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Professor Timothy Naish

Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand

Tim Naish is a Professor in Earth Sciences and Director of the Antarctic Research Centre at Victoria University of Wellington, and Principal Scientist at GNS Science. His research focuses on reconstructing past ice sheet and global sea-level changes relevant to future climate projections. He has participated in 11 expeditions to Antarctica and helped found ANDRILL, an international Antarctic Geological Drilling Program. He was a Lead Author on the Intergovernmental Panel of Climate Change’s 5th Assessment Report. Tim and his team at the Antarctic Research Centre are committed to communication of Antarctic and climate change science and its societal relevance. He has received the New Zealand Antarctic Medal, the New Zealand Science and Technology Medal and the Martha Muse Prize for Antarctic Science and Policy and is a Fellow of the Royal Society of New Zealand

Climate Change: Looking Back to the Future

How do scientists know that climate actually changes? Geologic and ice archives show us that Earth’s climate has always changed in natural cycles spanning millions to hundreds of years. So how are we changing the natural trajectory of the climate system? In this presentation I will explore how an understanding of past climate is helping to better anticipate future change.

Our planet has not seen atmospheric carbon dioxide levels as high as today for 3 million years. Back then our world was on average 3°C warmer, the Greenland and West Antarctic ice sheets had melted and global sea-level was up to 20m higher. One of the largest climate change challenges facing humanity is how much and how fast will sea level rise as our climate continues to warm? The polar ice sheets remain the biggest uncertainty in addressing this question. I will provide an update based on the latest science and explore some of the implications for New Zealand.
Emergin infectious diseases with Associate Professor Gavin Smith

Watch Professor Tim Naish’s Sci21 webcast, Climate change: Looking back to the future