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Interdisciplinary Seminars

A collection of interesting seminars, presentations and lectures from various institutions in interdisciplinary fields.

1. How Would Climate Change Influence Society in the 21st Century? - Jan 2008
Rajendra K. Pachauri describes the kinds of adaptations humanity must make to the changes already underway, including protection from flooding; preventing water scarcity; and retooling agriculture. Developed nations have a head start in these, and must help out developing nations, or risk global conflicts. Yet adaptation alone “cannot cope with all the projected impacts of climate change,” says Pachauri, so greenhouse gas mitigation efforts are urgent. In the midst of this desperate panorama, Pachauri holds out some hope: "Anyone who says, what’s the point, why take action - if we start today, we can really make a difference in the next two to three decades."

Rajendra Pachauri is the Chairman of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). IPCC and Al Gore are the joint winner of the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize "for their efforts to build up and disseminate greater knowledge about man-made climate change, and to lay the foundations for the measures that are needed to counteract such change".
(Massachusetts Institute of Technology: MIT World)

2. How Would Climate Change Influence Society in the 21st Century? (Panel) - Jan 2008
Rajendra K. Pachauri leads fellow members of the Nobel Prize-winning IPCC in a remarkable public session of soul-searching. Now that the IPCC has helped make climate change a signal issue of our times, what next?
(Massachusetts Institute of Technology: MIT World)

3. Global and Regional Climate Change: Underlying Science and Emerging Riddles - May 2008
Veerabhadran Ramanathan recaps 35 years of key findings, and brings his audience up to date on the latest climate data, models, and observations which together demonstrate how CO2 is but one piece of a complex puzzle. Veerabhadran Ramanathan is a professor in Scripps Institution of Oceanography and is well-known for discovering the greenhouse effect of CFCs and numerous other manmade trace gases in the 1970s. This is an excellent seminar for understanding climate change.
(Massachusetts Institute of Technology: MIT World)

4. Profitable Solutions to Climate Change - Oct 2008
Climate solutions are not costly but instead profitable, since saving fuel costs less than buying fuel. That's what energy expert Amory Lovins explained in a Chen-Huang Sustainable Energy Lecture. Lovins, an internationally recognized expert on energy independence, cofounded the Rocky Mountain Institute and now serves as chairman and chief scientist. His nearly four decades of advocacy for resource efficiency, energy innovation, and holistic design have garnered attention because of today's interrelated energy and climate issues.
(California Institute of Technology: Caltech Today)

5. Jörg Imberger: Life in a Changing Climate - Oct 2008
As part of the Victor Wouk Lectureship series, Jörg Imberger presented a talk called "Life in a Changing Climate." Imberger, the director of the Centre for Water Research and professor of environmental engineering at the University of Western Australia, says, "Humans, by expanding our reach to global scales through technology, have set up a 50-year global experiment where we are both the observers and the subjects and for which we have neither an hypothesis nor an objective; we have put the earth and ourselves into the hands of fate."
(California Institute of Technology: Caltech Today)

6. Leslie Tamppari: The Phoenix Mission - Nov 2008
Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) project scientist Leslie Tamppari discussed Phoenix's mission to Mars in a Watson Lecture on November 12. The Phoenix spacecraft launched in August 2007, carrying instruments to Mars to conduct atmospheric, mineralogical, chemical, and microscopy experiments to understand the history of water in the environment and the potential for the landing location to be a good habitat for microbes. Tamppari provided an overview of the mission, described its history, and explained its results.

This is a fascinating presentation on the mission to Mars which includes captivating photos and video clips of the red planet.
(California Institute of Technology: Caltech Today)

7. Al Gore's new thinking on the climate crisis (2008)
In this talk in 2008, Al Gore presents evidence that the pace of climate change may be even worse than scientists recently predicted. He challenges us to act.

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