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.
Beth interviews neuroscientist and addiction researcher Scott Swartzwelder who talks about his research on reversing alcohol-induced brain damage in young rats. In past work, Professor Swartzwelder and colleagues have identified specific areas of the brain damaged by drinking, especially in adolescent rats. In this interview, he describes, how this damage occurs, and amazingly, how treatment later in life can actually reverse it.
Amazon Burning – (starts 3:15) CU Boulder Earth Lab Director Jennifer Balch explains how the burning of the tropical rain forests may destroy them, and ways to protect the forests and sustainable development
Tackling ozone pollution in Colorado (starts at 3:55): Cooler fall weather might soon bring back the bluebird skies we all love. But last year ozone levels in the Denver metropolitan area were high enough to prompt state health officials to issue ozone action alerts an average of once a week. (This summer has fared somewhat better.) During these ozone alerts, health officials recommend that children, the elderly and people with compromised lungs do not exercise outdoors. Hosts Daniel Glick and Susan Moran interview John Putnam, the environmental programs director for Colorado’s Department of Public Health and Environment, about the science, the sources (the largest being oil and gas operations), the health impacts, and policy approaches to ozone pollution. Governor Jared Polis named Putnam to tackle, among other things, a longstanding problem with the state’s air quality: parts of the state have been out of compliance with federal Clean Air Act standards for more than a decade. Last year, the Environmental Protection Agency upped the ante. It declared that parts of Colorado are in “serious” non-compliance of federal air quality standards for ozone, which we all know as “smog.”
For more info on health impacts, read Susan’s article. For info on in intricacies of the state’s oil and gas rules, read this article by Daniel. And the CDPHE features ongoing info on ozone here.
For info on the “climate strike” this Friday and climate activities over the next week, look here.
Hosts: Daniel Glick, Susan Moran Producers: Daniel Glick, Susan Moran Engineer: Joel Parker Executive Producer: Beth Bennett
On this week’s show Beth speaks with Vicki Vargas-Madrid, Program Administrator for the Denver Lights Out Program. This program is part of the Denver Sustainability Office, which seeks to conserve energy and promote sustainable lifestyles. They discuss the program’s efforts to reduce bird mortality following collisions with windows by reducing night time illumination. To learn more or volunteer for the program, visit their Lights Out Denver. Host: Beth Bennett Producer: Beth Bennett Engineer: Beth Bennett Additional Contributions: Joel Parker Executive Producer: Beth Bennett
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