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Education Students Attend Lecture at the Museum of Mathematics Education Students at Museum of Mathematics

Current and future Iona Education students, enrolled in MTH153, attended a lecture at the Museum of Mathematics in New York City on November 4. The speaker was Dr. Gavin A. Schmidt, director of the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies. Schmidt presented "Chaos in the Climate," an exploration of the chaotic climate system, models of chaos, and how to mathematically predict the seemingly unpredictable.

Among the ideas and facts he presented, the following made the biggest impressions on attendees:
  • The accuracy of multi-day weather forecasts is questionable once it goes beyond three days. In fact, the 10-day forecast is at best about 30 percent accurate. Apparently, there is a great demand by the public for this type of forecast, lack of accuracy notwithstanding.
  • The difference between “ice age” global temperature and that of “normal” conditions is about 5 degrees Celsius (or 9 degrees Fahrenheit). However, there is absolutely no concern about another ice age any time soon. In fact, by the end of the 21st century, the global warming effect will have risen by 20 percent of that 5-degree ice age unit. That is, the earth will be one full degree Celsius warmer than it should be. Small number? Not really.
  • Beware greenhouse gases. These represent the main cause of and greatest threat to the ongoing climate change phenomenon.