Climate Research Group

Outreach Collaboration With Seguin High School

The Juan Seguin High School-UTA Outreach Team

The climate research group and Juan Seguin High School initiated an outreach activity to enhance geoscience literacy in grades K-12. For this pupose, UTA and Seguin High School conducted a joint fieldtrip to the Perot Museum in Dallas, UTA faculty gave research presentations at Seguin High School, and students of Seguin High School worked with UTA faculty to create gesoscience outreach material for this webpage. This project is sponsored by the National Science Foundation.

A joined UTA-Juan Seguin High School Visit To the Perot Museum conducted in April 2016 to enhance geoscience literacy of highschool students. The museum visits included hands-on activities and surveys.

Climate Change FAQs (From The Shorthorn Interview 4/19/16)

Approximately how long have scientists known that manmade climate change is an issue and would begin to cause problems?
Svante Arrhenius, Swedish Scientist and Nobel Price Winner in Chemistry, in 1896 first estimated global warming by increase in greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. In 1956, Rodger Revelle and Charles Keeling, both scientists at Scripps Institution of Oceanography, initiated an atmospheric CO2 measurement program. The First Assessment Report (FAR) of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) was published in 1990.
Often one argument against climate change is the cold and freezing weather/blizzards that come up every year (especially in the Northeast). Could you explain why freezing weather and snowstorms still occur even though the global temperatures are rising?
Weather events are short-term changes in the atmosphere (up to ~11 days) whereas climate change is a long-term change over decades and centuries and over a wider area. The trends of global temperature increase can be found at "" indicating an increase of 1 °C or 1.8 °F since the year 1850. The U.S. Northeast is predicted to be wetter in the future. This can lead to more snowfall in winter times. Also the Arctic Oscillation may be more variable in the future with reduced sea ice cover and this lead can lead to more cold Arctic outbreaks.
Aside from human output what other gases and changes in the Earth's activity contribute to climate change?
Volcanism, natural fires, and swamps emit greenhouse gases. Also warming of the sea surface, and reduced marine productivity and upwelling of carbon rich water masses can contribute to outgassing of CO2 into the atmosphere, whereas surface cooling and increase in marine productivity increase the uptake of CO2 in the ocean. The natural carbon cycle is relatively balanced.
Is it too late for humans to do anything that would have a meaningful effect to combat or slow climate change?
The anthropogenic-induced climate change is irreversible in the near future. However, the magnitude of this change and its impacts such as global water crisis, sea level change, and more severe weather can be reduced by a substantial reduction of manmade greenhouse gas emissions.
How will a global rise in temperature by 1 or 2 °C impact our everyday lives?
With such a change one would expect a longer duration and intensity of heat waves, which can lead to more intense droughts and heat exposure. Heat waves can be about 3 times as long as in the recent decades. There is also a higher likelihood of propagation of mosquito related diseases since their growing season becomes longer. Furthermore, there are higher energy costs to cool down houses, and there is higher rate of higher road deterioration and associated traffic accidents.
What changes or advancements in technology can help slow down the amount of carbon dioxide humans put out?
Renewable energy generation (e.g. solar and wind) and reduced emission in the transport sector (increase in public transport, electric/hybrid transport, or use of fuel cell technology) can all have a positive impact.