Dr. Richard B. Alley is Evan Pugh Professor of Geosciences and Associate of the EMS Environment Institute at The Pennsylvania State University, University Park, Pennsylvania. There he teaches and conducts research on the paleoclimatic records, dynamics, and sedimentary deposits of large ice sheets, as a means of understanding the climate system and its history, and projecting future changes in climate and sea level. Dr. Alley has spent three field seasons in Antarctica and five in Greenland. He is a Fellow of the American Geophysical Union, and has received many awards, including a Packard Fellowship, a Presidential Young Investigator Award, and the Horton Award of the American Geophysical Union Hydrology Section. His book on abrupt climate change, The Two-Mile Time Machine, was the national Phi Beta Kappa Science Award winner for 2001. Dr. Alley chaired a recent National Research Council study on Abrupt Climate Change, and serves, or has served, on many other advisory panels and steering committees. He has authored or coauthored more than 135 peer-reviewed publications.
The Carbon Control Knobby Richard Alley, Eban Goodstein
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On November 2, 2011, Richard Alley participated in The National Climate Seminar, a series of webinars sponsored by Bard College’s Center for Environmental Policy. The online seminars provide a forum for leading scientists, writers, and other experts to talk about critical issues regarding climate change. The series also opens a public conversation, inviting participants to ask questions and contribute their own thoughts.
Dr. Alley conducts research on the paleoclimatic record at The Pennsylvania State University in order to understand the history, and perhaps the future, of climate change. In his lecture, Alley gave a concise overview of why we know what we know about climate change, and what that evidence can tell us about today’s warming planet. Alley not only provides an accessible science lesson, but reveals his own greatest concerns about climate change and offers advice to those who want to stop debating the subtleties of climate science and act now.
This E-ssential is an edited version of Alley’s talk and the subsequent question and answer session. While some material has been cut and some language modified for clarity, the intention was to retain the substance of the original discussion.
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