Chestertown, MD, March 2, 2001 — Dr. Jerry Mahlman, one of the world's leading experts on global climate change and former director of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Lab, will address the topic "Global Warming: Myth or Reality?" on Thursday, March 22, 2001, at 6 p.m. in Washington College's Casey Academic Center Forum.
Dr. Mahlman's research has focused on modeling, diagnosing and understanding the behavior of the atmosphere and its implications for global climatic change. In addition, Dr. Mahlman has worked to clarify the controversy between those who believe human activity is primarily responsible for global warming and those who attribute it to natural causes such as fluctuations in the sun's radiation. His research has shown there is little remaining doubt that increasing greenhouse gases due to human activities are partly responsible for global climate changes, now and for centuries to come.
"We know that it takes decades to centuries to produce a large buildup of greenhouse gases," Dr. Mahlman has reported to Congress. "Much less appreciated is that a 'return to normal' from high carbon dioxide levels would require many additional centuries."
Mahlman has observed that effects of global warming are more than just changing weather patterns--they are economic and societal. Governments will have to develop policies and programs for nations facing the effects of increased drought and summer heat indexes, erosion and loss of coastline from rising sea levels, and human causalities and property damage caused by increased tropical storm intensities.
The talk is sponsored by the William James Forum, and the public is invited to attend.