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UAlbany Experts Advisory: Climate Summit 2015

ALBANY, N.Y. (November 30, 2015) -- Leaders of 150 nations, along with 40,000 delegates from 195 countries, are attending the Climate Change Summit in Paris this week. Officially known as COP21 (Conference of Parties), the summit serves as an annual forum to try to tackle climate change on a global political level.

President Obama and President Xi at the 2015 Climate Summit
U.S. President Barack Obama and Chinese President Xi Jinping meet at the 2015 Climate Summit in Paris. (Photo by Reuters)

The heads of state, including U.S. President Barack Obama and Chinese President Xi Jinping, have a clear objective: to agree on legally binding reductions in greenhouse gas emissions meant to hold global average temperatures short of a 2 degrees Celsius increase over pre-industrial global temperatures. This is especially significant as the U.S. and China have accounted for roughly 31 percent of all greenhouse gas emissions since 1990.

The University at Albany is host to the most comprehensive atmospheric sciences program in New York State and one of the largest such concentrations in the nation. Researchers in the Department of Atmospheric and Environmental Sciences (DAES) and the Atmospheric Sciences Research Center (ASRC) cover a broad array of issues surrounding global warming, including variability and change, the impact on water resources, and understanding global climate models as an indicator for assessing future regional climate changes. They are available to provide insight and commentary on this week’s critical summit.

UAlbany’s climate experts include:

  • Aiguo Dai, Associate Professor of Atmospheric and Environmental Sciences. Dai examines a number of climate and water-cycle related topics, including climate variability and change, future climate change, the global water cycle, hydroclimate, drought and climate data analysis. He studies Asian monsoons, including precipitation variability, streamflow, hydrometeorology, climate model evaluation, diurnal variability, atmospheric tides, ocean circulation, the carbon cycle, and methane emissions.
  • Mathias Vuille, Associate Professor of Atmospheric and Environmental Sciences. Vuille's research focuses on how a changing climate will affect tropical glaciers and water resources. Vuille has participated in more than a dozen field trips to the Andes and Kilimanjaro. He has published some 50 peer-reviewed articles and book chapters on the topic of tropical climate change and is a contributing author to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). Vuille continues to lead the development of a network of local scientists and stakeholders in four South American countries to address the impact on water supplies of shrinking glaciers in the Andes.
  • Wei-Chyung Wang, Professor of Applied Sciences, Atmospheric Sciences Research Center. Wang has a broad background in atmospheric radiation, and climate modeling and data analysis. His research focuses on global and regional climate changes due to increases of atmospheric greenhouse gases and aerosols associated with human activities. Wang has been using global and regional climate models for understanding the physical and chemical processes concerning the greenhouse effect and changes of atmospheric ozone, and for assessing future regional climate changes. He is also engaged in research of evaluating the effect and impact of climatic changes on social and economic activities and policy implication.
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A comprehensive public research university, the University at Albany offers more than 120 undergraduate majors and minors and 125 master's, doctoral, and graduate certificate programs. UAlbany is a leader among all New York State colleges and universities in such diverse fields as atmospheric and environmental sciences, business, criminal justice, emergency preparedness, engineering and applied sciences, informatics, public administration, social welfare, and sociology taught by an extensive roster of faculty experts. It also offers expanded academic and research opportunities for students through an affiliation with Albany Law School. With a curriculum enhanced by 600 study-abroad opportunities, UAlbany launches great careers.