Climate experts available to media

June 1, 2017 By Käri Knutson

The following University of Wisconsin–Madison experts are available to speak with reporters regarding the Paris Climate Agreement and the impact of potential changes. President Trump is scheduled to make an announcement regarding the pact at 2 p.m. Central time today:

— Ankur Desai, a professor in atmospheric and oceanic sciences, is an expert on carbon and greenhouse gas emissions and their effects on a changing climate. “The Paris Agreement, decades in the making, reflects a long-term commitment by all but two countries of the world to reduce the harmful effects of climate change while still allowing countries to grow their economies and develop,” Desai says. “Pulling out now only puts the U.S. in a weaker bargaining position and hurts its competitiveness in a rapidly changing economy.” He may be reached at desai@aos.wisc.edu or 608-265-9201.

— Jonathan Patz, a professor of global environment health, is an expert on the health risks of climate change and the health benefits of climate policies. “Withdrawing from the Paris accord would be a huge blow to public health, knowing the health dividends from cleaner air and more livable cities that go along with a low carbon economy.”

He may be reached at patz@wisc.edu or 608-698-7380.

— Daniel Vimont, a professor of atmospheric and oceanic sciences, is an expert on climate change and climate change variations. “It’s not clear that Trump has the legal authority to withdraw from the Paris Climate Agreement,” Vimont says. “While he could initiate the process, it wouldn’t take effect until 2020 at the earliest. Nonetheless, a statement that the U.S. will withdraw from the agreement continues a trend of sending us backward economically, compared with China and Europe. We continue to miss out on opportunities to grow a green energy economy.” He may be reached at dvimont@wisc.edu or 608-263-3420.

— Jonathan Martin, a professor of atmospheric and oceanic sciences, is an expert on mid-latitude weather systems and their connection to climate change. “There’s no particular reason why this agreement ought to be abandoned by the United States,” Martin says. “I consider this another example of the assault on science.” He may be reached at jemarti1@wisc.edu or 608-262-9845.