Wallace S. Broecker
Newberry Professor of Geology, Columbia University and Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory
The Co2 Emergency: What Can We Do About It?
Friday, April 19, 2013
Wang Center Auditorium
Wally Broecker is the Newberry Professor of Geology in the Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences at Columbia University. He is also a scientist at Columbia's Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, and an Academic Committee member of the Earth Institute. An alumnus of Columbia, Broecker has been a fixture in the Columbia community for over 55 years–he received his BA, MA, and PhD from Columbia University. His earned his doctorate in geology in 1958 and was appointed to the Columbia faculty in 1959.
Broecker's studies regarding biogeochemical cycles of carbon and the influence of climate change on polar ice and ocean sediments have earned him decades of international attention. Among many other awards, he was granted the Vetlesen Prize in 1987, the National Medal of Science by Bill Clinton in 1996 and the Tyler Prize for Environmental Achievement in 2002. Most recently, he has been in the limelight for his cutting-edge work in carbon sequestration with his Earth Institute colleagues, including geophysicist Dr. Klaus Lackner, director of the Lenfest Center for Sustainable Energy. At Columbia's Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, Broecker works toward manufacturing and developing carbon sequestering devices: safe, silo-like instruments designed to neutralize fossil fuel emissions. A pioneer in the face of overwhelming skepticism, Broecker has been warning the world of climate change since the 1970s, thanks to his prescient comprehension of atmospheric carbon dioxide accumulation. His research continues today as he studies planktonic foraminifera in the world's oceans to gain a better understanding of the triggers of abrupt climate change.
Abstract: Between 1990 and 2010 annual CO2 emissions rose from 20 to 30 gigatons. Considering the new discoveries of oil and gas we are unlikely to run short of fossil fuels for many decades to come. To stop the rise we must cut annual emissions to 4 gigatons. Hence, we are gliding into a CO2 trap. So what might we do? To find out you will have to attend the lecture!