Date: November 2 Time: 18:00 - 22:00
FREE monthly event. No booking required
First Fridays at the Castle is an action-packed open night on the first Friday of every month with activities for visitors of all ages.
18:00-20:00 – 30 minute workshops
Four half-hour hands on family friendly sessions with our in-house teacher and astronomer, Frances McCarthy. Explore Hurricane Sandy – where did it go? where is it headed? how are hurricanes named? what would you do in a hurricane?
20:00 -21:00 – Lecture
Join Professor Ray Bates for….
“The greenhouse effect, global warming and monitoring the
Earth’s climate from space”
The Earth is heated by energy received from the sun in the form of visible radiation and cools by the emission of energy back to space in the form of infrared radiation. The planet’s temperature is determined by the balance between these incoming and outgoing energy flows. The greenhouse effect arises because some of the infrared radiation emitted upward from the Earth’s surface, balancing the solar energy absorbed there, is itself absorbed by atmospheric greenhouse gases such as water vapour and carbon dioxide and is re-emitted back to the surface.
In this way, the atmospheric greenhouse gases add to the warming of the surface, acting like a blanket over the Earth. The natural greenhouse effect, which occurs in the absence of human greenhouse gas emissions, keeps the surface about 33 degrees warmer than it would otherwise be and is essential in making the Earth comfortable for life. However, human greenhouse gas emissions, which arise when we burn coal, oil or gas, are adding to the natural greenhouse effect and causing an enhanced greenhouse effect. This is causing global temperatures to rise above their natural equilibrium values, leading to the melting of ice sheets and a rise in sea level.
The lecture will describe these effects and discuss how the Earth’s changing climate is monitored from space.
An insight into Ray….
Ray Bates is Adjunct Professor in the Meteorology and Climate Centre at UCD. He was formerly Professor of Meteorology at the Niels Bohr Institute of the University of Copenhagen and a Senior Scientist at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Centre. His speciality is climate modelling and the study of climate feedbacks. Prof. Bates graduated in physics from UCD and obtained his PhD in Meteorology from the Massachussetts Institute of Technology. He was awarded the Vilhelm Bjerknes Medal of the European Geosciences Union in 2009 for his research in weather and climate.
He is particularly interested in climate feedbacks – the mechanisms that keep the global climate stable at its current equilibrium and that determine its sensitivity to external forcing such as that due to CO2 increase. He is also involved in studying the mechanisms that determine the polar amplification of the surface warming in an enhanced greenhouse world. He and his collaborators have been studying these questions using general circulation models and simple conceptual models of the climate system.
Note – BCO members enjoy priority seating
From 21:00 – Stargazing (weather dependent)
Once the skies are clear, BCO astronomers and the Cork Astronomy Club will help train your eyes towards the constellations