Jim Kasting speaks on climate change in Earth Talks series

Story posted February 6, 2020 in CommRadio, News by Sean Barron

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa.- On Monday, Geoscience Professor Jim Kasting gave a speech about climate change. This speech is part of a series of climate talks called Earth Talks. These talks are hosted every Monday and will focus on the human impacts on the environment and how to change decision making

Kasting, a professor at Penn State was invited to join a debate with a renowned climate change sceptic. In this debate, Kasting stuck to arguing facts and theories that were almost 100% proven. 

One of the main points Professor Kasting discussed was the impact on anthropogenic, or human caused, carbon dioxide emissions. Kasting used studies to show how much damage the burning of fossil fuels does to the environment. He compared the amount of carbon dioxide added to the atmosphere from humans to the natural cycles that produce Co2.

“Fossil Fuel burning rate is 100% bigger than the long-term volcanic source [of Carbon Dioxide]” said Kasting.

The main source of carbon dioxide in our atmosphere derives from the amount of fossil fuels being burned. Part of the decision-making changes that Jim Kasting discussed resolves around limiting the amount of carbon dioxde emissions.

Another topic that Kasting used to detail climate change was Ice Core records. Ice cores are samples of ice that have been frozen for thousands of years. These ice cores provide detailed data about how much carbon was in the atmosphere during that time period.

“There is a positive feedback loop between CO2 and temperature on this interglacial cycle” said Kasting. “What is causing this CO2 increase, it’s almost all due to fossil fuels.”

Professor Kasting used his extreme background knowledge on the topic and the use of scientific research to discuss possible changes that can be made in society to combat climate change. The “EarthTalks” discussions aim to inform the audience on ways to help combat climate change, and techniques to change ways of life that lead to anthropogenic climate change.

The next EarthTalk will be held on Monday, February 10 in 112 Walker Building at 4pm. This talk will be hosted by Chris House, a professor of geosciences at Penn State.


Sean Barron is a freshman majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact him, email stb5311@psu.edu.