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10 September 2012 New AGCI public lecture available online
Last month, Diana Liverman delivered a terrific lecture to a standing room only crowd in Aspen. Entitled, "After Rio+20: Science and Governance for Our Future Earth," Dr. Liverman provided a concise history of prior UN meetings on climate change and then spoke from her own experience about the recent Rio+20 conference in June.
Slides of Dr. Liverman's presentation and a link to stream the lecture is now available below.
24 July 2012 Upcoming Public Lecture: After Rio+20
What is the state of our planet after Rio+20 and how can science inform the solutions needed in the decades to come?
These are questions to be explored in an upcoming public lecture hosted by the Aspen Global Change Institute on Tuesday, August 7th at 6:30pm at the Aspen Center for Environmental Studies (ACES). The lecture is entitled, After RIO+20: Science and Governance for our Future Earth and will be presented by Diana Liverman of the University of Arizona. At the lecture, Dr. Liverman will share perspectives from her time at the Rio+20 meeting as well as her work on planetary boundaries, environmental governance, and sustainable development. A wine and cheese reception will follow the talk.
3 June 2012 New Public Lecture Video Available: Changing the Script on Climate Change
Sea-level rise, extreme weather, mass extinction, ravishing disease. The current script on climate change is a dreary one, making these outcomes seem unavoidable and casting humans as the primary villain. But, what if we were to change the script and transform our understanding of the problem as well as our role in the solution? Fortunately, a wealth of recent scholarship has done just that.
This public lecture is entitled, "Changing the script on climate change: transformative views on humanity's role." In the lecture, Dr. O'Brien shares highlights from research that is leading to new ideas about how individuals, organizations, and whole societies can make decisions and change habits that lead to a more sustainable, thrive-able future.
2 May 2012 Upcoming Public Lecture: Changing the Script on Climate Change
Come join the Aspen Global Change Institute on Tuesday, May 22 at 6:30pm at the Limelight Lodge for a free public lecture delivered by Karen O'Brien of the University of Oslo.
The talk is entitled, "Changing the Script on Climate Change: Transformative Views on Humanity's Role." At the talk, Dr. O'Brien will share highlights from recent research that is leading to new ideas about how individuals, organizations, and whole societies can make decisions and change habits that lead to a more sustainable, thrive-able future.
A wine and cheese reception will follow the talk. This event is co-sponsored by the Aspen Skiing Company.
9 April 2012 Summer 2012 Internship Opportunity
The Aspen Global Change Institute is seeking a hard working, self-motivated, and intellectually curious intern to help execute AGCI's 23rd summer of interdisciplinary science workshops as well a variety of ongoing research and education projects.
AGCI internships are designed to be unique enrichment opportunities for promising students and early career professionals. Interns receive individualized attention from AGCI staff and make substantive contributions to the organization throughout their term. Interns also have the opportunity to interact and network with leading scientists in a variety of fields from around the world. Ideal candidates will be undergraduate students entering their senior year and recent college graduates who demonstrate a sincere interest in any of the following fields: Earth systems science, environmental policy/economics, or science education.
Applicants are welcome to apply for either academic credit or paid internships. The availability of paid internships is dependent on applicant experience and budget.
To be considered for Summer 2012, please submit your application no later than April 30, 2012. Please send your application to James Arnott at email@example.com. Application form with instructions are below.
AGCI was founded in 1989 in advance the scientific understanding of global environmental change. Since 1990 we have hosted more than forty five cutting-edge interdisciplinary workshops, bringing together more than 1100 scientists from 35 countries. Our work is supported by NASA, NOAA, NSF, DOE, Rockefeller Brothers Foundation, Climate Works Foundation, William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, and other private foundations and individuals. To learn more about our work, visit our website at www.agci.org.
March 2012 has brought extraordinary record setting temperatures to much of the United States. For instance, on March 21 Chicago broke the previous record high by 10 degrees F and Pellston, MI that bears the moniker "Michigan's Icebox" soared past its previous record of 53 F (from 2007) to a high of 85 F. So far this month, record high temperatures are outnumbering record lows with a ratio of 35:1.
To help make sense of such extremes in the context of climate change click here for a cartoon featuring Jerry Meehl from NCAR and contributor to AGCI workshops since 1990. See below for an expanded view and discussion of NASA's satellite imagery highlighting these temperature anomalies. A review article from the journal Science on the topic of climate extremes that proceeded from a 1998 AGCI workshop is also available below.
21 December 2010 Warming Temperatures Keep Pace to Decade's End
A new study of up-to-date global surface temperature data concludes that temperatures in the past decade have continued to rise at a pace as fast as was witnessed in the previous two decades. The results published in Reviews of Geophysics by NASA scientist Jim Hansen, et al were corrected for urban heat island and other corrections to the instrumental record. In the paper, the authors draw attention to many striking observations, including the fact that a record high of the 12-month running mean of global average temperatures was reached in 2010. Data used in this analysis spans 1880-2010 and draws on 6300 land-based measurement stations as well as a mixture of satellite and ship and buoy measurements to gauge sea surface temperatures. A summary and full text version of the paper are available through the links below.
We were deeply saddened to learn of the recent passing of Stephen H. Schneider. Stephen's tireless work inspired multiple generations to research and respond to global environmental change, and he made a significant and enduring contribution to the Aspen Global Change Institute. Here is a short video of highlights from Dr. Schneider's numerous contributions to AGCI workshops and public lectures:
23 June 2010 AGCI Workshop on Sun Concludes
Last month, 28 scientists from North America and Europe met to better understand our dynamic Sun and its influence on the Earth system. In keeping with the AGCI workshop model, this was an interdisciplinary gathering that brought together the many diverse fields working to uncover the complex relationship between the Sun and the Earth's climate and human systems. Please follow the link below to view presentations delivered at the meeting, as well as a roster and extended description. Check back soon for the complete video record of the workshop.
14 June 2010 AGCI Holds Interdisciplinary Workshop on the Sun-Earth System
This week, a group of thirty international scientists is convening at AGCI to assess the current scientific understanding about the Sun-Earth system and its contribution to global change. Made possible with a grant from NASA, a primary area of focus during the meeting will be to better understand the impact of solar variability on Earth's climate over a range of timescales. Anticipated results from the meeting will be to more adequately understand from an interdisciplinary perspective the sun's influence on Earth systems including risks to technological infrastructure and to establish priorities for future research into this topic.
While the Sun appears to be a constant fixture in our daily lives, it actually is tremendously dynamic. These changes have important implications for the Earth's environment and human society, and thus there is a great need to understand our Sun better.
To this end, NASA recently launched a billion dollar satellite called the Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO). Here's a great video explaining the SDO mission and why it's important to us:
QUEST on KQED Public Media.
26 April 2010 The Sun Up Close
The first imagery from NASA's Solar Dynamics Observer has been released and is out on youtube. Launched in February 2010, the SDO will help us to learn more about the causes of solar variability and its impacts on Earth. Information about the SDO mission is available on the SDO website.
More about the impact of the Sun on Earth will be discussed at the upcoming AGCI workshop, "Global Change and the Solar-Terrestrial Environment," to be held June 12-17. You can read more about this meeting by following the link below, and check back soon for information on a public lecture to be held coincident with the meeting.
19 April 2010 Changing Plans for a Changing Climate
Climate change is creating new realities for water resource planning. The traditional method of planning relied on the assumption that weather statistics would stay the same and variability would not increase in the future--a concept known as climate stationarity. Today, however, climate change is expected to result in larger alterations to precipitation, temperature, streamflow, groundwater, and evaporation than those accounted for in the older models. This means resource planners must work to understand the implications of climate change on water resources and incorporate this knowledge into new planning methods.
A group of 175 experts convened last week in Asilomar, California to discuss the implications of climate intervention technologies, also known as geoengineering. Proposed strategies in the realm of geoengineering include solar radiation management--cooling the Earth by reflecting sunlight--or carbon remediation--actively removing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. Although geoengineering is the subject of great controversy, the meeting was held to discuss the ethical standards that would govern future scientific research on the topic. Some are concerned that without stringent ethical standards and improved scientific understanding, proposed technologies could be deployed irresponsibly in the event of a future climate emergency.
You can read the group statement the proceeded from the meeting here. Below are some additional resources on the ethics and science behind geoengineering.