When we hear about polar ice caps melting, it sounds dangerous but also distant. The damage to our planet’s ecosystem caused by increasing levels of carbon dioxide is real, but we don’t see it.
It’s hard for people to take climate change seriously because it’s not immediately and directly affecting our lives, YET.
In order to give people a taste of what might happen when the consequences of global warming hit home, UCLA Institute of the Environment and Sustainability presents an in depth analysis of what LA’s climate could look like, if global warming continues in the direction it is going.
With sea levels rising, and temperatures increasing as well, what will the 3.82 million residents of Los Angeles have to look forward to?
It gives to us every hour of every day, but today – Earth Day – is the day we set aside to give back.
While it’s true that the home base for human beings has its share of challenges, many of its citizens — including researchers at the University of California — are working to preserve and conserve it for future generations.
Discover some of what these UC folk are up to at UCTV’s Climate video library. From the atmosphere up above, to the deepest parts of the sea – and everything that exists in between — you’ll discover something new about your planet on its “official” day.
Why not start out with one of these new UCTV programs?
Restoring the Gulf Marshes UC Berkeley graduate student Thomas Azwell is helping to restore the Gulf of Mexico’s marshes after they were severely damaged by the Deepwater Horizon oil spill from April to July of 2010. Partnering with researchers and agencies in the Gulf, the Environmental Science student is staking tubes of cotton netting stuffed with pre-composted sugar cane fiber into the dying marshes of Louisiana, testing whether the environmentally sustainable waste material can give a larger variety of plants a better chance at healing the oil-damaged wetlands.
Silent Spring + 50: Lessons from San Diego’s Bees and Bays San Diego Coastkeeper’s Jill Witkowski and Dr. James Nieh of UC San Diego address two major environmental problems in the region – water pollution and the devastating effect of parasites and pesticides (research conducted by former UCSD graduate student, Daren Eiri) on the honey bee population. Both presentations shed light on how members of the public can work with San Diego researchers to protect our natural resources and create a more sustainable community.
Thanks to Scripps Institution of Oceanography’s Veerabhadran Ramanathan, a “second front” of climate change mitigation has emerged, reviving hopes that the most dangerous consequences of climate change can at least be delayed for several decades. (If you haven’t already, you can follow his remarkable journey and landmark discoveries in the first three episodes of UCTV Prime’s series “Lifting the Blanket: The Pursuit of a Climate Solution.”)
But when an African teenager attending a United Nations event for high schoolers asked him what he is doing personally about climate change, Ramanathan realized that his recognized authority within the climate science community could only get him so far in affecting change. That encounter set Ramanathan off on the next phase of his career, forming meaningful alliances with religious and spiritual leaders who offer the moral authority to help make the matter of global warming — and the simple steps he’s helped develop to effectively reduce it — resonate on a personal level with today’s global citizens.
With enough involvement from policymakers and individuals around the world, Ramanathan projects that society can reduce the rate of global warming by as much as 50% during our lifetimes, which could help slow down the melting of the Himalayan glaciers, arctic sea ice, and sea level rise, while possibly saving as many as 4 million lives per year among those living under the blanket of pollutants that contribute to 40% of the current global warming problem.
UCTV Prime’s series “Lifting the Blanket: The Pursuit of a Climate Change Solution” has been following the remarkable journey of Scripps Institution of Oceanography’s Veerabhadran Ramanathan, whose scientific curiosity took him from a refrigeration plant in his native country of India to becoming a globally recognized leader in climate change research.
Episodes one and two tracked the progress of his groundbreaking research that identified the significant contribution of CFCs and black carbon soot to global warming. In episode 3, “Can the World Breathe Easy?,” Ramanathan returns to India with an international collaboration to demonstrate that improving cooking methods in the developing world could slow global warming and improve public health along the way.
Watch episode 3 now, or catch up with Ramanthan’s quest to find human-scale solutions to climate change at the series website. Stay tuned February 12 for the fourth and final installment, “Scientific Authority Meets Moral Authority.”
In the first episode of UCTV Prime’s new series “Lifting the Blanket: Pursuit of a Climate Change Solution,” we introduced you to Scripps Institution of Oceanography researcher Veerabhadran Ramanathan, whose curiosity led him from working in a refrigeration plant in India to making a landmark discovery that changed the face of climate research forever.
Episode 2, “The Dirty Sky” depicts what came next in Ramanthan’s quest to find human-scale solutions to climate change. His research uncovered how the black carbon soot from the rural Asian subcontinent was creating damaging atmospheric brown clouds, a major contributor to global warming, second only to CO2. His discoveries led to unprecedented support from the United Nations Environment Programme and new hope for realistic interventions that could conceivably reduce the rate of global warming by as much as 50% in the next 50 years.