Physik seit Einstein
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Deutsche Physikalische Gesellschaft Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin Technische Universtiät Berlin
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Symposium "Energy and Climate" by AKE and FV UP, 8 March, 2005

It is now agreed that there is anthropogenic influence on the earth's climate, the principal mechanism being greenhouse warming. The main greenhouse agent is clearly the CO2 released into the environment from the energy production based on carbon burning. Recent research has shown that the relatively stable climate of the past few 1000 years has been rather the exception, while during earlier times, fast changes of considerable amplitude occurred. Should anthropogenic climate change lead into a similarly unstable behavior, mankind would be confronted with big problems. Pressing questions therefore are, how vulnerable our climatic system really is, to what degree the release of greenhouse gases should be constrained, and which measures would appear suitable to achieve that goal. The present symposium provides answers, ranging from basic research to practical planning.

Phenomenology, mechanisms, and modelling of the fast climate changes in the pre-historic past are the topic of Thomas Stocker, Bern. The ocean has a role here as a CO2 reservoir, taking up a considerable portion of the anthropogenic CO2 and thus mitigating its greenhouse action. More basic to climate however is the ocean's interaction with the atmosphere, in which it provides times scales up to centuries. In this context, Martin Visbeck, Kiel, will present CLIVAR (Climatic Variability and Predictability), an international program aimed at revealing that interaction in the present-day climate. Thereafter, the observational evidence of the current climate changes and the underlying mechanisms will be summarized by Christian-D. Schönwiese, Frankfurt. One approach to resolve the CO2 problem is engineered disposal, in geological formations and, possibly, in the ocean. Peter G. Brewer, Moss Landing, will address the ocean possibilities, both generally and on the basis of new field and laboratory observations. The series will close with a talk by Fritz Fahrenholt, Hamburg, who will draw practical conclusions from the previous presentations. His topic is realistic perspectives of carbon use and the role of wind and solar energy in a sustainable energy economy.

The speakers:
Prof. Dr. Thomas Stocker, Physikalisches Institut, Abt. Klima- und Umweltphysik, Univ. Bern
Prof. Dr. Martin Visbeck, Leibnitz-Institut für Meereswissenschaften, Kiel
Prof. Dr. Christian-D. Schönwiese, Institut für Meteorologie, Univ. Frankfurt
Dr. Peter G. Brewer, Senior Scientist, Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute, Moss Landing, USA.
Prof. Dr. Fritz Vahrenholt, Vorstandsvorsitzender der REpower Systems AG, Hamburg, und Mitglied des Rates für Nachhaltige Entwicklung, Berlin in a sustainable energy economy.

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