Do you recall playing a little game called tug-of-war as a child (or even as an adult)? If you were playing with one other person, you’d stand on one side, they’d stand on the other, with a rope held between you. You and your friend (or foe) would start tugging the rope and whomever pulled the other person over a line in the center would be declared the winner. Sometimes it’s muddy and sometimes it’s one group of friends versus another group of friends.
In my ECCF post in May, I discussed my concern about the politicization of scientists and the perception of that amongst conservatives and the general public. Recent papers add to my concern that the perception of scientists has become politicized, and will continue to be so, particularly when viewed through the lense of news media and social media. The concern over politicization brought the following question to mind.
World renowned climate scientist, Michael E. Mann, recently co-authored a Washington Post article titled, ‘Harvey and Irma should kill any doubt that climate change is real.’ This is a sentiment likely shared amongst those most familiar with the influence of rising sea and air temperatures on extreme weather, or those who are generally just concerned about climate change.
Years of Living Dangerously, a big-budget, 9-episode TV documentary, tries to communicate the seriousness of climate change through personal stories and first-hand experiences of people across the globe. To make sure they get the science right, the producers collaborate with a panel of distinguished experts. We interviewed one of them: Dr. Katherine Hayhoe from Texas Tech University in Lubbock, Texas.
On August 29, 2005, many watched as Hurricane Katrina came ashore on the northern Gulf Coast of the U.S. The satellite imagery from that day shows us how strong Katrina was. A category 5 hurricane at its peak, Katrina was a category 3 hurricane at landfall. This hurricane currently stands as the third deadliest and most costly hurricane in U.S. history (more than 1,000 deaths and $108 billion in damage according to the National Hurricane Center). Ten years have passed since Katrina made landfall.
The biggest climate change news of 2015 has come from a rather unlikely source: The Vatican of Rome.
St. Louis is better known by some as the gateway to the West. On May 12 - 15, 2015 it became a gateway for adaptation and collaboration. The National Adaptation Forum (NAF) was hosted in St. Louis this year, and it was one of those rare meetings which gathered scientists and stakeholders in the same room. Bi-annually, the NAF brings together a community dedicated to incorporating climate information into decision making. By it’s nature, the NAF focuses on the themes of understanding, engagement, and collaboration.