Thorlieffsson to speak about climate change

Matthew Housiaux

Augustana College will be the next stop of a Norwegian mariner and a modern-day explorer.

Travelling around the United States, Thorlieff Thorlieffsson tells stories of his trips and gives warning of the dangers of impending climate change.

The lecture “A voyage around the North Pole: Modern Exploration and Climate Change” will focus on data and experiences accrued on a 2010 expedition. On that same voyage, Thorleiffsson and fellow explorer Borge Ousland became the first to sail around the Arctic in one season.

Climate change within the region will take up the largest portion of the talk due to a general consensus within the scientific community about the fragility of the world’s ecosystem.

“Ninety percent of climate-change-scientists around the world are very concerned.  We’re just really starting to understand how fast the glaciers have begun to melt,” Augustana biology professor Stephen Matzner said.

As it stands, the amount of carbon in the atmosphere is fast-approaching 500 PPM (parts-per meter). 500 PPM is the  calculated melting/freezing point for the ice caps located at both the North and South Poles.

“In the next 100 years we could have every major coastal city dealing with severe flooding problems,” Matzner said.

The lecture will also include a discussion of prominent Norwegian explorers in history.

Thorleiffsson’s lecture will be  at 7 p.m., Oct. 8 in Kresge Recital Hall.

The event is open and free to the public.