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University researcher to present discovery to MPs

Release Date 03 March 2006

Detailed climate measurements on a glacier in the Caucasus MountainsDr Chris Stokes from the School of Human and Environmental Sciences at the University of Reading has been invited to the House of Commons on Monday 13 March to present his recent climate-change discovery to MPs at a special reception. Chris has been selected from several hundred applicants and will join other aspiring and enthusiastic younger scientists, engineers and technologists who will present their recent discoveries as part of UK National Science Week. Organised by Science Engineering and Technology (SET) for Britain; the event aims to encourage and promote younger researchers, enabling them to present their research results to high-profile visitors and MPs. Dr Stokes and colleagues at the University of Reading and Moscow State University discovered that glaciers in one of the mountain ranges of the Former Soviet Union are experiencing widespread retreat. Mountain glaciers are a relatively reliable indicator of climate change – if they are melting across the world, it could mean an increase in sea level, potentially displacing millions of people. Chris Stokes said: "Despite detailed data from individual glaciers in the Caucasus Mountains, on the border between Russia and Georgia, little data existed about the whole area before our project and an assessment was urgently required. Using satellite imagery to map glacier change since the 1960s, we discovered that of the 113 glaciers measured in the Caucasus Mountains, around 95% were retreating. This mirrors the pattern of retreat reported from other areas of the world and provides additional evidence that 'global warming' is having, and will continue to have, an affect on human activity across the globe. "I am honoured that my work has been recognised by members of the Commons' Select Committee for Science and Technology and shall also be discussing my work with Reading's local MPs during the reception at the House of Commons on Monday." End Image available on request For media enquiries please contact: Dr Chris Stokes, Department of Geography, School of Human and Environmental Sciences T: 0118 378 7751 E: c.r.stokes@rdg.ac.uk Eleanor Holmes, Press Officer, University of Reading T: 0118 378 6166 E: e.m.holmes@reading.ac.uk For further information about the School of Human and Environmental Sciences at the University please see http://www.shes.rdg.ac.uk

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