Mark Maslin, Professor of Earth System Science at UCL opened the session with an alarming view of climate change and the effects it’s having – and will have – on the planet.
With carbon dioxide levels currently at their highest level in over three million years, this is having a catastrophic effect on global temperatures. This, in turn, is affecting the amount of sea ice and snow cover (decreasing), plus ocean temperatures and sea level change (increasing). It’ll also come as no surprise to discover that global temperatures are now at their highest levels since records began, with 2016 and 2020 the warmest years to date.
Mark went on to discuss the government actions that could achieve net zero carbon emissions, which include supporting renewable energy, taxing fossil fuel and cutting fuel subsidies, and promoting low emission farming. For individuals, he recommended talking about climate change, reuse and recycle, and reduce consumption, as well as voting and protesting.
Mark Maslin FRGS, FRSA is a Professor of climatology at University College London. He is the Director of the London NERC Doctoral Training Partnership, a Royal Society Wolfson Research Scholar, a Royal Society Industrial Fellow working with Rezatec Ltd a company he co-founded.
Maslin is a leading scientist with expertise in global and regional climatic change and has published over 160 papers in journals such as Science, Nature, and The Lancet. He has written 10 books, over 50 popular articles and appears regularly on radio and television including Climate Change – The Facts, Dispatches, Newsnight, Time Team, The Today Programme, In Our Time, the Briefing Room as well as the BBC, Channel 5, CNN, World Service, and Sky News. His books include ‘Climate Change: A Very Short Introduction’ (OUP, 2014), The Cradle of Humanity (OUP, 2017) and bestseller The Human Planet co-authored with Simon Lewis (Penguin, 2018).
He was one of the lead authors on the 2009 Lancet report “Managing the Health effects of climate change’ and is part of the annual Lancet Countdown on health and climate change whose latest report was published in Oct 2019. He was included in Who’s Who for the first time in 2009.