Start Date: March 15, 2017 - 04:15 PM
End Date: March 15, 2017 - 05:15 PM
Abstract: We know from weather station records that Earth's surface temperature has increased on average by about 1oC
in the last 100 years with polar regions warming much more. Sea
level is increasing, ice sheets are melting and the outer layer of
Earth is accumulating heat energy. We know also that planet Earth
has an atmosphere that creates a natural greenhouse effect, keeping
our surface warmer than it would otherwise be. Human activities are
substantially increasing the atmospheric concentrations of greenhouse
gases, principally carbon dioxide and methane, to levels far above
those that have existed for the past 600,000 years. Only about half
of the carbon dioxide currently being emitted into the atmosphere is
taken up by natural systems; the other half adds to atmospheric
concentration, annually increasing the greenhouse effect.
do not know, on the other hand, all the details of our complex
climate system sufficiently well to predict the exact consequence of
greenhouse gas increases on global temperature. Should we wait for
greater certainty about global warming or should we take steps
immediately to stabilize possible climate change?
trends suggest that allowing “business as usual” is a risky path.
World population has exceeded 7 billion and may rise to 9 billion in
the lifetimes of our children. Standard of living is also increasing
globally, but is accompanied by increases in per capita energy
consumption. Because 80% of society’s energy presently is produced
by burning fossil fuels, the inevitable population increase and drive
towards higher standard of living simultaneously aggravates the
enhanced greenhouse gas condition and, with it, global warming.
alternative to “business as usual” is to unleash our engineering,
economic, and political entrepreneurs to improve energy conservation
and efficiency and move us towards greater use of renewable energy
sources. Global warming may be the "smoke alarm" that
pushes us to action.
Bio: Prof. David Chapman is Distinguished Professor of Geophysics and Dean Emeritus of the Graduate School at the University of Utah. Dr. Chapman received his B.S. and M.S. degrees in physics from the University of British Columbia and his Ph.D. in geophysics from the University of Michigan. Chapman led an active research group studying thermal aspects of geological processes including geothermal energy and global warming. He is author of more than 160 publications including two Scientific American articles, four papers in Nature and one in Science. He was a faculty member at the University of Utah from 1976 through 2015. In 2006 Chapman was awarded the Rosenblatt Prize, the University of Utah’s highest award for excellence in research, teaching, and academic leadership. In 2008 he received the Governor’s Medal in Science and Technology for the State of Utah and was elected as Fellow of the American Geophysical Union. In 2010 he was elected to the rank of Distinguished Professor of Geology and Geophysics at the University of Utah.