Speaker: Professor Dwayne Heard
Sunday 8 June 2014
Climate change and the debate about its causes are so often in the news that we probably all know more about this scientific subject than almost any other. The chemistry behind it all isn’t quite so widely discussed, however, so this week’s Café Sci was of particular interest. It is always difficult to reduce my pages of notes to a semi-succinct paragraph or two, and this week’s talk covered so many issues, it would have been even more difficult than usual. Fortunately, though, Professor Heard suggested some great short films on the subject.
The first looks at where it all began: right around here, during the Industrial Revolution. Here’s a time-lapse history of human global CO2 emissions since 1750 (on YouTube).
The second short film has a similar theme, but a slightly more upbeat ending. Humans are now the dominant influence on the planet, and given that the IPCC is 95% certain that we are the cause of climate change, can we find ways to fix the mess we’ve made? Welcome to the Anthropocene (on Vimeo).
At the University of Leeds, Professor Heard is investigating the behaviour and future potential of ‘nature’s detergent’, the hydroxyl radical, OH. So, here’s the final little movie, about the Outlaws in Air City (again, on YouTube).
(Apologies if any of those links go astray over time.)