Nich School dean tapped as climate panel vice chair

Bill Chameides, dean of the Nicholas School of the Environment, was named vice chair of a new national study on climate change last week.

The study-America's Climate Choices-was created at the request of Congress to examine issues and problems related to global climate change. It will be conducted by the National Academies with support from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

The National Academies is comprised of four public organizations: the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, the Institute of Medicine and the National Research Council. The organization announced the appointment of Chameides, who is a member of the National Academy of Sciences, on its Web site Friday.

Chameides said a representative from the study asked him to become involved, adding that his experience as an academic gave him the unique combination of skills necessary to hold the position of vice chair.

"The issues that we are addressing are really broad in scope in the sense that they need to combine scientific issues and public policy issues and communicating them to decision makers," he said.

Five reports are scheduled for release throughout 2009 and 2010 to address several important questions about the effects of climate change and formulate an appropriate response to the phenomenon.

Four panels of experts from the public and private sectors will write reports for the study that will focus on adapting to climate change and developing a decision support system for policymakers, Chameides said.

The committee is chaired by Albert Carnesale, chancellor emeritus and a professor of public policy at the University of California at Los Angeles, and held its opening meeting in Washington, D.C. Tuesday evening.

The ultimate goal is to produce "an integrated and far-reaching road map for America's response to global warming and climate change in the coming decades," Chameides said.


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