Aug. 31, 2021

Media Advisory: UArizona Paleoclimatologist to Brief Congressional Committee on Latest IPCC Climate Report

  • What: UArizona paleoclimatologist Jessica Tierney is one of four scientists scheduled to brief the U.S. House Select Committee on the Climate Crisis on the findings of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change's Sixth Assessment Report.
  • When: Wednesday, Sept. 1, 2021, 10 a.m. (PT) (1 p.m. Eastern)
  • Where: The virtual briefing will be livestreamed.

TUCSON, Ariz. –  Jessica Tierney, an associate professor in the University of Arizona Department of Geosciences, will be one of four scientists to brief the U.S. House Select Committee on the Climate Crisis on the findings of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change's Sixth Assessment report. Tierney co-authored the IPCC Working Group 1 contribution to the report, published Aug. 9.

An expert in paleoclimatology, Tierney studies the history of Earth's climate over thousands of years. Her research uses geochemical records to better understand the future of climate and improve the reliability of climate models. She leads a team of researchers pioneering the use of statistical climate reconstruction to study past climate trends.

Tierney and the three other presenters represent a larger group of about 20 scientists who authored the Working Group 1 report, which is the first of three parts of the Sixth Assessment Report. Reports from Working Group 2 and Working Group 3 will be released in December and March.

The Working Group 1 report provides the latest assessment of scientific knowledge about the warming of the planet, as well as projections for future warming. Tierney helped write much of the report, including the sections on drought and aridity in the water cycle chapter.

The briefing before the congressional committee will examine the key findings of the report and how Congress can act to avoid the worst climate impacts. In particular, the presenters will focus on sea-level rise, drivers of extreme weather events and methane emissions.

The August 2021 report highlights how human activity has led to "unprecedented" changes to Earth's climate, and warns that without deep, rapid reductions in greenhouse gas emissions, "warming of 1.5 degrees Celsius and 2 degrees Celsius will be exceeded during the 21st century."

Other presenters include:

  • Ko Barrett, senior adviser for climate in the Office of Oceanic and Atmospheric Research at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, and vice chair of the IPCC
  • Robert Kopp, director of the Rutgers Institute of Earth, Ocean, and Atmospheric Sciences; professor in the Rutgers University Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences; and co-director of the Rutgers University Coastal Climate Risk and Resilience Initiative
  • Vaishali Naik, research physical scientist with the Biogeochemistry, Atmospheric Chemistry and Ecosystems Division of the NOAA Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory
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Media contact:
Mikayla Mace Kelley
University Communications

The University of Arizona, a land-grant university with two independently accredited medical schools, is one of the nation's top 40 public universities, according to U.S. News & World Report. Established in 1885, the university is widely recognized as a student-centric university and has been designated as a Hispanic Serving Institution by the U.S. Department of Education. The university ranked in the top 20 in 2019 in research expenditures among all public universities, according to the National Science Foundation, and is a leading Research 1 institution with $734 million in annual research expenditures. The university advances the frontiers of interdisciplinary scholarship and entrepreneurial partnerships as a member of the Association of American Universities, the 66 leading public and private research universities in the U.S. It benefits the state with an estimated economic impact of $4.1 billion annually. For the latest on the University of Arizona response to the novel coronavirus, visit the university's COVID-19 webpage.

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