The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

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Oceanography expert discusses climate change

Fred T. Mackenzie from the Department of Oceanography at the University of Hawaii spoke to a group of students and faculty Wednesday evening concerning the ever-controversial problem of climate change.

He addressed the factors that influence climate and environmental change, which he identified as anything ranging from solar radiation and ocean circulation to plate tectonics and human activities.

Mr. Mackenzie very clearly stated facts— low carbon dioxide means low pressure resulting in cooler weather and high carbon dioxide emission resulting in high pressures and warmer weather. These higher carbon emissions are mainly due to the deforestation in places such as Brazil, the Congo Basin and Southeast Asia.

He explained to the group how we as humans have “always been dealing with a natural greenhouse effect, now we are just enhancing it.”

However, junior and biochemistry major Emily Harry said that she was “skeptical of his presentation and saw flaws in his logic.”

Sophomore Michael Whitacre seemed to echo her concerns saying, “That guy was Al Gore’s political representative sent to save face.”

Regardless of their criticism, Mackenzie explained the atmospheric composition and temperature of the past 80,000 years and what he called the  ‘problem of climate change.’ Mackenzie continued to try to convince the audience through data—proving the observations of a warming planet. These charts and graphs showed a lower stratosphere satellite record because of depletion of the stratosphere ozone, the cooling of the planet for a few years due to Mt. Pinatubo erupting, and a decline in a snow covered Northern Hemisphere from 1920 to 2010. 

Mackenzie made it very clear to the audience that glaciers are melting, soon glacier parks will not exist and that the planet needs help now. He mentioned how Greenland is melting and in the past seven years, 385 cubic miles of ice have been lost. Ending his lecture with the consequences, he insisted what we as americans and people of the world face if we do not change.

Consequences included increased temperatures, the destruction of islands, and the acidification of oceans such as the Pacific Ocean. The lecture left the room buzzing with conversation among the young college students.

 

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