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By Jia You –

Richard Alley works at the forefront of climate research, interpreting the time machine of climate past locked in ice cores he collected in some of the coldest places on Earth. The University of Pennsylvania geoscientist has spent more than 10 field seasons in Antarctica, Greenland and Alaska collecting clues from the ice sheets to tell us where climate may be heading now.

Alley frequently testifies before Congress, chaired the National Research Council’s Panel on Abrupt Climate Change and participated in the United Nation’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. He has also advised numerous administrations on climate change.

Alley has appeared in numerous television documentaries, and hosted “Earth: The Operators’ Manual,” a PBS special on climate change that he published as a book of the same title.

Alley shares his thoughts on why we must do more to address climate change and how that will bolster the economy.

“It is easier to break something than to build it,” he said at the Comer Abrupt Climate Change Conference held in southwestern Wisconsin this fall. “When we think about what we are doing to the climate, cranking up CO2, it’s very very unlikely that it turns the planet into Eden.”

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Dec. 2, 2015

Photo at top: Veteran climate scientist Ricard Alley argues fixing climate is good for the economy. (Kelly Calagna/Medill)

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