Climate Change

Karen Holland/US Environmental Protection Agency

Tom Beery is an enthusiastic guy to begin with, but kicking off a two-day workshop on adaptation planning for coastal communities - on Duluth's Climate Adaptation Day, no less - you get the feeling that he just can't wait to get started.

"We don't have to argue the specifics of climate change," he says.  "We're experiencing change, and we can look at it from a readiness perspective."

This week on The Sea Grant Files, guest host Sharon Moen welcomes Dr. Thomas Beery, Minnesota Sea Grant coastal resilience specialist to talk about creating infrastructure with climate change in mind.  In the wake of so many weather related disasters during this hurricane season, preparing for a different climate future has been a big topic of conversation lately.  What does this look mean for Minnesota? Listen for more about green, blue-green and gray infrastructure and for more information to hear Dr. Beery speak at UMD.

When the conversation turns to climate change, there's not much good or hopeful news.

And most people find the idea of global warming too big, too complicated, too wide-reaching - so  instead of engaging, they just shut down.

Jodi Slick, founder and CEO of Ecolibrium3 here in Duluth, says the local level is where we have our best opportunities to address climate change.

Open Books

Our guest on this episode of MN Reads is Lorin R. Robinson, the author of Tales From The Warming published in 2017 by Open Books.

Combining scientific fact with narrative fiction, the book is a collection of 10 short stories set in the near future at different locations around the globe.  Robinson's characters struggle to manage, mitigate, or at least come to grips with inevitable change due to the effects of global warming in their environments.

If Sharon Moen isn't up to her ears in clay penguins, she soon will be.

The potter (and co-producer of The Sea Grant Files on KUMD) is all laughs when talking about her creations (or trying to fit headphones on one for a photograph), but all hilarity slips away when she starts talking about climate change, changes in the Antarctic ice shelf, the atmosphere and the oceans, and how the current administration will be dealing with - or not dealing with - those issues. 

Ze'ev Barkan/Flickr

It's one thing to talk about global warming in terms of pack ice and polar bears ... but what are fishing guides and resorts and tourists supposed to do when it's hot - even by the lake - and there's not enough snow to ski in December?

North Shore businesses are already looking at those questions - and solutions - with a little help from University of Minnesota researchers.

To learn more about the project and the changing face of the North Shore, click here.

© Will Steger

Polar explorer, writer, photographer and speaker Will Steger has been talking to people about climate change before anyone knew there was such a thing.

It's not usually a cheery topic; but Steger, who will be speaking at UMD tomorrow night in a program called "Eyewitness to Global Warming," is almost ebullient.

People are getting it, says Steger, now that they are experiencing the evidence first hand.  Far from being despairing, though, Steger is anxious to share his message of new opportunities; a booming economy in clean energy; world-wide cooperation in working toward a cleaner, better world; and something he says is more than hope: empowerment.


John Goodge, UMD

The Rapid Access Ice Drill (or RAID) is on its way to Antarctica.

And when it's in place and online in about a year, well, there's no other way to put it: it will boldly go where no one has gone before.

Current technology allows ice core samples to be taken dating back about 750 million years.  John Goodge, the co-leader of the research and an Earth and Environmental Sciences Professor at UMD, says the RAID will allow million to million and a half year old samples to be taken -- and what they will discover will be a key part in understanding climate change.

D B Young/Flickr

Weather is what we experience day to day.  Climate is what sets up the conditions that result in the weather.  Climate change isn't linear ... but it is intensifying.

So what can individuals do?  Dr. Randy Hanson is the Co-Director of the Program in Environment and Sustainability, and he says we start by making some demands.

In addition to 350.org, Randy recommends:

Short Answers to Hard Questions about Climate Change

Will Steger.com

A man who's seen the effects of climate change first hand talked to Iron Rangers and guests last week at the Iron Range Convening.

Produced by Climate Generation, the University of Minnesota Regional Sustainable Development Partnerships and the Iron Range Partnership for Sustainability,  Will Steger was the keynote speaker for the event, an opportunity to not only talk about climate change, but share ideas on how to combat it.

 Bioneers: Revolution in the Heart of Nature is a special environmental series airing on KUMD all summer.  This week hear how building community and social movements can be a path to adaptation and resillience according to environmental activist Danny Glover and former CEO of Green For All  Phaedra Ellis-Lamkins. 

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