Transcripts of NASM-Dr

[Applause] Thanks. So I have to treat Thorsten with a lot of respect because he reminds me of Arnnie Schwarzenegger with a PhD, I don't want to get on wrong side of him. So, okay, the view from orbit really does put things in perspective and as Senator Nelson has seen this with his own eyes, so he knows what I am talking about, I have enjoyed seeing the earth too with my own eyes through a space supervisor, and I am absolutely fascinated by what a satellite instruments can tell us. We, that's NASA and all our friends at NASA, are quite literally conducting a health check of the planet. Okay, so these hands on working scientists have dazzled with facts and data. It's my job, as a grizzled bureaucrat to drag this event over the finish line and let you find your cars. So I will try and be quick. So here are a few closing thoughts. What all of this means for science, for policy makers and for the crew spaceship Earth, that's all of us. Okay, this movie shows you what happens when we combine the satellite data with computer models and use a lot of physics to fill in the gaps between observations. Here we are on the space, this is not a snow storm, these are solar particles blasting by the earth but we are protected by magnetic field. So the particles are diverted. As we come down deeper, and by the way this is a model based on physics and observations so there is fact and mathematics, Isaac Newton is hard at work here, here is the atmospheric flows, again produced by a model, circulation timescales here are on hours to days, so we come a little bit deeper in to the world, We see the surface winds. Now we are looking at the surface, ocean circulation. Ms. Gail said that's forced by heat, wind and salinity, timescales of days and months and years. Deep yet, and now I will talk with the French accent like Jacques Cousteau, the sub surface flows down to the deep ocean circulation, timescales of a thousand years or more. It's beautiful and we get all of this for combining the satellite data with what we understand about nature and putting it in to a computer. This stuff is based on actual reality. Not the Kardashian kind, but let's get back to think about climate. So here is a computer model simulation of the earth's climate system, this is not a picture, this is a simulation. It's a toy world based on physics and propelled by satellite data. I guess when you look at the detail here, the popcorn clouds, the winds, or the planetary scale waves in the atmosphere. The snow, the ice, the biosphere, it's all right there. It's all being calculated and it's all being faithfully reproduced. Now what is this all good for? Well, models have got to the point of providing weather prediction up to 72 hours reliably. You can quite literally bank on it, most days. This is going to be Hurricane Sandy, this is actually a model prediction of Sandy and as you could see the Hurricane wandered around the Atlantic before turning sharply left and whacking New Jersey and New York. But accurate warnings were given out 72 hours ahead of time and many lives and a lot of money was saved as a result of these warnings. By the way, speaking for us, that's not counting all the people up and down the East Coast who did not have to evacuate, because they knew the Hurricane was going to miss them all together, and hat counts for something. Now the exact same physics and many of the same observations that we use for weather are helping us to understand climate better. And these climate models allow us to peer in to the future and will help us make decisions about energy, water and food resources. Okay, this is a simulation of what we think the earth will look like in 20 to 30 years. Actually it's not. It's the picture of the sun, it's being taken by our heliophysical friends using their satellites. Besides being a really cool image, it shows that we are keeping a close eye on the sun, again using satellites and guess what, we have found the sun to be not guilty for the recent warming trend. Now as I said we use the same exact physics and many of the same satellite data to be used in weather models to build and test our climate models. Now what these models do tell us is the rate of warming depends very largely on how much fossil fuel we use and how much carbon dioxide we put in the atmosphere. I am now going to show you a graph and it is very bad form for even like this but in compensation it may be the most expensive graph ever made and thats not because of the colors. This cost several years of effort by thousands of scientists worldwide to put it together and it tell us something, we didn't know until only recently. It's something new and something very, very simple. What it says is that the expected rise in temperature is directly, linearly related to the amount of fossil fuel we burn. The X axis of the bottom shows how much fossil fuel we burn which makes the carbon dioxide and the y-axis shows the temperature increase that results from this extra Co2. The zero point is roughly or a bit left to the zero point is roughly when fellow in England in 1700 decided it was time to start an industrial revolution and dug up the first pit of coal. Now, if you look at the black line that ends at 2010, you'll see that we burned about 500 gigatonnes of carbon since then and a gigatonne of carbon is a brick of coal about a kilometer on the side so it is a big piece of coal and that's give us about 1° C rise in global temperature which is what we have seen and that's led to some changes in the world that my good friend I've just shown you. Now we'll likely to burn 1000 gigatonnes, that's halfway up the graph, that will give us two degree centigrade to two and half centigrade increase in global temperature. We definitely don't want to be up in the top right-hand corner, four degree centigrade. This look like a very different planet than the current Earth that we inhabit and we don't really know what that planet would look like, how it would work, so this is sobering, right? but is it necessary going to be grim and nasty to the maximum? Is this evening going to be a total down of few you all if we don't count the refreshments? I think not and there is some basis for my optimism. Here is a picture of the ozone hole that was discovered in 1979. The blue color shows that ozone is being eaten up by manmade chemicals, many refrigerants. We saw the hole growing rapidly in the 80s and 90s and this was bad news because ozone protects most of life on Earth from strong ultraviolet radiation from the sun and that's bad for you. But here is the good part of the story. Governments all around the world took information seriously. Here is a UN meeting where they are discussing the problem on what to do about it. It modeled on Goddard seminar. Here are all the agreements that they cranked out to reduce the chemicals that cause the problem and here is two of Goddard's finest scientists in the back row providing solid science advice and eating chips, there they are. Alright, and what happen Here is a picture of two worlds; on the left is world that we are likely to see with the ozone depletion leveling off and then slowly reversing and on the right is what would have happened if we didn't have all those controls and agreements and blue here means no ozone which is bad news. On right-hand side is the world we avoided. hat's the world with thinning ozone, a world with damage to all living things exposed to sunlight and that includes the crops that provide our food, the ocean plankton that makes our oxygen and damage to us, people. And now a news flash today at four o'clock United Nations released a statement. It reads, the Earth's protective ozone layer is well on track to recovery in the next few decades thanks concerted international action against ozone depleting substances according to a new assessment by 300 scientists. So it can be done, this is proof that people and that's all of us and our political representatives can use solid information, facts, models, like every thing we have seen tonight to make the right decisions. Now sometimes it happens a bit later, and it takes bit longer than we would like but generally the right decisions get made. Now there's are a lot of people on this planet. This is Christmas 1968 3 billion people on Earth and there they all are, actually we or some of us are, minus three because somebody has to take the photo. Now here is a picture 2013 put together from satellite data. Now there are 7 billion of us plus six on space station and we will top out at about 9 billion this century But again I think there is reason for optimism here because people are actually part of the solution. Every new human born is not just an extra stress on the world but brings with himself or herself resources and answers. This is an early picture of Len Fisk. [Laughter] So I think, I hope that with the ingenuity, the resourcefulness, the grit that has got the human race so far we can use these vital signs about the health of our planet to figure out how to live long and prosper on this Earth. Now before I close up I'd like to recognize the great work done by the visualization team, Ali Ogden, Wade Sisler, Rani Gran,Horace Mitchell and friends who put all these beautiful pictures together and of course a huge thank you for all speakers and sponsors so put your hand together please. [Applause] [Applause] [Music] [Music] end