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The Challenge of Climate Change

polar bear on ice

18 Mar 2011

Is there a scientific basis for concern over human-induced climate change? This was the subject of the first Public Evening Lecture of 2011, entitled 'The challenge of climate change', given by Sir Brian Hoskins on 14 April. A soundtrack of the lecture is now available (below).

This exciting event comprised a critical review of the scientific basis for concern over human-induced climate change. The relative merits of adaptation, geo-engineering and mitigation responses were discussed and, in the context of mitigation, the UK greenhouse gas emission targets and the basis for the advice of the Climate Change Committee covered. The challenge posed by climate change to science, technology, business and society in general were highlighted.

Professor Sir Brian Hoskins is a dynamical meteorologist and climatologist based at Imperial College London, UK. He researches weather and climate, in particular the understanding of atmospheric motion from frontal to planetary scales. He has previously served as President of the International Association of Meteorology and Atmospheric Sciences and vice-chair of the Joint Scientific Committee for the World Climate Research Programme.

He played a key role in the 2000 report by The Royal Commission on Environmental Pollution, which proposed a 60% target for UK carbon dioxide emission reduction by 2050, as well as being involved in the Nobel Prize-winning international climate change assessments.

He is a member of the science academies of the UK, USA, China and Europe, and the UK Committee on Climate Change. He was knighted in 2007 for his services to the environment.

The series of free evening lectures is set to continue, with refreshments and nibbles provided at the end of each event to allow the delegates to meet the speakers and other attendees in an informal setting. This is a wonderful opportunity to hear experts talking on key subjects from a sound scientific base; to question them on their suggestions; to learn more about the reality of each topic; and to introduce new people to SCI. The lectures are open to all and suitable for scientists and non-scientists alike.

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