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Meeting Number:   26

June 1, 2011


Dangerous Untruths: Climate Change 2011


Dr. Forrest Hall
Principle Investigator
Office for Global Carbon Studies
NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center (GSFC) and UMBC


Wednesday, June 1, 2011


7:00 PM:   Start
8:30 PM:   End


National Electronics Museum (NEM)
1745 W. Nursery Road, Linthicum, MD 21090


To register for this meeting, go to the above link. Click on the ‘Click Here to Register’ button. You need to fill in the following information: Name, Member Number (if IEEE member), City, Country, State/Province, E-mail Address. After you fill in the information, click on the ‘Register’ button to register.


$5:     IEEE and NEM Members
$10:   All Others


What is climate change? Why should we worry about it? Surveys suggest that fewer and fewer people do these days. People are sick and tired of hearing bad news! No one knows what climate is going to be in 50 years anyway. We can’t even predict next weeks’ weather! Climate is variable, but is it really changing? How about the ice ages? Now there was some variability for you! Doesn’t that show that natural forces overwhelm anything us puny humans can do to it? Anyway, even if we could something about it, isn’t solar, wind power and all that green stuff way too expensive? Wouldn’t it wreck our economy? Look what happened in Japan with nuclear!!!

Sound familiar? In language suited for the non-specialist, Dr. Forrest Hall will help us unpack these familiar “truths”, distorted truths of course, which in the end are the most dangerous untruths.

We will examine climate change with Dr. Hall who has been researching and lecturing on climate change for nearly 30 years, for the first 20 at NASA, for the last 10 at the University of Maryland. Dr. Hall will lead us in a discussion of some of the major forces underlying climate change; How and why the Earth’s climate has undergone huge variations; How over the past 700,000 years the Earth’s average temperature has varied by more than 14 degrees F, periodically covering the Earth in great sheets of ice -- a mile thick sheet over Chicago just 10,000 years ago.

Yes, the Earth’s climate is variable. But in the last 200 years we have entered a radically different period - the Anthropocene. For the first time in the Earth’s long history you, I, and the other 6.8 billion humans who populate the planet have become a climate force greater than nature! Our rapidly expanding population, combined with our accelerating use of coal, gas and petroleum to fuel industry and transportation, is upsetting the Earth’s natural thermostat creating massive and rapid changes in regional climate. Can we change our behavior? Can we adopt new behaviors? Can we mitigate climate impacts? Can we adapt? Together, we will explore the how and why of climate change and what we can do about it.

Click on the following link for the presentation.

      Climate Change


Dr. Hall, a physicist, currently with the University of Maryland, Baltimore County, is located at the Goddard Space Flight Center, in the GSFC/UMBC Joint Center for Earth Systems Technology. Dr. Hall has been active since 1980 in global change research using earth-observing satellites to monitor human-induced and natural changes to the earth’s land ecosystems and the effects those changes have had on the earth’s climate. He has authored 58 scientific papers on satellite monitoring, the global carbon cycle and climate change. Dr. Hall is a regular lecturer, both nationally and internationally. He has addressed a broad range of audiences: middle and high schools, universities, women’s groups, state and national congressional representatives, religious organizations, and scientific meetings. Dr. Hall has a BS in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Texas, and an MS and PhD in Physics from the University of Houston.

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