The Causes and Consequences of a Rapidly Changing Arctic
12:00 pm - 1:00 pm ET
Abstract: Earth's climate system is highly interconnected, meaning that changes to the global climate influence the United States climatically and economically. In much the same way as European and Asian financial markets affect the U.S. economy, changes to ice sheet mass and energy flows in the far reaches of the planet affect our climate. Life on Earth is sensitive to climate conditions; human society is especially susceptible due to the climate-vulnerable, complex, and often fragile systems that provide food, water, energy, and security. Observed changes to the global climate affecting the United States include rising global temperatures, diminishing sea ice, melting ice sheets and glaciers, rising sea levels, etc. These documented changes have global economic and national security implications, including for the United States. For example, sea level rise alone is putting $100 billion dollars of U.S. military assets at risk, according to the Dept. of Defense. Arctic climate change continues to outpace the rest of the globe. Over the last 30 years, rapid and, in many cases, unprecedented changes to Arctic temperatures, sea ice, snow cover, land ice, and permafrost have occurred. While the Arctic may seem far away, changes in the Arctic climate system have a global reach, affecting sea level, the carbon cycle, atmospheric winds, ocean currents, and potentially the frequency of extreme weather. This presentation discusses the changes in the observed in the Arctic, the projected changes, and the potential impacts to us living the U.S.
About The Speaker: Dr. Taylor is a research scientist at NASA Langley Research Center. His research focuses on understanding the mysterious life of clouds. Understanding cloud behavior provides valuable information for improving weather and climate models. Dr. Taylor received his PhD from Florida State University in 2009 and has since worked at NASA Langley Research Center receiving that 2012 Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE) and a NASA Early Career Achievement Medal in 2013 for his research. In 2015, he became a National Academy of Science Kavli Fellow. Dr. Taylor was appointed to the Virginia's Climate Change and Resiliency Commission by Governor McAuliffe, a member of the science working group for the Old Dominion University led Sea Level Rise Initiative, and currently working as a lead author on the Climate Science Special Report commissioned by the NASA, NOAA, and the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy. At NASA Langley Research Center, Dr. Taylor is a member of the Clouds and Earth's Radiant Energy System (CERES) science team, leads the climate processes and diagnostics research group, and serves as a member of the Science Directorate 10-year planning committee as co-lead for the Radiation Budget focus area.