• Question: Hi Scientists, We are creating a documnetary about climate change,as a school project and we were wondering if you could tell us your thoughts, the problems with climate change and solutons about climate change.

    Asked by juliet to Amy, Drew, Julia, Kimberley, Sara on 21 Jun 2011. This question was also asked by shigamoo19.
    • Photo: Drew Rae

      Drew Rae answered on 17 Jun 2011:

      That is a massive question to answer. For factual information on climate change, you can’t do better than the International Climate Change Commission Report. It sets out what the scientific questions are, and what the evidence is addressing those questions.

      “How to talk to a climate skeptic” http://www.grist.org/article/series/skeptics is a good series which directly answers detailed things you may have heard.

      Discussing climate change as a school project is a big ask. Can I suggest that if it fits with your project, you might want to zoom in on a small part that people would find interesting, like “How do we measure temperature over earth’s history”, or “Would pumping iron fillings into the ocean be a good fix for climate change?”.

    • Photo: Julia Griffen

      Julia Griffen answered on 19 Jun 2011:

      Hey Juliet… Climate change is a big, well really big topic… In summary

      – CO2 levels in the atmosphere dramtically incresed since us humans have been about and making things in our industrial revolutions.
      – CO2 levels have been linked to the increase in global temerature through mathematical models and predictions.
      – Ways of reducing CO2 have now come into use.. Look up carbon credits as an example.

      In my opinion, society and economics will have to dramtically change to have any lasting and useful effcet on CO2 emissions… sounds a bit pesimistic! lol 🙂

    • Photo: Kimberley Bryon

      Kimberley Bryon answered on 19 Jun 2011:

      Hey Juliet,

      Have you heard of OPAL? I appeared in an episode of “Bang goes the Theory” where they had us doing lots of awesome climate change experiments. If you fancy taking part in some real research about climate change they are looking for volunteers to do some fun experiments at home/school.


      Throughout its history Earth as gone through cycles of heating and cooling . At this current period of time the planet seems to be getting warmer and some scientists say that this is causing polar ice caps to melt and may eventually lead to water levels rising and flooding in some parts of the world. Polar bears are particularly affected by climate change as they need the ice to hunt. Less ice means less places for the bears to get food.

      The argument given for a rise in temperature is because of an increase in greenhouse gases which mean that heat has problems escaping Earth. This increase in greenhouse gases has been caused by burning fossil fuels. I do also remember hearing that cows farting also leads to an increase in methane, but not sure how reliable this fact is.

      In order to stop climate change the argument is to look for other sources of energy such as solar or wind energy. Hope that this helps answer your question 🙂

    • Photo: Sara Imari Walker

      Sara Imari Walker answered on 20 Jun 2011:

      Hi juliet and shigamoo! That sounds like a really interesting and timely project!! I am on the fence about solutions to global climate change and whether it is really entirely a consequence of human activity. Don’t get me wrong, a lot of it is certainly our fault!! (Particularly the whole ozone debacle) and we should definitely take course to correct it. We need to change our habits fast! But we also don’t know a lot about global climate and how it changes over time or even how space weather effects our climate. Its a complex problem with no easy fix.

      The one thing I do know is that the Earth has been pretty good at maintaining itself over the last 4 billion years. We have gone from snowball Earth (literally the entire globe covered in snow!!) to world-wide tropics like in the time of the dinosaurs. The Earth and its biosphere always seems to recover. It may not be on timescales that we like, and it may not make conditions favorable for us, but the Earth will be just fine. And they at least provides me a little comfort =)

    • Photo: Amy MacQueen

      Amy MacQueen answered on 21 Jun 2011:

      Hi guys that sounds like a very good and topical project!! There are a lot of places that you can get some really good information about climate change – and for some more basic overview sort of stuff you could take a look at the BBC website http://www.bbc.co.uk/sn/hottopics/climatechange/!

      Hope the project goes well! 🙂