Ocean Currents lecture series
Photo by Kathy F. Atkinson June 02, 2021
Discussion of climate change at home and around the world starts June 3
Delaware’s state climatologist, University of Delaware Professor Daniel Leathers, will provide an overview of climate change trends from around the world to launch the 2021 Ocean Currents Lecture Series, with special attention to examples from the First State that illustrate the changes and challenges we are already seeing.
Over the past century, Delaware’s climate has been changing. The first state has seen an increase in both warming and the number of heavy precipitation events in the state. Leathers, director of UD’s meteorology and climatology program, will give an in-depth talk on Thursday, June 3 about those changes as well as some of the potential impacts to the state of Delaware.
Sponsored by UD’s College of Earth, Ocean and Environment, the Ocean Currents Lectures are virtual events that are free and open to the public, featuring one-hour in-depth presentations on the interesting and impactful work and research of faculty and staff. The series is presented in partnership and with additional speakers from UD’s College of Agriculture and Natural Resources, Biden School of Public Policy, and Delaware Environmental Institute, known as DENIN.
To highlight just how much is changing in regard to climate in Delaware, Leathers pointed to Delaware setting records recently, both in northern Delaware and southern Delaware, for amounts of precipitation.
“The National Center for Environmental Information just approved a new, 24-hour state precipitation record that took place at our station in Harbeson in 2016 and it really blew away the old 24-hour precipitation record,” said Leathers. “Then we saw a new record for 5-minute precipitation that occurred this past August, a few days after Hurricane Isaias came through in northern Delaware. We had a new 5-minute precipitation record for the state and it was a one in a 1,000-year event — we had that much precipitation falling in 5-minutes.”
Leathers will talk about a study that was just published showing how precipitation events have been changing in Delaware, finding that the longer precipitation events — those running 12-24 hours — have been the ones that have seen an increase in the amount of precipitation.
He will also talk about the tornado that touched down in northern Delaware, three days after Isaias came through bringing large amounts of precipitation, which caused extensive flooding in northern Delaware.
The Ocean Currents lecture series will host faculty and staff of the University of Delaware on Thursday nights every other week during the summer, starting at 7 p.m. and running for about an hour. They will present their research and expertise surrounding topics in environmental sciences with everyday impacts on everyone. Many of the lectures this year will involve two speakers, who will address different aspects of one topic, such as the science behind a phenomenon and the policy concerns it creates.
To register for Leathers’ talk and any future Ocean Currents lectures, visit: https://ud.alumniq.com/index.cfm/events:register/home/eventId/7981
Other Ocean Currents Lectures include:
June 17 — Community Resilience and Coastal Flooding
July 1 — Dead Zone in the Delaware River: Impact of Low Oxygen on Fish, the Economy, and Society
July 15 — How Offshore Wind Could Advance a Just Energy Transition
July 29 — Water Security in a Changing Coastal Environment: Insights from Project WiCCED
August 12 — Water Quality Impacts from our Wastewater
August 26 — The Rising Tide: Are We Prepared?
Once registered, you will receive a confirmation with a prompt to add the event to your calendar and a unique link to "join" each selected lecture on Zoom.
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