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Big Idea Talks: The Big Melt: Glaciers, Permafrost, And Climate: What You Need to Know
June 23 @ 7:00 pm - 8:00 pm PDT
Glacier coverage on the Olympic Peninsula has decreased 45% in the last 42 years; if this rate continues, the remaining 250 glaciers will be gone in less than 50 years.
Guest speaker Bob Carson, Phillips Professor of Geology and Environmental Studies, will present on the current state of glaciers, an important supply of water for agriculture, and sea ice are shrinking, changing Earth’s albedo.
Permafrost is melting, releasing methane and carbon dioxide and causing thermocarst (land surface configuration that results in a region underlain by permafrost) and these losses of ice result in positive feedback which are accelerating global warming.
The process of thermokarst leads to uneven subsidence of buildings and roads. Global climate change is accompanied by sea level rise and ocean acidification, as well as more violent weather, drought, and forest fires.
We must stop burning fossil fuels, harness more alternative energy like wind and solar, capture carbon, and conserve.
Bob Carson received his PhD in Geology from the University of Washington. He taught at North Carolina State University and the University of Oregon before joining the Whitman College faculty in 1975.
His books include Hiking Guide to Washington Geology, Where the Great River Bends, and more. His passions include mountaineering, glaciers, volcanoes, whitewater, and forests.