Events & Media

The Bren School of Environmental Science & Management
at the University of California, Santa Barbara




"Severe Weather in the U.S. under a Changing Climate"

Donald J. Wuebbles
The Harry E. Preble Professor of Atmospheric Sciences
University of Illinois

Wednesday, May 15, 2013
11:30 - 12:30
Bren Hall 1414

"From his groundbreaking research that expanded understanding of the hole in the ozone layer to his work in quantifying the chemical interactions that drive climate change, Don Wuebbles has been a pioneer in atmospheric science for more than thirty years. This is a chance to hear from a world leader in the field addressing one of the great challenges of our time. " — Steve Gaines, Faculty Host

The U.S. National Climate Assessment (NCA) draws upon the latest scientific understanding of climate and climate change, synthesizing recent advances in the understanding of the science of climate change, and providing a succinct overview of the past and projected effects of climate change on the United States. Findings from the 2013 NCA include new analyses of the observed trends and projected future climate changes. Along with increasing temperatures over all regions of the U.S., the pattern of precipitation change is one of general increases at higher northern latitudes and drying in the tropics and subtropics over land. One of the major findings is an increase in key types of extreme weather events, especially in heat waves and large precipitation events, in the U.S. and around the world over the last 50 years. There has been an increase in the number of historically top 1% of heavy precipitation events across all regions of the U.S.; this is not surprising because as the atmosphere warms, it holds more moisture. Our analyses also indicate that the likelihood of large precipitation events will continue to increase, while droughts and floods are also likely to be increasing issues in various parts of the U.S in the next century. This presentation introduces the findings from the U.S. National Climate Assessment, with a special focus on severe weather.

Donald J. Wuebbles is the Harry E. Preble Professor of Atmospheric Science at the University of Illinois. He is a professor in the Department of Atmospheric Sciences as well as an affiliate professor in the Departments of Civil and Environmental Engineering and in Electrical and Computer Engineering. Dr. Wuebbles is an expert in numerical modeling of atmospheric physics and chemistry and has authored over 400 scientific articles, relating mostly to atmospheric chemistry and climate issues. He has been a lead author on a number of national and international assessments related to concerns about climate change, and on atmospheric chemistry, including the effects of human activities on stratospheric and tropospheric ozone. Dr. Wuebbles and colleagues received the 2005 Stratospheric Ozone Protection Award from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. He shares in the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize for his work with the international Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. He was a member of a federal advisory committee that assessed and in 2009 published a report on the potential impacts of climate change on the United States. Professor Wuebbles is a coordinating lead author for the next major international IPCC assessment of climate change, which will be published in 2013, and is a leader in the next U.S. National Climate Assessment. He has two degrees in Electrical Engineering from the University of Illinois and a PhD in Atmospheric Sciences from the University of California, Davis.

The Zurich Financial Services Distinguished Visitors Program on Climate Change??allows the Bren School to attract international leaders in environmental policy, law, business, and science to enrich and expand the intellectual life of the Bren School community and share insight on issues critical to climate change. Activities of the visitors, who are in residence for periods ranging from one week to one quarter, include teaching short courses, offering public lectures, conducting seminars, and leading colloquia and symposia planned around their research, professional endeavors, or areas of expertise.

NOTE: Community colloquia are generally talks of broad interest geared toward a diverse, sophisticated audience. Their purpose is not only to enhance knowledge and understanding, but also to bring people together and promote interaction that will strengthen the community.


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