Revelle Lecture: Melting Ice: What Can Sea Ice Tell Us About Our Future?

05/09/2013 - 3:00pm


John Walsh, chief scientist at the International Arctic Research Center at the University of Alaska, Fairbanks, will present "Melting Ice: What is happening to Arctic sea ice and what does it mean to us?" Walsh will discuss the dramatic change that the Arctic Ocean has undergone in the midst of anthropogenic climate change during the 14th annual Roger Revelle Commemorative Lecture, presented by the Ocean Studies Board, part of the U.S. National Research Council.

The summer extent of sea ice in the Arctic has decreased by about 50 percent in the last decade and the Arctic Ocean has undergone a regime shift from a cover of thick multiyear ice to a largely seasonal and much thinner ice cover. The recent loss is unprecedented in the periods of satellite and historical records of sea ice, and it also appears to be unique in paleo-reconstructions spanning more than a thousand years.

John Walsh is a President's Professor of Global Climate Change at the University of Alaska, Fairbanks (UAF). He is also the director of the NOAA/UAF Cooperative Institute for Alaska Research and of the Center for Global Change. His primary research interests are: Arctic climate change over the decade-to-century timescale; predictability of climate change in high latitudes; sea ice variations; and extreme weather events in the context of climate change. He was the lead author for the cryosphere chapter of the Arctic Climate Impact Assessment (2005) and a lead author for the Polar Regions chapter of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change's Fourth Assessment Report (2007).

The Revelle Lecture was created by the Ocean Studies Board to honor former Scripps Oceanography Director Roger Revelle for his contributions to ocean sciences and his dedication to making scientific knowledge available to policymakers. Walsh's presentation is the sixth Revelle Lecture scheduled to be given on both West and East coasts. Walsh delivered the lecture on March 20 at the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History in Washington, D.C.

Roger Revelle (1909-1991) was director of Scripps Institution of Oceanography from 1951 to 1964. He was one of the nation's most prominent oceanographers, a pioneer of climate change research, and a world leader in the application of science and technology to help solve problems in developing countries. Long associated with the University of California, Revelle's vision and energies led to the establishment of the UC San Diego campus in 1960.

Event Contact: 
Donna Stout 858-534-5604
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