Environmental Sustainability

Climate Change Expert Presents at Community Meeting

Dr. Heidi Roop, a research scientist and member of the University of Washington Climates Impact Group, visited The Northwest School community on April 18, 2018, to discuss her research experiences and the importance of communicating the facts about climate change as the world faces this threat.

"Only 16 percent of the American public is talking publicly about climate change," Dr. Roop told the students. "Sharing what we do and why we care is the way to move the dial."

Dr. Roop began her Community Meeting presentation talking about the West Antarctica Ice Sheet (WAIS) Divide Ice Core Project. The ongoing project involves drilling cylinders of ice from the ice core on the WAIS, some of which are nearly 50,000 years old. Ancient air bubbles were trapped within the layers of ice, and the core samples show exactly what the atmosphere was like at the time the ice was formed.

Dr. Roop told students that carbon dioxide levels in the Earth's atmosphere are now at 410 parts per million, the highest number in three million years.

During a question and answer session, Dr. Roop encouraged the students to continue sustainable and environmentally friendly practices. On a positive note, she pointed out that over two years ago, only one out of every five cities in the United States was committing itself to a climate change plan. Today, that number has risen to nearly one in three.

Dr. Roop was the keynote speaker for Northwest School's Green Week, which ran April 16-20, 2018.