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arts & leisure

Climate questions addressed; NACL’s The Weather Project to host scientist Elaine Matthews


October 2, 2013

HIGHLAND LAKE, NY — NACL Theatre will host the community conversation “Everything You Ever Wanted to Ask about Weather and Climate” with research scientist and Town of Highland resident Elaine Matthews of NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS) on Monday, October 7 at 7 p.m.

The free event is part of NACL’s The Weather Project, a massive community arts and science exploration designed to bring residents, artists, and scientists together around the subject of the weather and climate science.

The October 7th conversation will welcome questions from the community, and Matthews will address common themes such as what can we learn from climate history, how temperature is measured globally, what causes temperature change, why it is difficult to measure small changes over time, what responses to temperature change have been observed, and what we expect in the next 50-100 years.

“If all greenhouse gas emissions were shut off today, the climate would continue to warm from them for about 60 years,” says Matthews, whose research focuses primarily on exchanges of greenhouse gases, especially methane, between the Earth and the atmosphere, with the goal of understanding causes for changing atmospheric methane levels and their impact on climate.

Matthews has estimated past and future methane emissions related to human activities (including domestic cows, trash and fossil fuels) and from natural wetlands, which are the world’s largest methane source and very sensitive to climate variations. She has worked on research projects with elementary and high school students, and given presentations to a range of groups including fifth to 12th grade students, formerly incarcerated students in a GED program, a girl’s group in a New Jersey mosque, and the Brecht Forum in NYC.

Visit www.nacl.org or visit facebook.com/theweatherproject or call 845/557-0694. You can also follow The Weather Project on Twitter at @naclweather.