How does NASA combat climate change? On this episode, Neil deGrasse Tyson and comic co-host Chuck Nice answer questions about renewable energy, geoengineering, and how science is helping us battle the climate crisis with NASA Chief Scientist and Senior Climate Advisor, Katherine Calvin.
What are NASA’s plans to combat climate change? Build huge air filtration towers? What about stratospheric aerosol injections? We discuss climate modeling, the impacts of trees, and the different effects of emission scenarios. Are we approaching “the point of no return”? What is it? We break down what effects of climate change are reversible and what might be nearly impossible to fix.
We explore what keeps nuclear energy from going mainstream. Is nuclear the best scalable option? Discover the potential effects of terraforming Earth and how modeling helps us predict what will happen. Is it possible to have control of an entire planet? How do we save the trees and land ice? What can be attributed to Earth’s natural warming?
Kate directs us to http://climate.nasa.gov where we can stay updated on NASA’s climate activities and track up-to-date climate change information from their satellites. How will NISAR be different from other Earth-observing satellites? What would the future look like if we stopped burning fossil fuels now? Plus, we also learn a little bit about the role of being NASA’s Chief Scientist and what the position entails.
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Science meets pop culture on StarTalk! Astrophysicist & Hayden Planetarium director Neil deGrasse Tyson, his comic co-hosts, guest celebrities & scientists discuss astronomy, physics, and everything else about life in the universe. Keep Looking Up!
0:00 – Introduction
2:45 – What Does a NASA Chief Scientist Do?
3:42 – What Is a Cryosphere?
4:23 – What Are NASA’s Plans to Combat Climate Change?
7:48 – Is Planting a Tree the Most Effective Way to Remove Carbon From the Atmosphere?
8:26 – The Ocean’s Role in the Carbon Cycle
9:36 – Are We Close to the Point of No Return?
14:37 – What Was Dr. Calvin’s Ph.D. in?
15:48 – What’s Keeping Us From Adopting Nuclear Energy?
18:53 – What Are Our Best Known Sources of Energy?
20:43 – What Are The Natural Climate Cycles?
23:52 – Are We Terraforming Earth?
26:03 – What Are The Effects of Deforestation?
27:11 – Where Do We Find Confidence in Predictive Models?
29:30 – Can We Slow the Melting of Land Ice?
32:42 – NASA’s Climate Website
33:30 – Could a Volcanic Eruption Spurr a Cooling Episode on Earth?
35:26 – Will NISAR Contribute to Climate Science?
36:29 – Are Our Efforts Futile?
40:32 – What Happens if We Relinquish All Fossil Fuels Today?
42:06 – What is Dr. Calvin’s Priority as Chief Scientist?
44:03 – How Does One Become NASA Chief Scientist?
46:22 – Closing Notes