Texas Tech Scientist Available to Discuss Climate Change Concerns Relevant to COP
December 9, 2009
Katharine Hayhoe is available to discuss consequences of unchecked climate change
for the United States and information directly relevant to international climate treaty
discussions taking place.
As the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP 15) continues through Dec.
18 in Copenhagen, Denmark, a prominent climate researcher at Texas Tech University
is available to discuss consequences of unchecked climate change for the United States
and information directly relevant to international climate treaty discussions taking
Katharine Hayhoe, a National Academy of Sciences committee member on greenhouse gas
stabilization targets and co-author of “A Climate for Change: Global Warming Facts
for Faith-Based Decisions,” is a research associate professor in the Department of
Geosciences. She can discuss climatic and economic questions related to global warming
and greenhouse gas emissions.
Also, she can provide answers to common questions, such as “how do we know global
warming is even occurring,” and “how do we know humans are causing global warming,
not the sun or natural cycles of the Earth?”
“Climate change is one of the major issues facing us today,” Hayhoe said. “It is encouraging
to see global leaders discussing the ways climate change may affect us and how we
can contribute toward a solution.”
To avoid the most severe effects of climate change, the world must stabilize the concentration
of heat-trapping gases in the atmosphere at no more than 450 parts per million by
2050, she said.
This 450-parts-per-million limit aims to avoid a temperature increase exceeding 3.5
degrees Fahrenheit in a global average temperature above pre-industrial levels – a
temperature-change benchmark which work by Hayhoe and other scientists indicates could
wreak increasing havoc on the environment as it is exceeded.
“If we wait until 2020 to start emission reductions, we’ll have to cut twice as fast
than if we start in 2010 to meet the same target,” she said.
Hayhoe has authored a number of studies that examine how climate change will affect
the planet, including the U.S. Global Change Research Program’s 2009 report on climate
impacts in the United States. Her work has been featured in more than 200 newspapers
and media outlets around the world, including USA Today, the BBC, Discovery Channel,
National Geographic and Sports Illustrated.
Hayhoe also contributed to the Nobel Prize-winning United Nations Intergovernmental
Panel on Climate Change in 2007.
CONTACT: Katharine Hayhoe, associate professor, Department of Geosciences, Texas Tech
(806) 392-1900, or firstname.lastname@example.org.