PAUL SIMS | Starkville Daily News
Population is one factor driving global climate change concerns, a Mississippi State University professor said Monday. Dr. Roger King, a William L. Giles Distinguished professor and director of MSU’s Center for Advanced Vehicular Systems, spoke to Starkville Rotarians today from his background as chief technologist for Earth Science Applications with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration. King cited statistics which showed that in mid-2003, some 6.2 billion people inhabited the planet and the United States had about 290 million residents. As of Friday, the global population figure stood at approximately 6.7 billion and the U.S. number was about 305 million.
The global population increase over roughly the last five years is about 474.1 million. Projections show that by 2025, some 8 billion people will live on the Earth. “According to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, scientific evidence confirms that human activities are a discernible cause of a substantial part of the warming experienced over the 20th century. New studies indicate that temperatures in recent decades are higher than at any time in at least the past 1,000 years. It is very unlikely that these unusually high temperatures can be explained solely by natural climate variations,” the report entitled “Climate Change Impacts on the United States” from 2000 reads.
Other documents and information on the subject of global climate change can be found through http://www.climatescience.gov/.
One point King made about the greenhouse effect is that “if it didn’t exist, we wouldn’t exist,” he said. If greenhouse gases were not in place, the planet could not capture heat, King said. “The plant has got to warm up or we can’t live,” he said. “It’s very much a system,” he said and noted that it’s important to monitor what happens in systems. King noted that 2007 was the eighth warmest year on record and ice mass in at least one location is changing. “It’s a very challenging thing to look at this,” he said.