Communicating Climate Science in a Heated Environment
ED12B-01 · Monday, Dec. 3, 10:20 a.m. · Moscone South 302
PA13B-04 · Monday, Dec. 3, 2:25 p.m. · Moscone South 302
GC22B-04 · Tuesday, Dec. 4, 11:05 a.m. · Moscone West 3014
Communicating climate science in an atmosphere crowded with active disinformation campaigns requires a paradigm change, argues Scripps Institution of Oceanography at UC San Diego Emeritus Professor Richard Somerville.
A climate scientist, author and science communicator, Somerville will discuss several aspects of science communication in four American Geophysical Union Fall Meeting presentations. He will describe science communication in the framework of constructivist learning theory in which a student's previous knowledge of the subject is taken into account and in which the role of the educator is to encourage the student's own discovery process. Somerville will also discuss the motivations of contrarian scientists who have been leaders of a decades-old campaign to cast doubt on the conclusions of mainstream scientists on the causes and consequences of climate change.
Somerville will also take part in a special two-hour event with climate change communication specialist Susan Joy Hassol and photographer James Balog offering tips on how to effectively communicate climate science using narrative and compelling imagery as tools. This special session entitled "Climate Communication: Tools and Tips" takes place at 1:30 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 5, at the San Francisco Marriott Marquis Hotel Golden Gate rooms C1-C3.
PRESENTATION TITLES: (ED12B-01) "CLIMATE COMMUNICATION FROM A SCIENCE PERSPECTIVE"
(PA13B-04) "CLIMATE CONTRARIANISM: CONSPIRACIES, MOVABLE COALPOSTS, CHERRY PICKING AND THE GALILEO COMPLEX"
(GC22B-04) "CONSTRUCTIVIST LEARNING THEORY AND CLIMATE SCIENCE COMMUNICATION"
How Can We Know If Runaway Melting Will Take Over in the Arctic?
A14C-03 · Monday, Dec. 3, 2012, 4:30 p.m. · Moscone West 3012
As global warming causes Arctic sea ice to steadily shrink every year, many scientists have posited that a cycle of irreversible disintegration will eventually take place and have speculated on when the Arctic will reach a point of no return. In the runaway feedback scenario, Arctic sea ice melts and the surface it once occupied is covered by water, which traps more heat energy.
But simulations with climate models have produced widely differing results regarding whether or when such a point will be reached. Ian Eisenman, a climate researcher at Scripps Institution of Oceanography at UC San Diego, proposes a new method to assess how prone to instability the Arctic's sea ice cover will be if it continues to recede.
"Initial results suggest that this framework will allow us to assess the possibility of a future runaway feedback based on aspects of the observed sea ice cover today," Eisenman said.
As a proof-of-concept, Eisenman will demonstrate that this new framework accurately captures the results of previously published models of sea ice trends at the 2012 American Geophysical Union Fall Meeting.
PRESENTATION TITLE: "ASSESSING THE POSSIBILITY OF A RUNAWAY ICE-ALBEDO FEEDBACK"
'Sombrero' Uplift Oddity in South America
G41B-06 · Thursday, Dec. 6, 9:15 a.m. · Moscone West 3009
Tapping into 20 years of satellite data, a team led by Yuri Fialko of Scripps Institution of Oceanography at UC San Diego has provided an explanation for an odd warp of the earth's surface in the central Andes region, home to the largest active magma body in Earth's continental crust. The researchers found that magma is forming a large blob in the middle of the crust, pushing up Earth's surface across an area 100 kilometers wide, while the surrounding area sinks, leading to a unique phenomenon the researchers have described as the "sombrero uplift." The deformation is caused by a buoyant magma mass, also known as a "diapir" in geological terms.
Fialko said the phenomenon is the first known active magmatic diapir rising through the crust at present day and could provide insights into the initial stages of massive magmatic events leading to the formation of large calderas. Such "super-volcano" events, known through ancient ash deposits, erupt thousands of cubic kilometers of magma into the atmosphere and can affect global climates.
"Those were truly disaster-type events," said Fialko. "Fortunately such events haven't happened in human history, but we know they did happen in the Altiplano-Puna area in the past."
PRESENTATION TITLE: "LONG-TERM UPLIFT IN THE ALTIPLANO-PUNA NEOVOLCANIC ZONE: EVIDENCE OF AN ACTIVE MAGMATIC DIAPIR?"
ID'ing Tornado Touchdowns with Seismic Stations
A52A-03 · Friday, Dec. 7, 10:50 a.m. · Moscone West 3008
As the National Science Foundation's EarthScope-USArray network of 400 transportable seismic stations makes its way across the country, scientists are developing innovative ways of applying its data beyond earthquakes. One example is led by scientists at Scripps Institution of Oceanography at UC San Diego, who are using station information to rapidly pinpoint when tornadoes touch ground.
Jonathan Tytell, Frank Vernon and their colleagues are developing a system to locate twisters that pass in the vicinity of a network station through energy "signatures," such as a unique tilt of the earth's crust and an increase in seismic noise due to energy from vibrations caused by tornadoes.
The researchers believe such signals may lead to a process that can rapidly identify tornado positions in real-time, estimate their intensities and possibly provide early-warning tornado alerts.
Doppler radar, the researchers say, is very good at pinpointing tornado vortex positions but cannot determine if these vortexes are suspended in the air or have touched down on the ground.
"The only really reliable method currently in place to determine on-ground tornadoes in real-time is with real people spot-checking and via storm chaser reports," said Tytell. "We know that on-ground tornadoes release energy into the ground via heat and vibrations. So it is conceivable that real-time seismic detection algorithms can help provide early-warning and decision making support to tornado now-casts."
PRESENTATION TITLE: "UTILIZING USARRAY STATIONS TO VERIFY TORNADO OBSERVATIONS"
Scripps Institution of Oceanography at the University of California San Diego, is one of the oldest, largest, and most important centers for global science research and education in the world. Now in its second century of discovery, the scientific scope of the institution has grown to include biological, physical, chemical, geological, geophysical, and atmospheric studies of the earth as a system. Hundreds of research programs covering a wide range of scientific areas are under way today on every continent and in every ocean. The institution has a staff of more than 1,400 and annual expenditures of approximately $195 million from federal, state, and private sources. Scripps operates oceanographic research vessels recognized worldwide for their outstanding capabilities. Equipped with innovative instruments for ocean exploration, these ships constitute mobile laboratories and observatories that serve students and researchers from institutions throughout the world. Birch Aquarium at Scripps serves as the interpretive center of the institution and showcases Scripps research and a diverse array of marine life through exhibits and programming for more than 430,000 visitors each year. Learn more at scripps.ucsd.edu and follow us at Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
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