Public Lectures – 17 & 18 May 2017

2017 Alexander and Leicester McAulay Winter Lecture Series

Australian Institute of Physics – Tasmanian Branch

Physics, Power and Climate Change

Wednesday 17th of May 2017, 8.00-9.00 pm
Physics lecture Theatre 1
University of Tasmania, Sandy Bay Campus, Hobart
Thursday 18th of May 2017, 1.25-2.25 pm
F Block Theatre
Launceston College, 107-119 Patterson St, Launceston


Professor David Jamieson
University of Melbourne

Although the human responses to climate change are volatile, the laws of Physics are not. Since the 1905 Chemistry Nobel laureate Svante Arrhenius first modelled the greenhouse effect on the temperature of our planet little has changed from his prediction of a 2.1 degree Celsius temperature rise for a doubling of the 1905 carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere.  Today, with greatly improved physical models, the prediction is between 2 and 4.5 degrees under the same scenario.  Physics helps us understand the past, present and future scenarios for the climate of our planet.  Working out what to do about our emissions and climate change requires us to look at our present and future energy budget.  But it is power that drives our civilisation, not energy.  The paths from energy to power are constrained by the unbreakable laws of entropy.  This lecture explains entropy and the big challenges involved in charting the uncertain future.  Please bring your smartphone to participate in the online polling during the lecture!

Further details: Hobart – Andrew Klekociuk (M 0418 323 341, E, Launceston – Jason Dicker (M 0438 401 063,,-power-and-climate-change