Book Looks To Explain The Science Behind Climate Change
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How do you get those of us who are not quite qualified to be NASA climate scientists, to understand the science behind global warming?
For one actual NASA climate scientist, Gavin Schmidt, the answer was to send professional photographers out with researchers so that pictures could help explain sometimes complex topics in his new book "Climate Change: Picturing the Science."
"The pictures show the scientists engaged in the discovery process so you're following along as if they were detectives in a CSI show," explains author Gavin Schmidt. "The other issue with climate change is how it intersects with human society and infrastructure. The photographs really bring that home how it happens. There's a great photo of a woman whose house is on the beach in Florida and after a storm, instead of her going to the beach, the beach has come to her."
The photographers say they worked with Schmidt to strike a good balance and have the book fall somewhere in between a pictorial in National Geographic, and a dry textbook aimed at graduate students.
"Our goal with the book is to reach the people who've heard something about climate change, but aren't satisfied with what they know," says photographer Joshua Wolfe. "They've got a piece of the picture, but really have missed a lot in the daily news reports. So it fills in those gaps hopefully."
A big focus of the book is on technology, looking at how in certain ways it has helped contribute to the problem, yet in other ways it can easily help contribute to a solution.
"Technology comes into it in every part," Schmidt says. "In the symptoms section, we use the highest technology from NASA satellites, which are orbiting the earth as we speak. When it comes to dealing with the problem, then technology plays a role as well. New sources of energy from wind turbines and solar, but also new technologies that are still experimental for capturing carbon at the source of the emissions at a power plant and then sequestering them underground."
Schmidt also says the book is a tool to help you simply understand why our climate is changing and how solutions being explored could help slow the trend.