The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) will release on Feb. 2 the Summary for Policymakers of its Fourth Assessment Report, an ongoing United Nations-sponsored analysis of climate change, its potential societal impacts and options for adaptation and mitigation. The first component of the report from the IPCC's Working Group I will contain several key findings and estimates about effects of climate change ranging from warming temperatures to sea level rise in a synthesis of recent research.
Scripps has been at the forefront of climate change research for more than 50 years, beginning with the early studies of Charles David Keeling on carbon dioxide concentrations and the vision of former Scripps Director Roger Revelle of the future of the Earth and the impact of greenhouse gases. Scripps studies the role of the oceans in the climate system and the interaction among the ocean, land, atmosphere and ice on the planet.
In an effort to engage the public and help them understand the issues that will arise from the release of the report, Scripps has compiled a list of qualified graduate students and faculty who have volunteered to be contacted regarding questions related to climate change.
· TIM BARNETT: Tim Barnett, a research marine geophysicist in the Climate Research Division at Scripps, has conducted extensive research on climate impacts associated with global warming. His studies focus on the physics of climate change and long-range climate forecasting. Barnett investigates global atmospheric and oceanic conditions to understand global climate fluctuations (including El Niño forecasting), the effects of land processes on climate change and the recognition of greenhouse gas signals (such as sea-level rise). He also specializes in the detection of human-caused signals associated with global warming.
· DANIEL CAYAN: Daniel Cayan is a research meteorologist in the Climate Research Division at Scripps. Cayan leads federal- and state-sponsored projects to develop and provide climate information to decision makers about the impacts of climate variability and climate change in the California region. His research is focused on understanding how climate affects the water cycle and related issues in the western United States.
· RALPH KEELING: Ralph Keeling is a professor whose research centers around studying the causes of recent changes in atmospheric carbon dioxide and their relation to climate changes. He has made pioneering measurements of changes in atmospheric oxygen concentrations and is continuing a program to measure changes in carbon dioxide begun by his father, the late Charles D. Keeling. This latter program includes the well-known Mauna Loa record, the "Keeling Curve."
· NAOMI ORESKES: Naomi Oreskes is a professor of history and an affiliate of the Program in Science Studies at UCSD. She studies the historical development of scientific knowledge, methods and practices in the earth and environmental sciences. Oreskes' most recent work deals with the science of climate change. Her 2004 essay "The Scientific Consensus on Climate Change," which is referenced in "An Inconvenient Truth," led to op-ed pieces in The Washington Post and San Francisco Chronicle, and has been widely cited, including in The New Yorker, USA Today and the Royal Society's publication, "A Guide to Facts and Fictions About Climate Change." Her recent testimony to the United States Senate on the history of climate science may be accessed at http://epw.senate.gov/epwmultimedia/epw120606.ram.
· V. RAMANATHAN (Review Editor - IPCC Fourth Assessment Report): V. Ramanathan is director of the Scripps Center for Clouds, Chemistry and Climate and professor of climate and atmospheric sciences at Scripps. Ramanathan is widely recognized for his research on the effects of greenhouse gases and the role of cloud and water vapor on radiative feedbacks in climate change and in regulating ocean temperatures. He is currently co-chief scientist for Project Atmospheric Brown Cloud, a cooperative research project of the United Nations Environment Programme, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and participating member nations, to study the mixture of pollutants formed by fossil fuel combustion and rural biomass burning.
· JEFF SEVERINGHAUS: Jeff Severinghaus is a professor of geosciences in the Geosciences Research Division at Scripps. His current research interests center on using trapped bubbles of gases contained in ice cores to track changes in ancient climate. His work raises the question of whether the addition of carbon dioxide to the atmosphere through the burning of fossil fuels could also produce a rapid change in climate, rather than the slow, steady rise in temperature many computer models of global climate now predict.
· RICHARD SOMERVILLE (Coordinating Lead Author - IPCC Fourth Assessment Report): Richard Somerville is a distinguished professor at Scripps. His research interests are in atmospheric and environmental science, particularly climate theory and numerical weather prediction. He is a general expert on global climate change and is a specialist in computer modeling of the climate system. Somerville has presented testimony before the U.S. Congress, has briefed U.N. climate change negotiators and has advised federal agencies on research, education and outreach.
· LYNNE TALLEY (Lead Author - IPCC Fourth Assessment Report): Lynne Talley is a professor of physical oceanography in the Physical Oceanography Research Division. Talley's research focuses on the general circulation of the ocean and the role of various oceanic and atmospheric conditions that affect ocean currents. Her work involves analysis of data from most of the world's oceans, depicting the movement of heat, salinity and water masses, and the formation of water masses, particularly in subpolar regions. She is a lead author of the IPCC Fourth Assessment Report Working Group I chapter "Observations: Oceanic Climate Change and Sea Level."
· NEIL GORDON: Neil Gordon's studies focus on how cloud properties might change with surface warming brought about by climate change. He can discuss the role that clouds and water vapor play in amplifying or mitigating human-produced climate change.
· TAKURO KOBASHI:Takuro Kobashi can answer questions regarding past climate change, specifically "abrupt" climate changes, how climate varied in the past, the last "Greenhouse world" around 50 million years ago (when the polar region did not have ice sheets) and past climatic impacts on human society.
· GUILLAUME MAUGER:Guillaume Mauger's research focuses on the interactions of pollution (aerosols) and clouds. He can answer questions about clouds, aerosol-cloud interactions and global dimming.
· ANAIS ORSI: Anais Orsi's research focuses on the reconstruction of past climate history through air bubbles trapped in ice cores. She can answer general questions on how the climate system works and how scientists know that it works this way.
· DIAN PUTRASAHAN: Dian Putrasahan's research focuses on modeling and understanding the coupled interactions between the ocean and atmosphere. She can answer questions on how climate change has affected those interactions as well as the impact of those changes on society.
· ALEX RUANE: Alex Ruane's research focuses on the temporal variability of global water and energy cycles, as well as the societal impacts of climate variability and change.