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Climate Change is prominent in the news and is a major element in President Biden's program. Is the science of anthropogenic global warming driven by increased CO2 settled? A recent book "Unsettled" by President Obama's former science advisor, Steven Koonin, argues that the science is far from settled. Why would anyone challenge the wisdom of the UN climate change panel, the U.S. climate change research program and most major news outlets? How do natural cycles, particularly ocean oscillations, affect weather and climate? Is there a real crisis?Ocean oscillations dominate monthly, yearly and decadal weather patterns. The recent drop in global average temperatures of roughly 0.5 degrees from January to April 2021 is due to a strong La Nina in the Pacific. El Nino and the Indian Ocean Dipole were responsible for the 2018/2019 drought that set the conditions for Australian bush fires. The Atlantic Multidecadal oscillation influences sea ice coverage, Greenland ice mass and U.S. drought conditions.There are two well documented historical periods, the Roman Climatic Optimum and the Medieval Warm Period, that experienced warming similar to what we are experiencing today. Neither warming was related to CO2 and both were periods where mankind generally flourished. "Consensus," deceptive climate reports, and the press' active participation in generating a crisis atmosphere will be discussed. Can solar and wind provide clean energy alternatives? What are the costs in terms of mineral extraction and land use?
Instructor: Bob Barry
Bob has had three careers. He was a traditional Navy line officer serving in Destroyers and riverboats. After receiving an M.S in Oceanography he served 16 years as an oceanography specialist, primarily involved in Anti Submarine Warfare (ASW). His third career was as a program manager for satellite systems at Ball Aerospace. He has been an OLLI study group leader for 7 years teaching about observing the ocean from space. His emphasis has been on ocean oscillations and their impact on weather and climate.
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