After Lunch Posts: Talking Climate Change with Hans von Storch

by Michael Brüggemann

One of the many privileges of holding a Professorship at the University of Hamburg and being involved in the Cluster of Excellence, which unites researchers from different disciplines around the issue of climate change (see CLICCS website ), is that you have the opportunity to meet and have lunch with highly inspiring and thought-provoking people such as Hans von Storch.

Hans von Storch captured by Raimond Spekking (via Wikimedia Commons)

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Why we need airtravel for an accurate weather forecast

by Joana Kollert

Flying is bad for the climate – this is an uncontested fact. However, air traffic is necessary for weather forecasts, as airplanes send live data to weather stations. COVID-19 has caused a massive decline in air travel, hereby affecting the quality of weather forecasts.

Density of meteorological airplane data from AMDAR on 23 March 2020 (Stewart Taylor, EUMETNET)
Density of meteorological airplane data from AMDAR on 2 March 2020 (Stewart Taylor, EUMETNET)

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Let’s focus on the short-term benefits of long-term climate protection!

by Michael Brüggemann

A new study by Samset et al. (2020) in Nature Communcations finds that even under strong and sustained mitigation efforts, it will take the climate system until mid-century to demonstrate a discernible cooling response. Unfortunately, we must accept and live with the frustrating fact that the global climate system is a rather gigantic tanker ship that will change its course only several decades after humanity has decided to pull the emissions steering wheel into another direction. Yet, we should also think about what may motivate immediate action to reduce the risk of climate collapse in the far future. Rather than only fixating on the nebulous, future benefits of present-day climate protection, I would suggest that communicators should focus on highlighting positive short-term side effects of climate protection measures.

Source: Pixabay

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Climate and COVID: The structure of two crises

by Felix Schaumann

Author’s own photo

A common explanation for delayed mitigation action concerning the climate crisis cites the fact that the response of climate policies is only visible on a decadal timespan – thereby affecting neither quarterly profits nor parliamentary terms. COVID19 on the other hand only has a knowledge delay of up to 2 weeks, before infection events reveal their effects.

I would like to explore how these different dynamics of action and response play out and what they mean for the politicisation of science.

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A Short Personal Guide to Climate Change Conversations

by Eduardo Alastrué de Asenjo

As natural scientists, we hopefully learn multiple concepts about uncertainty throughout our education and research, and, at some point, the time will come when we need to put them into practice. This post comes from the necessity of a first approach to assemble some of the multiple guidelines and recommendations that we receive regarding climate change communication. I am not referring particularly to the topic of communication in newspapers or TV, but to a much more mundane request. In this case, my goal is to have a structured set of rules or steps that a natural scientist working on climate change can follow when trying to address a day-to-day conversation on the topic.

Picture taken from Pexels. Author: Oleg Magni

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Is the Corona Crisis good or bad for the climate?

by Joana Kollert 

A few days ago, at the end of March, it snowed! Having never experienced snow this late in Hamburg and with the knowledge that 2019 was the second warmest year on record after 2016, my first thought was: this must be the direct cooling effect due to the COVID-19 induced industrial shutdown.

I felt a strange sense of righteousness, as if all climate change skeptics and politicians could now no longer deny the link between economic growth and global warming. This is of course an extremely oversimplified analysis; it is impossible to link two unexpected snow days in Hamburg with a global slowing down in industrial production . Moreover, climate change is a statistically significant variation in “average weather” over a period of 30 years, such that we cannot make any scientifically sound connections between a decrease in greenhouse gas emissions lasting but a few months and global warming.

Nevertheless, the economic shutdown has led to some directly observable environmental benefits.

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Klima vor 8 statt Börse vor 8

von Joana Kollert

Entwicklung des Klimas statt Entwicklung der Aktienkurse?       Quelle: Pixabay/NASA

Das Format “Börse vor 8” dürfte den Meisten bekannt sein – in meinem Fall handelt es sich hierbei um die fünf Minuten vor der Tagesschau, in denen ich mir etwas zu Naschen hole, bevor ich es mir auf dem Sofa bequem mache. So dürfte es vielen gehen; weniger als 6 Prozent der Deutschen besitzen direkte Aktien. Dennoch nutzen die öffentlich-rechtlichen Medien ihre beste Sendezeit, um über genau dieses Thema zu berichten.

Eine Petition von fordert jetzt, dass die öffentlich-rechtlichen Medien in den fünf Minuten vor der Tagesschau eine Sendung zu den Themen Umwelt-, Klimaschutz und Nachhaltigkeit ausstrahlen soll. Diese Themen betreffen uns alle und werden gesamtgesellschaftlich als eine der größten Herausforderungen der heutigen Zeit gesehen. Da die ARD ihrem Auftrag nach wirtschaftlich und politisch unabhängig und lediglich dem Gemeinwohl verpflichtet ist, sollte die Sendezeit dementsprechend mit lokalen Lösungsansätzen für eine nachhaltige Gesellschaft gefüllt werden, anstatt mit der Börse.

Der Petition wird auch auf Twitter mit dem Hashtag #klimavor8 eine Stimme verliehen.

Das Klimaschutzprogramm 2030: eine Farce

von Joana Kollert

Vor gut einem Monat hat das Klimakabinett der Bundesregierung sein Klimaschutzprogramm 2030, meist bezeichnet als “Klimapaket”, vorgestellt. Das Programm wurde häufig für mangelnden Ehrgeiz kritisiert. Beispielsweise meint Patrick Graichen, Direktor des Thinktanks Agora Energiewende, dass die vorgesehenen Maßnahmen „bestenfalls für ein Drittel des Weges“ bis zur 2030er Ziellinie reichen. Ich habe mir die Zusammenfassung des Klimaschutzprogrammes durchgelesen und möchte meine eigenen Bedenken einbringen.

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