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Professor Richard Alley, Carl F. Cranor Visiting Phi Beta Kappa Scholar

“Climate has always changed naturally”—How climate history increases concerns about fossil-fuel burning"

The hills around Los Angeles have always burned naturally, which proves they are burnable, so we worry about people shooting illegal fireworks.  Climate has always changed naturally, which proves climate is changeable, so we seek to understand.  Many past climate changes were discovered first from their effects on life then, showing how important the subject is.  Of the many causes of those past climate changes, natural shifts in carbon dioxide appear to have been the “biggest control knob”.  If we burn most of the known resource of fossil fuels and release the carbon dioxide, we could cause one of the largest changes in Earth’s history, more rapidly than almost any other event.  Testing our models against climate history shows that they are accurate, or that climate has changed even more than modeled. “Climate has always changed naturally” thus points to greater concern about humans causing climate change.

The lecture is supported by the Phi Beta Kappa, Environmental Studies, Geosciences, and Academic Affairs.

Thursday, October 24, 2019 at 6:30pm to 9:30pm

Chapman Center Auditorium
One Trinity Place, San Antonio, Texas 78212

Event Type

Science and Technology

Type

Lecture

Department
Environmental Studies
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