January 3, CSU Atmospheric Science professor Scott Denning joined us to discuss Climate Change.  According to Prof. Denning, climate change is 'Simple, Serious, and Solvable'.  He started with a simple model explaining 'sun energy in, minus sun energy out equals temperature change'.  He went on to explaining how the 3-atom bond of CO2 traps more energy than the simple 2-atom bonds of oxygen and nitrogen, the two primary elements in our atmosphere.  Humans add CO2 to the atmosphere by burning carbon-based fuels - primarily gas, oil and coal.  He reminded us that the basic science of climate change has been known since 1863, with only more details being learned over time.

Next he explained 'seriousness' by showing how a 10 F degree change would make Denver's climate closer to the Amarillo, Texas climate of today.   In answer to a question, he predicted that with no change in human behavior, the earth will warm by 10 F in the next 100 years.  

Last, explaining 'solvable', he noted that it took 1% of GDP to add indoor plumbing to all building, and reminded us of all the jobs created in the process.  A 1% of GDP investment will be required to move us from a carbon-burning energy economy to a renewable (sun and wind) energy economy.  In answer to a question, he stated that we should be investing more on nuclear energy research, but it's not likely to happen because of expense.