Programs: Science and Policy
Climate Science: Key Questions and Answers
Tuesday, May 11, 2010
12:00 to 1:30pm
Capitol Visitor Center (Senate Side) Room 210/212
Recent events including the theft of private e-mail correspondence between climate scientists and the examination of the four volumes of the 2007 Fourth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) have led to questions about some climate change research results, the ethics of practicing scientists, and even the efficacy of scientific processes. This briefing will provide leading scientists the opportunity to address climate change science results that are well understood and where key uncertainties exist, including issues recently covered in the media such as climate impacts on glaciers and recent temperature trends. Discussion with the distinguished panelists will include examination of the peer-review process; data sources; research processes; statistical analysis; and how various bodies like the IPCC conduct their studies and assessments.
Moderated by Alan Leshner, Chief Executive Officer, American Association for the Advancement of Science, and Executive Publisher, Science, panelists include:
Richard Alley, Evan Pugh Professor of Geosciences, Department of Geosciences, Pennsylvania State University (slides)
Warren Washington Head of the Climate Change Research Section, Climate and Global Dynamics Division, National Center for Atmospheric Research (slides)
Richard Smith, Mark L. Reed III Distinguished Professor, Department of Statistics and Operations Research, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill (slides)
Sponsored by the American Association for the Advancement of Science, American Chemical Society, American Geophysical Union, American Statistical Association, University Corporation for Atmospheric Research, American Institute of Biological Sciences, American Meteorological Society, American Society of Agronomy, Crop Science Society of America, Ecological Society of America, Geological Society of America, National Ecological Observatory Network, and Soil Science Society of America.
Dr. Richard B. Alley is Evan Pugh Professor of Geosciences at Pennsylvania State University and co-director of the Penn State Ice and Climate Exploration Center. His research focuses on abrupt climate change, glaciers, ice sheet collapse and sea level change. He has participated in several ice core drilling projects in Antarctica and Greenland and spent multiple field seasons working in Alaska. He chaired National Academies' panel on abrupt climate change and has served as an advisor on climate-change issues to many federal agencies. Alley's many awards include the Seligman Crystal of the International Glaciological Society, the Geological Society of America's 2008 Public Service Award, and the Revelle Medal of the American Geophysical Union. He has authored or co-authored more than 170 refereed publications. He won the 2001 Phi Beta Kappa Science Award for his book, "The Two-Mile Time Machine: Ice Cores, Abrupt Climate Change, and our Future."
Dr. Alan I. Leshner is Chief Executive Officer of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) and Executive Publisher of its journal, Science. From 1994 to 2001, Leshner was Director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse at the National Institutes of Health (NIH), and from 1988 to 1994 he was Deputy Director and Acting Director of the National Institute of Mental Health. Prior to that, he spent nine years at the National Science Foundation. Dr. Leshner began his career at Bucknell University, where he was Professor of Psychology. Dr. Leshner has been elected a member of the Institute of Medicine of the National Academies of Science, and a fellow of AAAS, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and the National Academy of Public Administration.
Richard L. Smith is Professor of Statistics and Professor of Biostatistics at the University of North Carolina and the Mark L. Reed III Distinguished Professor. In July, he becomes the director of Statistical and Applied Mathematical Sciences Institute (SAMSI) in Research Triangle Park, NC. He has over 80 refereed publications on statistical theory and methods, and on applications of statistics to numerous areas including climate change, environmental modeling and the health effects of atmospheric pollution. He has been a frequent visitor to the Geophysical Statistics Project at the National Center for Atmospheric Research, including serving as Chair of their External Advisory Panel. He was a lead author for the Climate Change Science Program's report on Weather and Climate Extremes in a Changing Climate, and has served as a panelist or committee member for the National Science Foundation, Environmental Protection Agency, Health Effects Institute and the National Research Council. He is a Fellow of the American Statistical Association and the Institute of Mathematical Statistics, an Elected Member of the International Statistical Institute, and has won the Guy Medal in Silver of the Royal Statistical Society.
Warren M. Washington is a senior scientist and former head of the Climate Change Research Section in the Climate at the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR). He has published more than 100 papers in professional journals and co-authored a book entitled, "An Introduction to Three-Dimensional Climate Modeling." He has served on the National Science Board (chair), the NOAA Science Advisory Board, President's National Advisory Committee on Oceans and Atmosphere, several panels of the National Research Council, the Secretary of Energy's Advisory Board, among others. A Fellow of the American Meteorological Society (AMS), He is a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), he has also served as president of AMS and a member of the AAAS Board of Directors. He is a member of the National Academy of Engineering, American Philosophical Society, and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. He has received many awards, including the Le Verrier Medal of the Societe Meteorologique de France, the National Weather Service Modernization Award, and the AMS Dr. Charles Anderson Award. He currently studies the impacts of climate change in the 21st century.