News and Opinion from Sisters, Oregon

Climate change talk on tap at The Belfry

Earth’s climate has changed in the past, and it will continue to change in the future. Some of these changes occurred slowly over long periods of time, but other changes happened over relatively short periods of time with catastrophic consequences.

What can these periods of catastrophic change tell us about current climate changes and about the ability of Earth systems to adapt?

“Climate Change: A Geologic Perspective” will be the topic when Dr. Daniele McKay speaks at The Belfry on Tuesday, November 19 for the third lecture in the 2019-2020 Frontiers in Science series.

A geologic perspective is one of scale with enormous explanatory power.

“There’s really something heady about being able to look out at the landscape and see how things came to be,” writes geologist Marcia Bjornerud of Lawrence University. “I think most people would love to have a rational explanation for how the world around them got to be the way it is.”

It’s important to understand that we are embedded in geologic time, Bjornerud writes. “There isn’t a geologic past and the future. We are on a continuum of processes that have been going on for millennia, and our activities feed into those processes in ways that are sometimes surprising – but shouldn’t be if we have a better understanding of the way the Earth has unfolded in the past.”

In addition to providing geologic history as context for current and future climate changes, Dr. McKay will talk about fossil fuels: how much we have used, how much is left, and the implications of sticking with fossil fuels as our main source of energy.

Dr. McKay is an adjunct instructor in the Department of Earth Sciences at the University of Oregon. She lives in Bend and teaches online geology courses throughout the academic year, and field courses in Central Oregon during the summer. Her research background is in physical volcanology with a focus on recent mafic eruptions in the Central Oregon Cascades.

She is also interested in how societies prepare for and respond to natural disasters, especially volcanic eruptions and earthquakes. She has worked with Deschutes County, the Oregon Office of Emergency Management, Oregon Partnership for Disaster Resilience and the Red Cross on natural hazard preparedness and mitigation in Central Oregon.

The evening lecture, sponsored by the Sisters Science Club, starts at 7 p.m. at The Belfry.

Social hour begins at 6 p.m. with light fare, beer, and wine available. Admission is $5; teachers and students are admitted free. The Belfry is located at 302 E. Main Ave., Sisters.

For information on this topic and on Sisters Science Club: http://www.sistersscience; scienceinsiste[email protected]


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