Boilermakers Look to the Future: Can We Hammer Down Climate Change?

This year, as Purdue celebrates 150 years of Giant Leaps, the American Geophysical Union (AGU) is celebrating 100 years of work advancing Earth and space science. During the week of December 10-14, the AGU will hold its annual fall meeting — the world’s largest and most prestigious gathering of Earth and space scientists and professionals — in Washington, D.C.

Purdue Climate Change Research Center (PCCRC) is participating in these meetings and taking the opportunity to host an event for local Boilermakers on Dec. 12.

Join the Purdue Alumni Association, the Purdue Alumni Club of Washington, DC, and the PCCRC for a panel discussion on the social, political, and scientific aspects of climate change, one of today’s most pressing global issues.

An alarming new report issued by the United Nations warns that we must limit temperature rise to 1.5 degrees Celsius or risk a “life-or-death situation” for hundreds of millions of people and for ecosystems around the world.

A team of Purdue climate change experts will discuss the question of “What IF we ignore climate change?” The event will be moderated by professor Jeff Dukes, director of the PCCRC, and will include the following Purdue experts:

  • Dan Chavas, assistant professor, Department of Earth, Atmospheric, and Planetary Sciences
  • Matthew Huber, professor, Department of Earth, Atmospheric, and Planetary Sciences
  • Manjana Milkoreit, assistant professor, Department of Political Science
  • Linda Prokopy, professor, Department of Forestry and Natural Resources

Tomás Díaz de la Rubia, chief scientist, senior associate vice president for research, and executive director at Purdue’s Discovery Park, will provide a welcome and opening remarks.

Registration is required by December 10. The event will take place 6:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at the Cosmos Club located at 2121 Massachusetts Ave NW, Washington, DC. Valet parking is available for $20.

This event is part of Purdue’s Giant Leaps Sesquicentennial Campaign and is part of the Ideas Festival theme “Giant Leaps Toward a Sustainable Economy and Planet: Innovate Today for a Sustainable Tomorrow.” The Ideas Festival is the centerpiece of the campaign and connects world-renowned speakers and Purdue expertise in a conversation on the most critical problems and opportunities facing the world.

Also during the AGU annual meeting this year, two PCCRC affiliates are being honored.

Professor Marc Caffee, Department of Physics and Astronomy, is now an elected as a Fellow of the AGU, an honor given to those who have made exceptional scientific contributions in their respective fields of Earth and space sciences. Caffee applies stable- and radio-nuclides to problems in the geosciences including work that seeks to better understand how past climate change can inform our understanding of anthropogenic climate change.

Professor Matthew Huber, Department of Earth, Atmospheric and Planetary Sciences, will receive the 2018 Atmospheric Sciences Ascent Award for his significant and fundamental contributions to understanding the factors controlling ocean–atmosphere heat transport, the evolution of climate sensitivity with climate state, and the interactions between modes of variability with the mean climate state. Huber’s current research centers on reconstructing past tropical climates and inferring the upper limits of heat stress in land- and ocean-dwelling life.

The center will also be organizing a special event (Dec. 13) seeking to enhance science-policy maker engagement related to climate change and the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. The Tipping Point Negotiations event is an interactive simulation of the international climate negotiations exploring how climate-tipping points relate to the Paris Agreement. While the UN Climate Change Conference (COP 24) will be in progress, participants will gain a deeper understanding of these international negotiations, identify decision pathways that are compatible with reaching different temperature goals, understand the likelihood of passing climate tipping points, and related costs and benefits.

PCCRC facilitates interdisciplinary climate change research and education. From its inception in 2004, the PCCRC assembled a community of scholars who shared the perspective that human and natural systems should be studied as an integrated whole. They bring together faculty, postdocs, students and professional staff from 27 departments across 8 of Purdue’s academic units to address the challenges and complexities of climate and related global change. Research teams are exploring the causes and impacts of climate change, improving predictive models to project future climate conditions, and pursuing novel ideas for mitigation and adaptation.

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