This event was produced by swissnex San Francisco and part of the U.S.-wide program ThinkSwiss-Brainstorm the Future. As a leading country in science, research, and technology, Switzerland is working with its American counterparts to address key global topics such as sustainability to better understand trends and arrive at solutions.
As society struggles to find clean, affordable, and reliable energy alternatives to meet the energy challenge and mitigate global climate change, it is important that scientists and policy-makers around the world work together to explore solutions.
To present the Swiss perspective on sustainable energy alternatives for the future, professor Konstantinos Boulouchos of the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich (ETHZ) will share the complex interaction between the energy and climate change challenges and provide insight into the ongoing debate surrounding long-term strategic targets like the 2,000-watt versus the one-ton CO2 society.
Joining Professor Boulouchos is internationally recognized U.S. climate scientist, Stephen Schneider of Stanford University. Professor Schneider is actively involved with the IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) and specializes in projecting global climate change and related impacts for the future. He is also dedicated to communicating science to the public.
Konstantinos Boulouchos is a professor of aerothermochemistry and combustion systems at the Institute of Energy Technology at ETH Zurich (ETHZ) and Chair of the Board of the Energy Science Center. He trained as a mechanical engineer at the National Technical University of Athens and holds a Ph.D. in thermodynamics and combustion from ETHZ. Following post-doctoral work at ETHZ and a Visiting Scientist position at Princeton University, he served as Senior Scientist and head of the Combustion Research Laboratory at the Swiss National Laboratory, the Paul Scherrer Institut (PSI).
In recent years, Konstantinos Boulouchos has been increasingly interested in research issues related to the modeling, assessment, and optimization of the global energy system from a rigorous thermodynamic point of view. Together with his team, he works on strategy development efforts for corporate and national institutions in the field of energy.
Stephen H. Schneider is the Melvin and Joan Lane Professor for Interdisciplinary Environmental Studies at Stanford University, a professor of biological sciences, and professor (by courtesy) of civil and environmental engineering. He’s also a senior fellow at the Woods Institute for the Environment at Stanford.
Schneider received his Ph.D. in mechanical engineering and plasma physics from Columbia University and studied the role of greenhouse gases and suspended particulate material on climate as a postdoctoral fellow at NASA's Goddard Institute for Space Studies. He was awarded a postdoctoral fellowship at the National Center for Atmospheric Research and was a member of the scientific staff of NCAR, where he co-founded the Climate Project.
Internationally recognized for research, policy analysis, and outreach in climate change, he focuses on climate change science, integrated assessment of ecological and economic impacts of human-induced climate change, and identifying viable climate policies and technological solutions. He has consulted with federal agencies and White House staff in several administrations.
Currently, Schneider is counseling policy makers about the importance of using risk management strategies in climate-policy decision making, given the uncertainties in future projections of global climate change and related impacts. In addition to continuing to serve as advisor to decision-makers, he consults with corporate executives and other stakeholders in industry and the nonprofit sectors regarding possible climate-related events and is actively engaged in improving public understanding of science and the environment through extensive media communication and public outreach.
Stephen Schneider, an environmental studies professor at Stanford University, challenges the idea that recent cold weather trends disprove global warming. He argues that climate change opponents use "bad" science -- like cherry-picking weather trends -- to skew results.
Oh, come on! You are insulting people who suffered under the REAL Nazis.
You jump from not complying with the FOIA to burning at the stake. Do you not realise how far over the top you are?
Schneider is impatient with the obscurantism and ignorance of those who are opposing the science of global warming. And who can blame him?
Methane Releases from Arctic Shelf May Be Much Larger and Faster Than Anticipated
NSF, National Science Foundation - March 4, 2010.
Research results, published in the March 5 edition of the journal Science, show that the permafrost under the East Siberian Arctic Shelf, long thought to be an impermeable barrier sealing in methane, is perforated and is starting to leak large amounts of methane into the atmosphere. Release of even a fraction of the methane stored in the shelf could trigger abrupt climate warming.
As Martin Heimann writes in Science:
Wetlands and permafrost soils, including the sub-sea permafrost under the Arctic Ocean, contain at least twice the amount of carbon that is currently in the atmosphere as carbon dioxide. Release of a sizable fraction of this carbon as carbon dioxide and/or methane would lead to warmer atmospheric temperatures, causing yet more methane to be released. It would thus create a positive feedback loop that amplifies global warming.
Understanding the science on issues like global warming and greenhouse gases does take a lot of work and heavy duty math skills. Lacking these skills, we get comments like those from seanoque referring to Nazi's and attacking the scientific community. Pure hot air with no useful information content.
Scientists are human, but science as a process of finding the truth is the most valid method known. Until the critics come up with a model that better predicts the changes in world climate than the existing scientific models -- ie. something closer to the truth -- the critics are just flapping their gums and a waste of bandwidth.
Steve Schneider is the perfect example of intolerance personified who does not except opposing points of view in a graceful manner and advocates the "off with their heads" solution to all those that would dare to disagree with him. A typical Nazi. He takes the view that the news media should refuse to report on their findings. There are many scientific points of view that contradict his supposed higher knowledge but he would not even begin to debate them due to an inherent intransigence that permeates the whole of the scientific community that aligns themselves with the IPCC. Jones has been exonerated by his peers at the IPCC claiming that the language referring to his deliberate fudging or down right lying about the data, was science speak, in house slang and not remotely incriminating. Also that his refusal to release his date under the freedom of information act in the UK was because he didn't want it to be used to discredit him by those heretical non believing sceptics or deniers, as they have become. What next, burning at the stake, duckng stools. The fact that Schneider has a grant to protect would have nothing to do with his take on the science now would it. How will he defend the melting glaciers or the re-icing of the Antarctic or the satellite data that contradicts his supposed increase in warming. Common sense is sadly lacking in this argument and empirical knowledge trumps all that he says.