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The Ultimo Series

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Event description

The State of the Climate

6pm Thursday 6 June 2024

For our second lecture for 2024, Professor Katrin Meissner presents The State of the Climate.

The climate has always changed – so why are we concerned now?

Climate science is complex, and debates about what's actually happening are hard to wrap your head around. Travelling back in time, Professor Katrin Meissner will help us to search for climate episodes that were as warm as present-day climate, or slightly warmer, but still within the guardrails of the Paris Agreement. She will show us what we can learn from these past episodes in the light of current and future climate change and impacts, assuming we will successfully limit future temperature increase to 1.5-2 degrees above pre-industrial values. Widening the search, she will consider past climate episodes when greenhouse gas concentrations were similar or higher than today, and again discuss whether or not these are good analogues for future climate change and impacts. Giving us a proper sense of scale and proportion, Professor Meissner will examine the timescales involved in the climate system and compare the rates of change that we experience today to what the planet has encountered in the past, and then tie together all the main concerns we have today related to present day and future climate change. Expect to emerge enlightened, informed, and better-equipped to understand what's going on in the world around you.

IGS Sharing Program

Proceeds of all ticket sales will support the IGS Sharing Program including our Indigenous Scholarship Fund and Building Fund.

About Professor Meissner

Professor Katrin Meissner completed two undergraduate degrees in engineering and physics in France, and received her PhD at the Alfred Wegener Institute for Polar and Marine Research in Germany. She worked as a postdoctoral fellow and assistant professor at the University of Victoria in Canada before starting her position at the University of New South Wales (UNSW) in 2009. She was awarded an Australian Research Council Future Fellowship in 2010. In 2020 she was named a Fellow of the Royal Society of New South Wales. She was awarded the Petersen Excellence Professorship in 2023. She is currently a member of the Committee of Experts for the German Excellence Strategy.

Professor Meissner is interested in past - and potential future - abrupt climate change events, as well as thresholds and feedback in the climate system. She has developed new components of Earth System Climate Models and uses these models in conjunction with past and present climate records to improve our understanding of the basic mechanisms underlying climate variability and climate change.

Professor Meissner is the director of the Climate Change Research Centre at UNSW since 2017.

About The Ultimo Series

Prepare for an intellectually invigorating experience with our upcoming series of academic lectures. Drawing on the expertise at IGS' doorstep, renowned thought leaders will facilitate discussions and engage in interactive Q&A sessions on critical topics, such as our environmental impact, navigating Artificial Intelligence, the ethical intricacies of social media, and how to prepare our children for a changing world.

Secure your tickets now for an intimate opportunity to delve into pressing issues with experts who shape our understanding of the world. Enhance your perspective, contribute to meaningful dialogues, and be part of a community committed to knowledge, diversity and growth. Don't miss out – reserve your seat today and join us in this immersive exploration of thought-provoking subjects. 

We hope you can join other IGS parents, carers, teachers, and alums in our new Renaissance Centre for an evening of connection and learning.

The Ultimo Series is directed by Thom Marchbank, IGS Deputy Principal Academic.

Coming Up in The Ultimo Series:

  • Term 3 – 5.45pm to 7.30pm, Thursday, 29 August 2024
    Professor Toby Walsh, Scientia Professor and Chief AI Scientist UNSW presenting on the future of Artificial Intelligence
  • Term 4 - 5.45pm to 7.30pm, Thursday, 21 November 2024
    Mary-Jo McVeigh
    , Social Worker of the Year 2023 USyd, and Director of Cara House, presenting on the ethics of care and lessons from the neurobiology of early life trauma and abuse.

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