Dr. Athanasios Koutavas on Ice Ages and Climate Change
When: Saturday June 20, 2015 @ 2PM
Where: Baruch Performing Arts Center, 17 Lexington Ave., Room 306 (The "Skylight Room")
Earth’s climate is incredibly dynamic. Over geologic time it has repeatedly gone into and out of major Ice Ages, which buried New York under kilometers of ice. The last Big Ice Age occurred twenty thousand years ago, and a smaller cold spell known as the Little Ice Age ended just 150 years ago. We are currently living within a brief and precarious warm period – an interglacial – that is part of the natural cycle of Ice Ages. At the same time humanity is now affecting climate in unprecedented ways by torching up large quantities of carbon fuels to power civilization. How will natural and human forces shape Earth’s climate in the future? In this talk I will discuss what we can learn about our own climate from the geologic record of the Ice Ages.
Dr. Athanasios Koutavas is Associate Professor of Geology at CUNY/College of Staten Island, and Adjunct Research Scientist at Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory of Columbia University. His area of specialization is Paleoceanography, the study of past ocean change. His research investigates how the oceans warm and cool during Ice Ages, how ocean currents shift through time, and how modern ocean phenomena like El Niño operated through the ages. He holds a Master’s degree from NYU, a PhD from Columbia University, and has previously held post-doctoral research appointments at Columbia University and MIT.
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