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Do you have questions about what it’s like to be a environmental scientist? Ask Robert Corbin, and keep your eyes on Science Buzz for the answer!

“Don’t think that 1ºF is a big deal? Think again. Over the last 100 years, melting glaciers and rising temperatures have caused sea levels to rise six to eight inches worldwide. This could be catastrophic for low-lying countries such as Bangladesh and the Netherlands, and big cities on coastal plains or river deltas—Shanghai, Bangkok, Jakarta, Tokyo, New York—are also at risk.”

Robert Corbin, Vice President of Learning Experiences at Discovery Place, is an environmental scientist who helps educate about an inconvenient truth—global warming.

Gases in the Earth’s atmosphere (mostly water vapor and carbon dioxide, but a few others as well), trap solar heat in our atmosphere and warm the surface of the planet. This “greenhouse effect” is a good thing, because it makes life on Earth possible. However, by burning fossil fuels such as coal, gas, and oil, and clearing forests, we’ve dramatically increased the amount of carbon dioxide in the Earth’s atmosphere. And temperatures are rising.

The Earth has warmed about 1ºF over the last century. Some of the change may be natural, but most climatologists think the greenhouses gases people produce are the big culprits. Climate models suggest that the Earth’s temperature will continue to rise as long as we keep adding to the greenhouse gases in the atmosphere.