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Press Invitation: Introduction to climate change and its impacts

Imperial College Press Release

Press Invitation

Introduction to climate change and its impacts
Friday 9 February 2001 at the Science Museum

Journalists are invited to attend this day long briefing which will provide them with a comprehensive assessment of current problems, solutions and strategies to combat the effects of climate change from both scientific and business perspectives.

A showcase workshop, for organisations without specialist knowledge, has been organised jointly by Imperial College of Science, Technology and Medicine, University College London, Reading University, and The Science Museum. It will offer authoritative information on the current status of the science, impacts and social implications of climate change.

The aim of the workshop is to encourage partnerships between universities and business, assisting each other for mutual benefit, through the exchange and provision of tools, expertise and technology.

The workshop will be split into four sessions:

  • Climate change and prediction
  • Climate change effects
  • Responding to climate change
  • Panel discussion on the issues raised, the needs of business and industry and recommendations for government policy.

Speakers will include:

  • Dr Ian Gibson MP (Chair, House of Commons Select Committee on Science and Technology).
  • Dr Alistair Keddie (Director of Environment, Department of Trade and Industry). Dr Alistair Keddie is the Director of the DTIs Environment Directorate, which is responsible for an extensive range of policy, regulatory and business support activities primarily concerned with the business and market aspects of sustainable development, especially as regards increasing resource productivity and improving environmental performance.
  • Dr Melvyn McKenzie-Hedger (Director, UK Climate Impacts Programme, [UKCIP]). The UKCIP was established by the Governments Department of the Environment, Transport and the Regions (DETR). Its aim is to encourage the undertaking of policy-focused, stakeholder-driven research providing users with the information to adapt to climate change. The DETR will draw on findings from UKCIP studies to inform Government policy on the need to mitigate and adapt to climate change.
  • Dr Mike Hulme (Director, Tyndall centre for Climate Change). The Tyndall Centre is an inter-disciplinary research centre dedicated to the identification, promotion and facilitation of sustainable solutions to the climate change problem. The Centre recently showed, by country, the observed rates of warming over the last century and a range of projected future warming rates.
  • Dr Geoff Jenkins (Hadley Centre for Climate Prediction). The Hadley Centre for Climate Prediction and Research is part of the UKs Meteorological Office. In a recent report assessing the global impacts of stabilising atmospheric CO2 at different levels, Hadley Centre researchers said that massive reductions in emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2) will have a fairly modest effect in slowing climate change.
  • Dr Paul Rutter (Senior Technology Advisor BP). Dr Rutter has 25 years active experience in academic and industrial research studying the physical chemistry of subjects as diverse as medical implants to minerals processing. He has recently been involved in developing BP's environmental technology portfolio including lower carbon energy options.
  • Professor Jim Skea (Director, Policy Studies Institute). The Policy Studies Institute is one of Britain's leading research institutes, conducting research that will promote economic well being and improve quality of life. PSI provides data and analysis in support of policy-making, promotes the discussion and exchange of relevant information and research findings through its publications programme.
  • Professor Michael Grubb (Professor of Climate Change and Energy Policy, TH Huxley School, Imperial College, London). Previously head of the Energy and Environmental Programme at the Royal Institute of International Affairs, Dr Grubb is a leading international researcher on the policy implications of climate change and energy policy issues including renewable energy sources. He has been a Lead Author for several reports of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) addressing the economic, technological and social aspects of limiting greenhouse gas emissions. He is a member of the UK Governments Green Globe Task Force.
  • Dr Mark Saunders (Department of Space and Climate Physics, University College London). Dr Saunders will talk about climate extremes. He will say that a major concern is that climate change will increase the number of extreme weather events. Observational records show that temperature and rainfall extremes are increasing in certain areas yet no clear long-term trends are apparent in the intensity and frequency of hurricanes, typhoons and European winter storms. He will describe the current best projections for the effects of 'greenhouse' gas emissions on future climate extremes.
  • Professor Brian Hoskins FRS (Department of Meteorology, University of Reading). Professor Hoskins will talk about the causes of climate change. He will say that climate varies naturally on many time-scales due to internal processes. The time effects of volcanoes, solar variability and greenhouse gas emissions will be discussed
  • Mr Ian Townend (Managing Director of Associated British Ports Research & Consultancy Ltd). Mr Townend is responsible for the financial and technical direction of the company. Project work typically includes hydraulic, sediment transport, and geomorphological studies, environmental assessments, habitat creation/restoration, and research on the morphological evolution of estuary systems. Current initiatives include research to establish tools for the study of estuary morphology and their ecosystems, with the ability to examine the consequences of habitat gains and losses.

Press Note:

The workshop will take place on Friday 9 February 2001 from 9.15am until 5.50pm, in the Science Museum (main lecture theatre). There will be an opportunity to question the speakers and participate in the open forum.

For further information and to reserve a place please contact:

Dr Tariq Ali
IC Environment Office
Imperial College
London, SW7 2AZ.
Telephone: +44 (0)20 7594 7461
Mobile: 07968 111 070

Taslima Khan
Imperial College Press Office
Tel: +44 (0)20 7594 6712
Fax: +44 (0)20 7594 6700

Notes to editors:

The Science Museum is located on Exhibition Road, South Kensington. Entrance to the workshop is via the North Entrance for coffee and registration in the Directors Suite.

Nearest tube station is South Kensington.

1. Environmental research at Imperial College is carried out in almost every Department and Centre. It embraces theory and experiment in the basic and applied sciences, in engineering and medicine, as well as in law, economics and management. The College is also heavily involved in the development of advice on environmental policy and best practice to government and industry in the UK, in Europe and internationally, with strong links to developing countries. IC Environment Office web site at

2. Imperial College of Science, Technology and Medicine is an independent constituent part of the University of London. Founded in 1907, the College teaches a full range of science, engineering, medical and management disciplines at the highest level. The College is the largest applied science and technology university institution in the UK, with one of the largest annual turnovers (UKP330 million in 1998-99) and research incomes (UKP173 million in 1998-99). Web site at