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Climate Scientists

Climate Scientists

By Dan Jones
Informal conversations with climate-relevant researchers

[Any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of our employers or funders]
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David Marshall: Creativity in Oceanography and Music

Climate Scientists

Pragmatic optimism, dealing with negativity, and machine learning in climate science
Dan and Ella meet in the first of a new format of short climate catch-ups, which they will record alongside the normal interview format. These are short conversations where the two hosts discuss what they have been up to, and any interesting news or papers they have seen recently. This week, they discuss: Ella’s first ever trip to a fashion show and the simplicity of Ed Hawkins’ climate stripes Katharine Hayhoe’s new book Saving Us and climate optimism vs. climate pragmatism Dan and Ella’s thoughts on Twitter and how they approach receiving negative comments there Ella’s YouTube videos about responding to climate deniers The need for physical understanding when applying statistical techniques to environmental datasets Dan’s new review paper on machine learning and oceanography, led by Maike Sonnewald, in Environmental Research Letters A recent climate education summit organised by the University of Reading, and chaired by Ella. Climate Scientists Podcast: Transcript for Accessibility: Hosts: Dan Jones, Ella Gilbert Music and Cover Art: Dan Jones Editing: Sian Williams Page Audio Engineering: Lilian Blair
September 23, 2021
Tom Rossby • Ocean Acoustics
Professor Tom Rossby joins us to discuss his career in oceanography. Professor Tom Rossby: Climate Scientists Podcast: Transcript for Accessibility: Hosts: Dan Jones, Ella Gilbert Music and Cover Art: Dan Jones Editing: Sian Williams Page Audio Engineering: Lilian Blair
August 8, 2021
Juliet Davenport • Great Green Questions
Juliet Davenport is the founder and former CEO of the British renewable electricity company Good Energy. She joins us to discuss her career and her new podcast ‘Great Green Questions’. Juliet Davenport: Climate Scientists Podcast: Transcript for Accessibility: Hosts: Dan Jones, Ella Gilbert Music and Cover Art: Dan Jones Editing: Sian Williams Page Audio Engineering: Lilian Blair
July 25, 2021
Tom Slater • Remote sensing of the Antarctic and Greenland ice sheets
Tom Slater from the University of Leeds joins us to discuss remote sensing of ice sheets in Antarctica and Greenland, the case for pragmatic climate optimism, and what it’s like to discover a love of science long after you’ve left school. Tom’s 2020 Nature Climate Change paper, ‘Ice-sheet losses track high-end sea-level rise projections’: Tom’s twitter: Climate Scientists Podcast twitter: Transcript for Accessibility: Hosts: Dan Jones, Ella Gilbert Music and Cover Art: Dan Jones Editing: Sian Williams Page Audio Engineering: Lilian Blair
July 11, 2021
Valerie Small • Trees, Water & People
Dr Valerie Small is the National Program Director at the conservation nonprofit Trees, Water & People. She joins us to discuss her research on invasive species along the Little Bighorn and Bighorn River watersheds on the homelands of the Crow Tribe in Montana. Fourth National Climate Assessment, Chapter 22, Northern Great Plains: Valerie’s twitter: Trees, Water, & People: Climate Scientists Podcast twitter: Transcript for accessibility: Hosts: Dan Jones, Ella Gilbert Music and Cover Art: Dan Jones Editing: Sian Williams Page Audio Engineering: Lilian Blair
June 27, 2021
Ella Gilbert and Chris Kittel • Surface melt, runoff, and Antarctic ice shelves
We are joined by Christoph Kittel from the University of Liège in Belgium to discuss Ella and Chris’ recent paper ‘Surface Melt and Runoff on Antarctic Ice Shelves at 1.5°C, 2°C, and 4°C of Future Warming’, published in Geophysical Research Letters. Ella and Chris’ paper: Chris and colleagues’ related 2021 paper: Chris’ twitter: Climate Scientists Podcast twitter: Transcript for accessiblity: Hosts: Dan Jones, Ella Gilbert Music and Cover Art: Dan Jones Editing: Sian Williams Page Audio Engineering: Lilian Blair
June 13, 2021
The future of polar science • Artificial intelligence and new observations
Recorded as part of Cambridge Festival 2021. With Dan Jones, Ella Gilbert, Tom Andersson, and Kelly Hogan Transcript:
May 9, 2021
Josh Bregy • Paleohurricanes, modern tropical cyclones, and pathway into science
Paleohurricanes, paleoclimatology, modern tropical cyclones, coastal geology, and Josh's pathway into science
April 24, 2021
Emily Matthews • Bioaerosols, a newly-discovered atmospheric compound, and the ACSIS project
Emily Matthews joins me to discuss bioaerosols, a newly-discovered compound (HPMTF), and the ACSIS project. Transcript: Emily Matthews twitter: HPMTF paper ACSIS project: Hosts: Dan Jones, Ella Gilbert Music and Cover Art: Dan Jones Editing: Sian Williams Page Audio Engineering: Lilian Blair 
April 4, 2021
Mika Tosca • The fire-smoke-climate connection • The synthesis of art and science
Dr. Tosca is a climate scientist, a humanist, an activist. She is an Assistant Professor at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and an affiliate climate researcher at JPL (the Jet Propulsion Laboratory) in southern California.  Her current research and public outreach explores the the synthesis of art and climate science and posits that engaging with artists, designers, and makers is instrumental to solving the climate crisis. Mika is an out and proud transgender scientist (she/her pronouns) and a vocal advocate for the queer and trans communities in Chicago and beyond. Her recent work: Follow her on twitter:
March 21, 2021
Michael Wehner • Hurricanes, climate change, and extreme weather
Michael F. Wehner, a senior scientist in the Computational Research Division at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, joins me to discuss hurricanes, climate change, extreme weather, and his pathway into science. More info here: Transcript:
March 7, 2021
Disability in the Earth System Sciences (Part 4)
With contributions from: Krystal Vasquez ( Rocío Caballero-Gill ( Jon Robson ( Ed Doddridge ( Co-produced by Kaitlin Naughten and Dan Jones
January 24, 2021
Simon Donner • Coral reefs under climate change, adaptation in the developing world Transcript available here
January 9, 2021
Exposure: Lives at Sea | an exhibit at the Royal Museums Greenwich
Laura Boon, who works as the Lloyd's Register Foundation Public Curator: Contemporary Maritime at Royal Museums Greenwich in London, joins me to discuss the upcoming photography exhibit called "Exposure: Lives at Sea", which features photographs my maritime professionals. For more information: Follow the museum on twitter:
November 29, 2020
Dan Chavas: tropical cyclones, exoplanet hurricanes, and his pathway into research
Dan Chavas joins me to discuss virtual conferences, his YouTube outreach work, tropical cyclones, his interactions with the exoplanet research community and hurricanes exist on other planets, creativity in science, and his pathway into research
November 22, 2020
Disability in the Earth System Sciences (Part 3): Josh Bregy on ADHD
Josh Bregy joins me to discuss his experiences with ADHD in the Earth system sciences. Co-produced and co-hosted by Kaitlin Naughten.
November 8, 2020
Katharine Hayhoe: researching, communicating, and teaching climate change and climate justice
Prof. Katharine Hayhoe joins me to discuss teaching climate justice, recent developments in climate change communication, her new book projects, and her pathway into science. For more:
October 25, 2020
John Sterman: informed decision-making for climate change policy
Prof. John Sterman joins me to discuss tools for informed decision-making for climate change policy. For more info, visit Climate Interactive: Including the "en-roads" climate simulator: More info:
October 11, 2020
Anand Gnanadesikan (Pt. 2 of 2): his pathway and life in science
Prof. Anand Gnanadesikan returns for part two of our chat
September 27, 2020
Anand Gnanadesikan (Pt. 1 of 2): oceanic oxygen, mixing, and polynyas (giant holes in Antarctic sea ice) in climate models
Prof. Anand Gnanadesikan joins me to discuss the sensitivity of oceanic oxygen to changes in atmospheric oxygen (specifically, the linear versus nonlinear components of this response), convection in climate models, and polynyas in climate models. (For more on mixing in climate models, go back and listen to the Sonya Legg episode. And for more on polynyas in climate models, go back to the Ethan Campbell episode.)
September 20, 2020
Talea Mayo: Hurricanes, Coastal Flooding, and Data Assimilation
Computational mathematician Prof. Talea Mayo joins me to discuss hurricanes, storm surge modeling, coastal flooding, climate change, data assimilation, and her pathway into science. 
September 6, 2020
Disability in the Earth System Sciences (Part 2): Anita Marshall on Mobility-Related Disabilities
Dr Anita Marshall on mobility-related disabilities and her role in The International Association for Geoscience Diversity (, a non-profit dedicated to creating access and inclusion for students, faculty, and professionals with disabilities in the geosciences.
August 23, 2020
Eric Holthaus: The Future Earth
Meteorologist, climate journalist, and writer Eric Holthaus talks about his new book, titled "The Future Earth: A Radical Vision for What's Possible in the Age of Warming". We discuss the role of imagination and mutual care in addressing the climate crisis. The new book is available here:
August 9, 2020
Disability in the Earth System Sciences (Part 1): Kaitlin Naughten on Stammering / Stuttering
In the first of this series on Earth System scientists with disabilities, oceanographer Kaitlin Naughten talks about her experience with stammering (a.k.a. stuttering). We talk about a number of topics, including: What is a disability? In particular, what is stammering / stuttering? How does stammering affect life in science? What is the "medical model" of disability? How about the "social model" of disability? Representation and why it matters Special accommodations for people who speak with a stammer How to be a good listener when speaking to someone with a stammer Are there any good things about stammering?  Episode produced by Dan Jones and Kaitlin Naughten 
July 26, 2020
Scott Denning: Semester at Sea | The Global Carbon Cycle | From Geology to Atmospheric Science
Professor Scott Denning from the Department of Atmospheric Science at Colorado State University joins me to talk about his semester teaching at sea, his research career working on the global carbon cycle (especially the atmospheric and land portions), and his pathway from geology into atmospheric science
July 12, 2020
SHORTS: Climate change is simple, serious, and solvable
A clip from my full conversation with Professor Scott Denning, available in a separate episode.
July 5, 2020
Michael Mann: The New Climate War
The climate scientist and author joins me to discuss (1) his forthcoming book, The New Climate War, (2) the changing culture surrounding scientists and public and political engagement, and (3) social media use as a public scientist, among other topics. 
June 28, 2020
Lauren Biermann: Difficult Conversations About Racism
Our small attempt to normalise talking about the problem of racism. 
June 14, 2020
Rachel McCrary: Downscaling | Precipitation | Mental Health
Project scientist Rachel McCrary on statistical and dynamical downscaling techniques for studying how climate change affects precipitation and snowpack over North America | Her pathway into science | Our experiences with mental health in the geosciences
May 24, 2020
Sonya Legg: Ocean Mixing, Circulation, and Climate
Oceanographer Sonya Legg joins me to discuss waves, mixing, and how she helps incorporate small-scale processes into large-scale climate models. We also discuss her role in the MPOWIR mentoring network and her pathway into science.
May 10, 2020
Bella Rowell: Antarctic Fieldwork and Ancient Ice
PhD student Bella Rowell talks about her recent Antarctic fieldwork as part of the WACSWAIN project
April 26, 2020
Milan Klöwer: the Julia programming language | posits | virtual conferences
University of Oxford PhD student Milan Klöwer on virtual conferences, the emerging Julia programming language, and "posits", an efficient way to represent numbers in computational models
April 19, 2020
Jonathan Lilly (Part 2 of 2): Building Understanding from Ocean Observations
More from Jonathan Lilly: learning from ocean observations | pathway into science
April 12, 2020
Jonathan Lilly (Part 1 of 2): Meditation for Scientists
Meditation | Tools for building resilience | Oceanographer, dancer, and "artist in a scientist's body" Jonathan Lilly shares his personal practice.
April 5, 2020
Susan Lozier: North Atlantic Heat Transport
North Atlantic heat transport! Leadership! The future of online conferences! Physical oceanographer and president-elect of the American Geophysical Union Susan Lozier joins me to discuss these topics and more. 
March 19, 2020
Elizabeth Barnes: Artificial Intelligence in Atmospheric Science
Atmospheric scientist Elizabeth Barnes (a.k.a. Libby Barnes) talks about how she uses artificial intelligence to better understand atmospheric and climate dynamics. We also discuss leadership/mentoring and her pathway into science. 
February 16, 2020
Mike Meredith: Communicating Science (IPCC SROCC)
The IPCC Coordinating Lead Author on the Special Report on the Ocean and Cryosphere in a Changing Climate (SROCC).  
January 19, 2020
Dave Munday Returns
A very informal conversation with oceanographer Dave Munday
December 22, 2019
Jan Zika: Creativity in Oceanography
Mathematics lecturer Jan Zika on creativity in oceanography and his pathway into science. 
November 12, 2019
Anna Harper: the Land Carbon Cycle
Lecturer Anna Harper on vegetation, climate change, and her pathway into science. 
October 29, 2019
Ethan Campbell: Giant Holes in the Sea Ice (Polynyas)
Physical oceanography PhD student Ethan Campbell joins me to discuss enormous holes in Antarctic sea ice, his recent Nature article on the topic, and (briefly) his pathway into science.
September 15, 2019
Joellen Russell: Southern Ocean Biogeochemistry
Professor Joellen Russell joins me to talk about her pathway into oceanography, the SOCCOM project, and life as a professor of biogeochemistry at the University of Arizona.
August 22, 2019
Anna Jones: Polar Ice-Ocean-Atmosphere Interactions
Tropospheric chemist Anna Jones joins me to talk about her pathway into science, the interplay between ice, snow, ocean, and climate in the polar regions, and her extensive Antarctic fieldwork. 
July 19, 2019
Michael White: Editing Nature Magazine
How is the field of climate science going to change in the future? Michael White joins me to discuss his role as climate science editor for Nature magazine, his pathway into science, and his continued pathway into publishing.  
June 9, 2019
Eric Wolff: Drilling for Ancient Ice
What's it like to drill ice cores in Antarctica? Eric Wolff joins me to discuss ice cores and past climate, the ups and downs of fieldwork, and his pathway into science. 
May 12, 2019
Sam Illingworth: Climate Change Communication
How can scientists and science communicators be more engaging and effective when discussing climate change? Science communication expert Dr Sam Illingworth joins me to discuss the results of The Climate Communication Project (
April 12, 2019
Laure Zanna: Machine Learning in Oceanography
Climate scientist / oceanographer Laure Zanna on how machine learning is changing her field, how the ocean redistributes heat and carbon under climate change, and her pathway into science.
March 3, 2019
Joanna Depledge: International Climate Politics
International climate politics expert Joanna Depledge on the Paris agreement, global environmental negotiations, and the Climate Policy journal.
February 20, 2019
Michael McIntyre: Science Communication, Geophysical Fluid Dynamics
Atmospheric scientist and mathematician Michael McIntyre on clear and effective science communication, the fundamentals of geophysical fluid dynamics, and how science is driven by "model fitting". 
February 3, 2019
Christine Lane: Volcanoes and Climate
Geochronologist and geographer Christine Lane on the intersection of volcanoes, archaeology, and climate/environmental change, and her pathway into science.
December 16, 2018
Michelle Cain: Methane in the Atmosphere
Climate scientist and Oxford Martin School fellow Michelle Cain joins me to discuss methane, an updated metric for global warming potential, and her pathway into science.
December 2, 2018
Alison Ming: Ozone and the Stratosphere
Atmospheric scientist Alison Ming on how volcanoes affect ozone, the dynamics of the stratosphere, and her pathway into science.
November 18, 2018
David Marshall: Creativity in Oceanography and Music
Physical oceanographer David Marshall joins me to talk about creativity in both science and music, how we represent the effect of small-scale circulation in large-scale climate models, and his pathway into science.
November 4, 2018
Liz Thomas: Polar Paleoclimate
Paleoclimatologist Liz Thomas on drilling ice cores, the oddities of fieldwork in Antarctica, studying Southern Ocean winds using proxies, and her pathway into science.
October 20, 2018
Bianca Perren: Paleoecology
Quaternary paleoecologist Bianca Perren on polar environmental change, using diatoms and other fossils to study past climates, her work with the "Students On Ice" foundation, and her life in science.
October 7, 2018
Alex Archibald: Atmospheric Chemistry
Atmospheric chemist Alex Archibald joins me to talk about his pathway into science, taking measurements aboard the FAAM aircraft, and how trees can impact climate.
September 23, 2018
Yohei Takano: Oceanic Oxygen
Oceanic oxygen expert Yohei Takano joins me to discuss his pathway into science, his experience navigating different countries/cultures, and the importance of the global oxygen cycle.
September 9, 2018
Scott Hosking: Machine Learning in Climate Science
Climate scientist Scott Hosking joins me to talk about his early years in Cornwall, his pathway into science, and how he uses machine learning to understand wind energy (among other things).
August 25, 2018
Alex Brearley: Measuring Mixing in the Ocean
Oceanographer Alex Brearley joins me to talk about measuring mixing in the ocean, his upcoming research cruise, and his pathway into science.
August 12, 2018
Caroline Holmes: Sea Ice in Climate Models
Polar climate scientist Caroline Holmes joins me to talk about sea ice in climate models, growing up in a social justice household, and her pathway into science.
July 29, 2018
Kaitlin Naughten: Understanding the Ocean/Ice Interface
Ocean/ice modeler Kaitlin Naughten joins me to talk about her love of computer programming, her pathway into science, and how processes at the ocean/ice interface are critical for understanding climate change.
July 15, 2018
Heather Ford: Paleoceanography
Paleoceanographer Heather Ford on her pathway into science, gender inequality in the geosciences, and how mud can teach you about the history of the ocean.
July 1, 2018
Rowan Whittle: Palaeontology
Palaeontologist Rowan Whittle joins me to talk about polar ecosystems, Antarctica's surprisingly warm past, and her pathway into science.
June 17, 2018
Emma Boland: Southern Ocean Dynamics
Oceanographer Emma Boland joins me to talk about Southern Ocean dynamics and her pathway into science. (with special guest host Ella Gilbert)
June 3, 2018
Cameron Brick: Social Psychology and Climate Change
Social psychologist Cameron Brick stops by to discuss motivation, identity, and climate change communication.
May 20, 2018
Ed Hawkins: Visualisation in Climate Science
Ed Hawkins joins me to talk about his pathway from astrophysics into climate science, his approach to writing and visuals, and his quest to end the rainbow colormap.
May 6, 2018
Pete Davis: Measuring Turbulence Under Ice Shelves
Pete Davis joins me to talk about measuring turbulence under ice shelves, doing fieldwork in Antarctica, the intensity of the peer review process, and his pathway into science (with special guest Christian Buckingham).
April 19, 2018
Mike Meredith: Oceanography
Oceanographer Mike Meredith shares his pathway into science and offers his thoughts on writing, creativity, and the social aspects of his field.
March 25, 2018
Andrew Meijers: Research at Sea
Oceanographer Andrew Meijers joins me to talk about growing up in Australia, leading research cruises in the Antarctic, and how machine learning is changing climate science.
March 10, 2018
Lynne Talley: Measuring the Ocean
Lynne Talley, Professor of Physical Oceanography at Scripps and pillar of the oceanographic community, joins me to talk about her life in science.
February 26, 2018
Huw Griffiths: Marine Biology
Marine biologist Huw Griffiths joins me to talk about growing up on the beach, doing science at sea, and the upcoming attempt to examine the newly-opened waters near a calving iceberg.
February 24, 2018
Ella Gilbert: Climate Science and Competitive Boxing
PhD student and champion boxer Ella Gilbert joins me to talk about her careers in both climate science and competitive boxing. The audio is still a little quiet - sorry about that. I'm working to make that better in future episodes.
February 24, 2018
Dave Munday: Modeling the Ocean
First episode! Dave Munday and I talk about his pathway into oceanography, dealing with uncertainty, and numerical modeling. 
February 24, 2018