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Global climate change will be the topic on Monday, April 22, at Colby College in Waterville when the first William R. and Linda K. Cotter Debate will be held. “Assessing the Evidence for Climate Change: Results from Ice Cores vs. Data from Satellites” will feature climate experts John Christy of the University of Alabama and Paul Mayewski of the University of Maine. The forum will begin at 7:30 p.m. in room 1 of the F.W. Olin Science Center and is open to the public.

Christy is director of the Earth System Science Center and professor of atmospheric science at the University of Alabama in Huntsville. In 1991 he was awarded NASA’s Medal for Exceptional Scientific Achievement for development of a global temperature data set using information from microwave satellites, along with Roy Spencer of NASA. In 1996 he received an award from the American Meteorological Society “for developing a global, precise record of earth’s temperature from operational polar-orbiting satellites, fundamentally advancing our ability to monitor climate.” Christy has served as a lead author for U.N. reports by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and in 2000 he was appointed Alabama’s state climatologist.

Mayewski is co-director of the Institute for Quaternary and Climate Studies and professor of geological sciences at the University of Maine at Orono. His research activities include collecting snow samples and ice cores from Antarctica, the Arctic, the Tibetan Plateau and the Himalayas, including from Mount Everest. He is a participant in the International Trans-Antarctic Scientific Expedition, which reconstructs Antarctic climate and atmospheric chemistry over the last 200 years. He is also the author of the forthcoming book The Ice Chronicles.

The William R. and Linda K. Cotter Debate fund was endowed by the Oak Foundation and friends and supporters of the Cotters–Colby’s 18th president and his wife. The fund supports debates in all disciplines.