Meeting on Climate, Global Warming to be Hosted by UMass Amherst April 22-23

April 13, 1999

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AMHERST, Mass. - National experts in climatology and related fields will meet at the University of Massachusetts on Thursday and Friday, April 22-23, to discuss the latest research on topics ranging from global warming to the health effects of major climate changes. The Climate System Research Symposium will be held in French Hall.

"The symposium will showcase climate system research being conducted by UMass faculty, postdoctoral researchers, and students," said Raymond Bradley, head of the geosciences department and the meeting’s organizer. "We have a great deal going on here, in both modern and paleoclimate research." A full slate of discussions by colleagues and collaborators from other laboratories and institutions is scheduled as well. In addition to scientists from throughout the U.S., representatives of the National Science Foundation and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) are expected to attend.

Bradley has co-authored several high-profile studies in recent years. One reconstructed the northern hemisphere mean temperature going back 600 years and pointed to human activities as a major factor in global warming; another, released in February, pegged 1998 as the warmest year of the millennium so far, with the 1990s the warmest decade. Previous studies had relied on the instrumental record, which goes back just 100-200 years. Bradley’s co-authors were Michael Mann of UMass and Malcolm Hughes of the University of Arizona.

Here is a list of some presentations at the symposium:

* Judith Lean of the Naval Research Laboratory, Washington, D.C., will discuss "solar forcing," the sun’s influence on long-term climate change.

* Henry Diaz of the NOAA Environmental Research Laboratory/Climate Diagnostics Center, Boulder, Colo., will discuss the impacts of climate variability on human health.

* Malcolm Hughes, director of the Tree Ring Lab at the University of Arizona, will discuss the drought history of the American Southwest, based on evidence from tree rings.

* Lonnie Thompson, of Ohio State University, will discuss the role of the tropics in climate change. Thompson is a world expert in tropical ice coring.

NOTE: For more information, including times and locations of various discussions, contact Frank Keimig, director of the UMass Climate System Research Center, at 413/545-0659. The symposium is geared toward a scientific audience and is not open to the general public, but reporters are welcome to attend.