The science, says Ben Kirtman, is absolute. The earth is warming, and this is not a good thing. Polar ice is melting. Sea levels are rising. The world is hotter, and extreme weather patterns are becoming the norm.
The December 2015 accord at the climate change summit in Paris by 196 nations is heralded as a giant leap forward in combating greenhouse gas emissions. Many hope it is not too little, too late.
Because, as Kirtman says, the earth is changing.
Kirtman is a professor at the University of Miami’s Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science and was co-chair of the NOAA Climate Prediction Task Force. He was a lead author of the latest report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change used during the Paris summit to achieve the unprecedented unanimous agreement.
To many living in South Florida, climate change is personal. As Provost Thomas J. LeBlanc told hundreds of scientists visiting the University in November 2015 prior to the Paris summit, Miami is “ground zero” for climate change and sea level rise. Even as far back as the 1950s, some scientists talked about rising seas inundating the Mississippi Valley and putting Miami underwater.
The University of Miami is marshaling the collective problem-solving muscle of all its schools and colleges to help answer a mosaic of complex questions about the science of climate change. Researchers, engineers, architects, marine scientists, and geologists are exploring new technologies and new ways to live in this changing world. Educators are reaching out to local schools to share the latest science with young learners, the next line of defense against climate change.
Much is known, and much remains to be discovered about the changing climate.
“No longer can we, as a society,” says University of Miami President Julio Frenk, “disregard its impact on the world around us.”
- Aerial video: Courtesy of Patrick Longman & Camera Copters, Inc.
- Opening musical score: Frost School of Music Professor Gary M. Lindsay, director
of studio jazz writing.
Message from UM President Julio Frenk
Follow on Twitter: @Julio_Frenk
- University scientist’s tool predicts harsh weather February 19, 2021Ben Kirtman, a professor of atmospheric sciences, is the primary architect of the multi-model Subseasonal Experiment, or SubX, which forecast a breakdown of the polar vortex that led to frigid temperatures in Texas and other states.
- Frigid weather exposes the nation’s frail power grids February 18, 2021With cold temperatures knocking out electricity to millions of people in Texas and other parts of the country, the United States’ aging infrastructure is once again under scrutiny. University of Miami experts say upgrades are badly needed.
- Scientists study the impacts of aerosolized algae January 28, 2021Using fruit flies as human stand-ins, a multidisciplinary team did research on the short- and long-term health effects of exposure to aerosolized cyanobacteria.
- Sea Secrets lectures focus on innovative research January 22, 2021The series—which will feature experts discussing their groundbreaking research on corals, ocean and atmospheric science, and how climate change is forcing communities to alter their long-range plans—will begin this week.
What is Your Carbon Footprint?
Use this calculator from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to determine how much a carbon footprint you and your family create with your daily activities. It measures three areas: home energy, transportation, and waste.
What Others are Saying
Read what news media outlets and other sources are saying about climate change and the work of the University of Miami in this … Read More
The Climate Change Special Report, developed over nearly six months by University Communications, showcases the work of scientists, researchers, faculty, students and alumni in the area of climate … More