Stefan Rahmstorf

The Climate Crisis

In his lecture “The Cimate Crisis”, professor Stefan Rahmstorf explains how, since the start of the industrial age, the carbon dioxide content of the atmosphere has risen to the by far highest value of the last million years. At the same time, global average surface temperatures have increased by 0.8°C. This warming is continuing unabated: 2010 was, followed by 2005, the hottest year on record since global measurements began more than 130 years ago. The ice cover on the Arctic Ocean is shrinking rapidly and reached a record low value in September 2012. The huge ice sheets both in Greenland and Antarctica are losing mass at an increasing rate, as satellite data show. This contributes to the accelerating rise of sea levels, which rose at a rate of one centimeter per decade at the beginning of the 20th Century, but have been rising at over three centimeters per decade for the past twenty years. The last decade has witnessed a sequence of unprecedented weather extremes, including the 2010 Russian heat wave, the flooding in Pakistan that same year, and the 2012 summer heat wave in the US. To prevent unmanageable climate change, humanity can still limit global warming to a maximum of 2°C – but only if decisive and rapid action is taken to transform our energy system.

The lectures shared here were given on October 5th 2013 in the following order:

Guðni Elísson: “Earth101”
Stefan Rahmstorf: “The Climate Crisis”
Michael Mann: “The Hockey Stick and the Climate Wars”
Kari Norgaard: “Living in Denial: Climate Change, Emotions and Everyday Life”
Peter Sinclair: “Communicating Climate Science in the Disinformation Era”
Recorded by Phil Coates and edited by Ryan Chapman.