About the Class

Global climate change will bring major changes to the Pacific Northwest, both on the land and in the coastal environment. This presentation will summarize these projected impacts, drawing on the published work of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC 2013/2014), the latest National Climate Assessment (2017/2018) and the Climate Impacts Group (CIG) at the University of Washington. The global predictions of changing temperature and precipitation will be addressed at the PNW regional scale with discussion of implications for agriculture, water resources, snowpack, sea-level rise, forest and ocean ecosystems.

Follow-up session questions and answers:

What is your view of the strategies outlined in "Project Drawdown"?
One key takeaway for me is the need to globally improve access to education for girls and women, public health/family planning. Once global society is carbon-neutral, we still have to remove that atmospheric burden of excess CO2…back to 350 or 300 ppmv (near the pre-industrial value)

What about the global population issue?
This is a serious issue for the developing world, but remember that the carbon footprint of one US citizen is greater than 20 people in sub-Saharan Africa, and the most significant action to reduce our personal/family carbon footprint is to have one fewer children (ouch).

Carbon capture and sequestration (CCS), Direct air capture (DAC)? Won't putting CO2 underground create just one more 'toxics' problem?
I don't see a toxics problem here, given the great availability of safe geological storage sites. We must accelerate this technology DAC, and put a price on carbon emissions.

How to change one's daily living habits to reduce the carbon footprint? Options to put up home solar panels, decreasing cost rate, government (federal/state/local) incentives?
Have a look at 'Taming Bigfoot', a recent PNW community effort to reduce individual/family carbon footprints. Consider an EV when replacing the family car, consider home solar panels.

Within the family, within oneself: Ways to deal with recurring feelings of 'eco-guilt', 'climate depression'?
How to discuss the climate emergency with children, at the family dinner table, with the difficult climate-denying relative or neighbor? This is a very difficult area. One key: deep listening, finding common values with that relative or neighbor, before launching into the science.


Dr. Gammon was co-author of the First Scientific Assessment by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change in 1990. As Chief of the Carbon Dioxide Program, he directed the US program to globally monitor atmospheric CO2 (NOAA Environmental Research Laboratories, Boulder, 1982-84). He has taught undergraduate and graduate courses in chemistry, oceanography, atmospheric science, biogeochemical cycles, and climate change. His research has emphasized measurement and interpretation of atmospheric trace gases critical to climate change. Dr Gammon remains actively engaged in improving public understanding of the climate change challenge.

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