ACS News Service Weekly PressPac: August 19, 2010

World renowned experts to lead discussion with the chemistry community on climate change

Embargoed for release: Monday, August 23, 5 p.m., Eastern Time

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In response to doubts about the causes and potential extent of global climate change, a panel of four climate experts today will review the current state of climate science and discuss observed and predicted changes.The special forum, which will include conclusions from recent national and international climate change reports, will be part of the American Chemical Society’s 240th National Meeting & Exposition. Entitled “Forum on Climate Change Science and Consequences,” the event is scheduled for 5 p.m. - 8 p.m. Aug. 23 at the Seaport Hotel, Plaza Ballroom B/C. It will include time for audience questions and comments.

“It’s only been a little over a decade that we’ve had evidence of global impacts of climate change,” said James McCarthy, Ph.D., one of participants. “Until the mid-1990s, it was largely hypothetical. Now we’re seeing significant evidence on every continent that is consistent with what you would expect in a warmer world.” McCarthy is a professor of biological oceanography at Harvard University and past president of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

Presenters in the climate change symposium and their topics include: Michael McElroy, Ph.D., of Harvard University, who will discuss the science of climate change. His research covers natural and human-induced changes in the chemical composition of the atmosphere and how these changes impact climate. James McCarthy, Ph.D., of Harvard University, will discuss the observed global impact of climate changes, the context in which these changes are occurring, and projections for the future. John Christy, Ph.D., of the University of Alabama in Huntsville, will describe evidence from the climate record indicating that the “greenhouse effect” — the warming due to gases emitted by human activity — is overestimated, and Robert Socolow, Ph.D., of Princeton University, will provide a summary of a new study underway that examines major issues related to global climate change, with a focus on how climate change affects the United States and actions the nation can take to respond to this problem.

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