Public Release: 

Integrating society with climate science, stabilizing carbon dioxide levels

DOE/Pacific Northwest National Laboratory

VANCOUVER, British Columbia --Hefty technical reports aren't always the best way to help the public and policymakers understand climate change's potential impacts. But detailed scientific tomes have historically been the main communication vehicle for climate researchers. Researchers will discuss innovative ways to make climate research more approachable and understandable for society at a Friday AAAS symposium.

The session will include Richard Moss, a PNNL climate change impacts scientist, who will discuss how to relate data from global climate and socioeconomic models to local and regional needs. Moss - who works out of the Joint Global Change Research Institute at the University of Maryland - helped develop Representative Concentration Pathways, comprehensive scenarios that portray different greenhouse gas concentrations the world could experience. The data from these scenarios is being used in global climate models to update climate change projections. At the same time, Moss and his colleagues are combining the scenarios with socioeconomic factors such as population growth and technology use.

Moss suggests it would be easier to see how local and regional decisions could be affected by climate change by enabling decision makers to relate these global scenarios to local and regional concerns. For example, municipal planners could use these scenarios to test how different zoning and water resource management plans would play out under different combinations of climate change, population growth and more. Moss will describe methods being tested now in the U.S. Climate Assessment, which is scheduled for completion in 2013. He serves on the federal advisory committee overseeing the report and is leading development of scenarios for the report's preparation.

REFERENCE: "Beyond Climate Models: Rethinking How to Envision the Future with Climate Change," Feb. 17, 1:30-4:30 p.m., Room 205-207, West Building, Vancouver Convention Center, cell phone at conference: 360-333-4793.

Stabilizing carbon dioxide levels

PNNL soil scientist and climate change modeler Cesar Izaurralde will serve as a discussant during a symposium about the implications of increasing atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations and how to mitigate such increases.

REFERENCE: "Toward Stabilization of Net Global Carbon Dioxide Levels," Feb. 17, 1:30-4:30 p.m., Room 114-115, West Building, Vancouver Convention Center. Media contact: Mary Beckman,, cell phone at conference: 208-520-1415.


Pacific Northwest National Laboratory is a Department of Energy Office of Science national laboratory where interdisciplinary teams advance science and technology and deliver solutions to America's most intractable problems in energy, the environment and national security. PNNL employs 4,800 staff, has an annual budget of nearly $1.1 billion, and has been managed by Ohio-based Battelle since the lab's inception in 1965. Follow PNNL on Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter.

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