Climate change takes center stage at Science Museum lecture series

Climate change takes center stage at Science Museum lecture series

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - The Science Museum of Virginia will host a five-part climate lecture series during the month of March. The lecture series takes an in-depth look at what climate change is, how it's happening and its impacts on Central Virginia.

The series will feature scientists, researchers, geologists and climate specialists. Each week, a different presenter will speak and then interact with the audience for a meet and greet.

Their focus is to educate people on how they can individually combat climate change.

Dr. Jeremy Hoffman, Climate & Earth Science specialist for the Science Museum of Virginia, recommends reducing your "energy appetite "at home and at your business as a way to combat climate change.

"The key reason climate change is happening is the release of heat trapping gases into the atmosphere due to burning of fossil fuels. People need to learn how to be more energy efficient whether that means to drive less or ride your bike more, figure out ways to make your house more energy efficient during the winter time and during the summer time and to find natural ways of cooling yourself down," said Hoffman.

Hoffman describes how climate change is affecting regions in Virginia.

"Climate change is such an interesting problem because it expresses itself in so many different ways globally and locally," Hoffman said. "For example, Norfolk is seeing the highest level of sea level rise on the entire east coast of North America and now we're seeing sea level rise has made storm surges much worse there."

"The number of flood days has increased rapidly over the last decade," he said. "In Richmond we are seeing warmer and more intense summers so the last five years has the highest number of days over 95 degrees of any other five year period over the last decade. What is interesting about that is that heat waves and extreme weather disproportionately affects populations who have a hard time keeping themselves cool such as low income communities and your elderly population … so these are problems that require our communities to come together locally and hopefully that transfers to a global solution."

Hoffman also responded to President Donald Trump's previous remarks on climate change and to those who don't believe it's happening.

"Lucky for us and lucky for scientists around the world, heat trapping gas doesn't know how we voted so climate change is going to keep happening regardless," Hoffman said. "We need to be ready for it and prepare in our communities, raise awareness and get ready for the future.

The first lecture will be from 7-9 p.m. Wednesday, March 1 at the Science Museum of Virginia on Broad Street. Click here for more information and to register.

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