Cornell University

Climate Change Seminar - The Science and Impacts of Climate Change

Monday, February 22, 2016 at 3:35pm to 4:35pm

Plant Science Building, 233

Led by: Art DeGaetano (Earth & Atmospheric Sciences)



So how can adding a bit more of a gas that makes up much less than 1% of the Earth’s atmosphere be responsible for causing the greatest environmental dilemma of our and our future generations’ time?  In this talk, I will develop a very simple model of the Earth system.  Then using some basic math and physics, show how altering the atmosphere’s greenhouse gas concentration requires that the temperature of the Earth’s surface increase.  We will discuss how other man-made influences also affect the climate system and demonstrate how many of these changes are exacerbated by feedbacks.

With this foundation, we will then take a trip back in time to examine how atmospheric carbon dioxide has influenced the Earth’s temperature in the ancient past, how temperatures over the last century, and how continued increases in greenhouse gas concentrations are projected to affect the climate of the next 100 years.  We will look at some of these expected changes from both a global and a local prospective.


The 2016 Cornell University Climate Change Seminar meets Monday afternoons through May 9. This university-wide seminar provides important views on the critical issue of climate change, drawing from many perspectives and disciplines. Experts from both Cornell University and other universities will present an overview of the science of climate change and climate change models, the implications for agriculture, ecosystems, and food systems, and provide important economic, ethical, and policy insights on the issue.

The seminar is free and open to the Cornell and Ithaca Community at large, and will be videotaped and available via Webex.

Organized and sponsored by the Department of Biological and Environmental Engineering, the Cornell Institute for Climate Change and Agriculture, and the Atkinson Center for a Sustainable Future

Event Type



Atkinson Center for a Sustainable Future, Sustainability





Art DeGaetano

Speaker Affiliation

Cornell University

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