The Causes and Effects of Climate Change: Studying our Regional Impacts and Greenhouse Gas Emissions
by Dr. Eric Leibensperger ´05 Professor of Physics and Astronomy, Ithaca College
Tuesday, September 29th at 12:10pm to 1:00pm on Zoom
The impacts of climate change are often viewed as being distant and far in the future. However, climate change is already occurring. Rapidly. In this presentation I will discuss two ongoing projects that students and I have undertaken to study climate change impacts and mitigating future change. First, I will describe a campaign to better characterize and monitor the emission of methane (CH4, natural gas) to the atmosphere from New York State. Methane is a potent greenhouse gas and regulatory actions in New York have placed strict limits on its emission. However, the exact amount and locations from which methane is emitted is not well understood. I will describe our existing observation platforms at four sites across New York and new mobile (car-based) measurements that will begin in Spring 2020. I will show how our observations enable numerical modeling that reveals a mixture of under and overestimates of methane emission rates in New York State. Second, I will present preliminary results of a project studying climate change within Lake Champlain, including its impacts on water chemistry and biology. Analysis of observations from instrumented data buoys and historical records indicate rapid warming of the surface water, upwards of +0.5°C per decade, with a confounding influence from changing patterns of storminess and the resulting changes in circulation.
The speaker will be available for informal meeting with students on Thursday, October 1st 12-12:30 pm