CSU delegates in Copenhagen

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Jan 172010
 
Authors: Chris O’Toole

As the climate change debate rages on in Copenhagen this week, CSU hasn’t been left out of party.

With eight university delegates attending the conference, the university is contributing its own climate research to the world discussion in hopes of helping determine how to best curb the potential consequences climate change could have around the world.

The CSU delegation includes Michele Betsill, a political science professor; Diana Wall, the director of the School of Global Environmental Sustainability; Stephen Ogle, a researcher in the Natural Resource Ecology Laboratory; Bryan Willson, a mechanical engineering professor; Tim Reeser, the chief operating officer of CSU’s Cenergy Supercluster; V. Chandrasekar, a professor of electrical and computer engineering; Eleanor Milne, a faculty member in the NREL; and Linse Anderson, a political science graduate student.

In addition, two CSU affiliates from the NREL — Jill Baron and Dennis Ojima — and Gillian Bowser from the Warner College of Natural Resources are taking part in the conference as part of a different delegation.

The conference, which began on Dec. 7, runs through Dec. 18, is intended to help the world community understand what dangers climate change entails and determine how to approach best the issue as an international community.

Ogle said he was invited to present on greenhouse gas emissions and discuss how they can be reduced in Southeast Asia. Ogle, who has been working with the U.S. government on its emission control legislation, said greenhouse gasses are stimulated primarily by nitrogen.

Baron, who also presented on nitrogen, which she said is largely created by motor vehicle exhaust, said the gas is a large influence on the carbon cycle.

She said nitrogen is an important element of fertilizer used by agriculture operations, but said an excess of nitrogen can be extremely harmful to the environment.

“The Gulf of Mexico Dead Zone that killed sea life was caused by nitrogen run-off in the water,” she said referring to the area in the Gulf of Mexico about the size of New Jersey depleted of oxygen and sea life due to massive algae growth. “Also, nitrogen in the atmosphere can contribute to the ozone.”

News Editor Jim Sojourner contributed to this report.

Staff writer Chris O’Toole can be reached at news@collegian.com

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