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Dr. Jorge Sarmiento (from Princeton University), "The Earth's Carbon System and Climate"

Date: 03/17/11
Time: 4-6 p.m.
Audience: Public
Sponsored By: School of Science and Engineering
Location: Coykendall Science Building Auditorium
Contact: Dr. Julio J. Gonzalez, x3724, gonzalj@engr.newpaltz.edu

Atmospheric carbon dioxide traps long-wavelength radiation emitted from the Earth, thereby affecting the Earth's radiation balance and climate. Changes in atmospheric carbon dioxide have played a central role in climate change over a vast range of time scales, from the long term cooling of the Earth's climate over the past 65 million years, through the cycling in and out of ice ages over the past 1.8 million years. But what determines the level of atmospheric carbon dioxide in the atmosphere? More particularly, why has it increased so dramatically over the past century? Jorge L. Sarmiento, George J. Magee Professor of Geosciences and Geological Engineering at Princeton University, will reveal all. He runs an interdisciplinary research group whose goals are to understand the global carbon cycle including the role of ocean circulation and to study the impact of climate change on ocean biology and biogeochemistry.