Weather and climate summit returns to Breckenridge

Greenland’s ice is melting faster these days, posing a sea level threat to densely populated cities around the world. @bberwyn photo.

This year edition features sessions on Arctic ice melt and western wildfires

Staff Report

There’s a global climate deal on the books, but humankind will continue to grapple with the effects of greenhouse gas emissions for decades to come, including the almost inevitable meltdown of ice sheets and glaciers that will raise sea level steadily.

Scientists aren’t quite sure yet how high the waters will rise, but new measurement tools and more sophisticated models can help refine the projections. Those estimates are important, because two-thirds of the world’s cities have vulnerable populations of five million or more living in at-risk areas, less than 10 meters above sea level, according to Dr. Lora Koenig
a research scientist with the National Snow & Ice Data Center.

Koenig, one of the presenters at this year’s Glen Gerberg Weather and Climate Summit in Breckenridge (Jan. 19-23), will discuss the meltdown of the Greenland Ice Sheet, where total mass loss has quadrupled in just a few years. Koenig’s presentation will explore the measurements used to monitor the ice sheets from space, air and land and describe where the uncertainties lie in future projections from the ice sheets.

The summit was established in 1985 to bring together television weathercasters and meteorologists from top U.S. and Canadian markets with leading scientists and researchers, to foster improved communication and collaboration between these diverse professions.

As explained on the summit’s website, participants aim to:

  • Learn about advanced technologies that can help improve weather forecasting and warning dissemination;
  • Understand the latest on the state of the climate and climate science research;
  • Understand how extreme weather and climate change may impact their viewers.

As always, the Breckenridge event features a great lineup of speakers. Along with Koenig, Dr. Tim Brown, director of the Western Regional Climate Center will speak on the first day, addressing links between climate, drought and western wildfires.

The rest of the week includes sessions on El Niño, on how the Arctic meltdown might be affecting weather in your town, and links between extreme weather, energy and climate. Jan. 20 features a town hall meeting on extreme weather with regional and national climate experts.

All the sessions stream live on the Glen Gerberg Weather and Climate Summit and you can check out the full agenda here.



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