Long before “An Inconvenient Truth,” Dr. Alex Hall was passionate about the subject of climate change, and since 2008 has been sharing that passion with undergraduate and graduate students at UCLA, where he is an associate professor in the Department of Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences and the Institute of the Environment and Sustainability.
In addition to his teaching [and academic research]duties, Hall is an [climate science] advisor to the Los Angeles Regional Climate Change Collaborative, “a network of municipalities, academic institutions and businesses in the Los Angeles region with a goal of fostering knowledge of how these entities can adapt to climate change and reduce greenhouse gas emissions,” describes Hall, who is working on a project involving high-resolution computer projections of climate models analyzing temperature change projections that we might expect by the year 2050. The soon-to-be-announced findings will be the first in a series of studies, such as another analyzing greenhouse gas emissions. “LARC is translating a lot of this science into actionable information and policy, developing the collaborative networks that are required to take the raw information and make it useful. We’re taking that information and laying a foundation for people to make informed decisions,” Hall explains.
“In Los Angeles, we have an amazing variety of climates even within this small region,” he continues. “We’re looking at all the aspects of environmental change such as land use change, exploitation of marine resources, air and water quality, all kinds of environmental issues that combine to place a significant stress on the natural environment that have to be understood in tandem with one another. The emerging challenge is to take a more holistic, more local approach to understanding the natural environment. Up until now the science of climate change has focused on very large-scale factors, and I think the challenge for the field is to scale it down to a size that are relevant for people and ecosystems.”
Hall recently returned from Morocco, where he attended a meeting of the International Panel on Climate Change. “Its goal is to bring together scientists from all over the world to develop a consensus on the science behind climate change and to write a report about that. The reports appear roughly every five to seven years. Two come out in 2013 and 2014 and we’re very busy preparing that,” he notes.”
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