Public TALK

Sci-Bono Discovery Centre provides this tremendous platform for public and scientists to engage around current, controversial and ground breaking scientific affairs. Giving our public a behind the scenes first-class pass to current scientific research topics. These engaging evening talks are set to inspire rigorous scientific discussions amongst the audience.

 

 

 

 

PUBLIC TALK: 20 OCTOBER 2018

PUBLIC TALK: 8 NOVEMBER 2018

BASIC PHYSICS OF GREENHOUSES & CLIMATE: THE ATMOSPHERES OF EARTH, VENUS & MARS

PROF.DR. STEPHAN BORRMANN

 

 

Thursday 8 November 2018

09:H00 - 11:H00

SAP Auditorium | Sci-Bono Discovery Centre c/o Miriam Makeba and Helen Joseph Streets

Newtown | Johannesburg

Please RSVP to Cynthia Mohohlo

cynthia.mohohlo@sci-bono.co.za

DATE:

TIME:

VENUE:

 

 

 

RSVP:

ABOUT THE TALK

The planets Venus, Earth, Mars have atmospheres of different chemical composition and physical properties. In all of them the so-called greenhouse effect leads to average temperatures which can be estimated by simple considerations adopting basic physics. At first in this lecture such estimates are derived, calculated, and compared with satellite based measurements. This is straight forward, but already provides interesting arguments against those so-called climate sceptics who deny the existence of greenhouse warming.

 

In a next step several variables which in addition influence our Earth’s climate are introduced (like orbit around the sun, volcanic eruptions, solar radiation, clouds, atmospheric dust, and ice sheets) and their relevance within the climate debate is discussed. This allows us to address further arguments of people who deny climate change. Also we can refine our (mathematical) view of the atmosphere and its interaction with solar visible light and the Earth’s thermal heat radiation.

 

Finally we look at the modern art of the numerical simulation of the Earth’s oceans and atmosphere using the most advanced computers. The results and successes of such computer simulations are discussed as well as their limitations and where the computational results differ from measurements. This sheds a light on what the difference is between a “weather forecast” and a “climate prediction”.

 

Physics, chemistry, meteorology, oceanography, mathematics, and computer science are needed to compose a comprehensive picture of the relevant processes underlying the machinery of our planet’s climate. Thus the modern climate and ocean models are among the largest cultural achievements of human mind.

THE GLOBAL WATER CRISIS

PROF.DR. STEPHAN BORRMANN

 

 

Saturday 20 October 2018

10:H00 - 12:H00

SAP Auditorium | Sci-Bono Discovery Centre c/o Miriam Makeba and Helen Joseph Streets

Newtown | Johannesburg

Please RSVP to Cynthia Mohohlo

cynthia.mohohlo@sci-bono.co.za

DATE:

TIME:

VENUE:

 

 

 

RSVP:

ABOUT THE TALK

Drinking water is a rare commodity. In times of climate change the availability of sufficient fresh water for the communities also will be affected. Nowadays, already without climate change serious problems are encountered on nearly all continents which can be exemplified by the occurrence of a series of ubiquitous, long lasting droughts. As the hydrological cycle is influenced to a large degree by clouds and precipitation meteorologists and scientists spend enormous efforts to improve the prediction of precipitation, the behavior of large cloud systems (like during the monsoons), and the impact of global warming on the water distribution. Here the current models for the numerical simulation of weather, precipitation, and the global climate still have serious deficiencies.

 

At first in this lecture the most important components of the hydrological cycle are coarsely described together with some necessary meteorological backgrounds. Then the consumption of fresh water on a per capita basis as well as on the global scale is outlined, and the concept of a “transfer of water between the worlds” via the so-called “virtual water” is introduced. Both impact the available resources in the ground water aquifers and the river systems. As consequence, from considering the precipitation cycle and the ground water reservoirs, together with human interference, it can be concluded that the water cycle may not constitute a true “cycle” depending on the time scales.

 

Finally some specific examples of regions with water scarcity problems are briefly described together with the corresponding tasks for politics and decision making.

Towards the end and as part of the presentation the speaker would like to discuss the current water crisis in parts of South Africa (and the underlying mechanisms with the audience.

 

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