Explaining the key scientific ideas, technologies, and policies relevant to the global climate crisis.

Recent Podcast

A rapidly expanding list of companies have announced plans to go “carbon neutral” or “net zero”. Often, these plans include at least some offsetting of greenhouse gas emissions by purchasing credits from forest carbon offset programs.

But buyers beware: our look into how forest carbon offsets are determined and sold suggests that there is a lot of work to be done before we will be able to monetize the carbon absorptive power of trees in our effort to reduce net emissions.

Climate Now spoke with four experts: Dr. Charles Canham of The Cary Institute, Dr. Danny Cullenward, Policy Director of CarbonPlan, Dr. Grayson Badgley of Black Rock Forest and Columbia University, and Christine Cadigan of the American Forest Foundation to better understand what is and is not working in the forest carbon offset market.

Featuring:

Charles Canham
Forest Ecologist

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Charles Canham

Forest Ecologist

Dr. Canham is a Forest Ecologist at The Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies, one of the world’s leading independent environmental research organizations. Previously, Charles served as a volunteer trustee of a Nature Conservancy chapter for more than 20 years before being asked to resign after voicing his concerns about their approach to forest carbon offsets.

Christine Cadigan
Senior Director of the Family Forest Carbon Program for the American Forest Foundation

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Christine Cadigan

Senior Director of the Family Forest Carbon Program for the American Forest Foundation

Christine Cadigan serves as the Senior Director of the Family Forest Carbon Program for the American Forest Foundation (AFF). The Family Forest Carbon Program is a partnership between AFF and The Nature Conservancy, dedicated to empowering family and individual woodland owners to actively care for their woods and increase the carbon sequestered and stored in them. She has her Master of Environmental Management and Master of Forestry from Duke University’s Nicholas School of the Environment.

Danny Cullenward
Policy Director at CarbonPlan

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Danny Cullenward

Policy Director at CarbonPlan

Danny Cullenward is the Policy Director at CarbonPlan, a data hub that aims to improve transparency and scientific integrity of carbon removal and climate solutions. He is an energy economist and lawyer focused on the design and implementation of scientifically grounded climate policy. He holds a JD and PhD from Stanford University, where he teaches classes on energy law and climate policy.

Grayson Badgley
Postdoctoral Fellow at Black Rock Forest and Columbia University

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Grayson Badgley

Postdoctoral Fellow at Black Rock Forest and Columbia University

Grayson Badgley is a Postdoctoral Fellow in Forest Ecology at Black Rock Forest (BRF) and Columbia University. Grayson is an ecologist studying how leaf-level physiology affects global-scale biogeochemical cycles. His work at BRF focuses on refining new methods for quantifying whole-canopy light capture. Grayson holds a PhD in plant physiology from Stanford University and an MSc in environmental management from the University of Oxford.

Date: 10.12.2021
Recent Episode

Planting trees has become a bit of a cliché in the fight against climate change, with ubiquitous photos of presidents and CEOs planting a tree to show they’re serious about climate. But, how much impact on atmospheric carbon dioxide can tree planting really have?

In the first episode of a series on carbon dioxide removal techniques, we explore the potential and the limitations of using forests to draw anthropogenic carbon emissions out of the atmosphere.

Featuring:

Susan Cook-Patton
Senior Forest Restoration Scientist

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Susan Cook-Patton

Senior Forest Restoration Scientist

Susan Cook-Patton is a Senior Forest Restoration Scientist at The Nature Conservancy and author of the Reforestation Hub: an effort to identify reforestation opportunities around the US to increase carbon intake.

Date: 10.05.2021 Read Transcript Running Time: 11 min
Recent Podcast

For businesses, a changing climate is not just about worsening weather patterns. Businesses must be prepared for what is likely to be an era of rapidly accelerating change to many dimensions of their operations, including changes in shareholder expectations, supply chains, multi-dimensional risks to physical assets, and impacts on labor, among others.

A critical dimension to preparing for these changes is risk assessment and reporting. The Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD) was established in 2015 to provide businesses with guidance on how to disclose both financial risks and opportunities that are associated with our changing climate.

Emily Wasley, head of WSP USA’s Corporate Climate Resilience practice, explains the TCFD guidelines and the growing interest from businesses seeking to become resilient to a changing climate in this episode.

Featuring:

Emily Wasley
Head of Corporate Climate Resilience for WSP USA

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Emily Wasley

Head of Corporate Climate Resilience for WSP USA

Emily Wasley leads WSP USA’s corporate climate risk, adaptation, and resilience practice. She also serves as a west coast Future Ready Advisor for WSP USA, President of the Board of Directors for the American Society of Adaptation Professionals (ASAP), Steering Committee member for Women in Climate Tech (WiCT), a fellow to the American Security Project (ASP), and a Blue Endeavors Ambassador.

Date: 09.24.2021 Running Time: 32 min
Recent Podcast

In the first episode of our two-part series, we learned how NASA’s Orbiting Carbon Observatory made it to space despite overwhelming odds from David Crisp, the mission’s principal investigator.

Today, we released the sequel, where we explore the science of carbon dioxide remote sensing, and how the data collected by the OCO missions 2 and 3 can be used to address the climate crisis.

Dr. David Crisp returns, and with Dr. Annmarie Eldering, NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory Project Scientist for the OCO-3 mission, explains what we have learned so far from the Orbiting Carbon Observatory missions.

Featuring:

Annmarie Eldering
NASA OCO-3 Project Scientist

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Annmarie Eldering

NASA OCO-3 Project Scientist

Dr. Annmarie Eldering is the Deputy Project Scientist for the Orbiting Carbon Observatory-2 (OCO-2) and the Project Scientist for OCO-3 at NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory.

David Crisp
Senior Research Scientist at NASA JPL

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David Crisp

Senior Research Scientist at NASA JPL

David Crisp is a Senior Research Scientist at NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory and the Science Team Leader for the Orbiting Carbon Observatory (OCO) 2 and 3 missions. He served as the Principal Investigator for the first OCO mission, the first NASA mission designed to measure the sources and sinks of atmospheric CO2 from space.

Date: 09.17.2021
Recent Podcast

On the 24th of February, 2009, David Crisp was in the control center at Vandenberg Air Force base counting down the seconds for the Orbiting Carbon Observatory to launch.

It was a project he had led for a decade – and it was the first NASA mission that would measure atmospheric carbon dioxide from space.

Hundreds of millions of dollars and years of work had gone into that moment, but David and his team had yet to face their greatest challenge…

This week, Climate Now is releasing a two-part series on NASA’s Orbiting Carbon Observatory (OCO) missions, including the saga of its multi-decadal journey to completion and the impact it could have on the fight to end climate change.

David Crisp, Senior Research Scientist at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, shares his experience as the Principal Investigator for the OCO missions with Climate Now in this episode.

Featuring:

David Crisp
Senior Research Scientist at NASA JPL

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David Crisp

Senior Research Scientist at NASA JPL

David Crisp is a Senior Research Scientist at NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory and the Science Team Leader for the Orbiting Carbon Observatory (OCO) 2 and 3 missions. He served as the Principal Investigator for the first OCO mission, the first NASA mission designed to measure the sources and sinks of atmospheric CO2 from space.

Date: 09.14.2021 Running Time: 29 min
Recent Podcast

Many climate change mitigation proposals are land-use intensive. Are these proposals feasible without negatively impacting biodiversity? Can we develop solutions for both the climate and biodiversity crises?

There has been an historic lack of collaboration between climate and conservation efforts. To address this, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES) produced their first-ever joint report in June to determine solutions that benefit both biodiversity and climate change.

Dr. Pete Smith, a co-author of the IPBES/IPCC report and professor of Soils and Global Change at the University of Aberdeen, joined Climate Now to explain why biodiversity should not be forgotten in the climate fight.

Featuring:

Pete Smith
Professor of Soils and Global Change

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Pete Smith

Professor of Soils and Global Change

Pete Smith is a Professor of Soils and Global Change at the Institute of Biological and Environmental Sciences at the University of Aberdeen (Scotland, UK) and Science Director of the Scottish Climate Change Centre of Expertise (ClimateXChange). His interests include climate change mitigation, soils, agriculture, food systems, ecosystem services and modelling. He is one of the authors of the IPCC/IPBES joint report on biodiversity and climate.

Date: 09.10.2021 Running Time: 21 min
Recent Podcast

The climate crisis has myriad effects on American businesses, from where properties are located and their likelihood of encountering extreme weather, to where materials are sourced and potential supply-chain complications. These effects inevitably carry with them financial risks and opportunities which can impact pensions, stock markets, and business operations.

So how can businesses begin to calculate their financial risk from the effects of climate change? And why is this seemingly impossible task important?

We’ll address this question with Tory Grieves, Vice President of Analytics for The Climate Service, a company that provides businesses the tools to calculate their climate-related financial risks and opportunities.

Featuring:

Tory Grieves
Vice President of Analytics for The Climate Service

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Tory Grieves

Vice President of Analytics for The Climate Service

Tory Grieves is Vice President of Analytics for The Climate Service, where she utilizes her technical expertise in both environmental science and business to accelerate climate adaptation and resilience. Grieves holds MBA and Master of Environmental Management (MEM) degrees from Yale University and graduated with a BA in Environmental Studies from Hamilton College.

Date: 09.07.2021 Running Time: 30 min
Recent Podcast

Is there such a thing as “perfect” energy? With nuclear fusion, the answer is maybe.

Fusion energy would be safe to human health, environmentally clean, and essentially limitless.

But, developing a sustainable fusion reaction still faces significant engineering hurdles and is likely decades away from becoming a reality.

So, where are we in the development of fusion technology? What technical challenges remain? And what practical challenges must be overcome to make fusion a competitive energy source?

Sir Steven Cowley, director of the Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory, and Dr. Aneeqa Khan, Research Fellow in Nuclear Fusion at The University of Manchester, answer these questions in this episode.

Featuring:

Aneeqa Khan
Research Fellow in Nuclear Fusion

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Aneeqa Khan

Research Fellow in Nuclear Fusion

Aneeqa Khan is a Research Fellow in Nuclear Fusion in the Department of Mechanical, Aerospace, and Civil Engineering (MACE) at the University of Manchester. Her research is focused on testing materials and components for nuclear fusion applications. She previously was a postdoctoral scholar at the international nuclear fusion project ITER.

Steven Cowley
Director of the Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory

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Steven Cowley

Director of the Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory

Sir Steven Cowley is a theoretical physicist and international authority on fusion energy. He is the Director of the Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory (PPPL), and a Princeton professor of astrophysical sciences. He was most recently president of Corpus Christi College and professor of physics at the University of Oxford. Cowley previously was chief executive officer of the United Kingdom Atomic Energy Authority (UKAEA) and head of the Culham Centre for Fusion Energy.

Date: 09.03.2021 Running Time: 32 min
Recent Episode
Energy from nuclear fusion has the potential to cleanly and safely power the world.
But, when do fusion experts expect this to happen? What technical challenges must be overcome before we can power our homes using fusion energy? Which technologies are leading the pack and who is developing them?
Climate Now host Dr. Ozak Esu dives into the science behind nuclear fusion and its difficulties in this episode featuring Sir Steven Cowley, director of the Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory, and Dr. Aneeqa Khan, Research Fellow in Nuclear Fusion at The University of Manchester.

Featuring:

Aneeqa Khan
Research Fellow in Nuclear Fusion

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Aneeqa Khan

Research Fellow in Nuclear Fusion

Aneeqa Khan is a Research Fellow in Nuclear Fusion in the Department of Mechanical, Aerospace, and Civil Engineering (MACE) at the University of Manchester. Her research is focused on testing materials and components for nuclear fusion applications. She previously was a postdoctoral scholar at the international nuclear fusion project ITER.

Steven Cowley
Director of the Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory

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Steven Cowley

Director of the Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory

Sir Steven Cowley is a theoretical physicist and international authority on fusion energy. He is the Director of the Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory (PPPL), and a Princeton professor of astrophysical sciences. He was most recently president of Corpus Christi College and professor of physics at the University of Oxford. Cowley previously was chief executive officer of the United Kingdom Atomic Energy Authority (UKAEA) and head of the Culham Centre for Fusion Energy.

Date: 09.03.2021 Read Transcript Running Time: 14 min
Recent Podcast

Despite being a reliable, zero-emissions alternative to energy derived from fossil fuels, nuclear energy remains mired in controversy.

Opponents often cite four reasons not to include nuclear in the portfolio of alternative energy sources that will replace fossil fuels: its cost, what to do with radioactive waste, the increased risk of nuclear weapons proliferation, and environment and health impacts resulting from accidents or meltdowns.

But how are these risks quantified and how do they compare to other energy sources, including carbon-intensive energy? As the climate crisis worsens, can we really afford to exclude nuclear from the list of solutions?

Dr. David Keith, internationally-recognized climate and energy scientist and entrepreneur out of Harvard University, helps us understand how the risks of employing nuclear compare to the risks of not using it.

Featuring:

David Keith
Harvard University Climate and Energy Scientist

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David Keith

Harvard University Climate and Energy Scientist

David Keith is an internationally-recognized climate and energy scientist and entrepreneur, and a professor of applied physics and public policy at Harvard University, specializing in energy and environmental systems, and science technology policy.

Date: 08.27.2021 Running Time: 28 min