Climate change and gravity – public lecture (ACT)

Observing climate change effects using the Earth’s gravity field

The Earth’s gravity field varies from place to place and from one day to the next. The Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment (GRACE) is a revolutionary satellite system that allows scientists to use gravity changes to observe critical rates of ice mass loss in Antarctica and Greenland. It can also show changes in the water storage in river drainage basins such as the Murray-Darling Basin. This talk will provide an overview of these results as well as outline NASA’s plans for the next such mission by 2016.

Dr Michael Watkins is the Project Scientist for the GRACE and GRACE Follow-On missions at the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California. He was responsible for much of the development of the GRACE mission and continues to play a lead role in science analysis for the mission, as well as leading the Follow-On mission. Dr Watkins is the also the Mission System Manager for the Mars Science Laboratory, responsible for the development of the operations system and mission design for this next generation Mars rover.

This public lecture follows a day-long conference on the GRACE mission’s science outcomes and future prospects. All are welcome to attend the day’s program during which scientists from Australia and around the world will present information on space gravity satellite missions and associated results on climaterelated studies of melting rates in Antarctica and hydrological signals.

Speaker/Host: Dr Michael Watkins Venue: Shine Dome, Gordon St, Canberra Date: Wednesday, 26 May 2010 Time: 6:00 PM – 7:00 PM Enquiries: Paul Tregoning on 6125 5510, ANU Events on 6125 4144

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