Special Systems Biology Seminar: A Conversation About Climate Change
The complexity and uncertainties of climate science leave an enormous opening for political controversy, and amplify the environmental and economic consequences associated with possible courses of action---which range from doing nothing, to the Gore proposal to reduce emissions 90% by 2050.
Controversy notwithstanding, scientists have uncovered some hard facts, and have also drawn plausible inferences, with varying levels of confidence, about the past and future climate of our planet. Before opening the meeting to conversation, I’ll spend about thirty minutes briefly reviewing what’s known about the contribution of human activity to changes in greenhouse gases, average global temperature, sea levels, the predicted consequences of allowing change to continue unabated, and the confidence levels of the predictions. I’ll also briefly indicate proposed mitigation strategies, including my own views about the potential use of biotechnology for regulating atmospheric carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases.