CSS Speaker Series: Tackling the Climate Change Problem: We Can't Afford to Wait
Wednesday, April 30, 5:30 pm - 8:00 pm
Where: North Creek Events Center - View Map
Contact: Alex Webster, Alumni Relations Manager, email@example.com, 425-352-3394
Tackling the Climate Change Problem: We Cannot Afford to Wait
Dr. Pieter P. Tans
NOAA Earth System Research Laboratory
The increases of carbon dioxide that has been observed in the atmosphere and in the oceans add up to the total amount emitted since pre-industrial times. The conclusion that the increases are directly due to human activities is further strengthened by additional independent evidence. Humans dominate the current imbalance in the global carbon cycle. Collectively, we are also the driving force of climate change since the current growth of climate forcing by long lived greenhouse gases is almost completely due to increases of atmospheric carbon dioxide.
The situation we find ourselves in is urgent for two reasons. The rate of increase of emissions since 2000 has been above the most rapid growth scenario envisioned by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. Transformation of our energy infrastructure will take decades, and developing nations desire rapid economic growth. Therefore, continued massive emissions are likely, even accelerating in the near future. Secondly, how much more emissions are still "safe" in terms of not triggering climate change that may be very hard to cope with? We do not know whether the earth system is close to, or has already passed, one or more "tipping points" at which feedbacks in the climate system will generate further warming, sea level rise, changes in precipitation and many other impacts, outside of our control. Current evidence and understanding suggests that we will have to both adapt to significant climate change as well as mitigate emissions. With respect to mitigation, a complete transformation of our energy system is necessary.
Dr. Pieter Tans is a Senior Scientist at NOAA's Earth System Research Laboratory. He earned his Ph.D. in Experimental Physics, Rijkusuniversiteit Groningen, The Netherlands. He is the author and co-author of numerous articles studying the carbon dioxide levels in the atomosphere.
Please register online to reserve your spot at this event.
Wednesday, April 30th 2008
UW Bothell, North Creek Events Center