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Residents, Purdue Gather at Wolf Park to Talk Climate Change
Indiana Ag Connection - 07/17/2017

As part of a new speakers series, Purdue University researchers are sharing their findings on climate change, with subjects ranging from weather and farming to wildlife, including the wolves at Wolf Park in Battle Ground, which is hosting the event. Two more talks are scheduled for the remainder of the summer.

The format is giving people an opportunity to ask candid questions about the topic of climate change in a relaxed environment, said Jeffrey Dukes, a professor and director of the Purdue Climate Change Research Center (PCCRC). The community response has been great, he said.

One of the speakers, Linda Prokopy, professor of forestry and natural resources at Purdue, recently talked about the impact climate change has had on agriculture and public attitudes about climate change. At the conclusion of her talk, "attendees had so many questions we ran out of time and had to cut them off," Dukes said.

That kind of response is an indication that many people are seeking answers about climate change, Dukes said. "People of all ages have attended the previous talks, and they're from a variety of walks of life. Some were science teachers, others were science students, and lots weren't even in a field related to science," he added.

Two more talks are scheduled this year.

On July 27, Paul Shepson, a distinguished professor of chemistry, and earth, atmospheric, and planetary sciences and the PCRCC founding director, will present "The Anatomy of Climate Change Misinformation."

On Aug. 17, Matthew Huber, leader of the Climate Dynamics Prediction Lab and professor of earth, atmospheric and planetary sciences, will present a talk about past and future climate change titled "The Deadly Combination of Heat and Humidity."

The gates open at 5:30 p.m. and the talks begin at 6 p.m. Admission is free but donations are encouraged. Attendees can purchase food and beverages, including local craft beer, during the events.

"Climate change is something that is going to be important to everyone on the planet, increasingly so in the coming years," Dukes said. "We need to discuss how we're expecting conditions to change in the future, what we can do to limit the negative impacts of these changes, and what the technical and political hurdles will be."

Dukes also said the partnership with Wolf Park is significant because of the challenges facing wildlife as a result of climate change. "Wolves, like many other species, rely on a set of pre-existing environmental conditions for their survival. Those conditions are being affected by climate change," he said.

The talk series, "Tipping Point: Talking Climate and Carnivores Over a Cold One," is held at Wolf Park, 4004 E. 800 North, Battle Ground, Indiana. For more information, contact Holly Jaycox, Wolf Park, at 765-490-0784 (mobile) or Rose Filley, Purdue Climate Change Research Center, at 765-496-3211.

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