Calendar of Activities

Richard Alley
Evan Pugh Professor of Geosciences, Penn State

Thursday, October 13, 2016, 7-9 PM

"Big Ice: Antarctica, Greenland, and Boston"

An ice sheet is a two-mile-thick, continent-wide pile of old snow, spreading under its own weight and sculpting the land beneath. The ice sheet that buried Boston 20,000 years ago melted when slowly acting features of Earth’s orbit raised summer sunshine and atmospheric CO2, warming the climate. The history of that Ice Age can still be read in Boston Harbor, and in the layers of the surviving ice sheets on Antarctica and Greenland. But, more warming may melt those ice records, as break-off of huge icebergs and outburst floods speed sea-level rise.


Dr. Richard Alley is an Evan Pugh Professor of Geosciences in Penn State's College of Earth and Mineral Sciences. His research interests focus on glaciology, sea level change and abrupt climate change, and he frequently discusses earth sciences on major media outlets, including NPR, BBC and PBS. He is widely credited with showing that the earth has experienced abrupt climate change in the past—and likely will again, based on his meticulous study of ice cores from Greenland and West Antarctica.