Climate & Weather, The Big Picture

TUE, NOV 10, 2015 (1:27:36)

Explore the relationships between climate change and recent extreme weather events, along with what can be observed through satellite observations of Earth from space. Speakers John Bredar 00:00:34 Miles O’Brien 00:04:03 Kerry Emanuel 00:09:05 Heidi Cullen 00:27:58 Waleed Abdalati 00:51:33 Panel One Q&A 01:11:00

+ BIO: Miles O'Brien

Miles O’Brien is an Emmy award-winning filmmaker and veteran journalist who focuses on science, technology, and aerospace. He has written, produced, and directed numerous documentary films for NOVA, FRONTLINE, and the National Science Foundation’s Science Nation series. In addition, Miles is a producer and correspondent for the PBS NewsHour and an aviation analyst for CNN. For nearly seventeen years, Miles was a staff correspondent and anchor with CNN based in Atlanta and New York. While at CNN, he secured a deal with NASA to become the first journalist to fly on a space shuttle. The project was canceled, however, when Columbia and her crew were lost in 2003. Miles told the story of the disaster to the world in a critically acclaimed sixteen-hour marathon of live coverage. He is currently an at-large member of the NASA Advisory Council, offering strategic advice to the NASA administrator. In 2014, a heavy equipment case fell on Miles’s forearm while he was on assignment. He developed acute compartment syndrome, which necessitated the emergency amputation of his left arm above the elbow. Despite the loss of his arm, Miles continues to report on the latest scientific field research from all corners of the globe, whether it be the melting Denali Glacier or the Ebola hot zone of Western Africa. Not one to let anything hold him back, Miles is an avid sportsman and enjoys physical challenges. Since his accident, he has ridden numerous “century rides” on his bicycle, run two marathons, and finished a triathlon.

+ BIO: Kerry Emanuel

Kerry Emanuel is the Cecil and Ida Green Professor of Atmospheric Science at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where he joined the faculty in 1981 after spending three years on the faculty of UCLA. Kerry’s research interests focus on tropical meteorology and climate, with a specialty in hurricane physics. His interests also include cumulus convection and advanced methods of sampling the atmosphere in aid of numerical weather prediction. He is the author or co-author of more than 200 peer-reviewed scientific papers and two books, Divine Wind: The History and Science of Hurricanes (Oxford University Press), aimed at a general audience, and What We Know about Climate Change (MIT Press). He is a co-director of MIT’s Lorenz Center, a climate think tank devoted to basic, curiosity-driven climate research.

+ BIO: Heidi Cullen

Heidi Cullen serves as chief scientist for Climate Central and leads the World Weather Attribution program. Before joining Climate Central, she served as The Weather Channel’s first on-air climate expert and helped create Forecast Earth, a weekly television series focused on issues related to climate change and the environment. Prior to that Heidi worked as a research scientist at the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) in Boulder, CO. Heidi received a Bachelor of Science degree in industrial engineering from Columbia University and a PhD in climatology and ocean-atmosphere dynamics at the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory of Columbia University. Heidi also serves as chief science advisor for the Years of Living Dangerously project and is the author of The Weather of the Future published by Harper Collins in 2010.

+ BIO: Waleed Abdalati

Waleed Abdalati is the director of the Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences (CIRES) at the University of Colorado and a professor in the university’s Department of Geography. CIRES, established through a cooperative agreement with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), is a diverse institute that focuses on understanding the Earth system and its components, as well as the human relationship with our environment. His research interests are in the use of satellite and airborne remote sensing techniques, integrated with in situ observations and modeling, to understand how and why the Earth’s glaciers and ice sheets are changing and the implications for sea level rise. In addition to his academic experience, he has a wide range of experience in various positions at NASA that includes research scientist (1997–2000), program manager (2000–2005), manager of a 50-person research group (2004–2008), and most recently NASA Chief Scientist (2011–2012). From 1986–1990, he worked as an engineer in the aerospace and defense fields. Waleed received a BS in mechanical engineering from Syracuse University in 1986, an MS in aerospace engineering from the University of Colorado in 1991, and a PhD in geography from the University of Colorado in 1996.

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