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Columbia to Host Global Warming Conference in May

Columbia University will host the Eighth International Global Warming Conference and Exposition, the world's largest conference on global warming and its regional impacts, May 26-29, 1997.

The conference, known as GW8, is co-sponsored by the Global Warming International Center, an independent environmental research institute, and by Columbia's Earth Engineering Center, an engineering institute dedicated to reconfiguring industrial activities to avoid damage to the environment.

Research presentations will focus on emissions of greenhouse gases from industrial and other sources, regional climatic swings, storms attributed to global warming, and management of natural and energy resources to counteract the effects of global warming. A special executive workshop will be devoted to industrial technology and greenhouse gas emissions, and a series of panels will take up the possible effects of global warming on public health, including the spread of infectious diseases. An exposition will feature various "green" technologies, journals and computer software.

"That greenhouse gases are causing global warming is no longer a minority scientific position," said Sinyan Shen, chair of the conference's International Program Committee and director of the Global Warming International Center. "The task ahead is to assess the likely effects of global warming and agree on measures to counteract them."

Dr. Shen founded the center in 1989 with funds from private industry, which also provided it with offices in Woodridge, Ill. It disseminates information on global warming to governments, research organizations and industry in 130 countries. The center now employs 17 research scientists, funds university-based research on global warming, and counts as members some 2,300 environmental scientists and government environmental officials. Its series of conferences on global warming began in 1989 in Chicago; the most recent, GW7, attracted some 300 registrants last year in Vienna. The center also publishes a journal, World Resource Review.

The Earth Engineering Center, instituted in 1995, is exploring the emerging field of industrial ecology, including new approaches to resource identification and extraction, waste reduction, recycling of used materials and development of sustainable technologies. The center is headed by Nicholas Themelis, the Stanley Thompson Professor of Chemical Metallurgy in Columbia's Henry Krumb School of Mines.

For information and registration materials, contact Dr. Shen at (630) 910-1551, fax to (630) 910-1561, send e-mail to, or write to the Global Warming International Center, P.O. Box 5275, Woodridge, IL 60517-0275.