Science enthusiasts raise a pint at Tir Na Nog

Date posted: May 1, 2013

Three men sitting(Natalie Hampton photo)Ryan Boyles, center, answers questions about climate change at Pints of Science. With him are graduate student Tyson Wepprich, left, and Nick Haddad.

A group of faithful science enthusiasts gathered Tuesday night at Tir Na Nog pub in downtown Raleigh to raise a pint and hear scientists from the SE Climate Science Center talk about global climate change.

The crowd filled about half the restaurant for the event, part of a new series called Pints of Science. Featured speakers were graduate student Tyson Wepprich, recently named a fellow of the climate center; state climatologist Ryan Boyles; and biology professor Dr. Nick Haddad.

Each presenter offered a perspective on global climate change. Boyles described how North Carolina — a state that experiences nearly every natural disaster known to man — is already adapting to climate change. Haddad described his research into different pathways that wildlife and plant species can use to escape severe climate change.

After brief presentations where the speakers appeared more like stand-up comics than university researchers, the three took questions from the audience. Several individuals asked how to respond to those who believe that climate change is not real. Boyles said the accelerated rate of climate change in recent years leaves little doubt the phenomenon is real.

Boyles also cited the importance of citizen scientists in the climate research. Rainfall counts, for instance, have long been documented by a group of citizens with varying degrees of science experience, he said.

-N. Hampton

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