CORVALLIS, Ore. – Some of the world’s leading climate change researchers will gather July 8-11 at Oregon State University for a conference that will examine past changes in the Earth’s systems in order to better predict what may happen in the future.

The conference is part of an international effort called PAGES (Past Global Changes), a core project of the International Geosphere-Biosphere Programme, which is funded by the National Science Foundation and NOAA in the United States and Switzerland.

A keynote lecture by Jim Hansen, director of the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies, will be free and open to the public. His lecture, “Global Warming Time Bomb: The Path from Science to Action,” will begin at 6:30 p.m. on Thursday, July 9, at OSU’s LaSells Stewart Center, 26th Street and Western Boulevard in Corvallis.

Hansen is a pioneer in the field of climate modeling and an internationally regarded expert in human-caused changes in climate. In his lecture, he will discuss the implications of climate inertia and how we have only recently become aware of the dangers of “climate tipping points.” A question-and-answer session and discussion will follow his lecture.

Some 330 climate change scientists from around the world will discuss their research, representing institutions in the United States, China, France, Sweden, Argentina, Switzerland, Mexico, Chile, United Kingdom, Finland, Morocco, Germany, Japan and elsewhere.

Among the paleoscience topics to be discussed are the global hydrological cycle and abrupt changes; reconstruction of past climates; human-environmental interactions; interglacial climate variability; and the stability of polar ice sheets and sea levels.

Four designated “hot topic” presentations are highlighted. They include:

  • “The Role of Paleoscience in IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change),” by Jonathan Overpeck, University of Arizona, 5 to 6 p.m., Wednesday, July 8;
  • “Past Ocean Acidification: Biogenic Impacts and Climate Feedbacks,” James Zachos, University of California-Santa Cruz, and Ros Rickaby, University of Oxford, 5 to 6 p.m., Thursday, July 9;
  • “Transient vs. Rapid Change in the Sahara,” by Zhengyu Liu, University of Wisconsin, and Brahim Damnati, Abdelmalek Essaadi University in Morocco, 5 to 6 p.m., Friday, July 10;
  • “How Abruptly Can Sea Level Rise?” by Richard Alley, Pennsylvania State University, 5 to 6 p.m., Saturday, July 11.

The entire scientific program can be found online at: Registration information for the conference is at:

Prior to the conference, The PAGES Project will hold its first Young Scientist Meeting July 6-7 at Oregon State. Nearly a hundred early-career scientists and students will meet to discuss their paleoscience research and to network with senior researchers.


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Andreas Schmittner, 541-737-9952