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Welcome to the 2007 Briefing Series for Members of Congress and Staff

This year's theme is "USGS Climate Change Science: Exploring the Past, Observing the Present, Forecasting the Future"

Previous Congressional Briefings

Third in the 2007 series

Abrupt Climate Change in our Lifetime: What Would it Mean?

Scientific evidence has shown that the Earth has warmed abruptly many times in the past, sometimes more than 10° F in just a few decades. Is today's gradual global warming a precursor to abrupt climate change? What are the key indicators that could help predict an abrupt rise in temperature? And what impact would that have on our Nation's infrastructure, resources, ecosystems, and communities? Come hear how USGS and its partners are working to provide the science needed by resource managers and policy makers as they develop mitigation and adaptation strategies for dealing with the threat of abrupt climate change.

Date: Sept 28, 2007


Cires logoKonrad Steffen
Director, Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences (CIRES) at the University of Colorado—Boulder

USGSTom Armstrong
Senior Advisor for Global Change Programs
U.S. Geological Survey

NPS logoDan Kimball
Superintendent, Everglades & Dry Tortugas National Parks
National Park Service

Time: 10:00 a.m.
Location: 2261 Rayburn House Office Building

Congressional Sponsors: The following links leave the USGS site.
Powerpoints: Hosted by: The following links leave the USGS site.
The Comer Science and Education Foundation


Speaker Biographies

Konrad Steffen

Konrad Steffen is a professor at the University of Colorado, teaching climatology and remote sensing since 1990. His research involves the study of processes related to climate variability and change, cryospheric interaction in polar regions, and sea-level rise based on in-situ measurements, satellite observations, and model approximations. He has lead field expeditions to the Greenland ice sheet and other Arctic regions for 33 consecutive years to measure the dynamic response of the ice masses under a warming climate. He is also the Director of the Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences (CIRES), the largest research unit on the University of Colorado--Boulder campus with more than 600 employees. He earned his Ph.D. from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology--Zürich in 1983.

Dan Kimball

As superintendent, Dan Kimball is responsible for preserving, protecting, restoring, and managing both of these units of the National Park System. Since his arrival in 2004, he has led the parks’ involvement in restoration of the Everglades, the largest ecosystem restoration project in the history of the planet, and also in the establishment of a marine protected area in the Dry Tortugas. During his 23-year tenure at NPS, Dan served as Chief of the National Park Service’s (NPS’s) Water Resources Division, Acting Superintendent of Zion National Park, and Assistant to the National Park Service Deputy Director. He has also held positions with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the Office of Surface Mining, and with environmental consulting firms. He earned a B.A. in earth sciences from Denison University in Ohio in 1971 and an M.S. in water resources administration from the University of Arizona in 1974.

Tom Armstrong

Tom Armstrong is the USGS Senior Advisor for Global Change Programs. During his career at USGS, he has served as the principal for the Department of the Interior to the United States Climate Change Science Program, the United States Head of Delegation for the Arctic Monitoring and Assessment Programme (AMAP); Co-Lead for development of the Committee on Earth Observation Satellites (CEOS) response to Global Climate Observing System (GCOS) Implementation Plan, the United States delegate for the United Nations Framework Council on Climate Change, advisor on USGS’ International Polar Year activities, and as Chair of the Science Sub-committee for the Department of the Interior Climate Change Task Force.

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