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Climate change exhibition opens at Saint Louis Science Center

Burning fossil fuels, like oil and coal, produces pollutants — including carbon dioxide, which contributes to climate change (© Kenn W. Kiser/Morguefile)

An exhibition on climate change has opened at the Saint Louis Science Center.

The exhibition stays away from political controversies, focusing on the science of climate change and its human and environmental implications.

Through text, diagrams, interactive stations, and videos, the exhibition shows how human activities are producing greenhouse gasses and contributing to climate change.

It also describes how an altered climate will disrupt human societies and damage ecosystems, and presents options for shifting away from fossil fuels to alternative energy sources.

Saint Louis University climate scientist BillDannevik says exhibitions like this one play an important role in informing the public.

“Because it’s going to take pressure from the public at large and [in] this country, from the voters, essentially, if you’re going to get meaningful, coordinated, response from the government to curb greenhouse gas emissions,” Dannevik said.

Dannevik says one impact of a warmer atmosphere will be changes to the hydrologic cycle – how water is stored and moves around the planet.

“Meaning that events that contribute to the hydrologic cycle such as precipitation, heavy precipitation events, events that move large amounts of water vapor from one latitude to another, such as hurricanes and wintertime mid-latitude storms, might become more frequent or more intense as the atmosphere continues to warm,” Dannevik explained.

Dannevik says where those severe weather events will occur is more difficult to predict.

The Saint Louis Science Center climate change exhibition is free, and runs through May 15th.

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