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Global Warming Basis By Professor Michael Oppenheimer 1/10

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Published on Jul 27, 2008

Michael Oppenheimer is the Albert G. Milbank Professor of Geosciences and International Affairs in the Woodrow Wilson School and the Department of Geosciences at Princeton University. He is also Director of the Programme in Science, Technology and Environmental Policy (STEP) at the Woodrow Wilson School and Faculty Associate of the Atmospheric and Ocean Sciences Programme, Princeton Environmental Institute, and the Princeton Institute for International and Regional Studies.

He joined the Princeton faculty after more than two decades with Environmental Defence, a non-governmental, environmental organisation, where he served as chief scientist and manager of the Climate and Air Programme. Oppenheimer is a long-time participant in the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) which won the Nobel Peace Prize in 2007, serving most recently as a lead author of the IPCC's Fourth Assessment Report.

He is currently a member of the National Academy of Sciences' Panel on Alternative Liquid Transportation Fuels. He is also a science advisor to Environmental Defence. His interests include science and policy of the atmosphere, particularly climate change and its impacts. Much of his research aims to understand the potential for "dangerous" outcomes of increasing levels of greenhouse gases by exploring the effects of global warming on ecosystems such as coral reefs, on the ice sheets, and on sea level. He also studies the role played by nongovernmental organisations in the policy arena, the role of scientific learning and scientific assessment in decisions on problems of global change, and the potential value of precautionary frameworks.




In the late 1980's, Dr. Oppenheimer and a handful of other scientists organised two workshops under the auspices of the United Nations that helped precipitate the negotiations that resulted in the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (signed at the 1992 Earth Summit) and the Kyoto Protocol. During that period, he co-founded the Climate Action Network. His research and advocacy work on acid rain also contributed to the passage of the 1990 amendments to the Clean Air Act. Dr. Oppenheimer has been a guest on many television and radio programmes, including ABC's This Week, Nightline, Alcove, The News Hour, The Oprah Winfrey Show, Charlie Rose and the Colbert Report.

Prior to his position at Environmental Defence, Dr. Oppenheimer served as Atomic and Molecular Astrophysicist at the Harvard-Smithsonian Centre for Astrophysics and Lecturer on Astronomy at Harvard University. He received an S.B. in chemistry from M.I.T., a Ph.D. in chemical physics from the University of Chicago, and pursued post-doctoral research at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics.




Oppenheimer is the author of more than 80 articles published in professional journals and is co-author (with Robert H. Boyle) of a 1990 book, Dead Heat: The Race Against The Greenhouse Effect. Ph.D., University of Chicago.

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