Byrne lecture to address climate change


CORVALLIS - Is global climate change happening now? Should we be seriously concerned about even greater change during this century? Or, as best-selling author Michael Crichton would have us believe, are we just in a "state of fear?"

The next speaker in the John Byrne Lecture Series at Oregon State University will shed some light on this overheated subject. Bruce Wielicki, a senior NASA Earth scientist, will speak on "Global Climate Change: Serious Risk or Environmental Hoax?"

The lecture will be Monday, April 4, at 7:30 p.m. in the LaSells Stewart Center on the OSU campus. The talk, which is sponsored by Oregon Sea Grant and the OSU College of Oceanic and Atmospheric Sciences, is free and open to the public.

Wielicki has given climate lectures at the Carnegie Centennial Lecture series, but also to church groups, Rotary clubs, and teacher workshops. He has provided input on climate to public science museums in New York and London, and has appeared on National Public Radio.

Wielicki is the senior scientist for Earth science at NASA's Langley Research Center, and has been involved in climate research for over 25 years, publishing more than 60 journal articles. He has received NASA's science medal as well as its leadership medal, and served on a wide range of both U.S. and international scientific committees for climate research.

In his lecture, Wielicki will summarize some of the science behind climate change concerns and highlight some of the key uncertainties and challenges. "Some of the challenges are scientific," he notes, "but others are societal and organizational."

The Byrne Lecture Series, named for former OSU President and NOAA Administrator John Byrne, presents public lectures on subjects of broad topical interest in marine and atmospheric sciences, particularly on themes of resources, policy and communicating science to an interested but non-specialist audience.