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An online chat with experts Dr. Michael Oppenheimer and Dr. Daniel Schrag

When: October 5, 2006, 10 a.m. - 11 a.m. ET

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Michael Oppenheimer is the Albert G. Milbank Professor of Geosciences and International Affairs at Princeton University. He is also the director of the program in Science, Technology and Environmental Policy (STEP) at the Woodrow Wilson School, and associated faculty of the Princeton Environmental Institute and the Atmosphere and Ocean Sciences Program. He joined the Princeton faculty after more than two decades with Environmental Defense. His interests include science and policy of the atmosphere, particularly climate change and its impacts. His research explores the potential effects of global warming, including the effects of warming on ecosystems and on the nitrogen cycle; and on the ice sheets in the context of defining "dangerous anthropogenic interference" with the climate system. He served as a lead author of the Third Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, and is also a lead author for the Fourth Assessment. He was a member of the National Research Council's Panel on the Atmospheric Effects of Aviation, and currently is a member of the NRC's Panel on Climate Variability and Change. He also has served on several university and institutional advisory boards. Prior to his position at Environmental Defense, Dr. Oppenheimer served as Atomic and Molecular Astrophysicist at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics and Lecturer on Astronomy at Harvard University. He received an S.B. in chemistry from M.I.T., a Ph.D. in chemical physics from the University of Chicago, and pursued post-doctoral research at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics.

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Daniel Schrag is Professor of Earth and Planetary Sciences at Harvard University and the director of the Harvard University Center for the Environment. Schrag studies climate and climate change over the broadest range of Earth history. He has examined changes in ocean circulation over the last several decades, with particular attention to El Niņo and the tropical Pacific. He has worked on theories for Pleistocene ice-age cycles including a better determination of ocean temperatures during the Last Glacial Maximum, 20,000 years ago. He has also developed the Snowball Earth hypothesis, proposing that a series of global glaciations occurred between 750 and 580 million years ago that may have led to the evolution of multicellular animals. He is currently working with economists and engineers on technological approaches to mitigating future climate change. Among various honors, Schrag was awarded a MacArthur Fellowship in 2000. Schrag came to Harvard in 1997 after teaching at Princeton, and studying at Berkeley and Yale.

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Jesse Smith, the online chat moderator, was educated and trained as a stable-isotope geochemist and paleoclimatologist. He received his Ph.D. from Scripps Institution of Oceanography at the University of California, San Diego, in 1993. After that, he conducted research on the composition of the atmosphere over the past 400,000 years, concentrating on carbon dioxide and the carbon cycle, and the relationship between greenhouse gases and climate. He now is a senior editor for Science magazine, where he has been since 1999, and handles most of the papers submitted about climate.