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Climate Change Science and the Utility of Assessments

Events: The Robert C. Barnard Environmental Lecture


Climate Change Science and the Utility of Assessments

Dr. James J. McCarthy
Alexander Agassiz Professor of Biological Oceanography
Harvard University

Thursday, 1 October 2009


As we approach the 20th anniversary of the first Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report it is useful to reflect upon the evolution of climate science, assessments of this knowledge, and how these have informed climate change policy. Lessons will be drawn from the evolving series of IPCC reports, the Arctic Climate Impact Assessment, certain other regional assessments, and the recently released U.S. Global Change Research Program state of knowledge report on Global Climate Change Impacts in the United States.

About James J. McCarthy

James J. McCarthy is Alexander Agassiz Professor of Biological Oceanography and from 1982 until 2002 he was the Director of Harvard University’s Museum of Comparative Zoology. He holds faculty appointments in the Department of Organismic and Evolutionary Biology and the Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences. He is one of the founders of Harvard’s degrees in Environmental Science and Public Policy, for a dozen years was the Head Tutor for this program. He has also served as the Master of Harvard’s Pforzheimer House.

He received his undergraduate degree in biology from Gonzaga University, and his Ph.D. from Scripps Institution of Oceanography. His research interests relate to the regulation of plankton productivity in the sea, and in recent years have focused on regions that are strongly affected by seasonal and inter-annual variation in climate. He is an author of many scientific papers, and he currently teaches courses on biological oceanography and biogeochemical cycles, marine ecosystems, and global change and human health.


Background of the Lectureship and the Man it Honors

2012 Honoree

2011 Honoree

2009 Honoree

2007 Honoree

2006 Honoree

2005 Honoree

2004 Honoree

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