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Physical sciences/Earth sciences/Climatology/Climate systems

John P. Holdren (Image courtesy of Martha Stewart)

John P. Holdren
(Image courtesy of
Martha Stewart)

AAAS has named Richard B. Alley as the recipient of the 2012 AAAS Public Engagement with Science Award, recognizing “his decades-long, broad-based and exceptionally effective efforts communicating the best of climate science to excite the interests of the general public and policymakers.”

Norman P. Neureiter, acting director of the AAAS Center for Science, Technology and Security Policy and a leading proponent of science diplomacy, has received a prestigious award from the Austrian government for contributions to the success of an international organization based in Vienna that addresses global challenges.

Dramatic reductions in state funding are already forcing huge tuition increases for students and uncertainty in the federal budget is disrupting university planning, the experts said at the AAAS Forum on Science and Technology Policy. While the climate is pushing universities to operate more efficiently and effectively, the experts warned that such pressures also could undermine a system that has made U.S. universities a dominant global power in research, innovation, and economic growth.

The United States must move beyond greenhouse gas reductions to develop new strategies to help the public and the economy adapt to the disruptions that will be caused by climate change, a panel of climate experts said at a Capitol Hill briefing co-organized by AAAS.

The panel warned that rising levels of atmospheric carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases commit the world to rising surface and ocean temperatures, rising sea levels, ocean acidification, retreating glaciers, disruption of biological systems, and weather extremes that will intensify over the 21st century.