Changing Climate, Uncertain Future: Unique Perspectives on Communicating Climate Science

For immediate release ‐ March 17, 2016

Contact: Jon Pishney, 919.707.8083. Images available upon request

RALEIGH — Join WRAL chief meteorologist Greg Fishel as he discusses issues surrounding the topic of climate change alongside Dr. Katharine Hayhoe from Texas Tech University and Dr. Walter Robinson from North Carolina State University. This free presentation — held at the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences, Thursday, April 7, 7–8:30 p.m. — will cover everything from the science to predicted environmental effects, and explain what is known and not known about how our climate is changing across the globe. Find out what you can do, both nationally and locally, to adapt to and prepare for an uncertain future.

Katharine Hayhoe is an associate professor in the Department of Political Science and director of the Climate Science Center at Texas Tech University. Her research currently focuses on establishing a scientific basis for assessing the regional- to local-scale impacts of climate change on human systems and the natural environment. She is also the founder and CEO of ATMOS Research, where she helps bridge the gap between scientists and stakeholders to provide relevant, state-of-the-art information on how climate change will affect our lives. Her work has resulted in more than 120 peer-reviewed papers, abstracts and other publications and many key reports, including the U.S. Global Change Research Program’s “Second National Climate Assessment”; the U.S. National Academy of Science report, “Climate Stabilization Targets: Emissions, Concentrations, and Impacts over Decades to Millennia”; and the 2014 “Third National Climate Assessment.” Additionally, Hayhoe has led climate impact assessments for a broad cross-section of cities and regions. The findings of these studies have been presented before Congress, highlighted in briefings to state and federal agencies, and used as input to future planning by communities, states and regions across the country.

Walter Robinson has been a professor and head of the Marine, Earth and Atmospheric Sciences department at N.C. State University since 2009. Robinson majored in physics at the University of Pennsylvania, graduating with B.S. and M.S. degrees in 1977. Following a year as a cosmic radiation observer at McMurdo Station, Antarctica, he entered graduate school at Columbia University where he completed his PhD in 1985. His dissertation research addressed the dynamics of planetary waves in the stratosphere. Following three years as a post-doc at the University of Washington, he joined the Department of Atmospheric Sciences at the University of Illinois, where he was sequentially assistant, associated and full professor, with an affiliate appointment in Electrical and Computer Engineering. In 2006 Robinson moved to the National Science Foundation, where he served as a program director in the Climate and Large-scale Dynamics Program. Robinson’s research addresses the large-scale dynamics of Earth’s atmosphere in the context of a changing climate. Current projects investigate how the extra-tropical storm tracks will change with global warming and the springtime transition in the atmospheric circulation over the Arctic.

This program is the third in a new series at the Museum — The Nature of Science: A Town Hall with Greg Fishel — inspired by Albert Einstein’s view that “To raise new questions, new possibilities, to regard old problems from a new angle, requires creative imagination and marks real advance in science.” The series is designed to provide in-depth discussions with leaders from around the globe, as they explore the major scientific and environmental issues of our time. Comments and questions from the audience are encouraged.

The program is made possible by the Friends of the NC Museum of Natural Sciences and Capitol Broadcasting Company.

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