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Climate Change and World Water Supplies


Talk at UC Riverside to Focus on Climate Change and World Water Supplies

Speaker Robert Mendelsohn is an economist at Yale University; talk hosted by UCR’s Water Science and Policy Center

(March 6, 2009)

Robert Mendelsohn is the Edwin Weyerhaeuser Davis Professor of Forest Policy and Professor of Economics in the School of Management at Yale University. Photo credit: Harold Shapiro.Enlarge

Robert Mendelsohn is the Edwin Weyerhaeuser Davis Professor of Forest Policy and Professor of Economics in the School of Management at Yale University. Photo credit: Harold Shapiro.

RIVERSIDE, Calif. – How greenhouse gases affect world water supplies is the topic of a free lecture at 1 p.m., March 12, at UC Riverside.

Robert Mendelsohn, an economist at Yale University who specializes in valuing the environment, will give the talk in Room 301, Science Laboratories I.

The lecture, which is being hosted by UCR’s Water Science and Policy Center, is titled “Climate Change and Water – What Have We Learned?”.

According to scientists, increasing concentrations of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere will lead to changes in both the timing and levels of water supplies.

“Flows will likely increase in the early spring and fall in the summer,” Mendelsohn said. “Economic analyses of these changes in supply suggest they could lead to large damages if society does not adapt. The talk will discuss how society could adapt.”

Mendelsohn is the Edwin Weyerhaeuser Davis Professor of Forest Policy and Professor of Economics in Yale’s School of Management. His research focuses on a range of environmental economic issues, including the damages from air pollution and hazardous waste to the economic value of nontimber forest products and old growth forests. He also studies the impacts of global warming and the role of adaptation in the United States, Africa, Latin America and China.

“Dr. Mendelsohn is one of the more involved economists in the study of climate change and its impact on water resources,” said Ariel Dinar, the director of the Water Science and Policy Center and a professor of environmental economics and policy in the Department of Environmental Sciences. “He was also involved in work on California with scientists and hydrologists.”

Dinar stressed that while California faces daunting drought and likely climate change impacts on its water and economy, the state is not standing alone. “Learning by example from other states and countries would be useful at this time,” he said.

The new Water Science and Policy Center he directs in the Department of Environmental Sciences aims to address issues related to the interactions between water policy, water quality and water scarcity, and creates opportunities for interactions between scientists, economists and the community on these issues.

For more information about Mendelsohn's 90-minute talk and discussion, please call (951) 827-9526. For information about parking, please see "Related Links" below.

The University of California, Riverside (www.ucr.edu) is a doctoral research university, a living laboratory for groundbreaking exploration of issues critical to Inland Southern California, the state and communities around the world. Reflecting California's diverse culture, UCR's enrollment has exceeded 21,000 students. The campus opened a medical school in 2013 and has reached the heart of the Coachella Valley by way of the UCR Palm Desert Center. The campus has an annual statewide economic impact of more than $1 billion.

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