Understanding Climate Change: All the Natural and Human Causes

Although anthropogenic (human made), post-industrial revolution greenhouse gases are commonly attributed to be the cause of climate change, there are in fact many factors that contribute to climate change and global warming, past and present.

Geological evidence indicates that global climate has changed throughout Earth history, including contributions from long-term heat loss from the Earth to the atmosphere, Earth’s orbital behaviour, and a number of plate tectonic processes. In addition, atmospheric and oceanographic dynamics and the way that tectonic plate and continental movements control these, also play a part in changing global climate. Volcanism constantly releases gases to the atmosphere producing contradictory effects on atmospheric temperature and in some cases, global climate.

And then, there is the elephant in the room – human generated greenhouse gases. How does their effect stack up against all the previous causes? All will be revealed!

About the Speaker

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Presented as part of the Inspiring Victoria program in 2023.

Professor Raymond Cas is an Emeritus Professor in Volcanology in the School of Earth, Atmosphere and Environment at Monash University, where he taught, undertook research and was Head of the former School of Geosciences. He is well known internationally in the volcanology research community for his research on volcanic eruption processes and volcanic hazards on modern volcanoes around the world, as well as having been President of the International Association for Volcanology (IAVCEI, 2011-2015). Ray also undertook research in collaboration with the mining industry to develop a better understanding of mineral ore deposits such as gold, silver, copper, lead, zinc, nickel and diamonds hosted in ancient volcanic rock successions. He is the (co-) author of over 150 research papers, one book on volcanology, with another currently in production and has supervised over 50 postgraduate students.

Ray is still undertaking research at a relaxed pace as an Emeritus Professor.