What can we do about climate change?

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By Jody Benson

Here’s something most of us know: There is a correlation between the Earth’s temperature and the amount of carbon dioxide (CO2) in the atmosphere. And here’s another measure: CO2 concentrations grew 60 percent faster during the last eight years than in the 1990s.

To many, this fact is a big ho-hum. Climate scientists say the globe is warming. Michael Crichton says it’s not (he ought to know – he wrote “Jurassic Park”), so what could we do about it anyway? What possible effect would my taking the Atomic City Transit to work have on global climate?

Good question. But what if we could answer it? What if there were a way to investigate quantitatively the consequences of, say, something easy like turning off a light? Would that information actually change our behavior?

Quantifying our actions relative to climate change is the purpose of LANL’s model Climate Energy Assessment for Resiliency (CLEAR). In a recent presentation to the Sierra Club, Donatella Pasqualini (with the Laboratory’s Computational Earth Sciences Group) described the Model’s development and purpose: to allow individuals to understand their personal role in global warming.

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