Environmental News

Scientist Is Optimistic About Climate Change

Photo from The Scripps Institution

Most climate change reports have been showing a bleak outlook for the world. In a piece by The San Diego Union-Tribune, climatologist Richard Somerville shares that there is some hope for the future.

Somerville, professor emeritus and a research professor at Scripps Institution of Oceanography in La Jolla, is set to give a talk Thursday at U.C. San Diego on how the human race can address the worst effects global warming has on the world.

“This is not a gloom and doom issue,” Somerville said. “It’s a serious issue but the world is taking the right steps to deal with it in a rational way.”

Somerville’s talk, entitled “Climate Change: Strong Science, Forceful Actions, Positive Outcomes,” will give an overview of the facts on climate change and what he believes people should do about it.

“I really want to do several things, including cover the status of climate science and then I’m going to talk about the task ahead and what the world needs to find a way to do, in order to limit climate change to moderate levels, and not let it spiral out of control,” Somerville said.

Included in the talk is Somerville’s opinion on the Paris climate talks last year. While he thinks the international agreement lacks strong means for implementation, he agrees that it’s a good start to real change.

I think the Paris talks accomplished more than all the previous talks put together.

“They produced an action plan, in which governments committed to what they would do to reduce carbon dioxide and other heat trapping gases into the atmosphere. It provides a means of tracking that, and for governments to revisit it every few years. I think it’s very hopeful, and I’m guardedly optimistic,” he said.

Somerville has been a lead author of the fourth report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. He has studied physical evidence and processes in this changing climate, and has written and edited over 200 scientific publications. His goal is to communicate science in simple terms for the public and lawmakers to understand. He was awarded the American Geophysical Union’s Climate Communication Prize in 2015 for his work.

Somerville’s talk is one of three discussions in a series called, “Climate Change at a Crossroads,” featuring other notable scientists from Scripps Institution.


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