Baylor University
Department of Geosciences
College of Arts and Sciences

Geology News Items

The Department of Geology and OVPR Presents Dr. Katharine Hayhoe to Speak January 24 & 25

Jan. 17, 2013

Dr. Katharine Hayhoe is an atmospheric scientist who studies climate change, one of the most pressing issues facing the planet today. An expert reviewer for the Nobel Peace Prize-winning Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, her life's work has been dedicated to discovering and communicating the realities of a changing climate to those who will be affected most by it.

She is an associate professor in the Department of Political Science and director of the Climate Science Center at Texas Tech University. Her work has resulted in over 50 peer-reviewed publications and many key reports including the recently-released draft 2014 U.S. National Climate Assessment.

Together with her husband, pastor and author Andrew Farley, she wrote "A Climate for Change: Global Warming Facts for Faith-Based Decisions", a book that untangles the complex science and tackles many long-held misconceptions about global warming. Her work as a climate change evangelist has been featured in a media ranging from PBS to Christianity Today, which in 2012 named her as one of their "50 Women to Watch."

Katharine has a B.Sc. in physics and astronomy from the University of Toronto and an M.S. and Ph.D. in atmospheric science from the University of Illinois.

General Public Talk: Thursday, January 24, 2013 at 7:00pm in BSB D110

Climate Change: A Christian Perspective

Climate change is one of the most hotly debated scientific issues of today. But, is the evidence solid? Are proposed solutions viable? And why should any of us even care, if we live in Texas? Join Katharine Hayhoe as she untangles the complex science behind global warming and highlights the key role our Christian faith and values play in shaping our attitudes and actions on this crucial topic.

Technical Presentation, Geology 5050 Weekly Seminar: Friday, January 25, 2013 at 3:00pm in BSB E231

Climate Projections: Should We Trust the Models?

Climate change is already affecting both natural and human systems in the United States and around the world. As greenhouse gas emissions from human activities continue to rise, the impacts of climate change are expected to become even stronger and more evident. For the first time in the history of civilization, we have reached a point where value of future planning in a broad range of sectors, including agriculture, water resources, and even tourism, depends on our ability to quantify the impacts of climate change at the regional scale. Developing high-resolution projections, however, is a challenging task. In addition to complex modeling tools and prohibitive computational demands, it also requires a solid understanding of the uncertainties and errors involved in this process. The enigmas of population growth and energy demand, the complexities of the physical climate system, and the intricacies of the statistical methods used to downscale global projections all contribute to blurring future projections. Drawing on examples from my research, I will illustrate how these and other sources of error and uncertainty can be quantified and incorporated into assessing a broad range of potential climate impacts, from cotton yields in West Texas to the ski industry in New Hampshire.