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Monday, September 16, 2013
Michaels at Shoreline
2960 Shoreline Blvd.
Mountain View, CA

Many Uncertainties About Climate Change

Presented by
Donald Anthrop
Professor Emeritus
Department of Environmental Studies
San Jose State University

6:00 PM No Host Bar
6:30 PM Dinner
7:00 PM Speaker



In May 2013, atmospheric carbon dioxide levels measured atop the Mauna Loa volcano on the island of Hawaii reached 399.5 parts per million (ppm). This compares with concentrations of about 370ppm measured in 2001 and 356ppm in 1990. However, global mean temperature has not tracked the atmospheric CO2 concentration particularly well. Since the beginning of the 20th century, global mean temperature has increased by about 0.8°C. However, since about 2001, global mean temperature has remained essentially unchanged while atmospheric concentrations increased from 370ppm to 400ppm, This would suggest that factors in addition to CO2 are affecting climate.

Despite the fact that the Obama Administration's energy regulations have already had very serious unintended consequences, in July the President announced his intention to implement new regulations to reduce CO2 emissions from existing power generating plants. The administration claims the new regulations will reduce US CO2 emissions by 17% between 2005 and 2020. EIA was already projecting a reduction of 545 million mt over this time period due to improved energy efficiency and increased use of natural gas. The new regulations will further reduce CO2 emissions by an additional 464 million mt. This reduction represents 1.3% of world CO2 emissions in 2020. More significantly, emissions from China alone are expected to increase by 464 million mt in just the next year. This illustrates the futility of efforts by the US government to reduce CO2 emissions in the US as long as there are no constraints on emissions in developing countries.


Donald Anthrop received a B.S. in Chemistry from Purdue University in 1957 and a Ph.D. in Materials Engineering from the University of California, Berkeley, in 1963. He specialized in high-temperature thermodynamics. He feels fortunate and honored to have studied thermodynamics from two renowned researchers, Professors Alan Searcy and William Giauque. Prof. Giauque was awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 1949 for experimentally verifying the third law of thermodynamics.

After receiving his Ph.D., he worked in the aerospace industry, Avco Corporation, for several years and then at Lawrence Livermore Laboratory. In 1968, he accepted a teaching position at Dominguez Hills State College, which at the time was the newest campus in the State University system. In 1971, he joined the faculty at San Jose State University to work in a new program in environmental science. He was only the second faculty member in that program at the time. At SJSU, he taught primarily energy and water courses. He retired from SJSU in 2004, returning occasionally to teach a course. He has over 70 published papers. One of his first papers on energy, "The Environmental Side Effects of Energy Production," was published in the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists in 1970. >

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