STONY BROOK, N.Y., October 18, 2007-Three faculty members at Stony Brook University's School of Marine and Atmospheric Science have been recognized for their contributions to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), which was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize last Friday along with former Vice President Al Gore for efforts to control global warming.
Robert Cess, a Distinguished Professor, was the lead author on the first IPCC report which focused on radiation and climate processes ; Professor Minghua Zhang was a contributing author of the second IPCC report on climate models. Associate Professor Edmund Chang was a contributing author of the fourth report on observed climate variability, which was released in May 2007. The report predicted that temperatures may increase by 3.2 to 7.2 degrees by 2100 and that sea levels will rise by seven to 23 inches. In addition to these three faculty members, Professor Prasad Varanasi contributed to the IPCC research on infrared spectroscopy measurements of the water vapor continuum and chlorofluorocarbons.
"The four IPCC reports since 1988 presented the most comprehensive analysis of the scientific basis and the observational evidences of global climate change. We are very proud to have been part of the IPCC," said Professor Minghua Zhang, Director of the Institute of Terrestrial and Planetary Atmospheres. "The aggregates of theoretical, observational, and numerical studies suggest, with over 95 percent confidence level, that most of the observed increase in global average temperatures since the mid-20th century is caused by human activities."
The IPCC is composed of more than 2,000 natural and social scientists from nations across the globe.
The Nobel Prize committee cited the IPCC for 20 years of scientific reports that have focused attention on the relationship between human activities and global warming.
"The contributions of these Stony Brook professors demonstrate the quality of the research conducted on this critical challenge for the 21st Century," said David Conover, Dean of the School of Marine and Atmospheric Sciences.
Stony Brook researchers in the School of Marine and Atmospheric Sciences and throughout the University have long been involved in issues related to global warming, including the effects of climate change on fish and shellfish populations, the effects of coastal storm surges, and the impact of global warming on protected land areas, species, and food supplies.