Press Release
January 22, 2011


Ateneo University hosted the first of a series of lectures by renowned scientists last week that would present a scientific view of the effects of global warming on climate change and coping with disasters in the Philippine setting.

The Congressional Commission on Science Technology and Engineering (COMSTE) together with the Manila Observatory (MO) and Ateneo University presented a lecture by renowned environmental scientist and Professor Dr. Kelvin Rodolfo to launch the series and to mark the establishment of the Philippine Disaster Science Management Center (DSMC).

Senator Edgardo J. Angara, Chair of COMSTE, said that the series of lectures would harness the talents of excellent scientists both local and foreign. The lecture series will begin with an overview of climate change and disaster science and go further into technical detail as the series progresses.

Dr. Kelvin Rodolfo discussed the effects of humanity on global warming and climate change in his first lecture, entitled, "4 Billion Years of Sun, Earth, Life and Climate." The second lecture, "The Global Temperature Record of the Last Two Millenia, and How We Determine it" went further details, exploring the record of directly measured temperatures back as far as they are reliable, and how we extend it back 2,000 years with proxy techniques. These include historical documents, including those of phenology, the scientific study of the chronologies of periodic biological phenomena, such as flowering, harvests, breeding, and migration, as they relate to changing climate. Also discussed are the proxy data derived from tree rings, glacial lengths and mass balance, and temperatures in deep boreholes.

Dr. Rodolfo is Professor Emeritus with the Department of Earth & Environmental Sciences, University of Illinois at Chicago, and Senior Visiting Fellow of Earth System Science of the MO. He is also a member of the National Academy of Science and Technology (NAST) and the Philippine-American Academy of Science and Engineering (PAASE).

Angara said that the ongoing lectures will tackle issues like how flooding and can affect insurance companies and how to quickly adopt Renewable Energy Systems to lessen local fossil fuel use. Both local and foreign scientists and experts will be lecturing.

The DSMC is a public-private initiative that the scientific community can use to better understand the mechanics of managing disasters with the cooperation of neighboring countries that have experienced similar storms and natural calamities as the Philippines.

The next lecture will be held at Ateneo University's Proctor and Gamble Lecture Hall on Monday January 24th at 4:30 pm. It is entitled, "Reading climate history from ice cores, how the world's glaciers are melting, and what that has to do with us Filipinos?"

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