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Astronomy Tea Talk

Monday, March 28, 2022
4:00pm to 5:00pm
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Online Event
The Role of Astronomers in Addressing Climate Change
Travis Rector, University of Alaska Anchorage,

From a social, environmental, and political standpoint climate change is the most important scientific topic of our time. It is an existential threat that requires our immediate attention. The good news is that we can still avoid the worst consequences, but only if we take swift action over the next decade. The severity of the problem calls for everyone to do their part, including astronomers. Fortunately, we are in an excellent position to help. Through the classes we teach and our public outreach we can, and should, take the opportunity to help people understand the causes and consequences of, and solutions to, climate change. 

We also need to address that astronomy as a profession is a contributor to climate change. From supercomputing, air travel, and facilities operations we are responsible for an outsized carbon footprint. Astronomy is also being affected by climate change, from the increased risk of forest fires to the stability of the atmospheric conditions at our observatories. How should astronomers change how we work in order to reduce our carbon footprint? How should we adapt to the impacts of climate change and proposed mitigation efforts? And how can we make changes that improve the equity and productivity of our profession?  In my talk I will discuss the roles that astronomers can play in addressing the climate crisis.

For more information, please contact Ashley Baker by email at [email protected].