Climate Change and Extreme Weather

Climate Change and Extreme Weather

Predicting and communicating risks to a skeptical public

WHAT: A discussion on Extreme Weather and Climate Change: How Can We Address Uncertainty? Four distinguished panelists will present and discuss this topic.

WHEN: Wednesday, March 28, 1:30-4:30 p.m. PRESS AVAILABILITY at 3:00 p.m.

Flooding on Landing Lane, Piscataway, NJ

Flooding on Landing Lane, Piscataway, NJ, in April 2011.

WHERE: Cook Campus Center, 59 Biel Road, New Brunswick, NJ.

WHO: Gabriel Vecchi, research oceanographer, National Ocean and Atmospheric Administration, Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory.

Baruch Fischhoff, professor of Social and Decision Sciences and Engineering and Public Policy, Carnegie Mellon University.

Joe Witte, former chief meteorologist at the NBC TV Network, currently at George Mason University.

Richard Moss, senior staff scientist with the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory Joint Global Change Research Institute at the University of Maryland

BACKGROUND: Hurricane Katrina. Tropical Storm Irene. Drought in Texas as well as the Horn of Africa. Floods in the Midwest, Thailand and Pakistan. What’s next?

Does the progression of climate change portend future bouts of ‘extreme weather’? Predicting the timing of such events remains an uncertain business. How, then, should scientists communicate such risks to a skeptical public? How are members of the public likely to assess these risks? And how can policymakers make plans for adaptation, mitigation and development in the face of this uncertainty?

Four distinguished panelists will address these and related questions in a series of short presentations followed by an interactive panel and public discussion.

About the Rutgers Climate and Environmental Change Initiative
The Rutgers Climate and Environmental Change Initiative is a university-wide, multidisciplinary research, education and outreach effort to understand the mechanisms that drive global and regional climate change; to predict the future of the climate system as well as the impacts of change including a focus on a densely populated, coastal society; and to inform society about the causes and consequences of climate change. Visit

About the Rutgers Initiative on Climate and Society
The Rutgers Initiative on Climate and Society aims to foster collaborative, interdisciplinary research on the human and social dimensions of global climate change. Its focus is to explore how social, economic, political, cultural and behavioral factors drive climate change, shape impacts and vulnerabilities as well as condition response strategies. Its ultimate aim is to contribute to effective and equitable courses of action that advance both mitigation of and adaptation to climate change. Visit

Media Contact: Paula Walcott-Quintin