Climate Change: Glaciers, People and Options

Climate Change: Glaciers, People and Options

Glaciers are one of Nature’s best thermometers, and perhaps its most sensitive and unambiguous indicator of climate change. This webinar will discuss the “inconvenient truth” of global climate change through:

  • an introduction to climate change,
  • a brief look at how past climate changes have impacted Peruvian cultures,
  • the latest evidence for the recent acceleration of the rate of glacier loss world-wide,
  • evidence that some glaciers like the Quelccaya ice cap (the world’s largest tropical ice cap) in the Andes of Peru are now smaller than they have been in over 6,000 years.

This evidence will then be discussed in terms of our “inconvenient mind”. Here we will look at some of our basic belief systems, as identified by behavior analysts, that relate to how humans respond to climate change issues. In addition, I will discuss what I see as our options and the greatest challenges of the 21st Century.

About the Speaker(s)

Lonnie G. Thompson

Lonnie G. Thompson

Lonnie G. Thompson is a Distinguished University Professor in the School of Earth Sciences and Senior Research Scientist at Byrd Polar Research Center at Ohio State University. Thompson is one of the world’s foremost authorities on paleoclimatology and glaciology. He has led 58 expeditions during the last 35 years, conducting ice-core drilling programs in the Polar Regions as well as on tropical and subtropical ice fields in 16 countries.

Thompson and his team were the first to develop lightweight solar-powered drilling equipment for the acquisition of histories from ice fields in the high Andes of Peru and on Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania. The results from these ice-core-derived climate histories, published in more than 200 articles, have contributed greatly toward improved understanding of Earth’s climate system, both past and present. This is a prerequisite for efforts to predict future changes.

Thompson’s research has resulted in major revisions in the field of paleoclimatology, in particular, by demonstrating how tropical regions have undergone significant climate variability, countering an earlier view that higher latitudes dominate climate change.

Lonnie is a member of the National Academy of Sciences, and has been awarded the National Medal of Science (the highest honor the U.S. awards to American scientists), the Benjamin Franklin Medal in Earth and Environmental Science, and the Friendship Award from the People’s Republic of China.

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What Attendees Are Saying

  • “ Here in Minnesota we're using the webinars to provide current research updates. The information is pertinent and timely and by using the OSU webinars for content, we can spend time working on other aspects of climate adaptation. – B. Liukkonen, U of MN Extension

  • “ This is one of the most useful and accessible resources in the Great Lakes basin. Consider it a cornerstone of a growing network of climate professionals in this region. ”

  • “ Thank you, OSU, for providing such a useful tool! Keep’em coming! ”

  • “ Thanks for these webinars. A great resource. ”

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