Workshop Videos

Culture and Arctic Climate Change: A scoping workshop to explore integrative frameworks

Tom McGovern presents the Faroe Islands as an anthropogenic landscape which, though harsh and desolate, offers an encouraging lesson about the potential of human behavior. Inhabited by Vikings since approximately 600 AD, the islands hosts an abundant, but terribly fragile resource, puffins, flightless birds that nest on rocky exposed cliffs, in...
The workshop's first presentation was a status report on arctic climate from Dr. Jennifer Francis. In the past 30 years, she says, aerial coverage of sea ice has been reduced by half. Ice volume had declined 70% over the same period. She offers a novel hypothesis that Arctic amplification "regional warming in excess of the global average...
Sedimentation rates in parts of the Arctic Ocean are surprisingly high with 1-2% of that sediment originating from 'dirty ice,' says Professor Emeritus Dennis Darby. He explains various processes that govern the formation of sea ice and how sediment can be entrained in it, the processes and routes by which 'dirty ice' is...
Models do 'okay' at predicting changes in surface mass balance of Greenland'™s ice sheets, says Fiamma Straneo. They don't do so well, and therefore are not very useful, when it comes to predicting the accelerated melting that is now occurring and which, she says, now accounts for about one-fourth of global sea level rise. In this...
What did the Norse know about climate, and what was the role of driftwood in their lives? Prof. Thomas Haine, the Morton K. Blaustein Chair of Earth & Planetary Sciences at Johns Hopkins University, departs from his usual realm of fluid dynamics and numerical modeling to use more prosaic tools to answer the question, what did the Norse know...

Uncertainty in Climate Change: A Conversation with Climate Scientists and Economists

Assistant Professor Trude Storelvmo presents research which suggests that the cooling effect of aerosols may mask up to 0.5 degrees of warming.  The implications are significant, as efforts to abate air pollution that health officials attribute to millions of deaths each year around the global will exacerbate warming trends and suggest that...
Klaus Keller is an associate professor in the Department of Geosciences at Penn State University and an adjunct professor in the Department of Engineering and Public Policy at Carnegie Mellon University. His research group at Penn State addresses two interrelated questions.  First, how can we mechanistically understand past and potential...
Kevin Trenbeth, from the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR), addresses a recent and recurring question about a conjectured pause in the rise of global surface temperatures during YCEI's workshop on "Uncertainty in Climate Change: A Conversation with Climate Scientists and Economists"
John Reilly is an energy, environmental and agricultural economist, and Co-Director of the MIT Joint Program on the Science and Policy of Global Change. The Joint Program describes its mission as the study of "interactions between human and Earth systems to provide a sound foundation of scientific knowledge that will aid decision-makers in...
Dan Lunt, from the University of Bristol's School of Geographical Sciences in the United Kingdom, discusses the basics of climate modeling and a history of how models have grown in sophistication and the questions that remain today. Dr. Lunt describes his research interests as broad, with a special focus on icesheet-climate interactions and...
Yale Professor Ken Gillingham welcomes participants in this YCEI sponsored workshop that brings together climate change scientists and economists whose modeling efforts hinge on the need to accommodate anticipated climate change in a warming world.   He sets the stage for the day's conversations by reviewing the just released IPCC...
Gary Yohe of Wesleyan University explains how the value of information regarding projections of climate sensitivity depends on: 1. what the decisions are to be made about and for whom, 2. the character of the decision space (states of nature, irreversibility, persistence, etc.), 3. decisions based on the range of "states of nature...
Martin Weitzman of Harvard University begins his discussion by reviewing the most recent IPCC Summary Report and the language they use for describing the likelihood of various climate sensitivity scenarios.  He relates that language and those likelihoods to the various probability distributions calculated by climate and economic...
Geoff Heal, Columbia University, discusses how scientists and the IPCC focus on general tendencies related to climate change, whereas what economists need are more information about the outlying events, the disaster scenarios that motivate policy choices.  
Stephen Schwarz, Brookhaven National Laboratory, delivers a talk entitled, "Empirical Determination of Earth's Climate Sensitivity and Implications of Present Uncertainties", at the YCEI conference "Uncertainty in Climate Change: A Conversation with Climate Scientists and Economists".
Chris Forest, Pennsylvania State University, discusses estimations of climate sensitivity and testing of models against what is known about the past thousand years.
William Nordhaus, Yale University, gives a lecture during the YCEI conference, "Uncertainty in Climate Change: A Conversation with Climate Scientists and Economists."  Explaining that he's an economist, Nordhaus says that what's really relevant to the discussion is an understanding of statistics, which is the subject of his...
Antony Millner of the London School of Economics starts his talk by saying he's been given the "distressing" task of describing what's know about the "fat tails" of probability distribution that indicate catastrophic outcomes.