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20th and 21st Century Climate Change: Climate Modeling, Societal Impacts, and Environmental Justice with Warren M. Washington

Date: 7:00pm PST February 13 Location: Agnes Flanagan Chapel

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Agnes Flanagan Chapel

Everyone knows that recent climate has changed…almost everyone. The most recent Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Assessment Report (IPCC AR4) has convinced most climate scientists that humankind is changing the earth’s climate and that significant global warming is taking place.

Some scientists are skeptical of the IPCC view and think the observed changes result from natural climate variability or other causes. A brief review of recently observed 20th century climate change will be presented and compared with climate model simulations. These computer simulations are extended into the 21st century and beyond in preparation for the next IPCC assessment. A brief description of what is in climate models will be given with an emphasis on the physical and computational aspects. Computer simulations and animations of climate and future climate change will be shown from low and high carbon emission scenarios.

Finally, there will be a discussion of the scientific uncertainties and societal impacts along with an analysis of policy options including possible geoengineering of the climate system. The issue of environmental justice will also be discussed.

There will be a reception following the lecture at 8 p.m. in Gregg Pavilion.

About Warren M. Washington

Warren M. Washington, Senior Scientist at the National Center for Atmospheric Research in Boulder, Colorado was among the first scientists to pioneer the development of climate models that are used for evaluation of humankind’s impact on the global environment. He has worked the causes of climate change including global warming. Over the last 40 years, he has had Presidential Appointments under the Carter, Reagan, Clinton, and G.W. Bush administrations and he has served on many science committees and the including National Science Board, which he chaired from 2002 to 2006. He is a former President of the American Meteorological Society, a member of the National Academy of Engineering, American Academy of Arts and Science, and the American Philosophical Society. President Obama awarded him the National Medal of Science in 2010.

 

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