Climate Change in a Land of Volcanoes

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September 14, 2011 7 p.m. local time

© 2011 Flickr/Steve Dunleavy cc by 2.0

Aloha. Welcome to the “Big Island.” The Island of Hawaii is a volcanic island in the Pacific Ocean. Hawaii is the easternmost and southernmost in the Hawaiian Islands chain. It is also one of eight major islands that make up the U.S. state of the same name, Hawaii. Built from five separate volcanoes, Hawaii still boasts three active ones.

© 2008 Flickr/puuikibeach cc by 2.0

On one of these volcanoes, Mauna Loa, sits the Mauna Loa Observatory, an atmospheric research facility established by the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration as part of the National Weather Service. Scientists at Mauna Loa began continuous carbon dioxide data gathering efforts in 1958. According to NOAA’s website, the annual increases in the concentrations of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere became apparent within just a few years of the launch of this effort. Today, climate scientists and modelers around the world use the Mauna Loa data to better understand the current state of Earth’s climate — and project how it will change in the future.

Presented by Maxine Burkett

Maxine Burkett is an Associate Professor of Law and Director of the Center for Island Climate Adaptation and Policy at the University of Hawai‘i. Her work showcases the disparate impact of climate change on vulnerable communities. Born in Jamaica, Maxine now resides on the island of Oahu with her husband and two children. She is a tireless advocate for island resiliency in the face of a changing climate.

To learn more about this presenter, click here.