Climate Cast: A record-breaking year for ocean temperatures
You're listening to a recording of a live radio show on. NPR News if you want to listen to US realtime stream show at NPR. Our News Dot org slash listen live every weekday at nine. Am Central. Thanks for listening. Enjoy show good morning everybody. I'm NPR. Chief meteorologist Paul nurse sitting in for carry this morning. Welcome to this special one hour edition of climate cast fast. We know enough about our climate problem to know that it's serious and that we need to get started right away. What we're seeing right now is clear loading of the weather? We're really looking at is the shrinking of sea ice cover. It's getting smaller and smaller and smaller every year. And it's kind of scary. Good Morning. Everybody Buddy so this happened last week. We learned Earth's oceans. Were the warmest ever recorded in two thousand nineteen and the scientists found. The past. Ten years are are also the warmest on record that paper in the Journal Advances in atmospheric sciences included a Minnesota scientists. It's University of Saint Thomas Scientists. John John Abraham is part of the team that includes some names. Climate watchers will know Michael Man from Penn State Kevin Trenberth from the National Center for Atmospheric Research. So what does this mean for earth's atmosphere and for us here in landlocked Minnesota. We're fortunate to have study co-authored jumped Abraham here this morning to talk about that. Hi John Hey pleasure to be here Paul. And we're also thrilled to have Georgia tech climate scientists. Dr Kim Cobb here this morning. Her work includes going deep into our Russians analyzing corals deep sea sediments and cave stalagmites. Sounds Fun while come back. Kim thanks for having me and we want to hear from you This morning do you have questions about our oceans record-breaking warmth or maybe you're a Minnesotan who plans to travel back to a favourite seaside escaped this winter. What have you seen in the Russian where you visit? Give us a call and talk to these two great climate scientists six five one two two seven six thousand or toll free at eight hundred two four two two eight two eight John. Let's start with your recent study. What did you find out about earth? Oceans Will Paul in a nutshell. We found that the earth is warming alarming and it really matters So when we want to know how fast the climate's warming what we need to do is measure the amount of heat in in the Earth's climate now fortunately As the earth warms because of human heat trapping gases most of that heat ends up in the oceans in fact over ninety percent of it. So if you want to know how fast the earth is warming you've gotta measure the oceans what I like to say is global warming is ocean warming and my research team keeps track of ocean temperatures and ocean heat and we report those results each year and we found that the year two thousand nineteen set a record that record had previously been set in two thousand eighteen which by the way broke the record from two thousand seventeen so I'm sounding like a broken record but the oceans are warming their warming extremely rapidly. And what we need to know here in Minnesota as it has consequences even here though we're far away from the ocean and you had an interesting sort of nuclear clear comparison of just how much heat energy is going into the oceans. Tell us about that. Yeah that's right so the fancy term that we use to to tell people how fast the oceans oceans warming is a Zeta jewel. Now you haven't heard that in a long time if you can pull that out of a cocktail party tonight you extra bonus points but a jewel is a unit of energy. I'm not talking about a jewel on a you know jewelry or a ring or hearings but a jewel is a unit of Energy Zeta. Jewel is a one with twenty one zeros. After it I mean these are huge huge numbers so the earth warmed. Twenty eight Zeta Zeta jewels or about twenty-five Zeta Jill's last year. And I. How do you wrap your head around that? And it's crazy crazy number so I related it to the the energy released by hero Shema atomic bombs and it turns out we are heating the ocean at the rate of five Herro Shema bombs uh-huh per second per second day and night three hundred sixty five days a year so I just helps put into context the scale L.. What's happening to our Oceans Kim? As John mentioned we know that more than ninety percent of earth warming is being absorbed by the oceans. How does that extra heat impact the atmosphere and weather systems? Well it's definitely going to be the dog that wagging tail there so obviously the there's temperature globally as John said is really set by the oceans and that goes to the atmosphere as well and so we're the ocean goes the atmosphere it goes and so that is warming up the atmosphere and that causes the atmosphere to hold more water vapor which leads to one of the impacts that that we know is being caused by rising greenhouse gases which is more extreme episodes precipitation as one example of how how disconnection between the ocean and the atmosphere? And where we live is tightly linked and Kim looking at Johns recent paper here in this work. How does that dovetail with the work? You've been undoing for so many years on oceans and climate. Well definitely very closely related. So what I do is recover Corals that are growing growing in the surface ocean from data poor regions and so they make those estimates of ocean heat content from instruments like thermometers and put their monitors through the surface ocean to determine that heat content but actually if he wanted to play the current Global warming in the context text the last centuries you have to go to our guys that can push those estimates back with geological records like corals and so looking at the call records Over the last millennium which is one of my specialties from regions where we have very few instrumental records. You can clearly see that these last several centuries ah of warming this last several decades of warming. stand out like a sore thumb against the background of natural variability at these sites over the last several centuries and so that's again that kind of information that we used understand just how unusual and rapid these recent changes. It has been. Yeah so both of you. I'm hearing it's all tied together. The oceans the atmosphere. We know that. And we're still learning a lot about precisely how that works John. Is it fair to say because I'm curious about this that our ocean's ability to absorb heat may be one reason that our atmospheric warming so far has been limited to ron one degree Celsius globally. Yeah that's exactly right Paul. The Oceans Denison incredible favor by gathering this heat. And it's time now. The oceans haven't solved the problem with climate change. The only thing that's going to solve that problem is if we very quickly Reduce our missions to near zero But nevertheless the the oceans have bought US time you know. Climate scientists have been talking about climate change for a long time in fact if I were to ask people win win. The concepts concepts of global warming and understanding was set. They would be surprised that was actually in the eighteen hundreds. I mean this isn't rocket science. This is an Internet age. This is stuff that we've known for a long long long time and unfortunately we've done very little about it in the longer we delay the the harder it's going to be to take action so the oceans have done us an incredible edible favor but let's not Rely on them forever. Because as Kim mentioned that he comes out of the ocean and it drives weather the atmosphere. There is more humid now than it was before. And that is the juice that power see storms and it makes our weather more extreme. It makes things it makes weather either. Go from one extreme to the other more rapidly in Minnesota. What what are we experiencing what we know we because we can see it as we look out the window? But we're experiencing more dramatic swings in temperature more dramatic swings in precipitation. So you might get really heavy down bursts of rain with flooding. But then you might go to a hot dry period. Did and go to droughts here going from one extreme to the other and that has incredible implications for society and you know as these oceans warm. Can it reach a limit on being a heat sink. I'm curious then. What happens to the atmosphere? Could we see a more rapid atmospheric warming when the ocean sort of hit their limit. John can you jump in on that real quick. I can't and it's almost like you are a member of my research team and I have you been spying on me. I should be so fortunate. So wh WHOA. The one of the important things at the ocean is able to bring heat from the surface water down to the deeper depths and we liked that because it it pulls heat away from the atmosphere and there are parts of the globe where ocean waters will fall from the surface down to the bottom of their other parts of the globe or a waters waters will rise. What we want to know is will that process continue And will we get to a situation where there's a stratification nation that means the layers are more or less constant we experiences in Minnesota. We have Kim. You may not know this. We're called the land of ten thousand lakes but I've heard we have something like seventeen. Thousands of MINNESOTANS really understand water inversions in water temperatures in lakes and that happens in the ocean and if that stratification Asian changes if the ability of the ocean to bring heat down changes then we could be inferred even wilder ride and the reason why I mentioned our research. Is We actually have a paper submitted on that topic Kim you mentioned corals you study those where are we at with coral bleaching and death in Earth's oceans today and where are we headed current trends. Continue well certainly. We've seen a really sobering last several years with year on year bleaching across the great eight bear reef But the record for the extent of Global Bleaching and mortality in the corals is really remains twenty sixteen which which is currently by the way still holds the number one place for global temperatures on record Only second only well of course. Twenty nineteen is second only to twenty sixteen in that in that statistic so for corals we've seen real decimation of some sites that may never be the same Besides like my research site in the middle of the Pacific Ocean which was devastated by that? Twenty Sixteen El Nino event compounded by The the ocean warming that we've been talking about and of course going forward Projections show that we're going to lose. Maybe the vast majority of current Ryan Tropical Reef perhaps as early as twenty fifty if we do not take aggressive action to curb emissions immediately. And so you hear a a lot of News coming out every year in the Great Barrier Reef researchers studying the follow on impacts of these massive coral bleaching and mortality than. I'm hitting things like the ability of coral larvae to settle and be successful after these successive events Really understanding that. It's not just the one hit that they take it's really The beginning of the ecosystem collapsing on itself and a number of horrible feedbacks taking place and and so That's something that I think. People don't understand is as well as they need to in the sense that corals are not just Pretty place to die which is where most of us fell in love with these things but they really provide a huge range of ecosystem services that are incredibly valuable to us as a planet including supporting Global fisheries providing protein for a billion people Even in so far as drug discovery for some of our most advanced drugs today so again Really horrifying news from the frontlines of ocean warming with very vulnerable ecosystems. Nicole's I'm Paul Hunter you're listening to climate cast here on NPR news. We're talking about Earth's oceans today being the warmest on record in Twenty Nineteen University of Saint Thomas. John Abraham here along with Georgia Tech's Kim Cobb. They're my guests this morning. And we'd love to hear from you. Climate questions for these two great scientists six five one two two seven six thousand or eight hundred two four two two eight two. Wait Kim I want to talk a little bit more about the atmosphere now. Twenty nineteen looks like the second warmest year on record globally. So that means the last six years are the six warmest Thomas Son record globally. What are the odds of that Kim of being a natural climate variation zero? I'm pretty confident I didn't say zero We actually know so much about what's causing these record years. And of course the spate of record warm decades AIDS which have each broken the last decade right and I'm sure this decade will unfortunately fall right in line and so we know from the kind of work that I do in Taylor. Climate records how incredibly unusual the rates of current warming. Really are we also know from our best climate models of the physics of the the ocean and atmosphere system that greenhouse gases are the only culprit laughed To explain this spate of record warming. Let's take a phone UNCALL- now. Peter is in Saint Paul this morning with the question. Good Morning Peter. What's your question? I was at a citizens climate lobby conference and they had a speaker that studied ocean level rise and she said that they've had to redo their estimates and that They're estimated waited rise is going to be much more significant inundating cities in Thailand around the world and just a quick comment. I did a little title scuba diving. Decades ago and the thought of losing the corals is just it's heartbreaking. Yeah if you guys can talk about the estimates on the sea level rise yet terrific. Thank you so much Peter Jon. They have been tracking at the high end of projections. That's that's right And and I just just before I answer this I just want to reinforce what Kim said. Climate change isn't about just about polar bears and beautiful coral reefs. It's about about the impacts in this interconnected world and in few if they're listeners who don't necessarily care about corals or polar bears themselves they should care about about how impacts to those things affect us and Kim mentioned fisheries in humans ability to get food from the ocean. That's a huge concern. Learn how many people around the world rely on Ocean. Ecosystems to eat and so- insofar as climate change is affecting the base of the food food chain. That's a really really big concern now. Related to sea level rise estimates are well. I'll I'll give you my estimate I project that we're going to have about three feet AC- level rise by the year twenty one hundred now does that matter. Well one hundred and fifty million people around the world live within three feet of sea level rise in Bangladesh alone. You've got twenty million people so it absolutely is going to affect people around the world. Hundreds of millions of people. If you know folks in Miami you can ask them have floods is in Miami gotten worse and now parts. Miami are flooding and high tides. So we're seeing the effects of sea level rise today both in the developed World Ama- Developing -veloping world. It's going to have tremendous economic consequences everywhere. I mean what do you do with a city like Miami. You cannot build a wall around Miami because the rock rock is porous the water. Just come up through the rock. So this dealing with sea level rise Is going to be extremely expensive. Now now I use the the estimate of about three feet Kim May have a different estimate. But if you talk to climate scientists you know Here and there and at conferences. There there's a wide range of expectations but it looks like we're on the high end of what we had previously expected Kim. There's some recent work that's come out on that too. What's is your read on the latest sea level rise trends and projections well? It's it's really horrifying. I mean there's there's no way around it. This is the train that's is coming at us and it's coming at US extremely fast. It's going to be very hard to stop this train. given the Huge Inertia that is currently underway so a couple of points will rise that the public may not understand Part of that is that the ocean he content that we've just been talking about before is directly drucker related to sea level rise because the ocean expands when it warm and so in fact half of the historical Ceelo rise. We've seen to date is caused by Russian warming itself and that expansion term and the rest is caused by melting ice and going forward. We expect it continued ocean warming of course cause additional sea level rise as well as Polar ice sheet mouth which is the wildcard if you will really and so how. How much are the current estimates changing every single assessment that we do these estimates commits go up so sea levels going up but are the estimates for future fuel rise going up and so the last great assessment that we have is the national climate in assessment put together by thirteen federal agencies across the US government here in two thousand eighteen very recent and that sites one to four feet likely by twenty one hundred and up to ten feet possible by twenty one hundred so speaking of how we think about the problem feel rise getting out in front of ten feet of additional sea level rise over the next decades is horrifying to coastal communities across this country and of course around the world and so thinking about how he can help communities Grapple with this number and prepare is is something that I take very seriously in fact I co Alito project down on into that which is a very vulnerable part of our. US Co- fine. And this is a framework that delivers Sea Level Whole Sensor data back to decision makers like emergency planners and City government in partnership with those governmental agencies and Georgia Tech researchers. It's called smart sea level sensors and it's one of the ways frameworks. Were hoping help communities through this horrifying challenge that they face and that certain teeth and Kim I was just part of the Minnesota Climate Adaptation Conference this week here in the twin cities and there's a lot of good work going on and a lot of people who do realize the trends But John makes a good point too. There's only so much you can do in places like Miami where you've got trillions of dollars in real estate At impact right along the coast and I've talked to real estate agents in the Florida keys and they're already seeing impacts for those homes that are right on the ocean in the low lying areas. People are are buying inland and when the life of a thirty year mortgage is in jeopardy because of sea level rise. There's a lot of You know banks and ensures that are looking at that and saying. Hey there's big financial risk riskier so you know we're GonNa talk a little bit more in the next few minutes about what we can all do. And what needs to happen in terms of solutions But I'm curious John. We're already at one on degree Celsius warming. This is just the beginning. What happens when we reach two or three degrees Celsius man? That's a good question. And and that's actually where the scientists moving we were no longer really asking. The question is the earth warming and Y. We've answered that over and over and over and over over and over again and now the question is so what what do we do about it. And what are the implications if we do things versus versus ignoring the problem The economists say and I'm not an economist but a communist say it is cheaper to do something to reduce greenhouse gases than to adapt later like six to one or the the the investment on resilience is six to one absolutely and so if you are Someone who's concerned about finances as you would want to put money into mitigation in reducing our missions now but from a practical standpoint. We also have to adapt and we're seeing seeing that now. I mean we're seeing that in the farm fields of the United States. We're seeing that after superstorm sandy which was made worse by sea level rise. And we're seeing that throughout. Ah The world so we are trying to adapt to it. But it's going to be really expensive so so really. It's a double pronged approach. We need to reduce emissions rapidly dramatically. But we also need to adapt because the extreme weather we are just seeing now is just a tiny taste. What's to come as warming continues? And we're we're GONNA talk about some of those adaptation strategies and the opportunities. They might present a coming up in a few minutes. You're listening to climate cast on NPR. News I'm Paul Kutner. Welcome back everybody. Paul Hutton are in for Kerry this morning with a special one hour edition of climate cast coming up. We're we're going to hear about the read brave program from the Saint Paul Public Libraries Right. Now we continue our conversation with University of Saint Thomas Climate Scientists. John Abraham and and Georgia techs. Kim COBB and we'd like to hear from you. Do you have a question about how are warmer. Oceans are affecting even us here in landlocked Minnesota. Give us a call six six five one two two seven six thousand or toll free at eight hundred two four two two eight two eight all right. Kim Jon let me do a toss up here I've talked to. Economists is on climate cast corporate leaders who say climate change is already showing up in their supply chains and their bottom lines. I've talked with insurance experts. who say it's changing? Their are catastrophic loss models many insurers have stopped ensuring policies now in fire prone areas like California. And that's affecting real estate values in some places same from trend as we mentioned in coastal Florida. What's the economic connection for? All of us says climate change accelerates. And why does this matter to our wallets and our way of Life Kim. Do you want to take Baker. Shot that yeah sure I mean we are all connected and have a vested interest in a healthy economy and the fact of matter is that global warming and climate Emma changes already creeping into harm the bottom line across America. And this is something that affects us. All when we see the tab for these manmade disasters totaling hundreds of billions of dollars a year across all these classes of wildfires. Extreme floods hurricanes. He's etcetera you start to realize how important it is to get a grip on this trend and to hopefully reverse it and start to make our communities more climate ready while moving aggressively to reduce emissions. And I think Americans are waking up to the fact that we are sitting ducks and our economy is a sitting got when it comes to climate change already seeing it. It's GonNa get worse John Whether you think y'all give a couple. Examples of climate change makes storms more severe weather more severe beer. So let's let's look at some numbers Hurricane Harvey which Texas a few years ago cost about one hundred twenty five billion dollars a good part of the damned. Most of the damage was dude rainfall rainfall in a good part of that was caused because the Gulf of Mexico was extremely hot and part of that was related to human caused climate change. So I'm not saying all hundred point. Five billion dollars was was because of humans would a good part of it was a superstorm. Sandy was made more severe because of human caused climate change. That cost I think about seventy billion dollars. If if you recall we had a terrible drought in California which ran into the billions of dollars. It was the worst drought in over a thousand years and last year we had terrible flooding reading in the Midwest that impacted farmers were seen things in the US but globally. We're seeing things as well. So I work with companies that deal with supply change that extend between the developing hoping and developed world and just looking at a loss of agricultural production around the world. And you know if you're if you're a cargill how do you. How does that affect your bottom line? And then how does that affect the economy of the places that you're trying to serve companies around the world are concerned about the rising costs related to climate change change and just because the corals are dying near Australia or just because you've got a heat wave in Europe. Do not think that you are insulated. From the cost. These Taylor pocketbooks. Let's go to the phones. Jennifer is in river falls this morning with a question. Good Morning Jennifer Good Morning. What's your question? Yeah my my question is actually. I have My daughter is going to study abroad in just over two weeks and Australia and She's GonNa be studying marine biology and wondering what kinds of things she should be looking for In the marine ecosystem not just with climate change. Obviously there's a lot there but also when it comes to the fires that are happening there which are also being caused. It's by climate change. Jim that sounds like it's right up your alley with marine biology. What do you think for Jennifer? Well I think just the mention of Australia Really forces us to remember what's going on there in the broader landscape. The fact that they had last year their warmest year on record last year. There dryest year on on record and of course those related to climate change One of the primary drivers for the ravaging fires that we've seen down there Wants to recognize the Profound around impacts the loss of life The shattered economies across the country. They're certainly an ongoing tragedy and one that reminds us that the global economy and global security is at stake with climate. Change as well so Let's let's call that into the conversation first because is This is still an ongoing crisis there and to the Impact on marine biology Certainly lots of interesting questions around. What what these Pollutants are now going to be doing to reshape some of the ecosystem functions along the coast including the Great Barrier Reef But more to the point I think that your daughter has an amazing experience. Amazing opportunity to really try to understand How scientists on the ground in Australia are approaching corrine biology through a different lens now It's clearly a new day and marine biology where we recognize the accelerating impacts of climate change hinge on on our oceans and the very high sensitivity that every marine ecosystem has to this especially the accelerating warming coming and so this talking to the scientists there in Australia. And saying you know how has your science changed. What are you doing differently now What would you recommend a young person to do in this space to get ahead of the game? we've gone from thinking about just managing and protecting reefs to think about outs genetically engineering heat resisting horrible as our best hope. So this is a rapidly shifting science landscape and what an amazing opportunity. Your daughter has John. The fires in Australia. Kim Of course rightly mentions those you know. You just can't replicate we've always had fires but you can't replicate that kind into fire behavior like we've seen in California like we're seeing Australia without climate change correct. That's exactly right and and As Kim mentioned the heat and the dryness in Astro no doubt contributed in a major major way to these fires and it's just another example of how climate change is impacting real lives but the last caller really sparked something in me. That is a ray of optimism in that is the young people Around our country the end the world are recognizing this as an opportunity and it's an opportunity to get jobs in the clean renewable energy sector that can power our economy but do so in a way that does not contribute to climate change. I mean I work at the University of Saint Thomas in Saint Paul Minnesota and we actually have a green energy micro. That was started last year to test out ways that we can generate energy and reduce our impacts on the climate ninety ninety percent of our department. Have a course worse in sustainability. Now why why because students want this student see. This is where the jobs are. I last year Paul. You gotta come over. We gotta have take a cup of coffee. Sit My backyard. And we'll look up at my solar panels last year. I put solar panels on my house. I'm virtually off grid so in the summer. I get a check every month instead of having to pay for my electricity. I hired a Minnesota Company that had employees at pay Minnesota taxes to put solar panels on my house. I mean this is just an economic opportunity waiting to happen and The young the next generation recognizes this and that gives me incredible incredible optimism that we actually can solve this problem with today's technology. We're doing it at our institutions and our homes and enter universities like mine and that leads me perfectly into you know solutions solutions what we can all do. And what kind of structural changes were going to need. Kristen is on the line from Minneapolis. Good Morning Kristen. What's your question? Yeah Yeah Good Morning. Thanks for For having me on I was actually wanting to ask the two speakers who obviously have kind of a wealth of information about the And I don't think that there's any denying that it is happening but both as a parent and as an individual like to know what we can do You know as individual actions that you can do to reduce is your impact or would it be You know divestment and civic kind of activities or what would they really recommend where you could. Each individual have the most impact tacked on climate. Change things. Kristen Kim Cobb. What do you think well? I think that you know. It's very important to engage. And that's that's the number one thing. Don't don't sit this one out. We need everybody to do as much as they can. This is this is a critical time. Our decisions over the next ten years with with our emissions are going to determine the pace of climate change for centuries to come so this this is going down. What an opportunity? We have to be part of the solution here to fix this before the next generation for ourselves. And so what how I think about this is to think about what you care about. Because each individual has their own own levers of access and passions that they truly care about. And I'm guaranteeing you that climate change intersects with those passions and important ways and that the levers that you care about that are already in your hands can be used to affect change and make sure that whatever you do to engage derives you you forward to the next step that it gives you back more energy than you put in whether that's individual action working with your kids schools working with your universities or workplace working to elect politicians who will enact data driven policies on climate change to protect our communities. These are the kinds of things that all have to get done on. It is an all of the above moment John. What about the personal things we can all do? And some of the big structural changes that need to happen absolutely and as I mentioned before. This is why I'm optimistic and excited. The two most important things we can do is people are to a use energy more wisely. I mean let's think about. I bet a gallon of gasoline. That's it's like magic. It's got so much energy it can take an SUV push at sixty miles an hour for twenty miles. That's a lot of cheeseburgers. You'd have to eat to do that so let's not waste it. Let's not waste Energy that has such tremendous value in our lives. So I have a car Pope Ah I got to tell you about it. In two thousand and one. It was the first hybrid vehicle sold in the US and over the lifetime of that car. I've saved twenty one thousand dollars. Justin gas. Well that's more than the car cost so if you use energy more wisely not only will you reduce emissions but you will fat in your your pocketbook now. It might give you a back problem if you're sitting on fat wallet but I think we can handle that so And and just as a rough estimate I produce about one quarter of the carbon dioxide of the average person in America and I don't live any worse so use energy more wisely item to maximize your use of clean renewable energy so in Minnesota. This is really easy. We have something called a wind source program Thrice L.. Where you actually can get wind power for your house and I had that for about fifteen years until I put solar panels on my house and the great thing about that is wind and solar has now dropped price so dramatically that can out compete coal right? So there's no Oh ecconomic or environmental reason to use dirty fossil fuels to power buildings in our homes so use energy more wisely and use maximize use use clean energy. You can do that in your own. Lives the other thing that you want to do is tell people around you that it matters. I mean this is really important to all of us. We need to start a conversation and get society at large moving forward But individual actions help a lot and full disclosure. I'm also one hundred percent wind source customer with my Home Power Electric Power. So anybody can do that. It's a phone call. It's a click Kim when we think about the future you talked to a lot of people in your work. What's your biggest message about where we are now with climate change and what are the opportunities for solutions going forward? Well basically my I bought a mine is what I already said. which is We have about a decade to figure this out and we are coming around really fast as the signs of accelerating accelerating climate change pile up and the true cost of fossil fuels become a parent But this is going to take a monumental effort at every rescale of people getting engaged for the kinds of change that we need to see But I tell them that I'm a climate scientist and the main question. I always get as you know. Is it too late. Why bother individual actions going to matter? No it is not too late. Science tells us what we have to gain Quite quite tangibly by basically meeting the challenge of this decade and that is and my students quite surprised by this I have a teach students on on on this Every week and the key points I make is if we chart this past that is recommended by the IPC Achieving Carbon neutral roll emissions by twenty forty we can actually reverse global warming by twenty fifty twenty sixty we can actually start to cool our planet and their eyes light up because the kind of message that really resonate so I wanNA reinforcement. John said which is many consumers across this country have amazing options funds to buy a carbon free power. I myself a bike to work. I myself also owned solar panels. I myself have taken a pledge not to fly in twenty twenty. That was the the bulk of my own personal carbon footprint But I myself am also on my neighborhood board. I'm working with the city on a transportation infrastructure and I am really focused based on electing politicians who get the science who accept the science. They're willing to act on it so we have everything to gain Fossil fossil fuels are a public health. This crisis and fixing them is probably one of the greatest public health benefits. We can achieve this century as well. Let's also remember that important message. John on I've just got about thirty seconds laughter. How do we end this conversation on a hopeful note going forward? Well we're we're hopeful because we can solve this problem. We can solve it today with today's technology we don't need cold fusion. We don't need aliens to bring some kind of new power generation to the planet. We just need Motivation to solve all this problem. We can do it today. And you'll end up saving the environment but also saving money. Let's Start University of Saint Thomas. John Abraham thanks so much for sharing your work can perspective here today and Georgia Techs. Kim cobb thanks for your expertise in perspective. Also pleasure be. There's a climate. I am a change reading program going on at Saint Paul Public Libraries. It's called read brave and it features books on many climate change related topics for all ages. I I sat down in the NPR News Library with Saint Paul Public. Library's director Catherine Pinker to talk about read brave. The end device comes out in March large. But if you're anxious to pick up a book about Climate Change Sooner Saint Paul. Public libraries can help. They've selected several titles for both adults and children to foster a year long conversation about climate. Change the program is called. Read brave here to tell us more. Is Libraries Director Catherine anchored anchored. Hi Catherine. Hi and we're hearing the MPR library so that's appropriate. Read brave what is it read. Brave is our citywide reading program where we bring together people of all ages across the community to learn and talk about some of the most challenging issues of our time so each year we pick a different focus focus and in two thousand twenty. The focus is our climate crisis so when it comes to books about climate change. What's happening in that space today? There's a lot being published of course and one of the things we like to do as a library as recommend titles that people might not find on their own or might not get to otherwise And really look across different genres to and so of course we can read nonfiction science books about climate change. Many of those are great But we really believe in the power of story and fiction story in nonfiction and so- picture books that talk about connection to nature and land and trees are beautiful way to introduce a conversation about climate science fiction novels set in the future that imagine what the world might be like One Hundred Years from now are another really really interesting way to just grapple with some of the questions we're facing. You brought some books today. Thank you for doing that. What's the first one you have here? The first book we have is a picture picture book called Mama and we really love this book for children. It has bright vibrant Pictures that are collages made from They took African textiles and made them into collage pictures for this. And this is a great book for Young Young Children It is a story of one. Ghauri Muto Masai. Who is a real life Kenyan activist and Nobel Peace Prize winner And One Ghauri Masai Did her work by helping women solve problems. And these problems like hunger Dirty water in in her answer when women would come forward with a problem was to offer up different types of trees that people could plant to help solve their problem and one by one one one person why by one person one tree by tree they created a movement in Kenya. And so this story I read it with my own children. They loved it they said. Wow we're really learning a lot about this And it really makes you just One WanNa go out and plant a tree but to really think about Trees and all of the different ways they benefit us in terms of our health and really creating peace by planting trees. It's very colorful. It's a beautiful book. What age range would you say this is good for? I would say my six year old my nine year old both loved it. Even your young guest you know two year old three year olds would love looking at the pictures and would love hearing the story told to them. What's next the next book we have is his called the Mero thieves? This is by Canadian. Author Cherie de Malign she will be coming to Saint Paul in March so march twelfth. You can watch for a visit From her at a saint. Paul Library. this book the marrow thieves is a young adult fiction. Book is called Khleifi. So this is science fiction But really centered around climate change and imagining a world where climate change has really ravaged landscape. So this book is set in the future. It's set in Canada and one of the things we like about. This book is just how complex it is. There are so many conversations nations in so many directions you can go with the story about climate change specifically but also about Our indigenous communities. And how how they have historically been impacted And in different ways of knowing different ways of working together across generations This story you. The protagonist is a young man named Frenchie and really an Frenchie has lost his biological family and really interesting thing To think about what might happen in a world where resources feel scarce where we might lose our families On where some people even lose the ability ready to dream. What does that mean Really interesting discussions about the role of young people and Elders. When do we lead? When do we teach? How can we work together across generations so this is a book? We just think there's a lot to talk about here in the last thing that we would add about this book. Is that reading and as beautiful beautiful and if you get a chance to listen to the audio book even better hearing the story told to you just kind of adds another layer to the experience and we have a Saint Paul Library Card we do have unlimited copies of the audiobook so you can get that with no wait with Saint Paul very card. That's a nice way to enjoy. Enjoy a book now and then it adds something to the experience for sure. What's the next one is biologic and this is really for middle grade readers so I would say between between fourth and eighth grade? This is a fictional story. Set in the deep South Louisiana in the by you And it's a community community facing an environmental challenge and again really interesting Interplay here between young people and how can young people lead And in this case a young girl who says I WANNA be a hero and what does that mean to be a hero. And what can she learn from her grandmother. One one thing I really like about this story. There's this element of magic and so there are these firefly's that appear throughout the story And so if you're reading this with children Karen really good ways to get into conversations about real life issues but also just having fun reading this story with that little bit of magical element to it. You mentioned clarify climate fiction. What's the range of stories that you're seeing come out in the climate fiction area? Yeah I mean wide range stories on the whole you know every angle of the topic and you know we've talked about. I think four here and I probably myself have read. Twenty or thirty different entitles and it can go again from really Hitting the nail on the head to this is a book about Climate Change All the way to other books another one we you really like is called braiding sweetgrass by Robin Wall Kamer. She's a scientist and an indigenous woman and she wrote a whole book about what science tells us. And also what indigenous expertise tells us about plants and through this This book about plants really ass big big questions. What is our relationship to the land? What can we learn from trees from the other plants? What can be taught And so that that is a book that She probably didn't set out to write a book about Climate Change And yet they're so much in there that is really relevant to this discussion. Tell us about about the end of ice sure. This is a book by award winning journalist Dr a male and this is a book where you get to travel around the world with the author so he takes you to the mountains in Alaska to the Amazon rainforest coral reefs and he reports on what are the changing conditions in all of those locations nations and he talks to the people who are living there in the scientists who are working there. And what are they seeing and so again you go with him around the world MM and really understand. How are the impacts of climate change showing up in some of our most unique ecosystems? And what might that mean For the globe as a whole and there's one more book here I know that's a pretty popular. Tell us about rising rising dispatches from the new American can shore by Elizabeth Russia's another one I really liked the story. WE'RE IN MINNESOTA. Were in the middle of the country in this book is set on the shore on the coasts hosts and so I went into it not sure how would a Minnesotan with this feel relevant and yet she goes to Staten Island to Miami Again to the deep South how to the west coast all these coastal cities and interviews. People anti asks them about how not well not how will climate change impact them in the future. Sure how has it already impact them and really gets to know individuals and communities where they are facing real questions about relocation and when are we gonNA have to decide. Are we giving our neighborhood back to the land. And what does that mean in these kind of first person reports That she he gives are really compelling stories to hear how has already impacting people's lives. What do you hope the outcome of having having Saint Paul residents read? These books will be our goal with this program is not to give any prescriptive solutions. You know. We don't have the the answer is what we know is that no single person has the answer However all of us together can probably figure this out and yet what that takes is that is all of us coming together to learn about it and to have those conversations? What do we want to do? What can we do? What are we willing to do and that it really starts with understanding and awareness and so we at the library? Of course we believe in reading. We believe in stories. We believe in bringing people together in their communities committees and so we just think this is a way we can play a role in sparking those conversations. Catherine pinker director of Saint Paul Public Libraries. Thanks for being on climate. Cast has today thank you so much. That's climate cast I'm NPR chief meteorologist. Paul and finally this week I was at the twenty twenty Minnesota Climate Adaptation Reputation Conference this week at the University of Minnesota about three hundred climate practitioners. They're scientists city state federal wraps farmers all dealing thing with climate change. Fortunately here in Minnesota. We've got a lot of good people working to adapt. That's climate cast. Thanks for listening I'm NPR. Chief meteorologist. Paul Hunter you just heard a recording of a live radio show from NPR news. If you'd like to hear more conversations like this subscribe to our podcast cast and thanks for listening.