Tyndall Lectures

This annual lecture offers a historical perspective on global environmental change. The lecture is named in honor of 19th century Irish-born scientist John Tyndall FRS, whose measurements in the mid-century confirmed the significance of the greenhouse effect, which had been first hypothesized by French mathematician/physicist Joseph Fourier in 1824.

The 2017 lecture will be presented by James R. Fleming, the Charles A. Dana Professor of Science, Technology, and Society at Colby College and a research associate at the Smithsonian Institution, on the topic “Gordian Knots of Prevision: the Lessons of History”, on Thursday, December 14, from 2:40 to 3:40 PM, in the New Orleans Ernest N. Morial Convention Center – La Nouvelle AB Ballroom.

The 2016 lecture was presented by Waleed AbdalatiProfessor of Geography, Director of the Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences (CIRES) at the University of Colorado, Boulder, on the topic “Earth from Space:  The Power of Perspective”, on Thursday, December 15, from 2:40 to 3:40 PM, in Moscone West 2022/2024.

The 2015 lecture was presented by Julie Brigham-Grette, Professor of Quaternary and Glacial Geology in the Department of Geosciences, University of Massachusetts, Amherst, on “Thin Ice — Bipolar Super Interglacials and our Possible Future”, on Tuesday, December 15, from 2:40 PM to 3:40 PM, in Moscone West 2022-2024.

The 2014 lecture was presented by Kelly T. Redmond of the Western Regional Climate Center, Desert Research Institute on “A Perspective on Accelerating Change”.  The lecture was recorded and is available for viewing at


The 2013 lecture was presented by William F. Ruddiman, Professor Emeritus of Environmental Sciences at the University of Virginia, on “Early Agriculture: Land Clearance and Climate Effects”. The lecture was recorded and is available for viewing at http://virtualoptions.agu.org/media/GC43B-01.+Early+AgricultureA+Land+Clearance+and+Climate+Effects/1_sl79nw08.

The 2012 lecture was presented by Raymond Pierrehumbert, Professor in the Department of Physical Sciences at the University of Chicago, on “Successful Predictions in Climate Science”.   The lecture was recorded and is available for viewing at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RICBu_P8JWI

The first Tyndall Lecture was presented at the 2011 AGU Fall Meeting by Prof. Richard C.J. Somerville of the Scripps Institution of Oceanography, University of California, San Diego.  The title of his talk is “John Tyndall: His Pioneering Contributions to Climate Science and Scientific Outreach”.  The video has been archived on the AGU servers at http://fallmeeting.agu.org/2011/scientific-program/sessions-on-demand-8-december/ and can be viewed by scrolling down on the webpage to the seventh video from the top.