Binghamton University Forum explores “Ancient Rocks and Future Climates”

2009-01-06

BINGHAMTON, NY -- Tim Lowenstein, professor of geological sciences and environmental studies, will discuss “Ancient Rocks and Future Climates” at the Binghamton University Forum’s annual faculty spotlight luncheon, scheduled for Tuesday, January 13. Lunch will begin at 11:30 a.m. and the program will begin at noon in the President’s Reception Room in the Anderson Center on the University campus.

By discovering the meaning of a rare mineral that can be used to track ancient climates, Lowenstein is helping climatologists and others better understand what we’re probably in for over the next century or two as global warming begins to crank up the heat — and, ultimately, to change life as we know it.

“I think the earth will be a very different place in the next hundred years or so, and that many species will adapt to it and many won’t,” Lowenstein said. “Humans are supremely good at adapting. But, rich countries will adapt much better than poor countries and other species will have far more trouble coping with environmental change. There are going to be challenges we can’t even imagine right now.”

Lowenstein’s concerns are rooted not in speculation about unprecedented future happenings, but in the scientific discovery and analysis of mineral samples formed during the Eocene Epoch, the warmest period on earth in the last 65 million years. As Lowenstein points out, although it is difficult to predict how global temperatures over the coming centuries will compare to the Eocene, the “hothouse” world 50 million years ago should serve as a reminder of what global changes are possible.

The Binghamton University Forum, formerly known as the Harpur Forum, serves business, professional and community leaders by bringing nationally known authorities to speak at Forum functions throughout the year.  For more information, e-mail ebacklun@binghamton.edu or call the Forum office at (607) 777-4390.
 

Last Updated: 9/17/13