The Elmer L. Gaden Lecture Series

Chemical Engineering at Columbia University is proud to present:

Aerosols and Climate

John Seinfeld

California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, CA


That humans are altering the Earth's climate is unequivocal. While greenhouse gases (GHG) act to warm the Earth, particles in the air (aerosols) on the whole exert a cooling influence. The amount of that cooling, expressed as a perturbation of the Earth's energy balance, constitutes the largest uncertainty in predicting future climate. Aerosols scatter and absorb incoming radiation and also are the condensation nuclei on which clouds form. Particles are injurious to human health and, for that reason, are the subject of mitigation measures worldwide. As aerosols are controlled, the full impact of GHG radiative forcing will be unmasked, and the need to reduce GHG emissions becomes even more compelling. In this talk we will review the chemistry and physics of atmospheric aerosols in climate and discuss the major areas of uncertainty.


About our guest speaker:

John H. Seinfeld is the Louis E. Nohl Professor in the Divisions of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering and Engineering and Applied Science at the California Institute of Technology. He is a graduate of the University of Rochester, where he received a B.S. degree in chemical engineering, and of Princeton University, where he earned a Ph.D. in chemical engineering. He has spent his entire professional career at Caltech. From 1990 to 2000, he served as chair of Caltech’s Division of Engineering and Applied Science. Professor Seinfeld is widely acknowledged for his research on the chemistry and physics of the atmosphere. He is a member of the U.S. National Academy of Engineering and a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. He received the 1970 Donald P. Eckman Award of the American Automatic Control Council, a 1972 Camille and Henry Dreyfus Foundation Teacher-Scholar Grant, the American Society for Engineering Education’s Curtis W. McGraw Award (1976) and George Westinghouse Award (1987), the American Institute of Chemical Engineers Allan P. Colburn Award (1976), the Institute Lectureship (1980), the William H. Walker Award (1986), and the Warren K. Lewis Award (2000). He received the 1980 NASA Public Service Award and a Special Creativity Award from the National Science Foundation. He is the recipient of the 1993 American Chemical Society Award for Creative Advances in Environmental Science and Technology and the 2001 Nevada Medal. Professor Seinfeld was given the Fuchs Award in 1998, which is bestowed every four years and considered the highest honor for work in the field of aerosol science. He is a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the American Institute of Chemical Engineers, and the American Geophysical Union. He has received the University of Rochester’s Distinguished Alumnus Award and the Aurel Stodola Medal of the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH). Professor Seinfeld is the author of numerous scientific papers and books, including Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics: From Air Pollution to Climate Change (1998; second edition, 2006). He is the recipient of honorary doctorates from the University of Patras (Greece), Carnegie Mellon University, and Clarkson University.


4:00 PM
Tuesday, October 5, 2010
Davis Auditorium
412 Center for Engineering and Physical Science Research (CEPSR)
Columbia University

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