When the Weather and Climate Summit was established in 1985 the goal was to bring together weather-casters and meteorologists from the U.S. and Canada with scientists and researchers. Their annual summit of 2017 was held in Breckenridge, Colorado, from January 8 to 12. One of the many topics at the summit was to prepare for the incoming Trump administration that was to include outspoken climate change deniers.
Dr. Jim White teaches at the University of Colorado. He specializes in Global change, paleoclimate dynamics, and the human impact on climate.
In a very entertaining and easy to understand way he addressed the five topics climate change deniers most often bring up:
2. How can we insignificant humans change the climate?
3. How can something like CO2 that is in such low concentrations have such an impact – and by the way isn’t CO2 good for plants.
4. We have seen about 1 degree of warming – why worry about such a small change.
5. I heard there was no warming recently for several years – does that prove climate change is not happening.
Dr. Jim White begins with the question
1. Are we going to make the world uninhabitable for humans and other species
In Part TWO Dr. Jim White turns his attention to ice. The accelerated melting of the Arctic sea ice and the ice caps of Greenland and Antarctica.
Concentrations of carbon dioxide – after water vapor the most important greenhouse gas – are measured in parts per million. The organization 350 dot org expresses in its name that – to be safe from catastrophic climate change – we should not go over 350 ppm of CO2 in the atmosphere. However in late 2016 the measurements at Mauna Loa, Hawaii, went over 400 ppm for the first time in modern history. (And on March 9, 2017 the reading was 405 ppm)
When a visionary scientist, Charles Keeling, began daily readings for CO2 concentration from Mauna Loa in 1958, the concentrations were only 318 ppm. And the pre-industrial age “normal” was 280 ppm. Hundreds of weather stations around the world are now recoding CO2 concentrations and they all show the same accelerating trend – going up.