Douglas Isbell Headquarters, Washington, DC (Phone: 202/358-1753

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June 16, 1997

Dave Drachlis Marshall Space Flight Center, Huntsville, AL (Phone: 205/544-0034) Liz Latt Vanderbilt University, Nashville, TN (Phone: 615/322-2706) RELEASE: 97-135 WORKSHOP TO DISCUSS SOUTHEASTERN CLIMATE CHANGE; RESULTS COULD SAVE LIVES, MONEY AND PROPERTY Representatives from federal, state and local governments, universities and industry in the Southeast will meet in Nashville, TN, from June 25-27 to begin a dialogue on how improved understanding of regional weather and climate changes could save lives, money and property. Attendees at the Workshop on Climate Variability and Water Resource Management in the Southeast, hosted by Vanderbilt University, will discuss ways to promote cooperation between these groups to help protect and improve the environment and public health; better manage urban development; and mitigate the impact of natural disasters. "By bringing together climate researchers with those who are most affected by our changing climate, we hope to share our current knowledge and predictive capabilities and define additional areas of research that will allow us to better understand how the changing climate is impacting the Southeast," said Dr. Ron Greenwood, manager of the Global Hydrology and Climate Center at NASA' s Marshall Space Flight Center, Huntsville, AL. "We hope to evaluate the impact that our varying climate has on the quality of drinking water, ground and surface water contamination, changes in crop patterns, waste management, transportation, land use, population, urban air quality and highenergy demands," Greenwood said.

"As we are now beginning to understand and predict how rainfall and temperature will vary from year to year, farmers, utility planners and other natural resource managers in the Southeast could reap significant economic benefits depending on their ability to use these predictions effectively," said Dr. Ron Ritschard, a climate researcher at the Global Hydrology and Climate Center. "An improved understanding of our changing climate could also allow us to better prepare for hurricanes, floods and tornadoes -- saving lives and property." The Southeastern region includes the states of Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina and Tennessee. The workshop is sponsored by NASA's Mission to Planet Earth enterprise, the U.S. Geological Survey and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. It is one of seven in a series of regional climate change workshops sponsored by the U.S. Global Change Research Program and the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy. The regional workshops, scheduled to occur between June and September 1997, will provide a basis for the first National Climate Change Assessment Workshop, to be held in November 1997 at the National Academy of Sciences in Washington, DC. More information about the Southeastern Climate Change Workshop, including the workshop agenda, and a white paper that defines the climate issues to be discussed and the status of related research, can be found on the World Wide Web at the following URL: http://www.hq.nasa.gov/office/mtpe/southeast/ -endNOTE TO EDITORS: Researchers who will lead the upcoming Southeastern Climate Change Workshop will be available to discuss its goals with the news media during a teleconference scheduled for 2 p.m. EDT on Wednesday June 18. Scheduled to participate in the teleconference are: ¥ Dr. James O'Brien, workshop co-chair and director for the Center for Ocean-Atmospheric Prediction Studies at Florida State University, Tallahassee, FL, an expert on Southeast U.S. climate variability. ¥ Dr. Michael Helfert, director Southeast Regional Climate Center in Columbia, SC, an expert in regional perspectives on climate variability.

¥ Dr. Roger Pielke Jr., climate researcher at the National Center for Atmospheric Research, Boulder, CO, an expert on the social and economic impact of climate variability. ¥ Dr. Robert Quayle, climate researcher at the National Climate Data Center, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Asheville, NC, an expert in global climate change. ¥ Dr. Ron Ritschard, climate researcher and workshop co-chair at the Global Hydrology and Climate Center and the University of Alabama in Huntsville. Media interested in participating in the teleconference or in attending the workshop should call Kelly McFalls of NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center Public Affairs Office at 205/5443317, or Liz Latt of Vanderbilt University's Office of Public Affairs at 615/322-2706.