|Residence||State College, Pennsylvania|
|Institutions||Pennsylvania State University|
|Alma mater||Ohio State University, University of Wisconsin–Madison|
|Thesis||Transformations in polar firn|
|Doctoral advisor||Charles R. Bentley |
|Known for||Research of glaciology and ice sheets |
Richard B. Alley (born 1957) is an American geologist and Evan Pugh Professor of Geosciences at Pennsylvania State University. He has authored more than 170 refereed scientific publications about the relationships between Earth's cryosphere and global climate change, and is recognized by the Institute for Scientific Information as a "highly cited researcher."
In 1999, Alley was invited to testify about climate change by Vice President Al Gore, in 2003 by the U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, and before the U.S. House Committee on Science and Technology in 2007 and again in 2010.
Alley's 2007 testimony was due to his role as a lead author of "Chapter 4: Observations: Changes in Snow, Ice and Frozen Ground" for the Fourth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. He has participated in the joint UN/WMO panel since 1992, having been a contributing author to both the second and third IPCC assessment reports.
Alley has written several papers in the journals Nature and Science, and chaired the National Research Council on Abrupt Climate Change. In 2000, he published the book The Two-Mile Time Machine: Ice Cores, Abrupt Climate Change, and Our Future. He has appeared in numerous climate change-related television documentaries and has given many public presentations and media interviews about the subject.
Alley gave the Bjerknes lecture to the 2009 American Geophysical Union meeting- "The biggest control knob- Carbon Dioxide in Earth's climate history". A video of the presentation  is available (also available on YouTube).
Awards and honors
Alley was awarded the Seligman Crystal in 2005 "for his prodigious contribution to our understanding of the stability of the ice sheets and glaciers of Antarctica and Greenland, and of erosion and sedimentation by this moving ice." Alley is one of several Penn State earth scientists who are contributors to the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, which shared the 2007 Nobel Prize with Al Gore.
In 2005 he was also the first recipient of the Louis Agassiz Medal for his "outstanding and sustained contribution to glaciology and for his effective communication of important scientific issues in the public policy arena". His award citation stated "He is imaginative, sharp and humorous, and remains a thorn in the backside of the Bush administration."
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On Sunday, April 10, 2011, PBS debuted a special program on climate change, entitled "EARTH: The Operators’ Manual", hosted by Alley. The program's aim was to present an objective, accessible assessment of the Earth’s problems and possible solutions, with the stated intention of leaving viewers informed, energized and optimistic. The series continues through 2012 on PBS and affiliates. The series is accompanied by a book of the same name, also by Richard Alley. It was published on April 18, 2011.
- Richard Alley (April 18, 2011). EARTH: The Operators’ Manual. W. W. Norton & Company. ISBN 978-0-393-08109-1.
- Richard Alley (July 1, 2002). The Two-Mile Time Machine: Ice Cores, Abrupt Climate Change, and Our Future. Princeton University Press. ISBN 978-0-691-10296-2.
- Richard Alley (September 2000). Robert Bindschadler, ed. The West Antarctic Ice Sheet: Behavior and Environment (Antarctic Research Series). American Geophysical Union. ISBN 978-0-87590-957-8.
- Richard Alley (1999). Rocking the parks: Geological stories of the national parks. Kendall/Hunt Pub. Co. ISBN 978-0-7872-5706-4.
Selected academic publications
Google Scholar search on author:R-Alley in physical sciences. As of Oct. 2008, 463 results; top result cited by 160.
DA Meese, AJ Gow, RB Alley, GA Zielinski, PM Grootes, M Ram, KC Taylor, PA Mayewski, JF Bolzan 1997. "The Greenland Ice Sheet Project 2 depth-age scale: Methods and results" Journal of Geophysical Research. C. Oceans Vol. 102, no. C12, pp. 26,411 - 26,423. Nov 1997 abstract
J Jouzel, RB Alley, KM Cuffey, W Dansgaard 1997. "Validity of the temperature reconstruction from water isotopes in ice cores" Journal of Geophysical Research. C. Oceans 97JC01283 abstract
KM Cuffey, GD Clow, RB Alley, M Stuiver, ED Waddington, RW Saltus 1995. "Large Arctic Temperature Change at the Wisconsin–Holocene Glacial Transition" Science 20 October 1995: Vol. 270. no. 5235, pp. 455 – 458 doi:10.1126/science.270.5235.455
PA Mayewski, LD Meeker, S Whitlow, MS Twickler et al. 1994. "Changes in Atmospheric Circulation and Ocean Ice Cover over the North Atlantic During the Last 41,000 Years" Science 25 March 1994: Vol. 263. no. 5154, pp. 1747 – 1751 doi:10.1126/science.263.5154.1747
- "Citation for Richard Alley". Penn State College of Earth and Mineral Sciences. Retrieved 2008-09-30.
- "NASA People". NASA. Retrieved 2008-10-01.
- "Dan and Carole Burack President's Distinguished Lecture Series". University of Vermont. Archived from the original on 2010-12-28. Retrieved 2008-09-30.
- "Alley, Richard B.". Institute for Scientific Information. Retrieved 2008-09-30.[dead link]
- "Guest Speakers". Ursinus College. Retrieved 2008-09-30.
- "Changes in Ice: The 2007 IPCC Assessment". United States House of Representatives. Retrieved 2008-09-30.
- "The Role of Warming in Melting Ice and Sea-Level Rise, and the Possibility of Abrupt Climate Changes". United States House of Representatives. Retrieved 2010-12-18.
- "Richard Alley lecture to the 2009 AGU "The biggest control knob- Carbon Dioxide in Earth's climate history"". American Geophysical Union. Retrieved 2010-12-28.
- "EGU Louis Agassiz Medallist 2006". European Geosciences Union. Retrieved 2008-09-28.
- "Book of Members, 1780-2010: Chapter A". American Academy of Arts and Sciences. Retrieved 15 April 2011.
- Kalson, Sally (2011-09-13). "PSU professor's climate work wins 1 of 9 Heinz Awards". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Retrieved 2013-05-17.
- "Friend of Darwin and Friend of the Planet awards for 2014". National Center for Science Education. 28 April 2014. Retrieved 28 April 2014.
- Personal and academic information
- Award citation for Seligman Crystal
- Penn State faculty page
- Richard Alley interviewed on Conversations from Penn State
- Earth: The Operators' Manual TV Series website
- PBS Site