Boiseans play part in climate change research

Posted at 6:39 PM, May 21, 2017
and last updated 2017-05-24 19:32:52-04

This week, researchers report new evidence of climate change in the most remote part of the planet. Antarctica is starting to turn green.

There is a team of scientists and others on a mission to prepare farmers and firefighters for the changing times here in the Gem state.

Ninety-seven percent of all scientists agree that climate change is happening and that it's human caused.

At Boise State University, geoscience students are studying ancient pieces of the earth. The glimpse into the past at how the climate has changed can help them better understand how to shape the future with temperatures on the rise.

"The climate is changing, we are causing it and we owe it, really, to the next generation and the next generation of Idahoans to do the right thing," says Jennifer Pierce, an associate professor at BSU in the geosciences department.

Of course, daily weather and a region's climate are two different things. One affects the other.

A research and climate change policy communications strategist with ties to Boise is working to find out American's views on the topic. We asked Catherine Martini what her thoughts are on climate change and recent flooding in Idaho.

"No single extreme weather event can be attributed to climate change," she says. "However, human caused climate change is definitely increasing the frequency and intensity of these extreme weather events."

Pierce has been studying wildfires in Idaho for the last 17 years. She's focused on coming up with tools for firefighters who she says will be going up against bigger and more intense fires.

"To stay on the positive side of everything, let's focus on what we can do, let's focus on moving forward on ways we can reduce those fossil fuel emissions and all get together, " Pierce says. "This is everyone's issue. This is not a Republican issue, a Democratic issue."

With plenty of alternative energy sources out there like hydro, wind, solar, nuclear and geothermal power, those in the forefront are hopeful for a better future.

Martini thinks it's important the U.S. keeps their end of the bargain at the International Climate Summit.

"I think pretty much everybody wants clean air and clean water for their kids. Everybody wants to feel safe," Martini says. "Yet, we think we're really different. And, I think the way that we think about this issue and the way we talk about it is very divisive."

An International Climate Summit is held every year. This year, Germany will serve as the host in Nov.