The Water Institute is pleased to announce that Dr. Lonnie Thompson will
be the next speaker in the 2007-2008 Smallwood Distinguished Scholar
Seminar Series. Dr. Thompson is a member of the National Academy of
Sciences, won the National Medal of Science this year, has had articles
written about him in journals ranging from Science and Rolling Stone,
and was a science advisor for Al Gore's movie An Inconvenient Truth. 


November 1-2, 2007 
Lonnie Thompson, Distinguished University Professor, Department of
Geological Sciences, and Byrd Polar Research Center, Ohio State

Seminar Title: "Understanding Global Climate Change"
Time: 3:00 pm Thursday November 1, 2007 
Location: Room 282 Reitz Union



Over the last 30 years ice core records have been systematically
recovered from eleven high-elevation ice fields, ten of which are
located in the low latitudes. Three lines of evidence for abrupt climate
change both past and present are presented. First, annually and
decadally averaged O_18 (temperature proxy) and net mass balance
histories (precipitation proxy) for the last 400 years and 2000 years,
respectively, demonstrate that the current warming at high elevations in
the mid- to lower latitudes is unprecedented for at least the last two
millennia. Second, the continuing retreat of most mid to low-latitude
glaciers, many having persisted for thousands of years, signals a recent
and abrupt change in the Earth's climate system. Finally, rooted,
soft-bodied wetland plants, now exposed along the margins as the
Quelccaya ice cap (Peru) retreats, have been radiocarbon dated and when
coupled with other widespread proxy evidence, provides strong evidence
for an abrupt mid-Holocene climate event that marked the transition from
early Holocene warmer conditions in Peru to cooler, late Holocene
conditions. This abrupt event, roughly 5200 years ago, was widespread
and spatially coherent through much of the world and was coincident with
structural changes in several civilizations. These three lines of
evidence argue that the present warming and associated glacier retreat
are unprecedented in some areas for at least 5200 years. The ongoing
global scale, rapid retreat of mountain glaciers is not only
contributing to global sea level rise, but threatening fresh water
supplies in many of the world's most populous regions. The current and
present danger posed by ongoing climate change and the human response
will be discussed


Faculty and students are also invited to meet with Dr. Thompson in small
group meetings on Thursday morning.  See itinerary below for times and


Dr. Thompson's Itinerary:


8:30-10:30   Meeting with interested faculty and students in Williamson
Hall (hosted by Geological Sciences)

10:30-noon  Meeting with interested faculty and students in 365 (hosted
by South East Climate Consortium)


Lunch in Arrendondo Room


1pm-3pm  Meeting with FAC in 365 Weil Hall

3pm Seminar in 282 Reitz Union


Please pass this information on to potentially interested students and






Wendy Graham
Carl S. Swisher Chair in Water Resources
Director UF Water Institute
PO Box 116601
University of Florida
Gainesville, Florida 32611-6601


Phone 352-392-5893 x 2113
Email  [log in to unmask]