October 19, 2012 04:00 PM EST - October 19, 2012 05:00 PM EST
Why does climate change? Where is it going? How has it shaped the history of life, including human civilizations? It turns out that climate naturally changes over many different time scales (decades to billions of years) from a wide list of factors. These factors include patterns of solar convection, the orbits of the planets, plate tectonics, and an array of interconnections between the ocean, atmosphere, land, and biosphere. Climate change has been the driving force of the evolution of life on Earth and much of human history as well. Did you know that a volcano caused the French Revolution and that a change in Atlantic Ocean current patterns led to the rise of Alexander the Great? Unfortunately, climate and climate change are both complex and complicated, and most citizens know very little about how they operate. In this presentation, Professor Michael Wysession, co-author of the Next Generation Science Standards for Earth and Space Sciences, will explain the fascinating workings of climate change.