December 26, 2008
Roger Revelle was born March 7, 1909 and lived a full life until he passed away on July 15, 1991. He was the professor who was instrumental in convincing the mind of a young Al Gore that global warming was having an impact on the earth and would have greater impacts if man did not reduce carbon emissions. What is so extraordinary about this fact is that Roger Revelle was 40 years ahead of the rest of the science community. Most scoffed and ridiculed his message and science behind it. Today the science community is almost completely united around the idea that man is having an impact on climate change that may be racing out of control. Al Gore later became a senator from Tennessee and then Vice-President under Bill Clinton. An unsuccessful bid for the presidency in 2000 left Al Gore disappointed and somewhat depressed. But always looking for a cause he remembered his lessons in college from Professor Revelle. Al Gore has always championed the rights of the environment and set out to preach the message that Roger Revelle started. Global warming is more than just a chance happening that occurs on a regular cycle, for the first time man has had a huge hand in global temperatures due to the excessive release of fossil fuels. Since leaving office Al Gore has championed the cause of global warming and man's responsibility by producing the documentary film, An Inconvenient Truth, for which he was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. Al Gore visited Scripps Institution of Oceanography to pay homage to the contributions it has made for the furthering the understanding of climate change in May of 2007.
The boat I am on is named after Roger Revelle. It was commissioned in 1996 by the Scripps Ocean Institute of which Roger Revelle was a member in his earlier years as an oceanographer in California. Roger wrote a paper in 1957 called Hans Suess, which explains that the peculiar chemistry of seawater prevents it from absorbing earth's excess CO2 at the rate scientist were predicting. It is considered the first to sound an alarm on global warming. The R/V ROGER REVELLE is a ship fitted to travel the world's oceans, carrying scientist around the globe in the search of science in our oceans. The ship keeps very active, after letting our group off in Punta Arenas, Chile. The REVELLE will take another group of scientist to Antarctica. Then it will take yet another group to South Africa before moving on. A member of the crew told me that the REVELLE had not been back to its homeport in San Diego in two years. Just like Roger Revelle himself, the ship looks tirelessly across the oceans to find its hidden secrets, mysteries, and possible answers for the world we live in.
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