Afterwards, talk Sea level change and global warming: lessons from the past to inform the future
Roland Gehrels, University of York, United Kingdom
Free admission, upon reservation
On the occasion of the evening screenings, the exhibition is open until 10 pm
Photographer James Balogue travels to Antarctica for National Geographic to take pictures that can help understand the critical situation of the glaciers. Afterwards, together with a group of young scholars, he developed the EIS (Extreme Ice Survey), an expedition aimed at documenting ongoing unstoppable climate change: using dozens of digital cameras installed in Montana, Alaska, Iceland and Greenland, Balogue obtains thousands of photographs that, mounted in sequence, testify to the consequences of global warming.
Predictions of sea-level rise for the next few centuries are made by computer models that simulate ongoing ocean and climate processes. To do a good job, these models also need to include processes that have not been seen for centuries, such as dramatic ice-sheet collapse, as these may become important in the future when our planet is warmer. The geological record can reveal some useful analogues for sea-level processes that took place under potentially extreme climate conditions. In this talk Roland Gehrels will look at various examples from recent Earth history to compare ongoing and future sea-level changes with those from the past. Such periods were the Pliocene (5-2.6 million years ago), the last interglacial (ca. 125,000 years ago), and the last deglaciation (ca. 24,000 to 6,000 years ago). It is thanks to sediments from salt marshes, and the microfossils contained within, that sea-level changes can be reconstruct beyond the short period that is covered by instrumental datasets. The records obtained from salt marshes give insights into the mechanisms that drive sea-level changes on regional and global scales and provide long-term context for sea-level changes in the Anthropocene.
Film projection, Proiezione, Talk