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Public invited to K-State to hear experts on climate change

National authorities on global climate change will be at Kansas State University Oct. 21, leading the first open-to-the-public session ever offered as part of a K-State Research and Extension Annual Conference.

"We designed the afternoon session as professional development in a subject that´s shaping up to be a real scientific and educational challenge for our statewide network of faculty from now on. Then we realized, however, that by inviting the public, we´d also get a head start on meeting that challenge," said Daryl Buchholz, K-State´s associate director of Extension and Applied Research.

Many Kansans already are concerned about climate change – which actions to take, what policies to adopt and whether "green" income is even possible, he said. Many also want to know what´s fact and what´s guesswork in today´s climate-change discussion.

They can gain insights into all those concerns, Buchholz added, on the third Tuesday in October from 1:30 to 5:30 p.m. in the K-State Union´s main auditorium.

"To give you an idea of whom you can hear: Two of the presenters served on the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. They were among the world scientists who helped author the IPCC report that shared the Nobel Peace Price last year with Vice President Al Gore," the associate director said. "In addition, Gov. Kathleen Sebelius recently appointed the two Kansas researchers to her Kansas Energy and Environmental Policy Group."

The K-State session´s major topics and presenters will include:

"Climate Change Impacts: Global, National, and Regional" – Johannes Feddema, professor of geography at the University of Kansas.

"Adaptation to Climate Change" - Jerry Hatfield, lead scientist and director of the National Soil Tilth Lab, a division of USDA´s Agricultural Research Service in Ames, Iowa.

"Mitigation of Climate Change: Agricultural Sequestration" - Charles "Chuck" Rice, K-State professor of soil microbiology and specialist in carbon sequestration.

"Climate Change Policy and Economics" - Susan Capalbo, head of the Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics at Oregon State University.

In a shorter segment, Steve Swaffer, director of natural resources for Kansas Farm Bureau, will describe a new program that allows farmers to earn soil carbon credits that can provide access to revenue-making opportunities on the recently opened U.S. carbon market.

Ray Hammarlund, director of the Kansas Corporation Commission´s Energy Programs Division, will join the discussion in the session´s last segment, to cover Kansas´ current climate policy.

More information about the half-day workshop is available by contacting Chuck Rice at 785-521-6094 or [email protected].

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