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Climate Change: The Long and Short of It
February 28, 2017 @ 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm
Climate Change: The Long and Short of It
Dr. Dork Sahagian, author of A User’s Guide for Planet Earth
Dork Sahagian is a Professor of Earth & Environmental Sciences at Lehigh University. (Yes, “Dork” is his real name!) As a part of his research Dork co-authored pivotal reports of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), which was jointly awarded the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize with former vice president Al Gore. He was also the Principal Scientific Reviewer for Global Environmental Outlook (GEO-5) of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP). But, it is the ability of this neighborhood professor to explain complex systems of climate and climate change in scientifically sound, plain language that most sets him apart for many of us.
Drawing on his recent book, “A User’s Guide for Planet Earth,” Dork will talk in detail about drivers of climate change, including natural drivers, which have always been with us, and the more recent and future drivers, brought about largely by human activities. In the context of ancient climate and a history of climate change over the last 600 million years, Dr. Sahagian explains the natural drivers of changes to climate, including variations in the earth’s orbit around the sun, solar cycles and natural variations in the climate system (such as those related to El Nino).
Major drivers of current and future climate change are, of course, greenhouse gas emissions and the compounding effect they have on water vapor, itself acting as a greenhouse gas. He calls the CO2-water feedback loop a “major area of confusion among the American public” and offers one of the clearest explanations I have ever read. He also gives careful consideration to the tricky role of aerosols. He explores the profound role of carbon cycle sources and sinks as Earth attempts to rebalance under the sudden shift of vast quantities of carbon.
We hope you’ll bring your questions and join us. The meeting is Tuesday, February 28, at 7:00 at TEKPark (9999 Hamilton Boulevard, Breinigsville, PA 18031, between Kutztown and Allentown). Meetings are free and open to the public. After the meeting, please plan to stick around and chat with friends old and new. Light snacks will be served. Hope to see you there!
Professor Sahagian holds a B.S. in Physics from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, an M.S. in Geosciences from Rutgers University, and a Ph.D in Geophysics from the University of Chicago. He served the Navy as a NORDA Oceanographer at Dartmouth College, Associate Research Scientist at Lamont-Doherty (Columbia University), and Research Scientist at the Byrd Polar Research Center (Ohio State University). He was Executive Director of the Global Analysis, Integration, and Modelling Task Force of the International Geosphere Biosphere Programme (IGBP/GAIM) at the Institute for the Study of Earth, Oceans, and Space at the University of New Hampshire. In 2004, he joined Lehigh University as Director of the Environmental Initiative until 2010, where he continues to teach and research in paleoclimatology, volcanology, stratigraphy, geodynamics and tectonics, global hydrology, sea level, the environmental impacts of human activities, and science education. He authored the book, “A User’s Guide for Planet Earth,” published in 2015.
For questions, contact Vera Cole, [masked] .
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Free DVD with MAREA membership (https://www.themarea.org/join.shtml) While supplies last, all new and renewing MAREA members will receive a free copy of “Saving Sunshine, Keeping the Lights on with Batteries and Solar Power,” the 30-minute DVD produced by MAREA this year with funding from the Berks Community Foundation and distributed by Bullfrog Films. It’s terrific film, offering an interesting and easily understood explanation of the electricity grid and distribution generation, especially the role of batteries with solar. MAREA is a 501(c)3 non-profit. Donations and memberships are how we keep the lights on. You can join at the meeting or anytime online (https://www.themarea.org/join.shtml). Thanks for your help.