Climate Change and Utah

Date:  Sunday, November 18, 2007
Speaker:  Jim Davis

Jim Davis is a Ph.D. candidate at the University of Utah. He holds a M.S. from New Mexico State University and B.S. from Texas A&M University. For ten years he was an instructor and lecturer at the University of Utah, Salt Lake Community College and New Mexico State University, teaching 46 courses in earth systems sciences and cultural geography. He has also worked as a traveling lecturer, teaching in Antarctica and the Arctic, and as a researcher for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. His graduate research focuses on the use of both terrestrial and aquatic organisms for environmental assessment and historical reconstruction in desert landscapes. The last seven months Jim has worked as a geologist for the Utah Geological Survey.

“Over geologic time, Utah has experienced a variety of climates from equatorial to icehouse. Even in very recent geologic history, during the last ice age, Utah’s temperatures were 10-15ºF degrees colder, our mountains were glaciated, and Salt Lake City was below nearly a thousand feet of water. Since then, Utah has entered a hotter and dryer era that is a part of a cycle that many scientists believe is caused by oscillations in the Earth-Sun relationship. In these times of increasing greenhouse gases and global warming we will consider the climates of Utah’s past, recent trends, potential future scenarios, and how these changes compare to the natural variability of Earth’s climatic system.”

Suggested Reading:
Global Warming: Focus on Utah’s Climate, Salt Lake Tribune: http://www.sltrib.com/ci_4142345
US EPA Climate Change: http://www.epa.gov/climatechange/index.html
US EPA Climate Change and Utah: http://yosemite.epa.gov/OAR/globalwarming.nsf/UniqueKeyLookup/SHSU5BWJ38/$File/ut_impct.pdf
Next Generation Earth, Climate Change and Utah: http://www.nextgenerationearth.org/contents/view/55

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