Calendar of Activities

A Symposium Presented by the Department of Earth, Atmospheric & Planetary Sciences and co-sponsored by the Lorenz Center and the Houghton Fund

Wednesday, January 27 2016

Kirsch Auditorium, MIT Stata Center (32-123)

Taking action on climate change has become a dominating issue—globally, nationally, locally and even here at MIT. Yet so many questions remain. How much and how quickly will climate change? How will these changes manifest and where? What are the greatest risks posed by a changing climate and how likely are these worst-case outcomes? What is the science behind climate change, and how can basic research inform our efforts to avert, mitigate and adapt to its impacts?

Essential knowledge built through basic climate research lies at the core of all these questions. We would not even recognize that earth's climate is changing were it not for the cumulative efforts of climate scientists over the past five decades, many of them here at MIT. And we cannot hope to improve the climate outcome for ourselves and future generations without the vital, ongoing contributions of fundamental climate science research.

Touching on everything from the essentials of planetary climate through the complexities of Earth's climate system to the challenges of finding the will to act on our knowledge to address current climate change, the symposium features talks and discussion by faculty experts from across the spectrum of climate research at MIT, and keynote speakers Marcia McNutt (Editor-in-Chief of Science) and Justin Gillis (Environmental Science Writer for The New York Times).

Space is limited: Registration Required

Schedule of Events

8:00 am Registration & Coffee
8:30 am Welcome & Introduction Raffaele Ferrari
Breene M. Kerr Professor of Oceanography, EAPS
Maria Zuber
E. A. Griswold Professor of Geophysics, EAPS, MIT Vice President for Research - via video
8:40 am Opening Keynote
Solving our Climate Challenges: Role of Basic Research
Marcia McNutt
Editor-in-Chief, Science
9:00 am

Planetary Climates
Living in the Goldilocks Zone: Climate Essentials for a Habitable Planet

Sara Seager
Class of 1941 Professor, EAPS, Physics
9:20 am Climate History of Earth
From Snowballs to Hothouses: The Wild History of Earth's Climate
David McGee
Kerr-McGee Development Assistant Professor, EAPS
9:40 am Life & Climate
The Complex Relationship between the Atmosphere and Life on Earth
Lindy Elkins-Tanton
Director and Foundation Professor, School of Earth and Space Exploration, Arizona State University
10:00 am Atmosphere & Climate
Greenhouse Gases versus Clouds: Why Climate is What it is
Dan Cziczo
Victor P. Starr Associate Professor, EAPS, CEE

Coffee Break

10:40 am Oceans, Ice & Climate
Climate on a Water World
John Marshall
Cecil and Ida Green Professor, EAPS
11:00 am Continents & Climate
Regional Climates: Role of Land
Elfatih Eltahir
Associate Department Head and Professor, CEE
11:20 am Climate Change
Climate Change: The Greenhouse Gamble
Ron Prinn
Director, Center for Global Change Science and TEPCO Professor, EAPS
11:40 am Climate Risks
Storms, Droughts and Rising Seas: Climate Change Risks
Kerry Emanuel
Co-director, Lorenz Center and Cecil and Ida Green Professor, EAPS

Lunch Buffet

1:00 pm Economics & Climate
Economic Hurdles to Addressing Climate Risks in Emerging Markets
Valerie Karplus
Assistant Professor, Sloan
1:20 pm Energy & Climate
Realistic Low-Carbon Energy Alternatives to Combat Climate Change
Dennis Whyte
Director, Plasma Science and Fusion Center, Department Head and Professor, NSE
1:40 pm Cities & Climate
Urban Metabolism and Climate Change
John Fernandez
Director, Environmental Solutions Initiative, Architecture
2:00 pm Policy & Climate
Linking Science with Climate Policy & Decision-Making
Noelle Selin
Esther & Harold Edgerton CD Associate Professor, IDSS, EAPS
2:20 pm Grassroots Action & Climate
Forging Consensus for Local Climate Risk Management
Larry Susskind
Ford Professor Urban and Environmental Planning, DUSP
2:40 pm Global Engagement & Climate
Combining Experts and Online Crowds to Address Climate Change
Tom Malone
Director, Center for Collective Intelligence and Patrick J. McGovern Professor, Sloan

Coffee Break

3:20 pm Afternoon Keynote
After Paris: A New Political Climate for Climate Science?
Justin Gillis
Environmental Science Writer, The New York Times
4:00 pm Panel
Cross Section of Speakers TBD
5:00 pm Closing & Farewell Raffaele Ferrari
Breene M. Kerr Professor of Oceanography, EAPS
W. Eric L. Grimson
MIT Chancellor for Academic Achievement, CSAIL
Rob van der Hilst
Department Head and Schlumberger Professor, EAPS