Borderlands Brewing Co. Science Café

Series Title: The Climate Clock

Four Carson Scholars examine how climate is understood around the world and across time scales, from the deep geologic past to present-day droughts and storms that threaten lives and livelihoods. From cores drawn out of ancient trees to samples of lake sediments, from flooding coasts to drying lakes, this series examines how scientists are puzzling out the natural and human factors in accelerating climate change--and how vulnerable populations from California to Bangladesh are responding.

Borderlands Brewing Company

Learn about the Carson Scholars Program and this Fall's speakers, visit their website here!

Schedule of talks:

Thursday, January 12, 6:00 p.m.
This Will Be Under Water: Climate Stresses in Coastal Bangladesh 

Presenter: Saleh Ahmed, PhD student, GIDP Arid Lands Resource Sciences

Climate information is increasingly important in regions like coastal Bangladesh, which is constantly exposed to rainfall variability, sea level rise, and increased intensity and frequency of tropical cyclones. Saleh's research aims to advance knowledge about the human capacity to cope with the changing pattern of climate by analyzing the role that climate plays in the lives of vulnerable people, and how effectively these people use climate information in deciding how and what to farm and fish. Three major questions will be asked: (1) how does climate variability affect the livelihoods of vulnerable people in coastal Bangladesh? (2) What are the local climate information needs for improved decision-making in farming or fishing? And (3) how effective are current climate information delivery systems? These answers will help people all around the world who live in low-lying coastal regions and face similar challenges.

Thursday, February 9,  6:00 p.m.
Climate at the Core: Reconstructing Past Climate to Understand the Future Using Tree-Rings

Presenter: Jessie Pearl, PhD student, Department of Geosciences

In this talk, Jessie will describe the science of dendrochronology— tree-ring dating — that was created at the world-renowned Laboratory of Tree Ring Research here at the University of Arizona. She will discuss the interpretation of tree-rings and show how this technique can provide especially valuable information to her region of study: the northeastern United States. Jessie will show how coastal trees can provide a pre-historic temperature record and discuss climate influences that remain to be interpreted from the data.  These records will help inform policy makers and ordinary citizens about rising temperatures and future storm scenarios for the New England region.

Thursday, March 9, 6:00 p.m.
The 2,000 Year-old Climate Puzzle: Putting South Asian Drought in Geological context

Presenter: Garrison Loope, PhD student, Department of Geosciences

Last year alone, over 300 million people in India were impacted by a drought that caused widespread crop failure and a spike in food prices.  Over the coming decades climate change is expected to cause droughts more intense than anything we’ve experienced since we started making detailed records of the weather 200 years ago.  As a paleoclimatologist, Garrison uses geological records including lake sediments, tree rings, ice cores, and cave formations to piece together the history of drought across monsoon Asia over the last 2000 years.  This geological context of drought allows us to see how unprecedented the climate of the 21st century has been and will continue to be.

Thursday, April 13, 6:00 p.m.
Against the Current: Collaborating with the Pyramid Lake Paiute Tribe to Prepare for a Warmer and Drier Climate

Presenter: Schuyler Chew, PhD student, Department of Soil, Water, and Environmental Science

The Pyramid Lake Paiute Tribe is deeply connected to the endangered cui-ui fish and threatened Lahontan cutthroat trout which together thrive nowhere else but in Pyramid Lake in northern Nevada. While the tribe has recovered from a century of drastic lake level decline and severe ecosystem decline, the impacts of climate change pose an uncertain future for the tribe and their fish. Schuyler collaborates with natural resource managers of the Pyramid Lake Paiute Tribe to better understand how they can build the capacity to prepare for a warmer and drier climate. He will discuss how the tribe could improve their resilience by encouraging citizen participation in climate change planning, examining thresholds of fish under warmer climate scenarios, and pinpointing the relationships between climate and water in this ecosystem.


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