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UMD | Fearless Ideas
Burger and Beer
Science on Tap
A monthly lecture series at UMD that explores the latest discoveries in science and technology in a relaxed atmosphere with food and drink

How good are global climate change projections...out to 2050?

Michael N. Evans
Associate Professor, UMD Department of Geology and
Earth System Science Interdisciplinary Center

Wednesday, May 29, 2019
Doors open at 5:30 p.m.
Lecture begins at 6:30 p.m.

Milkboy Art House

MilkBoy ArtHouse
7416 Baltimore Ave.
College Park, MD 20740

Space is limited. Food and beverages will be available for purchase. Happy hour specials will be available until 7 p.m.

Questions? Contact Abby Robinson
at or 301-405-5845.

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How can we distinguish natural climate change from climate change caused by human activities? It's not easy when the natural changes can occur over decades and centuries. But the answer is important for assessing the accuracy of climate change projections and for determining the importance of actions that avoid future climate change. The speaker is part of an international team that developed reconstructions of global mean surface temperature for the last 2,000 years, using a variety of methods and observables. The team focused its analysis on timescales of decades. The results were surprisingly consistent with retrospective simulations from the same models used to project climate change for 2050 and beyond. Clusters of volcanic eruptions can create cooling that persists over decades, and this explains most of the agreement with simulations. The reconstructed and simulated temperature changes that are not forced by volcanic activity are of about the same size. The warming signal associated with the recent increase in greenhouse gas concentrations can be clearly distinguished from the natural temperature variations. If past history is an indicator, the simulation of forced and natural climate variability out several decades is not unrealistic. And choices about energy sources and efficiency will indeed matter.

This event is a partnership between the UMD College of Computer, Mathematical, and Natural Sciences and The Clarice and MilkBoy ArtHouse, a local crossroads for dynamic entertainment, social gathering and creative dining in downtown College Park, Maryland. This event is also sponsored by the UMD Science Alumni Network.

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