Purdue Prof: Global Warming Real, Despite Snow

Professor Warns Of Climate Change Dangers

Indiana's recent cold streak has made some skeptical about the existence of global warming, but a Purdue University expert said the dangers are real.

Kevin Gurney, a professor and associate director of the school's Climate Change Research Center said he's been peppered with questions following three significant snows in central Indiana, 6News' Renee Jameson reported.

But he stressed that the key is looking long term, not focusing on the short-term conditions.

"Snow can be a very local phenomenon. So that could mean that a particular place could be getting snow, but when you integrate across the entire planet, the entire planet may be getting warmer, even though very specific spots might actually be getting colder," Gurney said.

A team led by Purdue scientists has developed a mapping system that quantifies carbon dioxide emissions from coal and gasoline.

Gurney said the project helps demystify the connection between fossil fuel use and climate change.

"All of that data tends to point in the same direction, that the average global mean temperature is indeed going up over time," he said. "We're digging up carbon that was put into the ground a long, long time ago and simply transferring it to the atmosphere, and, by doing that, we warm up the planet."

Some students said they take concerns over climate change to heart, while others aren't convinced.

"I'm from China, and it's getting very warm in China, but it's very cold here," one student said.

"I do believe it's a problem, and I do believe it's something that will affect us long term," another student said.

Gurney urged all Hoosiers to educate themselves about the environment and make an effort to waste less.

"Energy conservation is always the easiest," he said, "and the wonderful thing about energy conservation is that by doing it, people also save money."