Laurence C. Smith: The New North on Tuesday, November 22, 2016.

Laurence C. Smith

How will the combination of a booming global population, global warming, and rising sea levels transform the world? To Laurence C. Smith, one of the world’s leading climate scientists, the North is set for major gains. Accompanied by stunning photographs and graphics, Smith presented a balanced, politically neutral projection of what the world might look like in ten years’ time. 

In this fascinating, cross-disciplinary talk, covering demographics, climate science, and economics, Smith gave audiences a glimpse into the future, and described the world that we are leaving to our children and grandchildren. One that is wholly different from the world we know today.

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Feature Evening Presentation

7 to 9 p.m.

1-430 Centennial Centre for Interdisciplinary Science, University of Alberta

Lunchtime Presentation

Noon to 1 p.m.

Art Gallery of Alberta,
2 Churchill Square, Edmonton

About Laurence C. Smith

Laurence C. Smith’s work envisions the future of a warmed planet. In the summer of 2015, Smith and his team conducted groundbreaking research on the melting ice sheet in Greenland—the first of its kind, and work that can “help scientists figure out how rapidly sea levels will rise in the 21st century, and thus how people in coastal areas from New York to Bangladesh could plan for the change” (The New York Times).

Smith’s debut book, The World in 2050: Four Forces Shaping Civilizations Northern Future, is a work of enormous scope, cross-cutting themes of population demographics, globalization, natural resource demand, and climate change. It’s science fiction—without the fiction. It won the Walter P. Kistler Book Award, was a Nature Editor’s Pick for 2012, and has been translated into 14 languages.

Smith is Professor and Chair of Geography and Professor of Earth, Planetary, and Space Sciences at UCLA, and has published over 80 peer-reviewed articles in leading journals including ScienceNature, and PNAS. His recent paper on shipping routes in the Arctic was named one of the top 10 news stories of 2013 by the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. He was an invited speaker at the World Economic Forum in Davos in 2014 and was elected Fellow of the American Geophysical Union (AGU) in 2015.

About the organizers

This was a keynote lecture for the University of Alberta’s Sustainability Speaker Series, UAlberta North and the City of Edmonton’s The Way We Green Speaker Series.

UAlberta North is a hub that connects faculty (and faculties), students, senior leadership, and northern partners. It represents the University of Alberta formally within networks including UArctic and the Edmonton Northern Secretariat.

The Way We Green is Edmonton's award-winning environmental strategic plan. Watch video recordings of inspiring speakers going back to 2010 on The Way We Green Speaker Series website.

The Sustainability Speaker Series gives people the opportunity to be exposed to new ideas, promote understanding about the diversity of topics involved in sustainability and expand the dialogue on campus sustainability.


Presented by UAlberta North, Office of Sustainability, City of Edmonton.

More information

Fall 2016 Speaker

Kayleigh Wiebe, Project Planner - Engagement

Winter 2017 Speaker

Maja Osmanagic, Project Planner - Engagement

Media Inquiries

Office of Sustainability