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Presidents of Iceland, Bangladesh to discuss global climate change in New Orleans

The debate on climate change is heating up and its far reaching impacts will be discussed in New Orleans with two heads of state who are facing visible signs of climate change in their own countries -- Iceland and Bangladesh. What are they doing to slow it" How can their countries serve as models for the rest of the world" The presidents of Iceland and Bangladesh will address domestic and global climate change on Monday, Nov. 5 at the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center in New Orleans during the International Annual Meetings of the American Society of Agronomy (ASA), Crop Science Society of America (CSSA), and Soil Science Society of America (SSSA).

According to the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize winning Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), the Arctic and coastal areas in tropical Asia are extremely vulnerable to projected climate change and its impacts. Iceland, lying just south of the Arctic Circle, and Bangladesh are therefore at greater risk than other countries.

On Nov. 5 at 8:15 am, Iceland President Olafur Grimsson will present a lecture on how Iceland can be a laboratory for global climate change solutions via a video message in the La Louisiane Ballroom of the Convention Center. A live audio Q&A with him will follow at 9 am.

"The debate about climate change is about the future of energy and how the preservation of land and cultivation can help to prevent disaster climate change, Grimsson says. Iceland has shown how this can be done by transforming its energy system from being primarily dependent on coal and oil to being the leading clean energy country in the world.

Grimsson has served as Icelands president since 1996 and has been an advocate for using renewable energy and finding innovative solutions to global warming. He has promoted cooperation among countries in the northern regions of the world, including a recent project to find a way to sequester carbon dioxide deep in the ground.

Also on Nov. 5 from 5:30 to 6 pm, President of Bangladesh Iajuddin Ahmed will present Bangladesh: Problems of Global Warming, Land Inundation, and Arsenic Poisoning in room R03-R05 of the Convention Center. Afterwards will be a Q&A for media at 6 pm.

IPCC impact assessments identify Bangladesh as one of the most susceptible countries of the world, Ahmed says. These impacts range from an overall increase in sea level, atmospheric temperature and rainfall to more intense natural disasters in the form of floods, cyclones, storm surges, drought and others consequential impacts, which will have severe impacts upon agriculture.

President Ahmed will also address arsenic water poisoning, population increases, and riverbank erosion, which threaten agricultural and economic sustainability. He is a former soil science professor at Dhaka University.


Contact: Sara Uttech
Soil Science Society of America

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