NEW YORK (AP) – A scientist who raised early alarms on climate change and popularized the term "global warming" is dead. Wallace Smith Broecker was 87 years old.
The long-standing Columbia University professor and researcher died Monday at a New York City hospital, according to a university's Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory spokesman. Kevin Krajick said Broecker had hit in recent months.
Broecker brought "global warming" for common use with an article from 1975 that correctly predicted rising carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere would lead to pronounced warming. He later became the first person to recognize what he called Ocean Conveyor Belt, a global network of currents that affect everything from air temperature to rain patterns.
"Wally was unique, brilliant and combatant," said Princeton University professor Michael Oppenheimer. "He was not fooled by the cooling of the 1
In the Ocean Conveyor Cold Cold saltwater in the North Atlantic as a stamp to propel a sea current from near North America to Europe. Hot surface water worn by this present helps keep Europe's climate mild.
Otherwise, he said that Europe would be a deep freeze, with average winter temperatures falling by 20 degrees Fahrenheit or more, and London felt more like Spitsbergen, Norway, which is 600 miles north of the Arctic Circle.
Broecker said his studies suggested that the carrier is "Achilles heel in the climate system" and a fragile phenomenon that can change quickly for reasons not understood. It would only take a little increase in temperature to keep the water sinking in the North Atlantic, he said, and that would end the conveyor belt. Broecker said it is possible that heating caused by the greenhouse gas slurry could be sufficient to dramatically affect ocean currents.
"Broecker unilaterally popularized the notion that this could lead to a dramatic climate change & # 39; tipping point & # 39; Penn State Professor Michael Mann.
In 1984, Broecker told a subcommittee that greenhouse gas construction justified a "bold and new national effort to understand the operation of the realm of the atmospheres, oceans, ice and earth biosphere" ] "We live in a climate system that can jump steeply from one state to another," said Broecker Associated Press in 1997. By dumping into the atmosphere, there are large amounts of greenhouse gases, such as carbon dioxide from burning fossil fuels, "We carry out a experiment that can have devastating effects. "
" We play with an angry animal – a climate system that has proved to be very sensitive, "said e male
Broecker received the National Medal of Science in 1996 and was a member of the National Academy of Science. He also served as a research coordinator for Biosphere 2, an experimentally living environment turned research laboratory.
Broecker was born in Chicago in 1931 and grew up in suburban Oak Park.
He joined the Columbia faculty in 1959 and spent most of his time at the University Laboratory in Palisades, New York. He was known in scientific circles as "water scientist" and "Dean of Climate Scientists."
"His discoveries were crucial in interpreting Earth's climate policy," Oppenheimer said. "No scientist was more stimulating to engage with: He was an incentive in a good way, willing to press unpopular ideas, like lofting particles to compensate for climate change. But it was always a two-way conversation, never boring, always educational. miss him. "