2014 Press Releases
UCC to weather storm
The free research event dedicated to the divisive topic of climate change, accompanied by a screening of the widely acclaimed film ‘Chasing Ice’, takes place on Thursday 16 January at 6.30pm, Room G.05, Western Gateway Building, UCC. It formed the lead story in the Irish Examiner on Saturday 4 January ('Severe weather attributed to human impact'), where Professor Robert Devoy, prof of physical geography at UCC and technical consultant at Beaufort Research Laboratory, made the case for climate change. Read the coverage here: http://www.irishexaminer.com/ireland/severe-weather-attributed-to-human-impact-254279.html
The fifth IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) report released just a few months ago made for sobering reading, as it detailed the detrimental global impact of climate change. The rapid dwindling of summer Arctic sea ice has outpaced all scientific projections, and it is set to have devastating impacts, affecting global shipping and atmospheric circulation and leading to the extinction of plants and animals to name but a few. As we know only all too well here in Ireland, the weather in European countries is continually setting new records as a result of climate change. Massive floods, droughts, forest fires and record heat waves are damaging societies and economies across the region. Have we only ourselves to blame?
Climate change has always been a feature of Earth’s history – you might even vaguely recall from your secondary school geography class how Ireland experienced natural climate change. It was covered in ice 10,000 years ago and then warmed to current temperatures. However the climate is now changing more rapidly than ever before and it has been established with a high degree of certainty that this phenomenon is being caused by human activity. Most of this man-made climate change is attributed to the burning of fossil fuels (oil, gas, coal), but it is also caused by other activities such as methane emissions from agriculture. Climate change sceptics continue to abound however – this UCC event is open to anyone with an interest in the area, wherever their opinion may lie.
The event will profile the latest scientific research on climate change, led by Professor Ray Bates, University College Dublin and will allow attendees full reign to put any questions they might have to the wider group of experts. The main event of the evening will feature a free screening of the widely acclaimed film ‘Chasing Ice’.
In the spring of 2005, environmental photographer James Balog headed to the Arctic on a tricky assignment for National Geographic - to capture images to help tell the story of the Earth’s changing climate. Even with a scientific upbringing, Balog had been sceptical of climate change. However, that first trip north opened his eyes to the undeniable evidence of a warming planet. Balog deploys revolutionary time-lapse cameras across the brutal Arctic to capture a multi-year record of the world’s changing glaciers.
The event is organised by UCC, the Environmental Protection Agency and the Environmental Sciences Association of Ireland. The event is now booked out, but a live stream (from c.630pm) can be viewed by clicking here, with live Twitter updates in tandem with the Irish Examiner available here.