Thursday, January 14, 2010

Researcher James Hansen to Speak on Global Climate Change

James Hansen, internationally recognized as a leading expert on global climate change, will speak at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, February 1, 2010.

Hansen will discuss “Global Climate Change: What Must We Do Now?” He comes to UNC as the Frey Foundation Distinguished Visiting Professor in the College of Arts and Sciences. His lecture, at 7 p.m. in Memorial Hall, is free to the public and no advanced tickets are required.

A public reception and book-signing will follow the lecture. Hansen’s new book is Storms of My Grandchildren: The Truth About the Coming Climate Catastrophe and Our Last Chance to Save Humanity.

In 2006, Time magazine named Hansen one of the world’s most influential people. Former vice president Al Gore said about the climatologist: “When the history of the climate crisis is written, [James] Hansen will be seen as the scientist with the most powerful and consistent voice calling for intelligent action to preserve our planet’s environment.”

Hansen is director of the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies and adjunct professor at Columbia University’s Earth Institute. He is best known for his Congressional testimony on climate change in the 1980s — an early scientific voice that helped raise broad awareness of global warming. He created one of the first models of climate change about 30 years ago and has used it to predict much of what has happened since.

Elected to the National Academy of Sciences in 1995, he has been an active researcher in planetary atmospheres and climate science for nearly 40 years, with the last 30 years focused on climate research.

In addition to numerous testimonies given to the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives, Hansen twice made presentations to former President George W. Bush’s Climate and Energy Task Force.

The Frey Foundation Professorship was established in 1989 to bring to campus distinguished leaders from government, public policy and the arts. David Gardner Frey chairs the foundation established by his parents, Edward J. and Frances Frey of Grand Rapids, Mich., in 1974. He earned bachelor’s and law degrees at Carolina in 1964 and 1967, respectively.

Hansen's visit is also in conjunction with the Curriculum for the Environment and Ecology, the Department of Marine Sciences, the Department of Public Policy, and the Institute for the Environment.

Parking for the lecture is available in commercial lots on Rosemary Street. For more information on the lecture, call (919) 843-6339 or e-mail

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