This week, Beth and Angele speak with with Brenda Ekwurzel in the studio. Brenda is the director of climate science for the Union of Concerned Scientists. She was in Boulder for a panel on Air Quality and Climate Change. She spoke about some Colorado issues e.g. wildfire and drought, and assigning responsibility for specific events to fossil fuel producers. She is a widely quoted expert on climate change, and co-authored the UCS guide Cooler Smarter: Practical Steps for Low-Carbon Living. For more information you can visit her website.
Hosts: Angele Sjong and Beth Bennett Producers: Angele Sjong and Beth Bennett Engineer: Beth Bennett Executive Producer: Beth Bennett
This week on How on Earth, we speak with Dr John Newman, geriatrician and geoscientist at the Buck Institute. He describes his recent research in mice, showing that both memory and muscle improve in animals eating a high fat diet. To see more details on these experiments, you can visit the lab website.
To register for the Air Quality and Climate Conference, send an email to email@example.com
Today’s show features the following interviews, by How On Earth’s Susan Moran and guest host Ted Wood.
Audubon’s Climate Watch (start time: 4:03) Starting on Jan. 14, the Audubon Society will launch a month-long citizen science program to better understand how birds are responding to climate change. This comes at a time when, according to a 2019 Audubon report, up to two-thirds of North American birds are vulnerable to extinction due to climate change. But the Climate Watch program is one of many opportunities to protect birds. Alison Holloran, executive director of Audubon Rockies, discusses the program and how you can get involved.
Conservation on the Edges (start time: 13:26) Charismatic predators like polar bears, grizzlies, and tigers, get lots of attention, and for good reason. But many lesser known species, particularly those living in extreme environments–including muskoxen, wild yaks, takins and saigas–are also important species. They have been the research focus of Joel Berger, a professor of wildlife conservation at Colorado State University. He’s also senior scientist at Wildlife Conservation Society. Berger’s latest book is Extreme Conservation: Life at the Edges of the World.
Hosts: Susan Moran, Ted Wood Producer: Susan Moran Engineer: Maeve Conran Executive Producer: Beth Bennett Additional Contributor: Beth Bennett
This week on How on Earth, Angele and Beth distill some of the top science news of the past year and decade, ranging from the first image of a black hole, as seen here, to DNA sequencing of ancient genomes, some new hominid ancestors, advances in AI, and more!
COP25 Postmortem (start time: 3:35) Earlier this month many nation’s leaders, as well as scientists, environmental activists, companies and others gathered in Madrid for a two-week United Nations climate summit. The conference, called COP25, is rooted in the 2015 Paris Agreement, which is a blend of pledges from about 200 nations to dramatically slash their planet-warming emissions. Next year’s meeting is when signatory nations will update their actual commitments. So, what happened at the recent climate summit, and what’s next? How On Earth host Susan Moran today interviews two scientists who attended COP25. Tashiana Osborne is a PhD candidate in atmospheric and oceanic science at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography, at UC San Diego. And Sarah Whipple is a PhD candidate in ecology at Colorado State University.
Hosts: Susan Moran, Joel Parker Producer: Susan Moran Engineer: Joel Parker Executive Producer: Joel Parker
Four years ago Beth interviewed Professor Marie Banich, a neuroscience researcher at the University of Colorado here in Boulder. She had just received a major grant from NIH to characterize how brain regions involved in decision making and judgment change as children grow up. In the past four years she has assembled a multi-site team of neuroscientists and experts in developmental psychology who have begun testing the 11,000+ 8-10 year olds enrolled in the massive study. To find more detail, see her lab website (https://www.colorado.edu/faculty/banich/research/research-interests). Hosts: Beth Bennett & Angele Sjong Producer: Beth Bennett Engineer: Beth Bennett Executive Producer: Joel Parker
Listen to the show:
Voyager Passes Through the Heliopause (Starts 1:00) LASP scientist Fran Bagenol explains how the over 40 year old Voyager Mission, that launched in the 1970s is still providing incredible surprises, including passing through the border between the solar system and “outer space.” As part of making that journey, the Voyager spacecraft have passed through cosmic plasma that has temperatures of 60,000 F. Bagenol will explain how that’s possible . . . and why Voyager could pass through that incredible heat unscathed. Fiske Planetarium will present a special show about Voyager in March.
Boulder Xmas Bird Count (Starts 13:45) Naturalists Steve Jones and Scott Seevers explain how to join Boulder’s December 15th Xmas bird count, and why the scientific data gathered by citizens during this event is so important. All ages are welcome , and all regions have these counts, from Boulder to beyond. For more info, go here.
Host/Producer/Engineer: Shelley Schlender Additional Contributions: Joel Parker Executive Producer: Joel Parker
COP25 & Climate Change (start time: 1:07): Next month (Dec. 2-13), the United Nations global climate change summit, known as COP25, will take place in Madrid. Many scientists, environmental nonprofits, students, activists will also attend side events related to the UN sustainable development goals (SDG). The goal of COP over the years has been to reduce emissions of planet-warming gases. The talks stem from the landmark 2015 Paris Agreement, which essentially is a mix of pledges from about 200 nations to dramatically cut their greenhouse emissions. The countries are not legally bound to meet their targets, but they are supposed to report their progress to the UN. Under the Obama administration, the U.S. vowed to reduce emissions about 28 percent below 2005 levels, by 2025. But earlier this month, the Trump administration announced that it will begin a year-long process to withdraw the U.S. from the international accord. The stakes are extremely high.
How On Earth’s Susan Moran and guest-host Tom Yulsman discuss COP25 and what’s at stake with Gillian Bowser, an ecologist and research scientist at Colorado State University who has studied international climate and biodiversity conventions and has attended several COP summits; and Tashiana Osborne, a PhD candidate at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography at the University of California, San Diego, who is studying the effects of atmospheric rivers, and who will attend COP25. Tom Yulsman, a CU Boulder journalism professor and blogger, offers his expertise as a climate-focused science journalist.
Hosts: Susan Moran, Tom Yulsman Producer: Susan Moran Engineer: Joel Parker Executive Producer: Joel Parker
BUZZ:Inside the Minds of Thrill-Seekers, Daredevils and Adrenaline Junkies. We speak with clinical psychologist and author, Ken Carter about his new book BUZZ, and high-sensation seekers who can’t get enough “new” and love to seek out more. Carter is a consultant for the Denver Science Museum’s Extreme Sports exhibit, running through spring 2020. He speaks at the Boulder Bookstore Wednesday Nov 6th. Check out his sensation-seeking survey on how to rate your own thrill-seeking . . . or chill-seeking, personality.
How To [starts at 4:30] Our guest for this episode is Randall Munroe, perhaps best known for his comic xkcd, and author of the books “What If” and “Thing Explainer”. Randall has figured out how to do many things, so he wrote a new book appropriately called “How To”, which promises to provide absurd scientific advice for common real world problems. Absurd? Sometimes. (well, often actually) Amusing and informative? Definitely. Have you ever wanted to build a lava moat? Have you ever wondered what kind of gas mileage your house would get on the highway? What are the energy requirements and logistics of boiling vs. freezing a river? And what about landing an airplane on a submarine? All of those questions and more (pirates!) are addressed in “How To”, and we talk about some of them in this episode of How on Earth.