Climate change expert to discuss grim global warming predictions

October 28, 2008

HOUSTON, Oct. 28, 2008 - On the day Americans elect a new president, one of the nation's leading climate change experts will speak at the University of Houston and outline the daunting global warming challenges awaiting the next administration.

Kevin Trenberth, head of climate analysis at the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) in Boulder, Colo., will discuss evidence of manmade global warming at a colloquium Tuesday, Nov. 4. The event is free and open to the public.

Trenberth is a lead author of global warming reports issued by the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. He contends that dramatic global efforts to reduce carbon emissions are necessary and that even then it will take decades to reverse the warming trend.

Trenberth will present an accessible yet scientific and evidence-based lecture for those interested in climate change. He also will take questions from the audience. Hosted by UH's physics department, the lecture begins at 4 p.m. in Room 102 of the Science and Engineering Research and Classroom Complex.

"Trenberth knows the climate data better than anyone I've heard, and he'll give a very sober, balanced assessment," said Lawrence S. Pinsky, chairman of the department of physics at UH. "He'll gain the respect of everyone, whether they agree with him or not."

He will talk about the planet's rising temperatures, asserting that the culprit is the burning of fossil fuels and that the warming will continue. His argument includes discussion of the long lead time for carbon emission policies, saying action is needed now to stave off devastating consequences in the coming decades.

"Adaptation to the coming changes must occur," Trenberth said. "Our planet is potentially changing into one that will not be recognizable in 50 years and beyond."

NCAR provides the university science and teaching community the resources researchers need to improve human understanding of atmospheric and Earth system processes, with its scientists looking closely at the role of humans in both creating climate change and responding to severe weather occurrences.

WHO: Kevin Trenberth, head of climate analysis at NCAR

WHAT: Global Warming Colloquium

WHEN: 4 p.m., Tuesday, Nov. 4

WHERE: University of Houston, Science and Engineering Research and Classroom Complex, Room 102; Entrance 14 off Cullen Boulevard (http://uh.edu/campus_map/buildings/SEC.php)
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University of Houston

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