Posted: Friday, April 22, 2011 11:34 pm
A prominent Stanford University oceanographer believes the oceans are a clear indicator of the state of the climate. The story they are telling is an ominous one.
For more than three decades, the oceanographer, Robert Dunbar, has been a leader among scientists trying to understand the dynamics of complex systems that govern climate around the world.
He is an award winning teacher as well as researcher. His work has carried him and his students to places like Kenya, New Zealand, Galapagos and, perhaps most importantly, Antarctica, where he has made some 30 trips and spent six and a half years of his life.
He has worked often with Lawrence Livermore Lab climate experts as well as with colleagues from around the world.
"Among climate scientists, warming is undeniable," he said last week in Pleasanton, where he spoke to the Valley Study Group. Global temperatures have been rising for the past 100 years or so, with the steepest rise measured since about 1970. Yet he considers the term "global warming" something of a diversion.
In the first place, there's a lot more than warming going on. Ocean levels are rising faster than predicted, threatening in the foreseeable future to displace coastal populations and ruin low lying agriculture with increased salinity.