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Scientists Gather In San Diego To Talk About Global Warming

Photo by Susan Murphy

Maya deVries, a researcher with Scripps Institution of Oceanography, discusses ocean acidic levels and their effect on intertidal marine life, June 15, 2016. She was speaking at the American Association for the Advancement of Science conference in San Diego.

Climate change, heat waves and acid levels in the ocean are some of the major topics at a conference this week at the University of San Diego.

Scientists from San Diego and a dozen countries around the world are gathered at the University of San Diego this week to share their latest research. Among some of the major topics at the American Association for the Advancement of Science conference are climate change, heat waves and ocean acidification.

Geophysicist Peter Ward, who worked for the U.S. Geological Survey for nearly three decades, discussed warming global temperatures during his Wednesday session.

“There’s a very interesting correlation between warming and volcanism at the end of the last ice age,” Ward said.

He said the past two years of record warmth can be attributed to more than greenhouse gases. Ward blames ozone depletion caused by the Bardarbunga volcano eruption in Iceland in September 2014.

“It was the biggest flow of basalt that’s been observed since 1783,” Ward said. “Now that’s good news, because if it’s Baroarbunga that’s causing the warming, next year we can expect it to be getting cooler again.”

Global temperatures in 2015 were nearly 1.6 degrees Fahrenheit above the average for all of the 20th Century. This year is on track to be even warmer, Ward said.

The conference wraps up on Friday, but the topic of soaring temperatures will likely continue to dominate discussions in San Diego as the region is expecting triple-digit heat this weekend.

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