It’s summertime! That means county fairs, stone fruit, and hopefully a cool body of water in which to dip one’s toes. Of course, it also means record temperatures and the beginning of hurricane season. Today on Sea Change Radio we are talking weather with Adam Sobel, an atmospheric scientist at Columbia University. We discuss the difference between climate and weather, learn about the importance of accurate forecasts in the age of extreme weather, and dispel some preposterous myths about climate scientists.
Back in 1999, a team of scientists published a graphic depiction reconstructing northern hemisphere temperatures for the previous 1000 years. The steep increase from the 1900s on inspired the scientific community to give this visual a clever nickname: the hockey stick graph. This week on Sea Change Radio, we sit down with Michael Mann, the lead researcher on that study that introduced a generation to the notion of climate change. He is widely published and has received a number of awards, the most recent being the Tyler Prize for Environmental Achievement in April of 2019. In our conversation, we talk about why academics should bust out of the ivory tower, examine the climate change denial movement, and explore how the adage, “the best defense is a strong offense,” has served him well.
How do you usually react to the stream of dire warnings about climate change and wildlife extinction? Does it motivate you to do more to make a difference, or does it submerge you into depressed inertia? This week on Sea Change Radio, we speak with environmental journalist Jeremy Hance about his ongoing series for Mongabay which shines an encouraging light on the future of our planet’s flora and fauna. Hance outlines the Bottleneck-to-Breakthrough theory and looks at the driving factors that may save our species and others from extinction. Who knew that earth science prognostications could actually serve as an antidote to climate change malaise?
As we move into a new year, and try to square 2017 in our rear view mirrors, it’s an opportune moment to contemplate how we avoid repeating the mistakes of the past, both recent and ancient. This week on Sea Change Radio, we get philosophical with Jeremy Lent, whose new book, The Patterning Instinct seeks to explain what has made us tick as a species over the millennia. Lent and host Alex Wise talk about what the patterning instinct is, what we can learn from these human patterns, and how we can apply them to fight climate change.