Start Date/Time: Thursday, May 16, 2013, 7:00 PM
Ending Date/Time: Thursday, May 16, 2013, 8:00 PM
Location: Kane Hall 210
Dr. Geoffrey K. Vallis, Atmsopheric Sciences Graduate Students' Distinguished Visiting Professor, Program in Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences and Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory, Princeton University
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.