News this summer focused on several instances of extreme weather in the US.
ARCS Foundation turned to Dr. David Dixon, the 2022 ARCS Hall of Fame Inductee, to put these events into context. Dr. Dixon is known for his work in computational chemistry that caused a paradigm shift in the world’s major chemical companies. At DuPont’s Central Research at the Experimental Station in Wilmington, Delaware, Dixon’s research focused on eliminating atmospheric ozone-depleting substances and getting replacements to market as soon as possible. “We needed alternatives that would degrade more quickly and never reach the ozone layer,” Dixon said.
Dixon and his team came up with compounds that would fall apart by reacting with lower atmospheres. These alternatives to chlorofluorocarbons impacted the environment by initiating an evolution in energy production nationwide.
Dr. Dixon shares this with our ARCS audience: (the following is a quote from Dr. Dixon).
“The world is warming rapidly due to the influence of mankind in terms of energy use and production as well as production of food. This is in part due to an increasing population and increased standards of living for more people,” Dr. Dixon explains.
“The available data shows a steady increase in global temperature since the start of the Industrial Revolution, and this is due to mankind. As John Adams said in 1770, ‘…Facts are stubborn things; and whatever may be our wishes, our inclinations, or the dictates of our passions, they cannot alter the state of facts and evidence…’
Dr. Dixon continues, “We may not like the fact that global warming is occurring, but the scientific results are not in dispute. Global warming driven by mankind – leading to the potential for dramatic changes in climate – is here and we all must address this.”
“Yet, the young scientists of the type that ARCS supports will be the ones to address this critical issue and hopefully solve it for all of us.”
Dr. Dixon is currently a professor in Chemistry and Biochemistry at the University of Alabama.