Stanford's Diffenbaugh Discusses Global Warming

Stanford Professor Noah Diffenbaugh

February 06, 2018

‘Is This Global Warming?’ 

Gonzaga News Service 

SPOKANE, Wash. – Noah Diffenbaugh, the Kara J Foundation Professor in the School of Earth, Energy and Environmental Sciences at Stanford University, will discuss “Is This Global Warming?” at Gonzaga University’s O’Leary Lecture at 7:30 p.m., Monday, Feb. 12 in the Cataldo Hall Globe Room. The annual lecture is free and open to the public.

The lecture will explore whether individual extreme events – such as heat waves, droughts, floods, and severe storms – are linked to global warming.

“Techniques developed over the past decade allow scientists to answer this question,” Diffenbaugh said. “Those advances reveal that global warming can influence the risk of extreme events that are unprecedented in historical experience, particularly by altering the probability of the physical conditions that are responsible for the event.”

Diffenbaugh – also the Kimmelman Family Senior Fellow in the Woods Institute for the Environment at Stanford – studies the dynamics and impacts of climate variability and change. Much of his work has focused on the role of fine-scale processes in shaping climate change impacts, including studies of extreme weather, water resources, agriculture, human health, and poverty vulnerability.

Diffenbaugh is editor-in-chief of “Geophysical Research Letters,” and is a member of the Climate Safe Infrastructure Working Group for the state of California. He has served as a lead author for Working Group II of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, as a panelist for the “What We Know” Report of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and as a member of the National Academy of Sciences Ad Hoc Committee on Effects of Provisions in the Internal Revenue Code on Greenhouse Gas Emissions.

He is a recipient of the James R. Holton Award from the American Geophysical Union, a CAREER award from the National Science Foundation, and a Terman Fellowship from Stanford. In addition, Diffenbaugh has been recognized as a Kavli Fellow by the U.S. National Academy of Sciences, and as a Google Science Communication Fellow. Previously, he was a member of the faculty of Purdue University, where he was a University Faculty Scholar and interim director of the Purdue Climate Change Research Center.

The lecture series is presented by the GU science departments in honor of the late Father Timothy O’Leary, S.J., devoted priest and chemistry professor at Gonzaga from 1933 until his death in 1975. Friends and former students of Rev. O’Leary established an endowment to bring a distinguished scientist to campus each year in his honor. Rev. O’Leary was described by his students as a superb lecturer, and his classes were known for their clarity of presentation. A native of Butte, Montana., he was a generous and gifted counselor, teacher and priest.

Gonzaga hosts the O’Leary lecturer for several days, primarily to meet with Gonzaga science majors. The visiting scientist delivers a specialized lecture for students and a public lecture for general audiences.

For more information, contact Debbie Wiseman at (509) 313-6638 or