In his climate change keynote, Noah Diffenbaugh definitively states global warming is real and there is still time to act. The Stanford professor says not only is global warming happening, it is increasing the risk of high-impact events. This can be seen in the number of billion dollar disasters the world has experienced recently.
The speaker says the risks are much greater if green house gas emissions continue on their current "business as usual" trajectory than if they are constrained to targets proposed by the United Nations. By moving towards a carbon-free energy economy, we can change the average rising temperature from 4 degrees Celsius to 2 and avoid extreme heat, low snow years and other likely impacts. He notes the rate of change is comparable to 65 million years ago when the dinosaurs became extinct.
While the climate change keynote asserts there is hope for future innovation, global energy poverty is creating significant momentum for global warming. This will affect our ability to ensure energy access when it comes to water, cooking, illumination and transportation.