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AMK Ranch Talk to Highlight Geological Evidence of Climate Change

June 23, 2014
Man smiling
Ron Surdam will speak Thursday, June 26, at the University of Wyoming-National Park Service Research Center in Grand Teton National Park.

Lessons about climate change found in ancient rocks of southwest Wyoming are the topic of a public lecture Thursday, June 26, at the University of Wyoming-National Park Service (UW-NPS) Research Center. The center is located at the AMK Ranch in Grand Teton National Park.

Ron Surdam, a retired UW professor and former director of the Wyoming State Geological Survey, will discuss “Global Warming and Climate Change: 45 Million-Year-Old Rocks in Wyoming Support the Concept,” at 6:30 p.m. at the AMK Ranch, located north of Leeks Marina. A barbecue, at a cost of $5 per person, will take place at 5:30 p.m. Reservations are not required. For more information, call the UW-NPS Center at (307) 543-2463.

Surdam, who just retired as director of UW’s Carbon Management Institute, says observations from the Green River Formation in southwest Wyoming illustrate that global warming and climate change before anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions are undeniable.

“The crucial question is, ‘Are anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions accelerating the rate of climate change?’ The confluence of rising global temperatures with substantial increases in greenhouse gas emissions since the beginning of the industrial revolution strongly suggests that the answer to this question is yes,” Surdam says. “In any case, the observations from the Green River Formation demonstrate that to ignore the potential negative effects of climate dynamics is irresponsible, as they may lead to catastrophic consequences.”

With degrees in geology from the University of California-Los Angeles, Surdam served as a faculty member in the UW Department of Geology for 32 years, retiring from that post in 1998. Before leaving the university, he had served as director of the Institute of Energy Research from 1993-98. He also served as director of the Enhanced Oil Recovery Institute from 1997-99. In 2004, he was appointed director of the Wyoming State Geological Survey, where he served until 2010. During his time there, he led the search for potential carbon sequestration sites in Wyoming, leading to the designation of the Rock Springs Uplift as an ideal site for carbon sequestration.

The UW-NPS Research Center provides a base for university faculty members and government scientists from throughout North America to conduct research in the diverse aquatic and terrestrial environments of Grand Teton National Park and the greater Yellowstone area.

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