Bob Ryan addresses climate change with Rapp at Home
One of meteorologist Bob Ryan’s favorite quotes is from Nobel Prize winning chemist Sherwood Rowland. Known for his expertise surrounding ozone depletion, Rowland’s words continue to inspire scientists around the world:
“What’s the use of having developed a science well enough to make predictions if, in the end, all we’re willing to do is stand around and wait for them to come true?”
Ryan is a man of Rappahannock renown, including with those of us who relied on his nimble weather forecasts from the New York set of The Today Show and later NBC4 in the big Washington. Others who harken from New England grew up with Bob in Boston, where he tracked all manner of weather, including the deadly winter storm of ‘78 that in 24 hours’ time buried the region in 36 inches of snow.
Ryan might be retired, his home with its own private weather station atop a Woodville-area mountain, but his meteorological prophecies are still burning. In fact, he spoke this week to a Rapp at Home audience about the measurable impacts of climate change, here in Rappahannock County and around the world.
He recalled the 1940’s and 50’s and ENIAC, the first numerical weather prediction computer to provide a 24-hour forecast. It wasn’t much longer that sophisticated satellites could pinpoint plumes of sandstorms in the northern tip of Africa, and even more revealing the delicate thin atmosphere of our earth that is now in such danger.
He spoke of the economic drivers of climate change, greenhouse gases, warming seas, and rising temperatures in Anchorage. The oceans, Ryan explained, are getting more acidic with the increased heat. The water is rising in places like Miami and Hampton Roads here in Virginia, where local governments have already taken to building new bridges and taller structures, with seawalls protecting land and shipping docks.
More heat results in more rainfall, Ryan added, listing the consequences to mankind as well — he was factual, not dramatic, not predicting the earth’s end, but methodically, in great detail, discussing the changes over millennia that are well underway in our lifetime.
Renowned meteorologist Bob Ryan spoke this week to members of Rapp at Home.