University of Utah's new climate center aims to solve environmental catastrophes
The University of Utah last week announced the creation of the Wilkes Center for Climate Science and Policy, aimed at studying environmental policies and proposing solutions to problems stemming from climate change.
Why it matters: From frequent wildfires to poor air quality, Utahns face a myriad of environmental hazards that imperil our health and future.
- Rising temperatures and the West's ongoing drought, in part, have exacerbated the Great Salt Lake's demise, which could result in dire health consequences and threaten the billion-dollar ski industry.
- The Salt Lake Valley is prone to inversions and poor air quality due to its bowl-shaped geography and vehicle emissions.
- Hot, dry summers have resulted in longer wildfire seasons.
What they're saying: "We will educate a new generation of entrepreneurs and innovators, advance basic and applied research, and address some of the most difficult and important questions posed by climate change," said university President Taylor Randall in a statement.
Details: William Anderegg, a prominent climate scientist and an associate professor at the university, will lead the new center as its director.
- The announcement came after the university received a $20 million donation from philanthropists Marie and Clay Wilkes' Red Crow Foundation.
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