5th Annual Yanai Distinguished Lecture 2018
Presented by UCLA Department of Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences
Amy Clement is the Associate Dean of Graduate Studies and a Professor in the Department of Atmospheric Sciences at the University of Miami’s Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science. She is an expert in climate modeling. In her research, she strives to understand the mechanisms of past, present, and future climate change.
Free and open to the public, this event features a panel discussion on climate following a lecture entitled “The Real Debates of Climate Science: Does the Ocean Matter for Climate?” by Dr. Amy Clement, professor at University of Miami’s Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science.
The event begins with a reception at 5:00 p.m. followed by the lecture and a panel discussion by climate experts at 6:00 p.m., both at the California NanoSystems Institute (CNSI) on the UCLA Campus.
The media sometimes portrays the question of the human role in climate as a central debate in Climate Science, despite the strong scientific consensus that human emissions of greenhouse gases are affecting climate. At the same time, the scientific community is far from monolithic on many questions of societal relevance, and these debates are largely ignored in the media. Here we highlight one of those debates: the importance of the ocean for climate.
It is often assumed that the ocean plays a central role in climate, both in the response to long-term human alterations, as well as in natural fluctuations. The implications of this are far-reaching for the science of climate and climate change: For instance, suppose the ocean does play a central role in climate. Then we need a complete view of its current state, and the ocean must be fully treated in climate models in order to predict the climate of the coming season, year, or even decade. On the other hand, if the ocean does not strongly affect climate, such oceanic observations and dynamics may be unnecessary for prediction systems. Dr. Clement will review current debates on the importance of the ocean for predicting climate, where its importance is paramount (e.g. the equatorial Pacific and the Southern ocean), and where it is questionable (the North Atlantic).
After her lecture, a panel of experts on the ocean, atmosphere and climate from the UCLA Atmospheric and Oceanic Science Department will be convened to discuss Dr. Clement’s points. The audience will gain insight into how Climate Science is conducted and how the field must evolve over the coming years to fulfill its mandate to predict the behavior of the climate system.