Climate change Qs & As

>These and other perspectives on global warming emerged today during a free, public conference, "Qs and AAAs About Global Climate Change," organized by Kennedy and Albert Teich, director of Science & Policy for AAAS (the American Association for the Advancement of Science). Experts including Nobel Laureate in Chemistry Sherwood Rowland of the University of California, Irvine, shared their latest research findings and best temperature projections at the conference.

In this way, the U.S. researchers took first steps toward responding to a 9 January Science article by Sir David King, the United Kingdom's Chief Scientific Adviser, which challenged America to better control greenhouse gases. (Reference: http://www.sciencemag.org.)

Oppenheimer urged scientists from all countries to join together to identify the "critical thresholds" that may trigger catastrophic melting of the polar ice sheets, which would boost sea levels, flooding islands and coastal regions.

The authoritative Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), established by the World Meteorological Organization and the United Nations Environment Programme, has estimated that, between 1990 and 2100, temperatures will rise between 1.4 and 5.8 degrees Celsius (2.5 to 10.4 F). Already, the IPCC has reported, temperatures have increased between 0.4 and 0.8 degrees C--or, an increase of about 1 degree F to date, with most of the warming happening over the most recent decades.

But, David Battisti, the Tamaki Professor of Atmospheric Sciences at the University of Washington and Director of the University's Earth Initiative, warned that "current models used to project the climate 100 years into the future may be grossly underestimating the amount of warming that is going to happen as a result of greenhouse gases."

Scientists generally agree that temperatures are rising as a result of human activities such as fossil-fuel b

Contact: Ginger Pinholster
American Association for the Advancement of Science

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