MSNBC’s Morning Joe Features Arctic Experts To Explain “Dire Warning Signs” Of Climate Change

Co-Host Mika Brzezinski Contrasts President Obama’s Commitment To Climate Action With Donald Trump “Calling This Whole Thing A Hoax”

From the September 28 edition of MSNBC's Morning Joe:

Video file

JOE SCARBOROUGH (CO-HOST): Explain to people that are watching how the Arctic really is ground zero in the battle against climate change.

FRAN ULMER (CHAIR, U.S. ARCTIC RESEARCH COMMISSION): Well, the Arctic is warming faster than any other place on Earth. Alaska, for example, has warmed about 4 degrees in the summer, about 7 degrees in the winter, and that's having profound effects on a system that is very much driven by the importance of ice. We need ice because actually the Arctic kind of acts as a refrigerator for the planet. It helps moderate temperatures in mid-latitudes, as well as in Alaska and in the Arctic, so it's very important that we increase our understanding of what is happening, the rapid rate of change in the Arctic. You know, if you look at some of the communities in the Arctic, for example, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has estimated that about two dozen villages in Alaska will have to be moved because of rising sea level, increased coastal erosion, thawing permafrost. This is huge. But this is only the beginning for coastal areas around the world. 

SCARBOROUGH: I was just going to ask. Dr. Mathis, is what's happening up in the Arctic, is that not just a leading indicator of what faces all of us if we don't take the appropriate steps to curb climate change and global warming? 

JEREMY MATHIS (SCIENTIST, NATIONAL OCEAN AND ATMOSPHERIC ADMINISTRATION): Absolutely. The Arctic is giving us a pulse of the planet for what's happening. And just like you go to the doctor and get a blood pressure reading to tell you whether you're healthy or not, the blood pressure of the Arctic is really high right now, and so if we use that to tell us how the rest of the planet's going to respond to climate change, I think there's still time to do something about it. But we have to pay close attention to the really dire warning signs that we're seeing in the Arctic right now.

MIKA BRZEZINSKI (CO-HOST): These images are stunning. It's so interesting, Joe, that you have the President of the United States right now, President Obama, wanting to make this a significant part of his legacy, and then you've got Donald Trump. Take a look. 


BILL O'REILLY (FOX NEWS HOST): Do you believe in global warming, climate change? Do you think the world's going to change for the worse because it's getting warmer?

DONALD TRUMP: I think that there'll be little change here, it'll go up, it'll get a little cooler, it'll get a little warmer, like it always has for millions of years. But I don't believe that what they say, I think it's a big scam for a lot of people to make a lot of money.


BRZEZINSKI: So, Fran, what do you think of the Republican nominee calling this whole thing a hoax as it pertains to climate change?

ULMER: You know, I'm hopeful that as time goes by more and more people, including people running for public office, will take the time to really understand this issue. It shouldn't be a partisan issue. It should be one of the most important things that we as a nation and we as a world focus on, which is why President Obama has really elevated the attention given, not only to climate change but to the importance of the Arctic as a region. 

BRZEZINSKI: Well, congratulations for getting this together, good luck today. Fran Ulmer and Dr. Jeremy Mathis.

SCARBOROUGH: So important, thank you guys so much for your work.


White House Arctic Science Ministerial: September 28, 2016


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