ARB Research Seminar

This page updated June 19, 2013

Carbon on Steroids : The Untold Story of Methane, Climate, and Health

Kirk R. Smith, Ph.D., School of Public Health, University of California, Berkeley

November 10, 2008
Cal EPA Headquarters, 1001 "I" Street, Sacramento, CA



In current national and international assessments, methane is undervalued as both a driver of climate change and as a hazard to human health and ecosystems. This is partly due to a misunderstanding of the physical linkages involved and partly to reliance on outdated policy instruments that are ill-suited to the assessment of them.

A more appropriate assessment of methane would shift the priorities among control options for achieving health and climate benefits. Discussed will be one such option, reducing combustion inefficiency in household solid fuel use in developing countries.

Speaker Biography

Kirk R. Smith, Ph.D., is Professor of Global Environmental Health, School of Public Health, University of California, Berkeley and is founder and director of the campus-wide masters program of the East-West Center in Honolulu. Dr. Smith's research and policy work focuses on environmental, health, and climate issues in developing countries, particularly those related to household air pollution and energy. Dr. Smith' work on climate focuses on co-benefits, i.e., strategies that achieve both climate mitigation adaptation goals as well as providing immediate local benefits in the form of health protection and other improvements. Recent activities include participation in the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPPC) (WGs II & III); the National Research Council's Advisory Committee to the US National Climate Change Science Program; senior advisory committees on Climate Change Research Strategies to the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences and to the Global Review of the Institute of Medicine, the Board on Atmospheric Sciences and Climate of the US National Academies, and organizer of the 2008 Annual Reviews Symposium on Climate Change and Health. Professor Smith has been a member of the National Academy of Sciences since 1997.

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