UCF assistant professor to help UN with climate change report

Panel to assess environmental, socioeconomic impacts

By Paola Peralta - Digital Intern

ORLANDO, Fla. - The University of Central Florida will soon be recognized globally for its efforts in combating climate change.

Thomas Whal, a sea level rise expert who is an assistant professor in the College of Engineering and Computer Science at UCF, is set to serve as a contributing author to the United Nations' Nobel Prize winning Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. 

Whal will join a collection of international experts who assess the science related to climate change and its potential environmental and socioeconomic impacts. The report, which is compiled every six years, is shared with scientists, stakeholders and policy makers around the world.

His contribution will appear in a chapter dedicated to the sea level rise in which he will expand on issues such as extreme sea levels due to high tides, storm surges, and coastal flooding and erosion.

Whal said in a news release that he is humbled and honored to be working with the team. 

“This is a very active research field where great progress has been made in the last few years,” he said in the release. “The challenge will be to pull all this information together and present it in a comprehensive, yet concise way.”

According to Debra Reinhart, associate vice president for research and scholarship, the report is considered to be the reference document for policymaking related to climate change.

Whal, who joined the UCF faculty in 2017, has been studying the resulting impact of sea level rises and storm surges for years, publishing works and giving presentations on the subject worldwide. 

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