EPA Climate Change Lecture Series – ‘Ocean Circulation, Tipping Points and the Public Climate Debate’

Date released: April 17, 2023

17th April 2023: The EPA, in partnership with Dublin City Council, is delighted to welcome Professor Stefan Rahmstorf, Co-Head of the Research Department on Earth System Analysis the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research and Professor of Physics of the Oceans at the University of Potsdam. The public lecture will take place on 19th April at 7:00pm in the Round Room in the Mansion House Dublin and will also be streamed online. This lecture forms part of the National Dialogue on Climate Action. 

Professor Rahmstorf is internationally renowned for his work linking climate change to significant slowdown in the Gulf Stream System. He will discuss how continued melting of the Greenland Ice Sheet in the coming decades could contribute to further weakening of the Gulf Stream, with important consequences for the ocean ecosystem, the weather in the North Atlantic region, regional sea levels and the ocean’s ability to absorb carbon dioxide.  He will explore how close we already are to the Gulf Stream tipping point. 

Professor Rahmstorf will also comment on his recent examination of fossil fuel companies’ awareness of the seriousness of climate change over 40 years ago, and the difference between their public statements and internal knowledge.

Laura Burke, Director General EPA said,

“We are delighted to welcome Professor Rahmstorf to speak on the topic of climate change impacts on the Gulf Stream and how information on climate change is shaped. As an island nation on the edge of the Atlantic Ocean, Ireland is especially exposed to climate-driven changes in the North Atlantic.”

She added,

“Understanding the evolution of climate change and the ocean is essential if we are to understand our future. This knowledge can help inform policy to manage our responses and adapt to the future climate conditions.” 

This free event requires registration through the following link. The event will also be recorded and uploaded to the EPA YouTube channel.

Contact:  Emily Williamson, EPA Media Relations Office, 053-9170770 (24 hours) or media@epa.ie. 

Note to Editors:

Stefan Rahmstorf is Co-Head of the Research Department on Earth System Analysis of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK) and Professor of Physics of the Oceans at the University of Potsdam. 

A physicist and physical oceanographer by training, Stefan Rahmstorf's research focusses on paleoclimate, ocean circulation, sea level, extreme weather events and Earth System modelling.

After working at the New Zealand Oceanographic Institute and the Institute of Marine Science in Kiel, Stefan Rahmstorf joined PIK in 1996. He holds a professorship of Physics of the Oceans at the University of Potsdam since 2000. From 2004 to 2013 Stefan Rahmstorf advised the German government as a member of its Advisory Council on Global Change (WBGU).

He is not only an outstanding and highly cited scientist but also a sought-after science communicator and speaker, winning the Climate Communication Prize of the American Geophysical Union in 2017. He co-founded the award-winning Realclimate and KlimaLounge blogs and is Europe’s climate scientist with the most Twitter followers (2020).

He recently co-authored an important paper highlighting evidence of how fossil fuel companies had denied and questioned climate science in public, while privately acknowledging the seriousness of the issue.