Modern Climate Change and Related Issues – Malcolm B Hart

Saturday 8th October 2022 1:00PM – 1:45PM
Location/Venue: All Saints Church All Saints Road Sidmouth EX10 8ES

There is now a growing acceptance that natural climate change, caused by planetary processes, is being over-printed by anthropogenic (human induced) changes to the Earth’s climate system.

At 1.1°C average global temperature above pre-1850 levels we are seeing increasing numbers of extreme events including increased storminess, local flooding, more frequent (and intense) heatwaves and extensive wildfires. The COP26 meeting in Glasgow (November 2021) attempted to limit the temperature rise to 1.5°C though there is an admission that 1.8°C by the end of the century is a more likely outcome. Climate change, increased sea levels and coastal management issues, loss of dissolved O2 in the oceans, coral bleaching, loss of biodiversity and increased ocean acidification will impact all of us as we go forward in the 21 st Century. The ‘elephant in the room’, which we cannot control, is the release of methane and carbon dioxide from the sea floor and the melting of the Arctic permafrost. Both have the potential to throw COP26 plans off course.

The picture is of melting Siberian permafrost, which releases CO2 and CH4, is caused by the global rise in temperatures.

Malcolm Hart DSc FGS CSci CGeol is Emeritus Professor in Micropalaeontology at the University of Plymouth. His research on microfossils appears in over 400 scientific publications and a number of edited books.

In a research career extending over 60 years, he has undertaken field work all over the world, especially in Europe, USA, India and Brazil. Climate change has figured in this research and recent work on estuaries in S.W. England is also looking at how these have changed through glacial/interglacial cycles as well as at the present time.

Here is Malcolm doing field work in the Austrian Alps.