* Jonathan Overpeck
* Pacific Science Center, Eames IMAX Theatre
* Wednesday, April 2, 2008, 7:30 - 8:30
* Admission is $5.00. Admission is FREE to Faculty, Staff and Students of the University of Washington, Pacific Science Center Members, and Town Hall Members.
The reality of global warming, reflected in a broad spectrum of climate system change, is now unequivocal and human complicity in global warming has been established beyond a reasonable doubt. Many aspects of future global climate change will require mitigation efforts, but two major issues are already coming into focus. The first is global sea level rise coupled with increasing tropical storm intensities. The most recent estimates suggest that 1meter or more of sea level rise could occur by 2100. Although coastal areas could thus be big losers in the face of continued climate change, recent climate change coupled with climate change projections indicate that the American West could be a more near-term casualty. Surface air temperatures are rising faster than elsewhere in the coterminous United States and will likely continue to rise steadily. These temperature increases are already causing snow to fall increasingly as rain, and also to melt earlier in the year. Thus, even in the absence of a precipitation decrease, there will be less snow-related run-off and related surface water flow. There is a growing scientific consensus that winters will become much hotter and significantly drier due to the greenhouse-gas climate forcing. On top of these trends is the likelihood that multi-year, even multi-decade, drought will also become more common. The recent western drought - already the worst of the instrumental era - could be a harbinger of greater aridity to come, and also a significant threat to the West as we know it. Fortunately, there are solutions if we choose to act aggressively.
Official Website: http://www.pacsci.org/lectures/
Added by Pacific Science Center on January 25, 2008