Wallace S. Broecker dies, father of the term "climate change" | Society

It's very probable that Wallace S. Broecker he did not imagine in 1975 the impact that the title of a scientific article he wrote that year would have for decades. Climate Change: are we on the brink of a pronounced global warming? (in Spanish: Climate Change: Are we on the verge of pronounced global warming?"), warned that the world would suffer an increase in temperature due to the emission of greenhouse gases as a result of human activity, Broecker died on Monday, at age 87, in a hospital in New York. , the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) alerted that the planet had chained four years of record temperatures because of climate change.

Historical professor and researcher of the Columbia University, born in 1931 in Chicago, was also the first to use the expression "ocean conveyor belt", whose literal translation is oceanic conveyor belt and refers to the marine currents that define the climate. In that stream, he explained, the cold, salty water of the North Atlantic was coming down and functioning like a plunger.

10 years ago, in Madrid, when he received an award from the BBVA Foundation, affirmed that it had taken a long time "to convince the citizens that we are facing a serious and global problem". The scientist had noticed, however, a change of the third. "Finally in the last five years there has been a great change and people admit that there is a warming and that if the emissions continue to increase, the planet will heat up more," he said.

The recognition of the academic community to the findings of Broecker became less to pray than the imminence of climate change. He received the National Medal of Science in 1996 and was a member of the National Academy of Science. The so-called "grandfather of climate change" or "deans of climate scientists" had joined Columbia in 1959 and, according to the biographical data of the Associated Press, he spent most of his career in the Palisades laboratory in New York. York, dependent on his university.

On that visit to Madrid, Broecker recalled as "a coincidence" the use of the term "global warming". "I just used the words for the headline, in that article I warned that we were on the verge of a pronounced warming, and it was 1975 (...) A year later it really started [a detectarse el calentamiento], so it was a very interesting prediction. "

But his predictions still generate distance in the skeptics of climate change - starting with the president of the United States, Donald Trump - took advantage of the Chicago polar cold wave at the beginning of the month to make an ironic comment: "In the beautiful Midwest, the thermal sensation is reaching -51 degrees, the highest recorded cold." In the coming days, it is expected to cool even more. the street, not even a few minutes ... What the hell is going on with global warming? Please, come back quickly, we need you! " Broecker's disclosure task is far from complete.


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