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Certainties and Uncertainties in our Climate and Energy Futures

Professor Steven E. Koonin, New York University 

Wednesday, 22 May 2019
3:00 pm to 5:00pm
ESI Conference Room
29 Heng Mui Keng Terrace
Block A, #10-01, Singapore 119620

Please send us your name, organization and email address via the ESI website here. For enquiries, please contact Ms. Jan Lui at 6516 2000.


Discussions of the energy-climate nexus necessarily involve (but often conflate) aspects of science, technology, economics, policy, behavior, and values. Seeing the way forward with clarity is greatly helped by clearly separating what is (or was) from what will be / could be / should be.

He will first discuss the certainties and uncertainties in our understanding of the earth’s changing climate and its response to human influences. The historical record, climate models, and projections through the next century will be reviewed in ways not usually covered in policy-informing summaries.

He will also discuss the global challenges of both reducing human influences and adapting to a changing climate.

About the Speaker

Steven E. Koonin, a University Professor at New York University, was the founding director of NYU’s Center for Urban Science and Progress from 2012-2018. Before joining NYU, Dr. Koonin served as the second Under Secretary for Science at the U.S. Department of Energy from May 2009 through November 2011. In that capacity, he oversaw technical activities across the Department’s science, energy, and security activities and led the Department’s first Quadrennial Technology Review for energy. Before joining the government, Dr. Koonin spent five years as Chief Scientist for BP plc, where he focused on alternative and renewable energy technologies. Dr. Koonin was a professor of theoretical physics at California Institute of Technology (Caltech) from 1975-2006 and was the Institute’s Provost for almost a decade. He is a member of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences and the Council on Foreign Relations. Dr. Koonin holds a B.S. in Physics from Caltech and a Ph.D. in Theoretical Physics from MIT(1975); he has authored more than 200 peer-reviewed research papers and supervised some 30 PhD theses. 

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