Please join the Department of Atmospheric Sciences for the
Graduate Students' Distinguished Visiting Atmospheric Scientist Lecture
“Timescales and Uncertainties in Climate Change”
Geoffrey K. Vallis
Professor, Program in Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences
and Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory, Princeton University
Thursday, May 16, 2013, 7:00 pm ♦ Kane Hall, Room 210
University of Washington, Seattle Campus
Our planet is warming, and much of that warming is due to the burning of fossil fuels; this much we know. Yet there is much we do not know, and putting bounds on these uncertainties is critical if we are to avoid, or justify, either the alarmist or complacent tendencies that are simultaneously found in abundance in society. We also need to better appreciate the timescales on which the planet will warm as we burn fossil fuels, and then will cool down after we have burnt all the fuel. Some recent arguments suggest that global warming will not be as bad in the short term as sometimes portrayed, but may nevertheless be much worse than anticipated in the long term. But what exactly is the "short term" and what is the "long term?" And how certain can we be about any of this? If the answer is "not very," should we even care about the long term?
This public lecture is sponsored by the Department of Atmospheric Sciences .
Additional information on the speaker can be found at http://www.atmos.washington.edu/alumni.update/GSDVL.shtml.