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Scenes from The University of Rhode Island

Nobel Prize-winning scientist to discuss evidence of global warming, Sept. 23

Media Contact: Todd McLeish, 401-874-7892

URI Honors Colloquium lecture, Sept. 23

KINGSTON, R.I. – September 11, 2008 – Michael Mann, director of the Earth System Science Center at Penn State University will discuss the scientific evidence of global climate change as part of the University of Rhode Island’s annual fall Honors Colloquium.

Free and open to the public, the lecture will be held Sept. 23 at 7:30 p.m. in Edwards Auditorium on URI’s Kingston Campus.

The 2008 Honors Colloquium, “People and Planet: Global Environmental Change,” will explore human-caused global change, its consequences and potential responses through a series of lectures, films, exhibits and a cabaret. Weekly events run through Dec. 9.

Mann is internationally known for demonstrating that northern hemisphere temperatures were exceptionally warm during the last 20 years compared to the past 1,300 years. As the lead author on the “Observed Climate Variability and Change” chapter of the most recent scientific assessment by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, he shared the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize with Al Gore and other IPCC authors.

Mann’s lecture will review what he calls “the now-solid evidence for a human influence on the climate of recent decades,” including “instrumental measurements available for the past two centuries, paleoclimate observations spanning more than a millennium, and comparisons of the predictions from computer models with observed patterns of climate change.” He will also address future likely impacts of climate change, and conclude with a discussion of possible solutions.

The editor of the Journal of Climate, Mann was named one of the 50 leading visionaries in science and technology by Scientific American and received the outstanding scientific publication award from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. He recently co-authored the book Dire Predictions: Understanding Global Warming and co-founded the award-winning science website RealClimate.org.

Mann’s climate change research has been widely described in the popular media, including on ABC, CBS, NBC and CNN news programs, Time Magazine, US News and World Report, USA Today, New York Times, Wall Street Journal and Boston Globe.

The next Honors Colloquium event, “Hollywood Armageddon,” will feature URI oceanography professor Kate Moran and film professor Tom Zorabedian examining movie clips from nightmare narratives through their respective lenses of science and film. It will take place Sept. 30 at 7:30 p.m.

The major sponsors of the 2008 Honors Colloquium are the G. Unger Vetlesen Foundation, the URI Office of the President, the URI Honors Program, the URI Graduate School of Oceanography and the College of Arts and Sciences. Additional support came from the Thomas Silvia and Shannon Chandley Honors Colloquium Endowment, the Mark and Donna Ross Honors Colloquium Humanities Endowment, the deans of the remaining URI colleges, the offices of the URI vice presidents, the EPA Atlantic Ecology Division and Rhode Island Sea Grant.

For further details about the colloquium, including an updated schedule and information on parking, go to www.uri.edu/hc or contact the URI Honors Center at 401-874-2381 or debg@uri.edu.