Tonight, we tackle a topic that may be controversial for some, but there’s no doubt that its effects appear to be happening now and could be more dramatic in the future. It’s a problem that needs attention now to prepare for any future contingencies. That problem is climate change. PNM’s Dennis Shaffer talks with Dan Vimont, an Associate Professor in Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences at UW-Madison. He studies the mechanisms of climate variability and change, and the interactions between weather and climate. Also, joining the conversation is Michael Notaro, a Senior Scientist, who studies climate change impacts on ecosystems, and hydrology of the Great Lakes Basin. Both Dan and Michael are with the Center for Climatic Research. They gave us an idea about climate science, like the difference between climate and weather, how natural variability plays a factor, and how reliable are climate models.
In addition to the science, how will climate change effect human health? Jonathan Patz from the Global Health Institute provided some clues. Jonathan has studied the effects of climate change on human health for over 20 years. Heat waves pose a serious threat to human health, like the devastating one in Europe a few years ago.
Wisconsin has been looking into ways of dealing with climate change through the Wisconsin Initiative on Climate Change Impacts. Many places on the internet explain climate change, including this one from Bill Nye, the science guy, and from the EPA. Here’s a nice website explaining climate change and human health.