Ocean, climate change and Christianity talk
Two thirds of the surface of our blue planet is covered by water. Human activity is having profound effects on the world’s oceans with long-term consequences for climate change. Professor Meric Srokosz from the National Oceanography Centre will give a talk in Norwich on October 19.
Oceans are the reservoir that absorbs over 90% of the heat accumulated through global warming. The current state of the oceans provides insights into the effects of climate change over the next century when the average global temperature may rise by 1.5 or 2degrees Celsius.
Because of rising temperatures in ocean waters, there will be more intense hurricanes and other forms of “extreme” weather. Also, as a result of the changing patterns of ocean currents around the globe, some regions will become several degrees warmer, while other areas might be cooler than at present.
As a result of ice-caps melting in polar regions, and the seawater expanding as it warms, the sea level is rising. This will affect many millions of people in low-lying countries like Bangladesh and in many of the world’s major cities that are situated on the coast. It is obvious that global warming will have profound implications for social stability and food security around the world. It is an emergency! What should be the Christian response?
In addition to his expertise in oceanography, Professor Srokosz also has a degree in theology. From a biblical perspective, Meric will ask the question - what is the relationship between the ocean of our blue planet and its care by humankind? The historical narrative promotes the virtue of a balanced relationship between mankind and the natural world. Is this consistent with current scientific predictions about the major changes that we are causing to the Earth?
These themes are based on the speaker’s recent book, written with Dr Rebecca Watson, “Blue Planet, Blue God: the Bible and the Sea”. He uses the image of “blue” to reflect on both God’s creation of the oceans and on God’s sadness at the way that we have damaged the Earth. The talk will focus on possible Christian responses to climate change in the years to come.
Meric Srokosz works at the National Oceanography Centre in Southampton. His research includes the study of ocean current systems from space using satellite data. He is the coordinator of a programme which examines the potential slowdown in the circulation of the North Atlantic Current due to climate change. From 2012-2015 he was Associate Director of the Faraday Institute for Science and Religion, Cambridge.
The open lecture will take place on Tuesday 19th October at 7.30 pm at St Peter Mancroft Church. It forms part of the Gaia Exhibition that will focus on the social implications of the climate emergency. The talk is organised by Science and Faith in Norfolk (SFN), a Norwich-based discussion group exploring the interface between science, faith and social responsibility. All are welcome – of all faiths and none. There will be a (voluntary) retiring collection.
Further information is available on the websites
Contact: SFN Secretary, firstname.lastname@example.org
Dr Nick Brewin (07901 884114).