Peter B. Lord Seminars: Climate Change Impacts
Peter B. Lord Seminars on the Environment and
Metcalf Institute for Marine & Environmental Reporting
Sunshine Menezes, URI Metcalf Institute
Overview of Ocean/Atmosphere Interactions with Regard to Climate
John Merrill, URI Graduate School of Oceanography
While the physical science behind the greenhouse effect is well known, many people are less familiar with the strong interaction between oceans and Earth’s atmosphere with regard to global climate. This presentation will describe these processes and explain how feedback mechanisms operating in distant parts of the globe can have local significance.
Session 1: Shoreline Change in Southern New England
The Science of Shoreline Change
John King, URI Graduate School of Oceanography
Janet Freedman, R.I. Coastal Resources Management Council
Coastal zones represent a front line in demonstrating the physical effects of climate change. This session will introduce typical shoreline processes and provide a summary of the observed and projected regional changes in sea level, as well as the implications for storm surges, coastal flooding, and erosion.
Perspectives on Shoreline Change
Diane Williamson, Town of Bristol, RI
Tricia Jedele, R.I. Conservation Law Foundation
Grover Fugate, R.I. Coastal Resources Management Council
The potential implications of climate-driven shoreline change are significant for coastal communities in Rhode Island and throughout southern New England. Panelists will discuss the challenges and opportunities presented by these coastal threats.
Session 2: Ecosystem Response to Climate Change
The Science of Ecosystem Response
Candace Oviatt, URI
Richard Primack, Boston University
Warming temperatures and extreme swings in water availability from drought to flooding can cause a cascade of effects in marine and terrestrial ecosystems. This session will introduce some of the observed responses in New England.
Perspectives on Ecosystem Response
Catherine Weaver, Tupelo Gardenworks, Ltd.
John Torgan, The Nature Conservancy, RI Chapter
Following the introduction to some of the science regarding ecosystem responses to climate change in southern New England, panelists will discuss their perspectives on how these changes could affect regional businesses and conservation decisions.
Session 3: Climate Change and Public Health
Climate Change and Public Health
Perry Sheffield, The Mount Sinai Hospital
Howard Ginsberg, U.S. Geological Survey
Robert Vanderslice, R.I. Department of Health
For many people, the effects of climate change seem distant or unrelated to their daily lives. When it comes to public health impacts, however, it is much easier to grab public attention. Panelists will discuss some of the public health implications of climate change and the status of policy response to these implications in Rhode Island.