The Earth is changing in major ways. Scientists and news outlets now commonly report on how the environment around us is rapidly being transformed. But the science and news coverage surrounding environmental change is often confusing, conflicting, and contentious. In these public events, Dr. Adam Martin from the University of Toronto will present and discuss the science surrounding how the natural world is changing around us. These events will introduce the basic science behind issues of environmental change, and use research and media reports to illustrate how these changes are unfolding worldwide.
September 27th: What is causing climate change?
Perhaps the most contentious and politicized environmental issue of all time is the “debate” surrounding the causes of climate change. While media paints a picture of uncertainty, the science points pretty clearly to a single answer: humans. This event will present and discuss the most up-to-date science surrounding the causes of our changing climate.
October 25: What will the future climate look like?
We know that our climate is changing, but exactly what the future will look like is less obvious. Novels and news paint a picture of climate change leading to a future Earth that is a barren post-apocalyptic wasteland. Science tells a different story. This event will present and discuss the most informed predictions we have about what the future climate will hold.
November 29th: Are we in the midst of Earth’s sixth mass extinction?
Fossils tell us that the Earth has experienced five mass extinctions in the past. The most recent killed the dinosaurs, while extinctions from longer ago wiped out over 95% of life on Earth. Science suggests we are now living in a new sixth mass extinction event, the first of its kind in nearly 70 million years. This event will present and discuss what science says about the state of biodiversity globally and into the future.
Dr. Adam Martin is an Assistant Professor of Global Environmental Change at the University of Toronto Scarborough. As an environmental scientist, his research focuses on how and why forests and agricultural systems respond to environmental change, and how these changes can be managed. He teaches undergraduate courses on environmental science, ecology, biodiversity, and sustainability. In addition to growing up in Welland, he and his family recently relocated to Niagara-on-the-Lake where he is now expanding his research into climate change impacts on vineyards.