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Updated 1:30 PM October 12, 2007




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U-M researchers involved in Nobel-winning effort

At least eight U-M researchers contributed to the latest set of climate-change reports issued by the U.N.-sponsored panel that shared the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize on Friday with former Vice President Al Gore.

Former Vice President Al Gore delivers the Peter M. Wege Lecture on Global Climate Change Oct. 4, 2005 at the Power Center. Photo by Martin Vloet, U-M Photo Services.

The Nobel citation states that the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), a global network of some 2,000 scientists, has produced two decades of scientific reports that have “created an ever-broader informed consensus about the connection between human activities and global warming.”

U-M researchers who helped write or review the 2007 reports include:

• Rosina Bierbaum, dean of the School of Natural Resources and Environment. Bierbaum led four U.S. delegations to IPCC gatherings in Shanghai, Montreal, Costa Rica and Mexico City. She also served as an adviser on Gore’s climate-change film, “An Inconvenient Truth.”

• Henry Pollack, emeritus professor of geological sciences. Pollack was a contributing author on the paleoclimatology chapter in the 2007 IPCC reports. He also is a scientific adviser to Gore’s “Climate Project,” an ongoing effort to train volunteers who can spread the climate-change message related in “An Inconvenient Truth.”

• Joyce Penner, professor of atmospheric science. Penner studies clouds, aerosols and their effects on climate change. She was a coordinating lead author of a chapter in one of the 2001 IPCC reports and a lead author of a chapter in the 2007 reports.

Two graduate students of Penner’s — Minghuai Wang and Li Xu — also contributed to the latest round of reports.

• Natalia Andronova, a research scientist in the Department of Atmospheric, Oceanic and Space Sciences, was a contributing author of a chapter titled “Understanding and Attributing Climate Change” in the 2007 reports.

• Maria Carmen Lemos, an associate professor at the School of Natural Resources and Environment, contributed to a chapter in the “Impacts, Adaptation and Vulnerability” volume of the 2007 report. She also was on a 15-member National Research Council panel that recently concluded that the U.S. government’s climate science program is doing poorly at relating its findings to policymakers and the public.

• Detlef Sprinz, visiting professor of political science, reviewed the “Mitigation and Climate Change” volume in this year’s reports. He is a senior scientist with the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research, Germany, and a vice-chair of the Scientific Committee of the European Environment Agency, Copenhagen.

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