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Prominent climate researcher to speak at UH on global warming March 5

HOUSTON, March 3, 2009 As we move more toward renewable energy, questions persist about the Earth's climate. Is it dramatically changing? If so, are humans or natural variations in climate or other causes responsible? A leading expert in climate research and atmospheric science will address such questions during a presentation at the University of Houston on Thursday, March 5. His talk is free and open to the public.

Warren M. Washington, a senior scientist and head of the Climate Change Research Section in the Climate and Global Dynamics Division at the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) in Boulder, Colo., will speak from 4 to 5:30 p.m. in the Science and Engineering Classroom Building Auditorium, room 100. His talk is titled "20th and 21st Century Climate Change: Computer Modeling, Societal Impacts and Environmental Justice."

He will present recently observed 20th-century climate changes and compare those observations with climate model simulations that extend into the 21st century and beyond. He will describe what information goes into climate models. Washington also will show computer simulations of future climate change if society shifts from a fossil fuel-based energy strategy to one based on increased conservation and renewable energy, including nuclear power. He also will discuss scientific uncertainties and societal impacts, policy options that include geoengineering of the climate, and environmental justice.

Washington, who specializes in computer modeling of the climate, has served in a number of advisory roles to U.S. presidents and the federal government. Beginning in 1995, President Clinton appointed him to two six-year terms on the National Science Board that helps oversee the National Science Foundation and advises the executive branch and Congress on science-related matters.

Washington's talk is part of the College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics (NSM) Dean's Lecture Series. The NSM Office of the Dean, the Alliance for Graduate Education and the Professorate, and the Houston-Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation sponsor the lectures, designed to expose minority students to the possibilities of research and encourage them to pursue graduate studies in science and engineering.

WHO: Warren M. Washington, expert in climate research and atmospheric science with NCAR

WHAT: NSM Dean's Lecture Series
"20th and 21st Century Climate Change: Computer Modeling, Societal Impacts and Environmental Justice"

WHEN: 4-5:30 p.m., Thursday, March 5

WHERE: University of Houston
Science and Engineering Classroom Building (SEC), room 100
Off Cullen Boulevard, Entrance 14


Contact: Lisa Merkl
University of Houston

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