Steve in a juror booth facing right and gesturing upward

Steve Running, Ph.D.

Regents Professor Emeritus, Ecosystem and Conservation Sciences, University of Montana, Shared Nobel Peace Prize in 2007 as a chapter lead author for the 4th Assessment of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC)

Location: Missoula, MT

Dr. Running received a PhD in Forest Ecology, who was with the University of Montana from 1979 to 2017, when he retired. His primary area of research is the development of global and regional ecosystem biogeochemical models, which entails writing software for NASA. 

Dr. Steve Running’s report provides important background information necessary to understand the basics of how GHG emissions cause climate change. Dr. Running explains that GHG emissions (mostly in the form of CO2) are driving climate change impacts and harming youth plaintiffs. High CO2 concentrations in the atmosphere cause the earth to warm. Further, every ton of CO2 emitted into the atmosphere makes the climate emergency worse. Based on scientific research of past eras of climate stability, CO2 concentrations should remain below around 350 ppm and not at current levels at 421 ppm. However, Dr. Running reports that even though we are now far beyond the bounds of 350 ppm—and heading in the wrong direction—it is still feasible to reduce CO2 concentrations to recommended levels, if action is taken swiftly enough.