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Environmental Lecture Series: Climate Change & Droughts

Dr. Jordan Kern will give presentations at 3:30 p.m. Tuesday, June 25 and Wednesday, June 26 as part of Lakeside’s Environmental Lecture Series in Orchestra Hall.

“Climate Change and What to do About it” — Climate change is a complex challenge for many reasons: its impacts are uncertain and occur out in the future, but solving the problem requires action today. It requires global coordination, but the causes and effects are not equally distributed across countries. Solving it will be expensive, and there will be ‘winners and losers’ in a fast transition away from fossil fuels. This talk will discuss these challenges and also talk about the progress that is being made in solving climate change.

“Droughts, Heat Waves & Air Pollution – Connections with the Power Grid” —
Droughts reduce hydropower production and heat waves increase electricity demand, forcing power system operators to rely more on fossil fuel power plants.

Using California as a case study, this lecture will explore why air pollution impacts from power plants (fine particulate matter) are highest in hot, dry years. We will also discuss who is most impacted by this extra pollution demographically. Finally, this talk will explore some options for managing this pollution, including financial penalties on ‘dirty’ power plants and discuss the effectiveness of this strategy.

Kern is an assistant professor at North Carolina State University, where he has a primary appointment in the Department of Industrial & Systems Engineering and graduate faculty appointments in Operations Research and Civil, Construction & Environmental Engineering.

His group’s research tries to advance optimal design and management of low-to-zero carbon energy systems, with a special focus on 1) building high-resolution models of real-world energy systems; 2) simulating system dynamics under uncertainty and stress; and 3) informing optimal decision-making around capital investment and short-term operations. This research has been featured frequently in national media, including NPR, the LA Times, Vox and TIME.

In 2022, Kern received the National Science Foundation’s Early Career Award for his proposal titled, “Navigating a Two-Front Challenge for the Power Grid: Extreme Weather & the Race to Decarbonization.”


Jun 25, 2024


3:30 pm

Next Occurrence




Orchestra Hall
Orchestra Hall
122 West 2nd Street, Lakeside, Lakeside Marblehead, OH, USA


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