The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

Global warming a global issue

By Angela Ortiz/reporter

The U.S. public is confused about what global warming is, a NE Campus dean told audience members Nov. 13 on South Campus.

Timothy Gilbert, division dean of business and social science, presented lessons from environmental activist Al Gore’s grassroots green forum.

“ Global warming does not mean it will never snow or get cold again,” he said.

“ It is the burning of fossil fuels such as coal, gas and oil and clearing forests that have dramatically increased the amount of carbon dioxide in the Earth’s atmosphere. And that is why temperatures are rising.”

Gilbert’s presentation addressed Gore’s documentary An Inconvenient Truth, which aims at engaging America in the fight against global warming.

Gore’s challenge is to have 100 percent renewable energy in 10 years, Gilbert said.

Some major effects of global warming are melting glaciers in places like Alaska, Nepal, Peru and Argentina. Between 1990 and 1998, Glacier National Park in Montana reported its glaciers had disappeared.

Gilbert said it has also been proved that the snow on Mount Kilimanjaro is melting.

Gilbert quoted Jim Bell, Today show executive producer, who said, “There’s concern that, because of environmental conditions, the mountain’s glaciers could disappear.”

For that reason, Bell selected Ann Curry’s assignment to climb to the top of the mountain last month.

Gilbert added that Lake Chad in Africa has disappeared because of rising temperatures.

Another more pressing issue is rising sea levels and ocean temperatures, Gilbert said.

“ Heat from water increases hurricane intensity,” he said.

In 2005, MIT professor Kerry Emanuel published research that described historical links between climate change and an increasing intensity of hurricanes. Three weeks later, Hurricane Katrina hit the Gulf Coast.

Postdoctoral fellow Ragoth Sundararajan and graduate student John Williams concluded from their study that the duration of the cyclones and the highest wind speeds in the North Pacific and North Atlantic have increased by about 50 percent over the past 50 years.

On Feb. 5, 2007, U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon warned:

“ It is the poor countries — in Africa, small island developing states and elsewhere — which will suffer most from climate change even though they are the least responsible for global warming.”

Global warming affects more than humans.

“ Species loss may occur a hundred times faster than predicted,” he said. “It may increase to 60,000 species lost.”

Gilbert said global warming is not a political problem.

“ This is not a liberal issue,” he said. “We do not have to choose between economy and environment.”

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