Public Lecture: “Global Warming: Coming Ready or Not” by Kevin Trenberth

May 5, 2010

The Lecture

IPAM invites you to a public lecture by Kevin E. Trenberth of the National Center for Atmospheric Research.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010, 5:00 pm
Haines Hall, Room 39
Reception in the IPAM building following the lecture



Global warming is unequivocally happening, according to the IPCC, and is caused by human activities, mostly the burning of fossil fuels. The evidence is now widespread from many variables including global and regional temperatures, sea temperatures, sea level rise, melting ice, changes in precipitation patterns, intensity, and rain versus snow, accompanied by changes in storms and atmospheric circulation and drought. Climate models forced with observed changes in atmospheric composition show that the human influence on climate has exceeded the natural variability since about 1970, and the ability to simulate the changes provides confidence in future projections. The long lifetime of carbon dioxide and the energy infrastructure guarantee future increases in emissions for several decades and thus substantial further global warming.  Efforts to control emissions are important and promising but unlikely to make adequate inroads to slow the problem unless there is a major change in attitudes and the political will to implement changes. Our planet is potentially changing into one that will not be recognizable in 50 years and beyond. We must build a more sustainable way of life; we owe it to the future generations.