University of Iowa

In the news: WorldCanvass hosts discussion on environmental policies and the future

April 26th, 2018
Joan Kjaer (left) interviews professors Greg Carmichael (center) and Gabriele Villarini (right) at MERGE in Iowa City on Wednesday, April 25, 2018. (Shivansh Ahuja/The Daily Iowan)

Joan Kjaer (left) interviews professors Greg Carmichael (center) and Gabriele Villarini (right) at MERGE in Iowa City on Wednesday, April 25, 2018. (Shivansh Ahuja/The Daily Iowan)

By Brooklyn Draisey, The Daily Iowan

As Earth Month comes to a close, many people will return to habits that hurt the environment, but experts are looking for ways to sustain the sustainability trend.

At the University of Iowa International Programs’ last WorldCanvass of the season on Wednesday, leaders in climate science and environmental fields came together at MERGE, 136 S. Dubuque St., to discuss policy approaches to environmental challenges in the U.S. and around the globe.

“Climate Science and the Environment: What’s Next?” was broken up into three sections, each covering a different environmental topic.

The first session featured UI College of Engineering faculty members Greg Carmichael and Gabriele Villarini, who discussed air quality, atmospheric rivers, and storm-pattern prediction.  Carmichael is the co-director of the Center for Global & Regional Environmental Research, and Villarini is the director of IIHR — Hydroscience & Engineering.

Carmichael said air quality in Iowa is pretty good, and right now he’s focusing on two of the countries with the worst air quality in the world: China and India. Both countries are working hard to mitigate their air pollution, taking a page out of Los Angeles’ book. Around 60 years ago, LA had horrible air quality, Carmichael said, but California officials implemented policies that fixed many of the problems.

“We’re committed to many of those changes already; we just need to make it to a point where the Earth is in better balance than it is now,” he said.

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