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TIL about uncertainty

By MIT Environmental Solutions Initiative

How do we make choices in the face of uncertainty? In this episode of TILclimate (Today I Learned: Climate), MIT professor Kerry Emanuel joins host Laur Hesse Fisher to talk about climate risk. Together, they break down why the climate system is so hard to predict, what exactly scientists mean when they talk about “uncertainty”, and how scientists quantify and assess the risks associated with climate change. Although this uncertainty shrinks every day — as researchers refine their work, computing power grows, and models improve — what we do and how quickly we act will ultimately come down to how much risk we are willing to accept. Kerry Emanuel is an MIT Professor of Atmospheric Sciences and the co-founder and co-director of the MIT Lorenz Center. In 2006, he was included in Time Magazine’s “100 People who Shape Our World”. Through his decades of experience studying the atmosphere and earth’s climate, Prof. Emanuel focuses on trying to quantify the risks of these anthropogenic (human-caused) changes, especially focusing on hurricanes. For more short climate change explainers, check out: www.tilclimate.mit.edu. Links For more information on climate risk, check out: The work of Prof. Emanuel: Prof. Emanuel’s website Video lecture on climate risks Information about predicted levels of warming and impacts of that warming: Summary of the impacts of 1.5 degrees of warming (MIT Climate Portal) 2100 warming projections (climateactiontracker.org) Climate action ratings by country (climateactiontracker.org) An overview of climate change: Climate Science and Climate Risk: A Primer (Kerry Emanuel) Credits Laur Hesse Fisher, Host and Producer David Lishansky, Editor and Producer Cecelia Bolon, Student Production Assistant Ruby Wincele, Student Researcher Music by Blue Dot Sessions Artwork by Aaron Krol Special thanks to Tom Kiley and Laura Howells. Produced by the MIT Environmental Solutions Initiative at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

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