setting maximum temperature records. And you can see that here. And what you see is there has been no change in the output of the sun over that period of time. So this is all about fingerprinting the causes. So, if you look at the actual temperature record. You can see it here. If you look at only the natural factors in the last hundred years, this is what you would expect. If you combine the natural with the human factors, this is the blue curve you see here. And you get a very good match to the observations, and the measurements that we have. And that's how you do the fingerprinting. There are a number of these recent documents that I've mentioned have come out in the last year.

This is one from the Royal Society of the U.K. and the U.S. National Academy of Sciences. And it kinda goes through all the questions that you might ask. And what we, the evidence that we have for each of those questions. But the atmosphere and the oceans have warmed. The Arctic Sea ice is strongly declining in the summer. Arctic sea ice is becoming thinner and younger. The sea-level is rising. And climate variability is increasing with more extremes. If we look at our carbon dioxide record coming in from the ice cores, this is the last thousand years. So we were running along at about 280 parts per million by volume, 'til the Industrial Revolution. And then you can see how rapidly its been rising. This overlaps with the Mauna Loa record, which is the dark line here. So you can see how rapid that change is. So if you were using CO2 as an indicator of the Anthropocene, you'd probably put a date of about 1800 for this change. With the ice core records out of Antarctica, we can go back 800,000 years, and look at CO2 and temperature on the planet.

And this is the CO2 concentrations. And you can see they range from about 280 to parts per million, max, during warm periods. They dropped to about 280, 200 parts per million during glacial periods when they had big ice sheets in North America. And if you look at the temperature reconstuctions for the last 800,000 years, you can see that these are very much in sync. If you look at where we are today, aroundive to that 800,000 year history, you can see that there is no analog to 400 parts per million by volume recorded over that period of time. But what the real concern is, if you look at that trajectory that we're currently on, it's where we'll be by 2100. And what, how that will impact the climate of the system, and all the ecosystems on the planet, and including us. So these are tremendous changes. We talk more about carbon dioxide because it remains in the atmosphere for a very long time. We talk about decades to the millennium for its residence time. There are other greenhouse gases that you can measure in the ice cores. So these are 800,000 year history's carbon dioxide record, Methane, nitrous oxide, they all show this very large increase in the last 200 years.

And but if you look at the residence time in the atmosphere, you can see that CO2 is a hundred to thousands of years. Methane is only 10 to 11 years before its oxidized into CO2 in the atmosphere. Nitrous oxide is about 150 years. And the CFC's are about 65 to 120 years. So that's why you see a lot of discussions on carbon dioxide. And if you say, well what if we found a solution for our energy needs? We found alternative energy. And we stopped producing CO2 tomorrow, which is not gonna happen. How long would it take for CO2 to decline in the atmosphere? And this is looking forward in time. And you can see it when you're out. a hundred years, you'd still have about 1/3 of the CO2 that's currently in the atmosphere. When you're out a thousand years, you'd still have 20%. So it's gonna take a long time to turn the impacts of CO2 on the climate system. And it's kind of interesting to look at our best estimates for when did we have 400 parts per million by volume of CO2 in the atmosphere.

And we have to go back in the geologic record to about three million years, to the Pliocene. And in the Pliocene, temperatures were about two to two and a half degrees warmer. And sea level was 22 meters, or about 72 feet higher. And so this kind of shows the shoreline on the East Coast during that period of time. And that water was coming from, these are the ice sheets in Greenland and Antarctica today, and this is the projection of what they looked like about three million years ago. So those were the sources of that water. So the drivers are really us in a big way. This is the population of the planet. So we're at 7.3 billion. Estimated to be at nine billion by 2050. But it's not just this. It's what we need. So if you look at in 2013, just animals that we needed to feed these people.

We have over 30 billion fowl. These are chickens and ducks and things that we need to support. 1.9 billion sheep and goats, 1.4 billion cattle, One billion pigs, 400 million dogs, I have three of them. 500 million cats. You know this is a requirement. And this doesn't talk about the crops and things that we also need. And you can compare these numbers to the pre-exploitation number of American bison, in this part of the world. There are only 60 to 80 million. So humans are having tremendous impact in so many ways. You've probably all seen this picture of the earth on the International Space Station. About 65% of the world's electricity today is coming from fossil fuels. And, but what's really interesting is if you look at what the world is expected to look like by 2030, at our current rates of growth. So that's only about 15 years from now.

So this is from General Electric. This is what they expect the earth would look like at night on our current rate. We have over a billion people that do not even have electricity in the world today. And one of the aims is to bring electricity, which is very important to lives of people, around the world. So the real question is, where is that energy gonna come from that supports this growth. Well we've been looking at ice cores for the last 37 years. We have these long records, like the one I showed from Antarctica going back 800,000 years. We also have long records out of Greenland. But we've also been looking at the high mountain regions in between. This is a view of the Quelccaya Ice Cap margin in 1977, back when I was a graduate student. And this is the same place in 2002. And so it kind of brings home the picture that only are you losing a very important history of the past, but you're also losing a very important water resource. There are many things we can measure in the cores.

And where you have very distinct wet and dry seasons, like in the monsoon or down in South America. You can actually see these annual layers in the cores when you're recovering them. And of course you have to have laboratories. We have class-100 clean rooms, mass specs. We have over 7,000 meters of course, that are at minus 35 degrees C. It's the only tropical collection of ice on earth. And becoming more valuable everyday at OSU. And we also design and build the drills, a light-weight equipment that allows us to get up to about 20,000 feet to recover the cores. This is what a typical high mountain drilling operation would look like. And we experiment with different types of energy. Solar power, special diesels that'll work in cold environments to provide the energy for these. And so we've been drilling at these, on these mountaintops. And I'm just gonna show that these records in the tropics, actually spanned very long periods of time.

And when we started, no one, including us, believed that we could get histories that go back into the last ice age from the tropical mountain glaciers. But this is just one. This is Huascaran, it's the highest tropical mountain on earth. And the drill site is right in here in the col. And the reason you need very light-weight equipment is that they have to go across crevasses. And you have to use porters, or you have to carry this equipment up, six tons of equipment. Set up the drill site. And in this case, 53 days later, bring that six tons of equipment, plus four tons of ice, frozen ice down. And keep it frozen, and get it out of the tropics and back to the freezers at Ohio State. We have through time, improved the drills that we use, the piler for those.

So two cores to bedrock. We always do two so we can look at reproducibility. Of record, these are 168 meter cores. And you can see that in the upper part, you see it's very, these annual variations. It's the last hundred years. You see it in the isotopes. You see it in the dust records. You see it in the nitrates. which is related to vegetation in the Amazon. So they're very high-resolution records. And this record goes back almost 20,000 years. So, it's our first view of actually being able to look at what the isotopic record looked like in the tropics during the last glacial period. Up until this date, they were only found in Greenland and Antarctica. We could also look at nitrates, which are very low, which suggest lower vegetation out in the Amazon in the source areas. And the dust increases a hundred-fold, which suggests it was much dustier in this part of the world at that time. So you can reconstruct that history. So over the last 37 years, this is the place where places our team have recovered ice.

And the whole idea is to put together a global picture of climate as it's recorded in those glaciers. I think we often forget that we live on a sphere. And because of that, we have 50% of the surface area of the planet actually in the tropics between 30 North and 30 South. We have 70% of the people that live on this planet in that same zone. So it's an important area to understand. It's also where the water vapor, our most important greenhouse gas in the system, is being pumped into the atmosphere. So, and these actually show the drill sites in the lower latitudes where we now have wreckers. I'm gonna take you just to one of these down in the Quelccaya Ice Cap because it's such an unusual part of the world. We first drilled this ice cap in 1983. And we did that using the first ever solar-powered ice core drill. And back in 1983, solar power, the technology was not very well developed. And we got a lot of push-back that this would be impossible.

But it was the only way that you could get a power source into this remote part of the world. It was a two-day journey by horse. So when these horses and these bags are at the panels, and you can see the drill cable here. And this was the setting and this was the first solar-powered drill that was developed. And it, not only did we drill one, but we drilled two cores of bedrock from this ice cap. 160 meters using solar power. This is an unusual ice cap. You can see the drill site here. This is in the tropics. We're only 14 degrees south of the equator. 150 kilometers to the east, you're in the Amazon basin. You wouldn't think there would be so much ice at this latitude. And if you look down the crevasse on this glacier, you can see those annual dust layers every dry season. If you go into the crevasse, you can actually see how uniform these layers are.

And if you get an ice core, you can actually measure the thickness of the layers and reconstruct what precipitation has been in the past. And so, this is what an ice core looks like when it's recovered. And the records are brought back and they're analyzed. And these are isotopes. These are a temperature proxy, and they show the annual variations at this height. And every dry season, there's a dust layer. And so you can go back in time. And this record actually goes back 1,800 years. This is the last thousand years. This is the isotope record decato averages from the 1983 core, which was brought back as bottled water samples. Then we went back 20 years later, in 2003, to bring back ice cores. We had developed the technology to keep the ice frozen to get it back so we can preserve and archive for the future. And if you look at these, first of all, you'll note the reproducibility of the record over a 20 year period. And you can see in this record that it was warmer in this part, in the Medieval warm period, a little ice age, and then you can see the warming in the 20th century.

You can look at those annual layers, and reconstruct the precipitation in that valence record. The browns are dry periods. So this period is warm and dry. A little ice age starts wet, becomes dry. And you get into 20th century precipitation has been above average. So you can reconstruct these histories back through time. This part of the world is impacted by El Nino's that have tremendous global impacts on precipitation patterns. And if you're in South America, the northern Peru and Ecuador are very wet. during El Nino periods. Southern Peru is very dry. And what we've found is if you look, in this part of the world. If you go there pre-Spanish time, there've been many cultures and empires. This is the Inca Empire. And with this annual record, we can work with archeologists and anthropologists and actually look at how precipitation and temperature was varying during the times of rise and fall of those cultures. And if you do that, these are the blue curve here's a precipitation, high precipitation's blue.

The droughts are indicated here. When you look at that through time, these are cultures, the Moche culture was a coastal culture. And the capital was on the coast. When you get into the wet period in the highlands, we have development of the Tiwanaku and the Wari cultures. And the capitals move to the highlands. When it becomes dry in the highlands again, these cultures, in this case it's the Chimu culture, and the capital is moved back into the coastal area. And then when the rise of the Incas, is during this period, when it's getting wetter again. And this was the largest empire developed in that part of the world. And of course it came to an end when the Spanish arrived in 1531. But what is interesting is if you take that history and how people have moved through time, and you look at where we are today.

In the last hundred years, it's been wetter than average up in the highlands. And so, based on the past, people should be moving to where the water is. But since 1947, people have been actually moving from the highlands to the coastal desert. And to places like Lima, Peru, looking for a better way of life, education for their children. And now, over 50% of the population in Peru is actually in the coastal desert. And they have huge water shortages. In that country, 86% of their electricity is from hydropower. That water is also used for irrigation. It's also used for municipal water supplies. And Lima, Peru has severe water shortages today. And now they're talking about putting in tunnels through the Andes, to capture water that goes into the Amazon, and bring it across for their city.

But it's a lot of policy. Peru is the biggest asparagus producer on earth, now. They produce the asparagus out in the desert. And so they have to divert water from the Santa River in order to do that. And the question is, whether these things are sustainable. And they're certainly, we can raise similar questions here in this country. If you look, you can look at the impact of climate on people. But you can also look at the impact of people on the environment. And in this part of the world, mining has been a big issue, with the. It was developed in these pre-Spanish cultures. But it really took off when the area was colonized. This is actually a silver mine that is underneath a glacier. And actually going and so just two weeks ago, in the precedings of National Academy, we had a paper that looked at lead in the Quelccaya Ice Core as a indicator of mining activities.

And so, here's the Quelccaya Ice Cap. And there are three lake records here. And this was Potosi was a huge mining operation down in Bolivia. And if you looked at these records, you look at the silver production from the New World, from Peru and Potosi, you can see how this has varied through time. And you can actually see the evidence of the lead from those operations in the ice core. And so, if you were looking at the human impact in this part of the world, the first time we see evidence of that is in 1580 A.D.. There's lead deposits in Greenland that date back to over 200,000 years ago that came from mining operations in Spain. So, the human impact on the planet is quite large. We've been working on the Tibetan Plateau. This is the largest plateau on earth and it's got over 46,000 glaciers. Some of these records go back over 750,000 years. But one of the things that we see in all these ice cores, are all the thermonuclear bomb tests that humans have done in the atmosphere. That radioactivity goes around the world.

And so if you were looking at the Anthropocene as the development of nuclear weapons, and testing, you can see here the Ivy Test. This was a U.S. test at sea-level before we knew how dangerous these things were. You can see that in glaciers around the world as a spike in chlorine-36. And if you look at the Soviet test in 1962-63, we use these as timelines in the ice cores because we know when the tests took place. And we can measure those radioactive layers. Okay, so if you look at the last 2,000 years. Just kind of sum up what we see in the tropics. This on the Tibetan Plateau. And this is the last 2,000 years in South America. And some places you can see the Medieval Warm Period and other places you don't. Ya see a little ice age, and then the warming in the 20th century. So if you combine them, this is what's going on in the tropics over the last 20,000 years. Medieval Warm Period, a little ice age. And the real enrichment taking place in the 20th century. And you can compare that to temperature reconstructions from tree rings. Historical observations in the Northern Hemisphere overlap with their instrumental record. And what stands out is the last 50 years.

Now, I can tell you that is you go to the U.S. Senate and you talk about isotopes, they kind of glaze over. Because people have a hard time relating to isotopes, unless you're in that field. So I wanna talk about the visualization of the change. Because that's what we relate to. In 1983, when we drilled the Quelccaya Ice Cap, it had annual layers all the way to the summit. When we went back in 2003, you can see how the layers have disappeared. The reason they had disappeared is it's now melting at the summit. And water's going through the core's fern level and smoothing those out. So that melting started in 1991 on the summit of that ice cap. This is what I see is, and this is my favorite quote about ice. This is from Henry Pollack's book, "A World Without Ice". "Ice asks no questions, presents no arguments, "reads no newspapers, listens to no debates. "It is not burdened by any ideology "and it carries no political baggage "as it changes from a solid to liquid.

"It just melts." And I think this is probably the thing that's most compelling. So if you go to the Andes, back down to the Quelccaya Ice Cap, I've showed the changes that have taken place on the margins since 2002. But if you look at the whole area, this is a Landsat image. This is Cordillera Vilcanota, Quelccaya. This is in 1988. And if you look at this place 18 years later, initially you'll see lakes developing around the margins of this ice cap. But if you look at the change that is taking place in 18 years. All those yellow areas are where we've lost ice. And so we've lost 25% of the area of ice, in this region, since these observations were made. And you can find very old photographs. This is one from 1935 in the Cordillera Vilcanota. You can see the glaciers here. These were done on glass plates in 1935. But it allows us to go back to the same rock that this guy was sitting on in 1935. And look at the glaciers in 2006. And if you overlap those, you can actually see where the glaciers were in 1935. Where they are, these white areas, in 2006.

And you see it's not only the area, but they're thinning from the top-down. And this is something that's very difficult to see on a satellite. This photo was taken in 1978, of Qori Kalis. There's no lake in this valley. And this is going to fade into 2011. So, 1978 I'm a graduate student. By 2011, I'm pretty much the age I am now. And this is what you see from this survey point overlooking this valley. And I think if you go back to these places. And I've had the opportunity, you see these changes taking place. And they're taking place around the world. There's another development on this ice cap. This is 1977, this is now a lake in here. And this is the backside of that lake in 2002. You see a person here for scale. That wall's a hundred feet high. And the whole thing is retreating. And at the base of this wall, we found a wetland plant deposit.

Two meters across, perfectly preserved. We were able to collect that plant. And we were able to have it identified, and carbon-14 dated. And it's 5,000, this first plant we found in 2002, 5,200 years old. And it tells us this ice cap hasn't been smaller for 5,200 years. Otherwise, the plant would have decayed. And we took some botanists down. There are over 10 different species in these wetland plants. And they're rooted, they're in growth position, which is absolutely amazing underneath a glacier. You can see where the wall was in 2002. Three years later, here's the plant. And you can see where the wall is. And plants, other plants have continued to come out. And you can start to map out how this glacier has behaved in the past. All the plants collected on this side of the lake here, date about 4,700 years. When I first went to Qeulccaya, this was all ice. So this is a new lake. In 2011, there was land exposed on the other side.

And we collected plants there. Those plants are 6,300 years in age. So if you go back 6,000 years ago, it took 1,600 years for the ice to move from here to here. It's taken 25 years for it to move from here, back to expose those plants. So it's the rate of change that we're really, really concerned about. And I'm gonna take you very quickly around the world. This is not just in the Andes. If you go to Alaska, this is the Muir Glacier, 1941. Same place in 2004, 98% of the glaciers southeast Alaska are retreating in today's world. We've done a lot of work over in Tibet. Very important place, very large area. The one of the largest glacier stores of fresh water with over 46,000 glaciers.

It's sometimes referred to as "Asia's Water Towers." Because the source of many of the major rivers, in this Ganges or Brahmaputra River, are starting glaciers up in the Himalaya's. And so many people are affected by changes in those water supplies. Hard to find old pictures, but this is one from 1921. And you see the mountain peaks here. This is the same place in 2009. So you can see the lakes that have formed. The glaciers that we have studied there, which are now over 7,000, but they're over 46,000. They're retreating. We have histories that go from 1970 to the present. They're retreating more in the Himalaya's and southeastern Tibet, and lesser amounts as you go into the interior. So it's not a uniform retreat across the plateau. If you go to the Alps, you can find very old pictures. This is 1903, and these are all glaciers.

And you can see where they are in 2005. 99% of the glaciers in the Alps are retreating in today's world. Kilimanjaro in Africa, as a place that we drilled in 2000. Here's the earliest photo, 1912. This is where we are in 2006. The first map was made in 1912. And we've continued to compare these maps. And we've continued to have aerial photographs flown. And by 2013, we had lost 88.3% of the ice that was present in 1912. 40% of the ice that was on the mountain, when we drilled there in 2000, has disappeared. One of the things we did on the Furtwangler Glacier you can see here, is we, in the hole that we left when we drilled, we put a stake, all the way to bedrock. And that stake has been measured since we left it there. And if you look at what's happened to it, this is 2012. You can see the top of the stake here.

And then by 2013, the ice is gone. You can no longer go there and recover that history. And out of six places we drilled, two are now gone. And this actually shows the thinning, a measured thinning. And it's about a half a meter a year of ice loss from the top down. This is what Furtwangler looked like in 2013. This was all one glacier in 2000. And as they break up, they expose darker surfaces. More energy is absorbed. You speed up the process. So the last place I wanna take you is to New Guinea. Most people don't know there's a glacier. It's the only glacier between the Himalaya's and the Andes. The oldest photo we could find was taken in 1936. Here's one from 1991, and 2001. These are Landsat images. This is in 1989. The blue areas are ice. 20 years later, this is what is looks like.

A lot of these glaciers have disappeared. When we drilled here in 2010, these are the drill sites. And where a tent sat here for two weeks. It's the only glacier I've ever drilled where it rained everyday on a glacier. If you wanna lose a glacier, you rain on it. And the surface actually lowered 30 centimeters in two weeks. And if you calculate that on a year, that's about seven meters. The ice is only 32 meters thick. And that suggests this glacier's gonna disappear in the next five years. And you can say well this is 2010. So this is what the ice field looked like in 2010. I'm gonna show you an image from 2011, or 2012. And then 2014, just about six months ago. And if you will look at these depressions that are starting to form here. And the height of this wall. You can see that the change in four years that have taken place. So, it'll go to 2012, and you see the size of these holes.

And then you look at it by 2014. So these glaciers will disappear. And those histories will be gone from that part of the world. Our best models, this is from my PCC, with 800 parts per million CO2. We'll have an application of warming at high elevations in the low latitudes because late in the heat release from water vapor. And that's where these glaciers are setting. And that's why we believe they're responding so quickly to these changes. And these changes have impacts on people. This lake form wasn't there when I first went to Quelccaya. Our cap was always here. That lake grew in size. Here is what it looked like in 2006. When we went back in 2007, it was gone. It had drained. And if you go around this ridge to the other side, this is the bottom of the lake, and all the water flowed in the valley below. And it's drowned alpaca. And as the glacier retreated back, it made another exitway to the south. And in the valley to the north, where they used to graze their alpaca, these things are usually covered with water right up to the edge.

And they're bright green, and the alpaca feed on those things. Those have dried up and they're now gone and they no longer engraze in that valley. This is Qori Kalis Glacier in 2005. In March of 2006, there was an avalanche, fell into this lake. You see a pasture here, there's usually alpaca there. And so, when there was an avalanche, you can see there was a mini-tsunami and breached the natural dam, the moraine. And flooded the valleys down below. But the point here is this would not have happened before 1991 because there was no lake in this valley. These are all very recent, recent developments. There's been a lot of recent work on what's happening in Antarctica. Western Antarctica is the only ice sheet that's grounded below sea-level.

The loss of the Pine Island Glacier, the Thwaites Glacier. and we were very concerned about these because of the volume of ice and water in these glaciers. What we have is warm ocean water coming in underneath these ice shelves. Melting the glacier from underneath. So you have this ice shelf decay, ice stream discharge, and the ice sheet decay. It melts away, they thin very rapidly. The problem in West Antarctica is that the ice sheet is grounded below sea-level. And once you leave these pinning lines where these islands that hold it, there's nothing to stop it from collapsing. And the rate of retreat is just been really fascinating. And it should, there's nothing to stop it once you unpin them. So what that does to sea-level remains to be seen.

But there's potential of six meters of sea-level rise just from that one ice sheet. So, if you look cumulative globally, this is what's happening to the glaciers. They're disappearing. If you look at sea-level, you can see that the rate of rise 1870 to 1924, .8 millimeters per year. 1925 to 1992, 1.9 millimeters per year. And from 1993 to 2012, 3.1, and the latest values are 3.3 millimeters per year. And that's exactly what you'd expect if you're melting the ice and the glaciers on land. But sometimes it's hard to look at a chart and see what that means. These are areas on the planet where we're now documented ice loss. So we have recent rapid melting of glaciers. And so we can say climatologically, we are in unfamiliar territory, and the world's ice cover is responding very dramatically.

So if you just take a conservative estimate, and say what if we lost 8% of the ice that's now on land. This is the Gulf Shore and Florida. If you lost 8%, we've lost 25% of the area of ice around the Quelccaya Ice Caps since I was a graduate student. On the big global scale, what would that do to our shoreline? So, here we are at 8% loss. This is what it would look like. So the potential impact, and sea-level is global. And we settled our cities and sailing ships. We have lots of people living at the coastline. So these are a potentially, will have great impacts on human beings and our infrastructure. So it's never any one thing. It's the composite of all evidence. that drives the science community to conclude that the earth is getting warmer.

The loss of Arctic sea ice, increasing temperatures in the air and ocean, increasing humidities, decreasing snow, temperatures rising in the lower atmosphere, glaciers retreating. The ocean's sea surface temperatures are warming. The heat content is increasing. Global sea-level is rising. Air temperatures over land are rising. These are all very consistent stories of a warming of planet. So, I wanna get to the human side of this, because I think this is very important. So, how to manage a world with threats from climate change, rising sea-levels and rising energy consumption. I think this is our biggest challenge in the 21st century. We certainly can make the argument there's "A Perfect Storm" that's brewing. The ingredients are the fact that carbon dioxide has its very long life-span in the atmosphere.

There's an inertia in the climate system. It'll be 20 to 30 years before we see the impacts of what we've already done on the climate system. We have positive amplifying feedback says you remove ice and you increase the absorption on the planet. And we have fossil fuel addiction around the world. We can talk about an alternative world, a brighter world. More renewable energies, cleaner air and water, enhanced economic development, better jobs. And I grew up in West Virginia. And they even invited me back to talk on this issue. because I'm from that area. But the fact is, that most coal miners were employed in 1924. And the maximum coal production in West Virginia was in 2002. Miners were losing jobs because they're being replaced by technology and machines and the like. So I go back and talk to the young people.

If you wanna have a future, you look at the alternative energies. This to me is the growth area for the future. But humans being what we are, it's these extreme events that actually get our attention. And I'm just gonna go very quickly through the last couple of years. In 2011, in Ohio, was the wettest year on record. And we had many floods. These are very expensive when they occur. But this is a global, this is 2011 in Pakistan. And Munich Re, who is one of these companies that insures insurance companies, and distributes the risk globally, actually sees the impacts of these changes. So the overall losses in 2011, were $148 billion, weather related losses, of which $55 billion was actually covered by insurance. The rest was picked up by taxpayers or individuals of those costs. In 2012, we had Superstorm Sandy. And you see "super" in front of typhoons and things now. And they're still trying to recover from this.

It's cost over 60 billion dollars. But some things you don't often note, is that there are 45 superfund toxic waste sites within a half a mile of the coast in New Jersey and New York. And these become at risk when sea-level rises and you have potential higher and higher storm surges coming in. You look at fires in this country. These are record fires. And what again is so compelling is the timing of these. We're talking about areas burning the size of Massachusetts and Connecticut combined. In 2006, 9.8 million acres. 2007, 9.3, 2012, 9.1 million acres. These are tremendous impacts. The flood in 2013 in Boulder, Colorado. It doesn't flood in that part of the world. And most people did not have flood insurance because they haven't needed flood insurance.

And this brings up one of these characteristics of human beings. The fact that the consequences for the individual outweigh consequences for others. If it's your home that's going into the river, then you become very concerned about these changes. This is Super Typhoon Haiyan. The death toll was in the thousands and the damage was over $14 billion. Only about two billion was actually insured in the Philippines. This is a poor part of the world, most people don't have insurance. Then you come to last winter. This is ice and freezing rain in Atlanta, Georgia. Very unusual in this part of the world. But at the same time, if you went to Australia, record temperatures were being set in the summer there. And this is why you always have to look at the global picture. And the floods in England in 2014. The losses were $1.

7 billion. The winter of 2014 was the wettest on record since records began in 1910 in that part of the world. And then you come into this winter. And the snow's at Boston, chances are they're gonna have a record snowfall since they've been keeping records in that part of the world. And the impacts of these are tremendous on infrastructure and people. Last you know, seven feet of snow, I mean it's a lot of snow. So then if you look in California, the drought out there. That's now a 500 year drought. And this is what the drought situation looked like in 2012, 2013 and then last week, and now. And if you look at the snow pack in Sierra Nevada, it's only 1/5 of what it should be at this time of year. So even though they're had some storms there, it has not alleviated that drought. If you look at weather catastrophes around the world from 1980 to 2012, you can see these are storm-related, weather-related catastrophes.

You can see how they're increasing. And if you look at the cost of those, in the last 10 years, that's averaged about 184 billion dollars a year of which $56 billion was covered by insurance. There's a lot of variability from year to year, depending on what storm and where they hit, as to what that actual cost is. But it brings back another human characteristic. Immediate consequences outweigh delayed consequences. When we start seeing these changes and the cost of those changes in the here and now, then the opinion on climate change issues will change. So, looking forward, I think there are three options out there. One of these is mitigation, which means taking measures to reduce the pace and the magnitude of change in global climate that are caused by human activities. And here you can talk about reducing greenhouse gas emissions. You can talk about enhancing the sinks for those emissions, taking them out of the atmosphere. We can actually talk about geoengineering, to counteract the effects of greenhouse gases.

We can talk about adaptation, which means taking measures to reduce the adverse impacts on human well-being that result from climate change that do occur. And examples of adaptation include changing agriculture practices, strengthening defenses against climate-related diseases, building more dams and dikes. But this is a moving target, and we're not very good at regional prediction of changes. Then the last is suffering. This is the adverse impacts that are not avoided by either mitigation or adaptation. And I think these will be the options as we go forward. But there are positive things, and you mentioned at the beginning. And I think this is absolutely true. And I've been really impressed with the changes that are underway. Conservation, increased efficiencies, four-cylinder hybrid cars, electric cars.

We have Tesla. Google's gonna produce an electric car. You have technology will be one of the answers to these changes. Fuel cells, fuel emission, coal burning power plants, solar, geothermal, ethanol, wind-powered plants, mass transits, light-rail systems, buses. Housing design toward more compact cities. Development of nanotechnology, LED technology. But it doesn't mean too much if you just make a list of this. It's what we're actually doing that counts. And I come from Ohio State University. We're one of the largest public universities in the U.S. And we have very strong campaign for sustainability at the university. We have over 70 student organizations that are focusing on sustainability. We're ranked number three by EPA and the 20 largest universities using green-power.

25% of our electricity comes from wind. We have, we recycle in that big stadium where we play football games. The 98.2% of the waste that's generated. We've put 7.1 million dollars into increasing efficiency in conservation infrastructure in our existing buildings. And we have 37 alternative energy buses on campus. We are putting in these electric car charging stations. We hope to recycle 90% of the materials generated on campus by 2030. And in 2012, we planted 916 trees on the campus. So, it's what we do. And the thing that I'm really encouraged about is this is something that's coming from the bottom up. It's not coming from the top down. And I think this is the way the change will come. Now, I wanna tell a personal story that happened in 2011. And I think I understand skeptics much better after this. 20 years ago, I was diagnosed with exercise-induced asthma.

And as I climbed these mountains I noticed it was getting harder and harder. But, the beauty was there was a medicine for that. And you could take that and you could continue to do what you were doing. And in 2009, I was diagnosed with congestive heart failure. And my cardiologist, at Ohio State, he said, "Lonnie, this is what's gonna happen." He said, "You're on the threshold. "You're gonna drop to another threshold. "But out here in the future, "you're gonna have to have a heart transplant." And I looked at him and said, "You're crazy. "I have climbed the highest mountains "in the world. "This old heart works pretty well. "And you're gonna tell me "that I have to get a heart transplant?" So, I have fought this for two years. And I was on this drill site in 2011, and I couldn't breath to get from the tent to the drill site. And when I got back home, I went directly to the emergency room. I was on a heart pump.

Then put in an LVAD. An LVAD is a turbine they put in your old heart that it runs on electricity. You have batteries you run in the day, and at night you plug into the wall. And it really gives you a new meaning of sustainable power. (audience laughs) And this was in April of 2012, Ellen and I received the Franklin Medal for Science, the Environmental Science. To go there, I had to go off the transplant list 'cause you can't be more than two hours from the hospital, if you're on the list. But this was gonna take four days to go up. And so they took me off the list. I came back on a Saturday, and on Tuesday I got the call that they had found a match. And I went in, in the morning, and by the next day, I had a new heart. And then, one year later, I was back at 20,000 feet on the Zangser Glacier in Central Tibet. Now the reason I tell this story, is that if you think about the climate change issues.

We, there are a lot of people who, ya know, we've been producing fossil fuels for a hundred years. And we've been, and a lot of people are making money from this. And there's infrastructure and investments. And then when suddenly this, we realize that this is harming the environment, and we're changing the climate on the planet, our first reaction as human beings is to deny it. But I think at the end of the day, it really doesn't matter what I think, or you think. It's only what is, and what is, it's a matter of physics and chemistry. And at the end of the day, we will deal with it, because we'll have no choice. So, when I look at the 21st century, I think our biggest challenge is our learning how to get along with each other on this planet. And you can question how well we do that, today or even in the past. But the other part is learning how to get along with the planet. on which we depend for our life and our quality of life. And these two challenges deal with human behavior. And therefore, they're very closely related.

So, let me close with this view of the world. If we've learned anything from our International Space Program, it's how special this planet is for life as we know it. And when it comes to global climate change, nature's really the timekeeper on that. And none of us are wise enough to know how much time we have to make a change. But we do have good evidence that, that clock is ticking. And we need to get on with bringing about these changes. And so I wanna conclude with this and I would like to, I have a very short 16 minute video, just was produced. And it's by Ethan Steinman. And it's about people who live in the Andes. And I'm just gonna show you a very small section from Peru. But it's very important to understand that we share this planet with a lot of other people whose lives are also impacted by these changes. (applause) – [Voiceover] Okay, thank you Lonnie. You've done a really great job of sharing your personal research and what it's meant to the climate record, And giving us some very powerful images and information about how rapidly climate is changing in the last couple of decades, and accelerating.

And also, putting a human face on this climate change. And it certainly sets a great tone for this meeting. I think this meeting is all about those conversations that take place around us. I think we're, it's been a long time here, but we certainly wanna entertain. I'm sure there's lots of questions. So, we're gonna take five minutes or so for questions. And then people can come up maybe afterwards and ask any more. So, yes. – [Voiceover] In your presentation, you showed the map of the sea where if would be at the current level of carbon dioxide, a few million years ago, planets So, we're at that level now CO2. Under what conditions will we then see that 72 foot sea level rise. Would it just take time or would it stop at 400? – It takes time, I mean these smaller glaciers in the mountains, they respond first to change. They're not that big. But you talk about a Greenland ice sheet, or Antarctic ice sheet. It takes a long time to warm them up. Get them moving, and to see the change taking place. So every glacier, depending on its size and its thickness, has a different response time to these changes.

But, because they're so big, once you get them moving, it's very difficult to reverse that trend. Yeah, it's an important question. – Other questions? – [Voiceover] Thank you for a brilliant presentation. So, I'm a city councilman here. My name's Jim, and three years ago, four years ago, when I was running for office, I was talking to a local developer. And I expressed to him my concern about climate change. He basically said, I don't have time to think about climate change. And besides, I don't trust anything coming from the federal government. (audience laughs) So, one of the things that makes me think about is how developers and others, who are really focused on how operating successful in your market economy. do not face, they don't see prices that reflect the consequences of burning CO2. It's the biggest negative externality there is in markets. So I'm wondering about them.

You really didn't mention the market economy, or a deeper level capitalism. You didn't mention that about how it's a real primary driver in terms of the production and use of fossil fuels, etc. And taking us down this road. So, I'm wondering what you think about what needs to be done in terms of affecting markets so that the developer and others like him that I talk to, will actually adapt change in their behavior to reduce our carbon dioxide emissions? – I think it's a very important question. And I have issues with market-based economies. I mean we see this now in universities. And you know, what happens is in a market-based economy, is that things that can make money, prosper. And things that don't make money, don't. And there are a lot of very important things about human history that we need to know, that need to be supported. And the people that do those type of research need to be supported. But when you look at, look at the marketplace. I mean, it's the real cost, understanding the cost Ya know, if you're a developer and you lose your development because an extreme event.

When these things, ya know, when these, extreme things happen, and then you spent your life working for, ya know, making this profit and growing. And in 15 seconds, couple hours, it's all gone. Then you're, you're view of the world actually changes. And as we have more and more of these extreme events, more and more people get impacted. And yeah, they question, yeah is this a sound way to move forward. I mean, I showed that we have 7.3 billion people on the planet. But, and that's growing. But consumption, consumerism is growing 10 times faster than that. As new countries come online, and can we sustain that? I mean, is there, I think we need to start thinking about sustainability. How do you have a good lifestyle and you maintain it for the maximum number of people on this planet? If you ever, If you're ever in a hospital bed and you're on this edge between life and death, what you realize is all the resources, all the money, anything you've accumulated in this life, really doesn't matter.

What really matters are your family, your friends and your colleagues. And the difference that you were able to make in the lives of people in the life that you led. And the rest of it, to me, is, ya know, I think our value system needs to be adjusted. What's important? – I think that's a good point to maybe think forward from this lecture today. And I think the other thing we can think about is that a lot of you have done is Lonnie you've done a really great job of informing us and powering us. And I think, keep this in mind, I was pretty special. You know, we're gonna have a whole bunch of people tromping through this state wanting to be president of this country. And wanting our votes. And I think this is one of those questions that we can be asking. Are they informed? Where do they stand? Where we can help asking them those questions. It can help shape our opinions. is we can carry that forward. And it's probably a good time, and a nice elevation to stop.

And I don't know if there's any other. We're gonna thank you. But are there anything else to say? So there's the information that's important for the reception. But again, let's give Lonnie a round of applause. (applause).

Unstoppable Solar Cycles – Full Video

The Sun, a soda, and a scientific mystery. As a student we learn to ask questions, about everything. Today an important question is “What’s really causing Global Warming?” We’re told it’s CO2, but I was surprised to learn it could be something else. We certainly need to find out the truth. Some of my friends think the debate is over. Now I’m not sure. Taken together the Great Lakes are the largest body of fresh water in the world, with a huge watershed. The water level is down right now, but in the 1980s and 90s there was concern about high water and shore erosion. Weather changes constantly, day to day, month to month, and in yearly cycles. Scientists tell us the climate, like weather, changes in repeating cycles. Sometimes these changes create big problems for people living on planet Earth. It is an amazing world of stark and dramatic beauty. Giant ice flows seem to rise up from the ocean to stand guard over the mountains and fiords where most of its inhabitants live. We are in Greenland; the world’s largest island isolated between the North Atlantic and Arctic oceans.

The Norwegian Erik the Red came here in the 10th century. He named it “Greenland” and his followers settled here. For centuries they called it home. They came here as the saga says, around the year 985, and they found green valleys, valleys with a little, well with trees up to 3 or 4 meters high, a lot of grazing land. And beautiful countryside for a farmer. Back then, it was warmer. There were more trees, It was very good farming land, very fertile, and very green. Rumors of this wonderful land must have spread. So you had more inhabitants. We think of this as a rough life, but they have had fashionable clothing and they have had time to play. It’s been tough, but they have had good times as well. By 1100, the Viking communities in Greenland were vibrant and thriving. Then, within just a few hundred years… they were wiped out… because the climate had changed.

The climate changed, that’s a fact, everybody knows that. So it was getting very hard to be a farmer, and, well, they didn’t get enough hay for the animals, and the animals were freezing and starving so the animals died. And when the animals die, the people die. Around the year 1350 a representative of the Bishop Regatta visited the Western settlement and he wrote home and told that "There’s no one here." In just three hundred years Greenland had grown so cold that all the Vikings who lived there for generations were completely gone. Meet Dr. Willie Soon. He’s a scientist who studies climate. They must have wondered, “What happened to our climate system? Did we do something to cause this?” It would be really, really useful to learn from the Vikings’ example, how do we go about coping with big natural changes in the Sun and the Earth’s climate system? So, how can humans cope with natural changes in the climate system? Scientists study the past, to help them understand what’s causing similar changes today and they’re finding natural cycles that move between periods of warm and cold.

They’ve learned about these cycles by using a variety of techniques – ice cores, sediment cores, and tree rings. And they’ve identified a likely cause. Meet Dr. David Legates. Climate is not a constant. We go through periods where it's much warmer, where it's much colder. We go through periods where it's wetter and drier. So the one thing we can say about climate in the future is that it will change. As the Vikings green land turned to snow and ice, other parts of the world were cooling down, too. In England, the River Thames began to freeze over. So did canals and waterways in the Netherlands. The Earth’s climate was entering what scientists now call “The Little Ice Age.” Conditions were quite severe. In Western Europe, you can see people were actually praying in the church while the glacier is advancing, essentially are praying that, “Please God, don’t let this ice come in and ruin our village.” The Little Ice Age is part of a series of climate-change eras that have been scientifically identified. In Europe, there was a warming period at the height of the Roman empire, followed by a cooling during the Dark Ages. The climate warmed again during Medieval times, followed by “The Little Ice Age” during the Renaissance.

The Little Ice Age ended at about 1850. So over the past 150 or so years, we have been in a cycle where the earth has generally been warming. And this current climate cycle is what most people call… “Global Warming." The Sun is the key ingredient to climate. I mean, 99.9 percent of the energy on the Earth that goes into the climate system comes from the Sun. The Sun, of course, in terms of its light energy output, is probably the only true external driver of the Earth climate system, because there is no other forces on Earth that would supply that amount of energy, for the air to move around, the ocean currents to move around, or trees to grow. So there is no doubt that the Sun is the main driver and supplier of energy to the Earth’s weather and climate system. So – the Sun’s magnetic fields experience regular, natural cycles and scientists have found that when sunspot activity changes, temperatures on earth change.

Variations in radiation from the Sun would logically contribute to variations in temperature and climate on Earth. Dr. Soon says this is important when we’re trying to understand climate patterns. One thing is certain; the Sun’s natural cycles are a primary driver of natural climate cycles here on Earth. You have such a strong indication that there is this close relationship between how much the energy output from the Sun change, and then how much the temperature changes. What about the role that carbon dioxide, or CO2, plays in the Earth’s climate? Is the warming being caused by human-generated carbon-dioxide, is it the Sun, or is it a combination of these and other things? Humans do affect our environment, and one of the ways they do that is change the constituents in the atmosphere. I think the biggest driver is going to be other natural fluctuations, and carbon dioxide plays a small role in that.

The modern warming of Greenland has been going on since 1850; long before human generated CO2 was increasing. In general, there’s a consistent warming pattern. The best available records of temperature and atmospheric CO2 over the past 650,000 years indicate that the Earth’s temperature always rises first, followed by a rise in carbon dioxide, Published papers, clearly, clearly show that it is always the temperature rises first, by at least several hundred years, to a few thousand years. And then the carbon dioxide curve responds – and it follows. So, it is a very clear scientific consensus on this issue. If a warmer earth leads to increased levels of CO2 – and not the other way around – then can humans use of fossil fuel be the cause of global warming? Most of us still have that nagging question in us. “Yes, we have emitted all this carbon dioxide. Are we really, really melting all the icecaps, or is it something even more powerful than that?” I mean, meaning that, could it be even the Sun actually that is doing it? Some scientists think the world’s oceans may play a key role in all of this.

They contain large amounts of carbon dioxide, which, when the Sun heats them up, is released into the atmosphere. We see the same effect when we have a can of soda. As we’ve learned, the bubbles in soda are carbon dioxide – CO2. As you hold the can, it warms up and gives off bubbles of carbon dioxide. Leave an unopened can sitting on a picnic table and when you open it you get a dramatic idea of the impact of the Sun. If you started to warm the surface ocean temperature, the ability for the ocean water to hold this carbon dioxide in the system is a lot less, meaning there would be more of this carbon dioxide effusing out. Scientists are also looking at the icecap on Mars. It’s been shrinking like the Earth’s polar icecaps are shrinking.

Mars isn’t affected by CO2 we create to make iPods or grow more food, but it is affected by the Sun’s radiation. You clearly see drastic warming and melting of the icecap. There is no doubt there's something natural’s occurring that has caused the icecap to melt away on Mars, and the forces could not be human emission of carbon dioxide. The one thing I've learned over about 30 years of study of the climate has been it's a very complicated system. We like to simplify it for discussion with students, with laypersons, but it's really a very complicated system. This is the challenge. Do we really understand what’s happening? We are urged to accept just one theory – that human-generated CO2 is the principal cause of global warming. Yet these and other scientists point to other possible causes. The Journal “Physics and Society” which is a publication of The American Physical Society, with a membership of over 50,000 physicists now welcomes debate of the question.

Scientists are also expressing concern about the distortion of the science. Those views are indeed promoted by political bodies which is the Intergovernmental Panel for Climate Change. And there appears to be a corrupted process, in my opinion, of the bodies. There’s a science document which is really written by scientists, for scientists. There’s also a summary for policymakers. It’s put together by policymakers and in many cases, they go back to the scientists and say "Can you change the science document to match our summary? We want to beef this up. We want to make it look worse." That’s not the way science is done. I think science and scientists are being misused in a lot of ways. And these are all becoming really the war of words, instead of war of evidence and science, that troubles me. So the idea of science is you're really supposed to be skeptical.

So there's always a quest to verify what we know to understand that we haven't made a mistake, and that we continue on and develop science. If we've closed our minds, if we close the doors, we are now shutting ourselves out from the real truth, which is what science is all about after all. Does this trouble you? Why would these scientists be told not to question human created CO2 as a cause of global warming? What if human activities aren’t causing global warming? There is no one in the world who would insist that everything is having to do with the Sun. All we are trying to do is that there is this plausible picture of how the Sun could cause some of the changes in the climate system, and why not study it carefully? It’s very, very difficult, in my opinion, to try to insist and suggest that carbon dioxide, even as of today when we emit this carbon dioxide, is going to drive the climate system. This is a complete false picture, and there is no such scientific basis to support that. I’m not a scientist; I’m a student like you, but everyone knows what science says is true changes, with each new research project, and with every new piece of evidence.

Even research as recent as last year’s is frequently incomplete or inaccurate. From what I’ve heard the cost to reduce CO2 will be enormous and, as the scientists said, this may not even be the cause. We could create disaster for poor countries and hardship for all of us and not change the pattern of warming and cooling. We need to encourage scientists to consider every possibility. We need to get this right. Don’t you agree?.

Adaptation to Climate Change 2 part

Carpathian Development Institute presents Adaptation to climate change impact a local level ( part 2/2) Climate change represents a complex of challenges that impact not only the environment but also the social, economic and health situation which, consequently, will influence each and every one of us. How can we get ready for this? We can mitigate the climate change continuation in the future decades to a significant extent but, unfortunately, we cannot stop it completely. If we wish to mitigate negative impacts of the climate change and protect our health, property and future development, it is inevitable that we also adapt all our activities to the new conditions – we need to adapt to such development. On the other hand, it is not possible to adapt to any and all climate change impacts fully. The more substantial the warming, the more expensive and more problematic the adaptation. Therefore, the first step on the way to negative impacts mitigation is to decrease the greenhouse gases emissions mainly through energy saving measures implementation and by lowering of energy demands of facilities.

The following data provided by the Slovak Hydrometeorological Institute serves to indicate the importance of this adaptation: in case the adaptation measures were not implemented, as many as 145,000 – 290,000 jobs could be jeopardized in Slovakia by 2050 and the GDP could potentially drop by €14 – 27.5 billion. Adaptation can take various forms. Local public administration has to start implementing coordinated adaptation activities which should be in harmony with the planned development of the town or city. Representatives of the relevant administration bodies, together with experts, citizens and businesses should, first of all, prepare the plan of adaptation that would analyse the climate change impacts on the town/city and region, as well as its vulnerability; and which should also recommend measures to be taken. For heat waves impacts mitigation, for example, we should draft the city planning structure in such way as to allow for better air ventilation. Overheating of buildings interior can be attenuated by insulation, shading or by using light colours and reflective surfaces. Cooling down of public spaces can be helped by increasing of the vegetation cover dominated by trees ratio.

For instance, air temperature differences between the air above a supermarket asphalt parking lot and that of a park with densely planted alleyways were as high as 10 – 12°C in Slovakia. Torrential rains impacts can be mitigated, among other measures, by the vegetation area increasing – especially by extending of nature-like forests or of the areas with water-permeable surfaces in the cities. We can promote protection of water courses, wetlands and flood zones or build flood control barriers. Negative impacts of longer droughts can be mitigated (for example) by the rainwater re-using, as well as by the increased utilisation of local water sources or by house wastewater treatment plants constructing. Strong storms and whirlwind impacts can be mitigated e.g. by planting of wind-belts, hedges or by portable barrier systems installation. Local self-government bodies in Slovakia have many authorities they can use for the adaptation. Citizens and businesses should be more than mere observers – they should become a part of the adaptation process and of the adaptation activities implementation process in their capacity of partners, implementing the measures themselves.

The time to act is now! Adaptation to climate change – change in decision – making Swiss – Slovak cooperation programme Carpathian Development Institute – more info: www.kri.sk.

Climate Change & Wildfires Explained in Less Than Three Minutes

John Holdren: While no single wildfire can be said to have been caused by climate change, climate change has been making the fire season in the United States longer, and, on average, more intense. I'm John Holdren, President Obama's Science Adviser, here to talk about climate change and wildfires, a topic that's on the mind of many who are grappling with tragic losses from the recent spate of uncontrolled fires in the northwestern United States and Canada. The influence of climate change on the wildfire regime comes not just from the higher summer temperatures and reduced summer soil moisture that go with global warming. Climate change is also bringing us more dead trees — kindling, in effect, killed by a combination of heat stress, water stress, and attacks by pests and pathogens that multiply faster in a warmer world. The National Climate Assessment, released in May, tells us — consistent with earlier studies — that longer, hotter, drier summers are projected to continue to increase the frequency and the intensity of large wildfires in the United States. In the western United States, the average annual area burned by large wildfires has increased severalfold in recent decades.

The evidence is strong that climate change is responsible at least in part for this increase. And the west is not the only U.S. region affected by wildfire. Today, the southeastern United States leads the nation in number of wildfires, averaging 45,000 fires per year, and this number continues to increase. And nationwide, the eight worst years on record in terms of area burned have all occurred since the year 2000. Wildfires, of course, are dangerous to human life and health, costly in terms of property loss, and generally harmful to ecosystems. They destroy valued timber and wildlife, as well as homes and other built infrastructure. They promote soil erosion. They increase the risk from floods and landslides, and the damage can extend far beyond the location of the fire itself, through the impact of the smoke plume on air quality far downwind, and the destruction of downstream fisheries choked with silt eroded from slopes denuded by fire.

In short, wildfires accentuated by climate change are putting communities, lives, health, jobs, and valuable natural resources at risk. I encourage you to learn more about the science of this issue by visiting whitehouse.gov/climatechange..

Bracing for a Changing Climate on Three Hawaiian Mountains

[ wind ] What if the survival of our species was in jeopardy? And the only way to increase our chances of survival was to spread our population to new places. Knowing that any one place we settle could become dangerously inhospitable. Would you move? Would you move? Now imagine that we are talking about some of the rarest plants on Earth. Like this one. It is among the last of its kind. On the brink of anilhilation. They barely cling to survival. Often lost in all the talk about climate change is what will happen to the rare plants. Some might argue that it's survival of the fittest. Only the strong and adaptable will survive, and some of these plants might just not make it. It's the natural order of things, right? The gasses that humans release through the burning of coal and oil, as well as deforestation, have dramatically changed the Earth's balance and carbon cycle. This has led to altered weather patterns and an incredible host of other changes.

Resulting in shifts in temperatures and precipitation. According to the International Panel on Climate Change and related studies in Hawaii, we can plan on 20% less precipitation in the winter months and actually a small increase in rainfall in the summer. Some places will get wetter, but most are becoming drier and warmer. You could imagine that this has real world effects on plants. When a species has depended on the same weather patterns for millennia, this reletively quick weather change can be the difference between life and death. So what does this mean for rare plants like this one? It's true that these rare plants are no longer safe in just one or a handful of places, but there is hope. We can increase their chances of survival by spreading the populations to new places where we believe they can survive despite a changing climate. It's a classic "don't put all your eggs in one basket" approach.

Generations of people have worked to protect national parks, and now they represent one of the best opportunities in the world for these species to survive. [ ticking clock ] The National Park Service at Haleakala and Hawaii Volcanoes have combined resources and know-how with our park partners to give three dozen species a fighting chance to remain on the planet in the midst of climate change. For this project we chose very rare plant species. Some are even endangered with less than ten individuals left within the park. We go to these plants. We collect their seeds. Bring them back to our greenhouse and grow them into seedlings just like one. Then with the help of university scientists, we determined the best places to establish these new populations within the park. We go and plant them in these new sites, and then we wait a year or two, or even three, and go back and see how many of these plants have survived. This geranium is a very special plant. It's among the last of its kind. Its Hawaiian name is "nohoanu" which means cold dweller. That means it's dependent on the fog and mist, and cloudy drip that comes across the slopes of Haleakala every afternoon. Unfortunately, climate scientists think that Haleakala is going to become a warmer, drier place in the near future.

And that's bad news for Geranium arboreum. To try and save it, we're out planting it in a gulch not far from here, where we know it'll get the fog and cold cloudy drip that it needs. We out planted over a hundred geraniums in this gulch. Let's go see them. And they're even producing flowers and fruit. They get so big and strong because of all the fog and moisture coming down this gulch. That's the case now, but will it be in the case in the future? We're trying to answer those questions by studying their habitat and life cycles. And hopefully helping them to survive. Don't worry Kamele. We're going to save these plants. Together we'll do all we can to save rare Hawaiian plants. So that the forest our kids inherit will look like the ones our grandparents left us. .

Physical Geology – Climate Change

>>Today we will talk about climate change. Is our climate changing? Now you have to be careful here. You have to think about climate change on a longer timescale than changes in weather in a day, or a week, or a month, or even a year. You have to think of it in terms of hundreds of years. For example, for the last hundred years or so, global temperature has been rising, but very slowly. It's rising, but slowly. In 1998, there was a paper published where a graph was shown that showed that the temperature change over the past 2,000 years showed a gradual cooling but then a dramatic increase in the last hundred years. And this graph is commonly referred to as the hockey stick graph. And basically you think of the handle of the hockey stick would be the gradual decline of temperatures, and then the rise in temperature in the last hundred years would be that part of the hockey stick that you hit the puck with. Now the issue is not so much about whether this has occurred or not, because it appears, we think we have good evidence that temperature has increased.

But the issue has become: what is causing the increase? Is it natural or is it related to human activity? This is the debate now. The argument for human activity is the following: burning of fossil fuels and so on causes release of CO2, which is a greenhouse gas. That greenhouse gas goes up into the atmosphere. It causes heat to be re-radiated back to the Earth, and that can cause global warming. Most but not all scientists believe this is taking place today. For example, 96 percent of all climate scientists think that we are influencing our climate. So what are the implications of this temperature increase? There are many that we need to consider. Here are a few. As temperature goes up, ice melts, and sea level goes up. 80 percent of the people on the Earth live near the coasts, and that has profound implications for cities like New York and New Orleans, which are right near the coast. There will also be changes in crop patterns. And according to many climate scientists, extreme weather will become more likely..

Climate Change And Soybean Research

Soybeans are a 137 billion dollar a year crop worldwide. With that in mind, U.S. Department of Agriculture researchers are studying how climate change might affect soybean production. We're looking for variation among soybeans in how they respond to rising atmospheric carbon dioxide concentration. Bunce says he wants to find which soybean varieties farmers should grow to take advantage of increased atmospheric carbon dioxide. Rising CO2 tends to stimulate yields of many different kinds of crops and what we're trying to do is just optimize that stimulation by finding the varieties that respond best when grown at high CO2. And ultimately we're trying to find the genes that are responsible for that, but the first step is just to find varieties that respond better than others. Bunce says finding the most CO2 adaptable soybeans is important because it will help maintain an abundant and affordable food supply. The U.

S. is remarkably lucky in terms of our natural resources. The amount of money that we spend per capita for food is very low compared to most other places in the world, just because we have such abundant food crops and resources to grow them. This is just trying to keep that favorable balance of food supply intact as the climate changes. Soybeans are increasingly used for human consumption and alternative fuel, but are still predominantly used for animal feed. In Beltsville, Maryland for the U.S. Department of Agriculture, I'm Bob Ellison..