The Sustainability Studies program at IUP holds an “In the Spotlight” talk every semester focusing on one of its member’s specialties. This semester, Jonathan Warnock gave a talk about the basics of climate change and the significance of climate reconstructions in understanding long-term climate processes and Earth’s future.
When considering climate change, it is important to think about what the Earth’s climate system is changing from and what it is changing to. Warnock used the record of Earth’s climate to show how human activities such as fossil fuel burning and land use change are shifting the climate from a stable to unstable condition.
The factors which control Earth’s climate were also discussed. This allowed for a consideration of what makes anthropogenic climate change unique against the background of hundreds of millions of years of climatic variability.
The talk concluded with a consideration of how scientists predict Earth’s climate future and what those predictions entail.
An engaged audience composed of students, faculty and community members provided questions and discussion following the talk.
Department of Geoscience