Event Detail

8
Oct
2009

Picturing the Science

Gavin Schmidt
Thursday, 8 Oct 2009
British Council
Dr Schmidt is a climate scientist. Picturing the Science forms the basis for the lecture, which tells the story of climate change in pictures. The lecture follows adventurous scientists through the ice caps at the poles to the coral reefs of the tropical seas. Taking data spanning centuries and continents, the lecture affirms the headlines with recent research and visual records, including contributions from experts on atmospheric science, oceanography, paleoclimatology, technology, politics, and the polar regions.

We are delighted to welcome to Hong Kong Dr. Gavin Schmidt to talk on NASA’s research into the nature of global warming and consequent climate change. Dr Schmidt is a climate scientist at the Nasa Goddard Institute for Space Studies in New York. He cofounded and edits www.realclimate.org. His book Climate Change: Picturing the Science forms the basis for the lecture, in which he tells the story of climate change in pictures.

Dr. Schmidt’s lecture is an unprecedented union of scientific analysis and stunning photography illustrating the effects of climate change on the global ecosystem. He illustrates the effects of shifting weather patterns for human society. Photographic spreads show how retreating glaciers, sinking villages in Alaska’s tundra, drying lakes are all occurring. The lecture follows adventurous scientists through the ice caps at the poles to the coral reefs of the tropical seas.
Taking data spanning centuries and continents, the lecture affirms the headlines with recent research and visual records, including contributions from experts on atmospheric science, oceanography, paleoclimatology, technology, politics, and the polar regions.

Like many of the important issues facing society, climate change involves a complex intersection of science, culture and politics, and a huge number of effects. Yet Dr. Schmidt believes the public is bombarded with overly simplistic slogans, misleading headlines and soundbites. In this lecture, he also discusses his perseption of the disconnect between the need for education and the journalistic mission to provide news.

Dr. Schmidt read Mathematics at Oxford University, which he followed by a PhD in Applied Mathematics from University College London where he was a NOAA Postdoctoral Fellow in Climate and Global Change Research. Gavin Schmidt is interested in modeling past, present and future climate. He works on developing and improving coupled climate models and, in particular, is interested in how their results can be compared to paleoclimatic proxy data. He has worked on assessing the climate response to multiple forcings, including solar irradiance, atmospheric chemistry and aerosols.

He serves on the CLIVAR/PAGES Intersection Panel and is an Associate Editor for the Journal of Climate. He was cited by Scientific American as one of the 50 Research Leaders, and has worked on Education and Outreach with the American Museum of Natural History, the College de France and the New York Academy of Sciences. He has over 60 peerreviewed publications.

Members and their guests are most welcome to attend this lecture, which is HK$100 for Members and HK$150 for guests and others.

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