Dr. James E. Hansen in Conversation with Paul Beckwith

Dr. James Hansen, former Director of the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies, and Adjunct Professor at Columbia University’s Earth Institute, joins Paul Beckwith in a discussion about his recent work.

This video was recorded on November 13th, 2023, and published on November 26th, 2023.

“Global Warming in the Pipeline,” a groundbreaking paper challenging the conservative estimates of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and emphasizing the urgency of the climate crisis is the main focus of the conversation. The details of the paper are delved into focusing on the rapid and potentially exponential increase in ice melt rates and the associated risks of major climate disruptions.

The discussion then shifts to a recent letter published by Dr. Hansen, where he declares that global warming is accelerating and questions the viability of the goals set by the Paris Agreement. The conversation explores the role of aerosols, particularly the reduction of sulfur in shipping fuels, in contributing to the observed warming acceleration.

The Earth’s energy imbalance, the potential role of missing Antarctic sea ice, and the anticipation of alarming events in the near future are brought up in addition to the critical need for informed decision-making to address the accelerating climate challenges.

James’s upcoming work on sea level rise and his book, “Sophie’s Planet,” which aims to make climate science more accessible to a broader audience, are mentioned as the conversation closes.


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