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MEDIA ADVISORY: Northeast is “Canary in the Coal Mine” for Global Warming, UNH Scientist to Tell High-Profile NYC Climate Change Symposium
By David Sims
Science Writer
Institute for the Study of Earth, Oceans, and Space
(603) 862-5369
david.sims@unh.edu

September 13, 2006

DURHAM, N.H. – University of New Hampshire research associate professor Cameron Wake will join former Vice President Al Gore and a distinguished group of panelists Friday, September 15 at the New York Botanical Garden for a half-day symposium entitled “Climate Change: Prospects for Nature.” Gore is the keynote speaker for the symposium, which will summarize the most recent scientific research and current thinking on global warming.

Wake, a glaciologist and geochemist at the UNH Institute for the Study of Earth, Oceans, and Space (EOS) and Department of Earth Sciences, will present data from the Northeast U.S. and Canadian Maritime Provinces that show a “remarkably consistent signal of a warming trend across the region that cannot and should not be ignored.”

The data show that the greatest warming in the northeast has occurred in the winter months. For example, analysis of mean annual temperature in winter for the entire region shows warming of 4.4 degrees Fahrenheit over the last 30 years. This amount of warming is equivalent to a shift of Boston’s winter climate to that of Philadelphia. The winter warming is also evidenced by a two-week decrease in the number of days with snow on the ground and a one- to two-week earlier ice-out date on lakes in northern New England.

Other symposium speakers include award-winning journalist Elizabeth Kolbert, former reporter for The New York Times and current staff writer for The New Yorker, Thomas E. Lovejoy, Ph.D., President of The Heinz Center for Science, Economics, and the Environment and co-organizer of the symposium, and David W. Wolfe, Ph.D., Professor of Plant Ecology in the Department of Horticulture at Cornell University and a leading authority on the effects of climate change and rising atmospheric carbon dioxide on plants, soils, and ecosystems.

A panel discussion, which will include other prominent experts in the field, will provide context and perspective on compelling scientific issues facing life on Earth.

“Climate Change: Prospects for Nature” will take place September 15, 2006 from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at The New York Botanical Garden in Manhattan. The symposium is sold out but a Webcast is available to reporters and members of the public. To register, go to http://www.nybg.org/climate_change.php.

Editors and reporters: Cameron Wake can be reached at his EOS office (603-862-2329, cameron.wake@unh.edu) Wednesday 9/13 from 1 to 3 p.m. and Thursday 9/14 from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.