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Dr. Eric Leibensperger Gives a Talk on Climate Change and Physics

Contributed by Jill Ackerman on 12/04/19 

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Please join us for a talk entitled:

Climate Change as a Physics Problem: Quantifying New York Methane Emissions and Assessing Impacts

with Dr. Eric Leibensperger


Climate change is often viewed as a distant and future consequence of our energy infrastructure, but we are already observing impacts. In this presentation, I will briefly discuss two projects that my students and I have undertaken to better understand ongoing human-caused climate change through the application of basic physical principles. First, I will present preliminary results of a project studying climate change within Lake Champlain. Analysis of observations from instrumented data buoys and historical records indicate rapid warming of the surface water, upwards of +0.5°C per decade, with a confounding influence from changing patterns of storminess and the resulting effects on lake circulation. The second part of my presentation will focus on an ongoing campaign to monitor atmospheric methane (CH4), a potent greenhouse gas, to better constrain emissions in New York State and farther upwind. Continuous observations at four sites and numerical modeling reveal a mixture of under and overestimates of methane emission rates in New York State, which may impact implementation of the reductions mandated by the 2019 Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act. During my presentation special focus will be given to the role physics plays in the climate system.

Thursday, December 5
4:00 - 4:50
CNS 204

Refreshments will be provided.

Individuals with disabilities requiring accommodations should contact the Department Assistant at We ask that requests for accommodations be made as soon as possible.

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