Terrence Gerlach will discuss whether volcanoes or people release more carbon dioxide into the air at 6:30 p.m. Monday, March 9, at the Waupaca Area Public Library.
Free and open to the public, his presentation, “Volcanic Versus Anthropogenic CO2 Emissions,” is hosted by Winchester Academy.
In 2014, the American Association for the Advancement of Science launched an initiative to expand public dialogue on climate change and address the fact that many Americans believe the scientific community is divided on this issue.
One of the topics of confusion and uncertainty for many years has been whether global volcanism releases more carbon dioxide (CO2) than the activities of humanity, commonly known as “anthropogenic carbon dioxide.”
Gerlach holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the University of Wisconsin and a doctorate in geology from the University of Arizona. He has carried out research on volcanic gases for over 40 years and published over 100 peer-reviewed studies on the chemistry of volcanic gases and volcano degassing.
Gerlach said he is frequently asked how volcanic CO2 emissions compare with anthropogenic CO2 emissions. “Diverse group of people — the general public, the media, students, educators, climate and energy policy makers, Earth scientists in fields outside volcanology, and, of course, people working in the fossil fuel industry — have asked me this question.”
His presentation will “set the record straight,” based on his extensive geological research. It’s “all science — no political proselytizing or polemics.”
Gerlach joined Sandia National Laboratories, a Department of Energy facility, in 1975, where he worked until 1989 as a research geologist, including seven years as the supervisor of Sandia’s Geochemistry Division.
In 1990, he joined the U.S. Geological Survey as project chief of the Volcano Emissions Project.
He and his team studied gas emissions from a volcanoes across in Oregon, Washington, Alaska, Hawaii, Wyoming, the Philippines and Mexico.
He has developed techniques for measuring volcanic gas emissions, studied the atmospheric and environmental impacts of volcanic gases, and inventoried the present-day global output of gases released by volcanoes—especially carbon dioxide
Gerlach grew up in Weyauwega. He is retired from the USGS and presently lives in Waupaca. He maintains an active interest in volcanic gas research and in the geology of Wisconsin, especially Waupaca County.
Winchester Academy programs are funded through sponsors and through tax-deductible donations.
Gerlach’s program is sponsored by Richard and Kathy Wagner.
For more information about Winchester Academy, visit winchesteracademywaupaca.org or contact Executive Director Ann Buerger Linden at 715-258-2917 or firstname.lastname@example.org.