Meeting Information

Population and Climate Change: Coupling Human and Nature Models

November 17, 2011
American Center for Physics
College Park, MD

Date: Thursday, November 17, 2011

Speaker: Eugenia Kalnay, Distinguished University Professor, Department of Atmospheric and Oceanic Science, Univ. of Maryland, College Park, MD

Topic: Population and Climate Change: Coupling Human and Nature Models

Time and Location: 1:00 PM, with Q&A to follow; in a 1st floor conference room at the American Center for Physics, 1 Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD-- off River Rd., between Kenilworth Ave. and Paint Branch Parkway.

Abstract: Current Earth System Models designed to study climate change (e.g., IPCC) contain fully coupled submodels for the atmosphere, ocean, land, and vegetation, but they do not include a fully coupled Human System Model (HSM). In reality, the Human System is not only strongly coupled but dominates the Earth biosphere and its changes. Fully coupling (or bi-directional coupling) is essential in order to have positive, negative, and delayed feedbacks. Because the Earth and Human System models are not coupled, we are missing essential positive and negative and delayed feedbacks between nature, population and technology. Overshoots are an example of the effect of such missing impacts.

We will discuss basic facts about population and climate change, and present a prototype of a coupled nature-human model we are developing, including the impact of policies in both the model and reality.

Biography: Following her Licenciada en Meteorología in 1965from the University of Buenos Aires, Prof. Kalnay came to MIT, where she earned her Ph.D. in Meteorology in 1971 (Jule G. Charney, Advisor).

Advancing through positions at NASA Goddard, in 1984 she became Head of the Global Modeling and Simulation Branch, Goddard Laboratory for Atmospheres.  In 1987 she was appointed Director of the Environmental Modeling Center, National Centers for Environmental Prediction (NCEP).  In 1997 she was appointed Lowry Chair Professor at the School of Meteorology, Univ. of Oklahoma, remaining as Senior Scientist at NCEP.  In 1999 she was appointed Professor and Chair of the Department of Atmospheric and Oceanic Science, Univ. of Maryland, College Park, MD.  And in 2002 she became a Distinguished University Professor. Prof. Kalnay is a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, of the American Geophysical Union, and of the American Meteorological Society.

She is a member of national academies in the USA, in Europe, and in Argentina.  Her numerous honors and awards include:  The World Meteorological Organization top world-wide award, the IMO Prize for 2009; The American Meteorological Society Jule G. Charney Award for 1995; Department of Commerce gold (1993, 1997) and silver (1990) medals; and several others.