In this second episode of our mini-series on climate science, we begin to dive a bit deeper on narrower subjects, starting with a look at how we take the Earth’s temperature, on land, on the sea surface, and deeper in the ocean depths. Along the way, we discuss temperature measurements at the heart of the “Climategate” nothingburger, the 2013 “Pausebuster” paper proving the supposed “pause” or “hiatus” in global warming trends didn’t actually happen, and a recent kerfuffle over that paper. We also find out if the melting of permafrost and undersea methane clathrates could lead the planet into runaway global warming, and discuss some research on the net emissions effect of switching from coal to gas in power generation, including the thorny issue of fugitive emissions from natural gas production and distribution. And finally, we’ll take another look at the question of decoupling economic growth from energy consumption, and how emissions are counted in the first place. After listening to this interview, you’ll be well-equipped to listen critically to both the latest scientific findings on global temperatures, and to the arguments of global warming skeptics. Plus, we’ll talk about the implications of Trump’s proposed budget, which would gut the very agencies that deliver these crucial scientific measurements.
Zeke Hausfather is the Climate Lead at Stripe. He is a climate scientist whose research focuses on observational temperature records, climate models, carbon removal, and mitigation technologies. Zeke also works as a research scientist with Berkeley Earth and is a science contributor to Carbon Brief. He was previously the senior climate analyst at Project Drawdown, the director of climate and energy at the Breakthrough Institute, the lead data scientist at Essess, the chief scientist at C3.ai, and the cofounder and chief scientist of Efficiency 2.0. He has masters degrees in environmental science from Yale University and Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam and a PhD in climate science from the University of California, Berkeley.
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Air date: April 5, 2017
Geek rating: 6