NASA wants your questions about climate change

September 4th, 2013 | by K Kaufmann | Comments

Got a question about climate change?

At 11 a.m. West Coast time (2 p.m. on the East Coast) Wednesday, Sept.4, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration will hold the first in a series of online question and answer sessions during which NASA scientists will answer people’s questions about climate change.

The Wednesday chat will be on Twitter and you can submit a question and follow the dialog @NASA_ICE.

A second Twitter chat will be held at 11 a.m. West Coast time Sept. 11 @EarthVitalSigns.

NASA is also encouraging people to record brief videos of their questions (10-15 seconds) and post them to YouTube with the hashtag #askclimate, or questions can be submitted via Twitter again using the #askclimate hashtag. Scientists at the agency will select some of the questions and record video answers that will also be available on YouTube.

NASA has, of course, recorded its own video on the Q&A campaign, which you can see here:

The online sessions look to be aimed at building interest and public awareness of the science of climate change in advance of the Sept. 27 release of the U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s Summary For Policymakers of its Fifth Assessment Report — billed as the most up-to-date scientific assessment of the current state of climate change since the IPCC’s last assessment in 2007.

According to the IPCC website, the upcoming assessment will include:

– A new set of climate change scenarios and analysis

– Dedicated chapters on sea level change, carbon cycle and climate phenomena such as monsoon and El Niño

– Much greater regional detail on climate change impacts, adaptation and mitigation interactions; inter- and intra-regional   impacts; and a multi-sector synthesis

– Risk management and the framing of a response (both adaptation and mitigation), including scientific information . . . referring to the “. . . stabilization of greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere at a level that would prevent dangerous anthropogenic interference with the climate system”.

While a draft of the report was leaked in December by climate change skeptic Alex Rawls at his website, the IPCC refused to comment at the time, saying only the leaked document was a work in progress.

After the official release, NASA will hold two Google hangouts on Sept. 30, one in English and one in Spanish (details forthcoming), to discuss the report and answer more questions.

So go ahead, make their day. Ask NASA scientists a question about climate change.


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