/ Modified jan 29, 2019 1:21 p.m.

Public Not Hearing 'Cathedral' of Science Behind Climate Change, Researcher Says

Joellen Russell is an oceanographer collecting data impacting how scientists measure an forecast climate change.

Sensors Floating sensors help scientists measure ocean temperatures for clues to causes of climate change.
Argo program, Germany/Ifremer via NASA

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A University of Arizona climate researcher says it's not getting any easier to make people listen to warnings about global warming.

UA geosciences professor Joellen Russell says scientists have moved past the uncertainty surrounding climate change, but it's not enough to change general public opinion.

"It worries me that scientists work in teams over generations, like they were building a cathedral, and have done this extraordinary job of giving us more information about what's coming, and it's solid," she said. "And yet the public doesn't seem to hear us."

Russell's work as an scientific oceanographer includes using floating robots and sensors in the southern oceans, collecting data to transform how scientists measure and forecast climate change. Scientists used this method to measure oxygen and carbon dioxide which they said escaped the ocean in recent decades and headed into the atmosphere as the oceans heat up.

They concluded in a report last year that there could be less time than previously thought to curb greenhouse gas emissions, but that finding has since been disputed by scientists who found discrepancies in the original research.

Russell will present her topic, "Climate and the Deep Blue Sea" for the annual UA College of Science lecture series, 7 p.m. Tuesday, January 29, at UA's Centennial Hall. Admission is free.

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