Interview with interviews Michael Oppenheimer, Professor of Geosciences and International Affairs and the High Meadows Environmental Institute at Princeton University. Oppenheimer describes the three-way nature of his work at Princeton, between the School of Public and International Affairs and the Science, Technology, and Environmental Policy program. He describes the possibilities for climate change policy in the transition from Presidents Trump to Biden, and he discusses the moral dimension to climate change diplomacy and what the “Global North” owes the “Global South.” Oppenheimer recounts his childhood in Queens, the opportunities that allowed him to enroll at MIT at age 16, and his decision to focus on chemistry and to become involved in political activity in the 1960s. He explains his decision to go to the University of Chicago for graduate school, where he studied under the direction of Steve Berry on low-temperature spectroscopy of alkali halides. Oppenheimer describes his postdoctoral research at what would soon become the Center for Astrophysics at Harvard to work on astrophysics from an atomic and molecular perspective and on the chemistry of comets. He explains how the acidification issue in the Adirondack Lakes serves as an entrée to his interests in environmental policy and how this led to his work for the Environmental Defense Fund. Oppenheimer describes his work on the linearity question and why it is relevant for understanding carbon emissions and his advocacy work on the Clean Air Act. He explains the early science that concluded that even a few degrees of warming would be globally catastrophic, and the early signs that the Republican party would serve generally to block legislation to mitigate climate change. Oppenheimer discusses his involvement with international climate negotiations and policy with the IPCC and the issue of contrarianism in global warming debates. He contrasts the simplicity of the greenhouse effect with the complexity of understanding climate change, and he explains his decision to move to Princeton within the context of what he thought the Kyoto Protocol had achieved. Oppenheimer reflects on how climate change has increased in the public consciousness, and at the end of the interview, he considers early missed opportunities for more change in climate policy, and where he sees reason for both optimism and pessimism as the world faces future threats relating to climate change.
Michael MacCracken discusses topics such as: his family background and childhood; climatology; undergraduate work at Princeton University in engineering; being interviewed by Edward Teller for a fellowship; University of California, Davis; Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory; Michael May; Chuck Leith; geophysics; Project Plowshare; National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) Ames Research Center; Climate Impact Assessment Program (CIAP); United States Department of Energy; National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA); climate change; George Hidy; Peter Mueller; Fred Koomanoff; National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR); Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC); Bob Watson of NASA; Dan Albritton of NOAA; Chuck Hakkarinen; United States Global Change Research Program (USGCRP); Jerry Melillo; Climate Institute.
In this interview, Chuck Hakkarinen discusses topics such as: his career with Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI), climate modeling, Model Evaluation Consortium for Climate Assessment (MECCA) project; his education in meteorology and air polution; Willard Libby; University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA); Chauncey Starr; Sam Schurr; Peter Hobbs; his father's work on the Naval Oceanographic Meteorological Automatic Device (NOMAD); precipitation chemistry networks; United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA); Rene Males; American Meteorological Society (AMS); Helmut Landsberg; carbon dioxide; climate research; Geophysical Monitoring for Climate Change (GMCC); Ralph Cicerone; George Hidy; Richard Anthes; Warren Washington; National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR); Ralph Perhac; Peter Mueller; North American Regional Climate Change Assessment Program (NARCCAP); Climate Simulation Laboratory; National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA); Ann Henderson-Sellers; Tom Wigley; Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC); Dick Balzhiser.
Center for Marine and Atmospheric Sciences (ZMAW), Hamburg, Germany
In this interview, Klaus Hasselmann discusses topics such as: his family background and how he became interested in physics; getting his PhD from the Max Planck Institute for Fluid Dynamics and Gottingen University; Walter Tollmien; University of California, San Diego Institute for Geophysics and Planetary Physics; Scripps Institute of Oceanography; Walter Munk; Norman Barber; John Miles; Hugh Bradner; George Backus; Klaus Wyrtki; Carl Eckart; Charles David Keeling; researching storms in the south pacific including Hawaii; Frank Snodgrass; Gordon Groves; measuring waves in the North Sea; becoming director of the newly formed Department of Theoretical Geophysics at the University of Hamburg; Donald Menzel; the Max Planck Institute for Meteorology; North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO); Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution; Wolfgang Sell; Art Maxwell; Dirk Olbers; Heinz-Hermann Essen; Peter Muller; wave dynamics; Global Atmospheric Research Programme (GARP); Reimar Lust; Kirk Bryan; World Climate Research Programme; European Centre for Medium Range Weather Forecasts (ECMWF); Lennart Bengtsson; El Nino predictions; Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC); carbon dioxide emissions; Hans Hinzpeter; plasma physics; quantum field theory.
In this interview, Neil Harris discusses topics such as: ozone layer depletion; his background and his studies at the University of California, Irvine under F. S. Rowland; European Ozone Coordinating Unit; stratosphere; Mack McFarland; National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA); Antarctica; ultraviolet light absorption; Rumen Bojkov; John Pyle; Bob Watson; National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA); Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Control (IPCC); Peter Bloomfield; chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs); Paul Crutzen; Mario Molina; Dan Albritton; Jim Lovelock; Joe Farman; World Meteorological Organization (WMO); United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP); Montreal Protocol; DuPont Company.
This group interview with Michael Edgeworth McIntyre, Joseph Farman, J. D. Shanklin, Tony Cox, Ian W. M. Smith, Neil R. P. Harris, H. Graf, and Peter Braesicke discusses the way scientists of the 1970s and 80s learned about ozone depletion. Topics discussed include: Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC); Antarctic ozone hole; chlorofluorocarbons; Montreal Protocol; climate change policy; carbon dioxide; DuPont company; Mack McFarland; F. S. Rowland; Mario Molina; polar stratospheric clouds (PSCs); Pat McCormick; Climate Impact Assessment Program (CIAP).
National Center for Atmospheric Research, Boulder, Colorado
In the interview Guy Brasseur discusses topics such as: ozone depletion; Hal Johnston; Paul Crutzen; Department of Transportation's Climatic Impact Assessment Program (CIAP); chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs); Joseph Farman; F. S. Rowland; Susan Solomon; National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA); Antarctic expeditions; World Meteorological Organization (WMO); United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP); Intergovernmental Panel for Climate Change (IPCC); United States Climate Change Science Program (CCSP); Montreal Protocol; National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR); Pat McCormick; Ed Carr; Mario Molina; DuPont Company; carbon dioxide.