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Climate Change at the Crossroads

Series Honors Scripps Climate Science for Earth Month 2016


  • Dolores Davies

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  • Dolores Davies

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The University of California, San Diego Library will hold a series of events this April in recognition of Earth Month 2016. The Climate Change at the Crossroads series salutes renowned climate scientists at the university’s Scripps Institution of Oceanography with three events that will shed light on different facets of climate change, including the need for a unified disciplinary approach, the impact of deceptive campaigns to confuse the public, and the importance of clear and accurate scientific communications. All events are free and open to the public, and will be held from 5:30 – 7:30 pm in the Seuss Room in Geisel Library. Reservations are recommended and can be made here.

The Climate Change at the Crossroads series will kick off on Wednesday, April 6, with a talk by Veerabhadran Ramanathan, a distinguished professor of atmospheric and climate sciences at Scripps on Bending the Curve of Climate Change: Why Do We Need an Alliance Between Science, Religion & Policy?

Image: Veerabhadran Ramanathan

Professor Veerabhadran Ramanathan

Prof. Ramanathan is known for his pioneering research on climate change and climate change mitigation, and was the first scientist to identify particulate black carbon as the second-largest human contributor to global warming after CO2. The recipient of the Champions of the Earth Award, the United Nation’s highest environmental honor, Ramanathan is a member of the Pontifical Academy of Sciences, and played a key role in advising Pope Francis and other religious leaders on climate change issues. Last June, Pope Francis issued a new encyclical urging humanity to wean itself off fossil fuels. He is also playing a leadership role in the University of California’s Carbon Neutrality Initiative, in which the UC system has pledged to nearly eliminate its contribution to global warming.

Ramanathan, who has been studying climate science since the 1970s, and has participated in numerous Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change reports, along with other Scripps climate scientists, as well as the COP21 climate talks in Paris in December 2015. Ramanathan has conducted extensive research on various climate mitigation measures discussed in Paris, such as the controlling of emissions of methane, soot and other forms of black carbon, refrigerants and other agents that produce a strong greenhouse effect in the atmosphere but for substantially shorter periods of time than CO2.

Reservations are recommended and can be made at here.

Image: Ellie Farahani and Lynn Russell

From left to right, Ellie Farahani, executive director, Scripps Climate Science & Policy Master’s program and Professor Lynn Russell

On Thursday, April 21, Lynn Russell, a Scripps Oceanography Professor of Atmospheric Chemistry and Ellie Farahani, executive director of Scripps’ Climate Science & Policy Master’s program, will present “Merchants of Doubt” and its Legacy for Climate Science and Policy. The documentary film, Merchants of Doubt, is based on the book written by former UC San Diego science historian Naomi Oreskes, who now teaches at Harvard. Russell, who conducts research on aerosol particle chemistry to increase our understanding of the role atmospheric aerosols play in Earth’s climate, uses the film in her teaching to demonstrate how climate change deniers and special interests have attempted to influence the science policy landscape.

Reservations can be made at here.

On Thursday, April 28, Climate scientist and communicator Richard Somerville will present the last event in the series, Climate Change: Strong Science, Forceful Actions, Positive Outcomes.

Image: Richard Somerville

Professor Emeritus Richard Somerville

A Distinguished Professor Emeritus at Scripps Oceanography, Somerville has made fundamental contributions to our understanding of the key physical processes that fuel climate change. Over the last several years, he has championed the importance of clear and understandable communication of the science of climate change, and last year was awarded the American Geophysical Union’s Climate Communication Prize, in recognition of his efforts. The author or co-author of more than 200 scientific publications, Somerville’s award-winning book, The Forgiving Air: Understanding Environmental Change, was recently reissued by the American Meteorological Society.

Reservations for the April 28 event can be made at here.

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