This post is re-shared from the original post written on Facebook in April 2017.
Here we are- nearing the end of April 2017. The atmospheric CO2 concentration measured at Mauna Loa observatory is currently at over 410 ppm- the first time that has happened in millions of years, the Great Barrier reef is undergoing the second consecutive year of mass bleaching, 2016 was the hottest year on record- a record that has now been broken three years in a row. All around us, if we choose to look, we can see the signs of our climate changing. These changes are happening at what is, geologically speaking, break-neck speed. Storms are becoming more intense and more frequent, sea levels are rising, extinction rates are increasing, we are experiencing more severe heat waves all over the world, all of which are signs of anthropogenic (human-caused) climate change at work. Last year saw temperatures over 129 degree F in Kuwait. July 2016 was the hottest month in recorded history... and then August tied it. India experienced heat waves so bad the roads began to melt.
I work as a climate researcher and it is easy to get overwhelmed by the state of the climate system and by our responses, or lack of responses, to it. I often need to step back and remember all of the beautiful things in the world and in our universe, all of the wonderful things that exist in nature that led me to want to become a scientist. I remind myself that I am upset by the bad things because I love the good things so much. I love that scientists discovered a butterfly that is the blackest black ever seen, I love that we found an exoplanetary solar system with 7 earth sized planets, and that we can detect gravitational waves from the collision of two black holes. I love that we have submersible vehicles exploring the oceans that allow people to watch the dives from home so that they can take part in the exploration as well.
So this is why I march. I march because I love science. Scientific discovery informs us about out place in the world and how we shape the world around us. I march because I want science to be open, inclusive, and welcoming, so that we can all work together in using evidence based research to make the world a better place for all of us.
#sciencemarch #earthday #marchforscience
Climate System Research Center
Department of Geosciences