Wyoming temperature trends in a 15,000 year context
Tuesday, February 19, 2013
6:00 PM – 7:00 PM
Climate change has become a major topic of public debate, but the discussion often focuses on the ‘global’ climate. This talk aims to look at the recent changes here in Wyoming, and place them in the context of the climatic history of the state. Climates always change, and the temperatures of Wyoming are no exception. So how have Wyoming temperatures changed? Are the changes consistent with the scientific consensus about global change arising from greenhouse gas emissions? Are other factors at work? This talk focuses on the observations from the state to address these questions, and uses the past 15,000 years as a way to also discuss the potential impacts of continued future temperature changes.
The talk will work through a series of publically-discussed hypotheses about global warming starting with the decades old prediction that greenhouse gases would cause our temperatures to rise by the year 2000. This prediction will be compared with those arising from the expected impacts of solar change, global land-use and urban development, and additional patterns of natural climate variability. By placing all of the hypotheses on the table, the talk aims to look at which ones best explain the observations for the state.
The long-view of climate history provided by the geologic record of Wyoming helps us to evaluate the role of various natural causes of climate change. The geologic record also provides evidence of past droughts, wildfires, and forest changes including beetle outbreaks, and helps to show how such natural resource impacts may relate to temperature changes.
At 6 p.m. Feb. 19 in the library auditorium - Open to the public. Bryan Shuman, associate professor at the University of Wyoming, will present "Wyoming temperature trends in a 15,000 year context."
Geologists of Jackson Hole