CISL Brown Bag Seminar: "How should we explain modeling to a general audience?"

09/26/2018 - 12:00pm
ML Damon Room

How should we explain modeling to a general audience?

Steve Easterbrook
University of Toronto

This seminar will explore strategies and narratives for explaining climate modelling to audiences that have little or no familiarity with the basics of climate science. I will present the outline and progress on a book I’m writing, to be published by Cambridge University Press in 2019. The book is a contribution to the “popular science” genre, telling the story of how climate models are developed and what they are used for. The early chapters focus on the history of climate modelling, while later chapters explain how modern earth system models work, how we know they can be trusted, and what climate scientists do with them. My twin goals in writing the book are to make it a lively read (using strong storytelling elements) and to make it understandable to people who have no prior background in climate science. I hope the book will fill an important gap, giving readers a stronger sense of how a science based on computational modelling actually works.

In the seminar, I will talk about some of the narrative techniques I have used in the book, and present some examples from the chapters that are complete. I will also show off some brand new results from a re-implementation we have just completed of Arrhenius’s original 1895 “two dimensional” energy balance model. I’ll also leave plenty of time for discussion, so if you’re interested in exploring ideas for how best to explain climate modelling to general audiences, come along and join in the discussion!

Wednesday, September 26, 2018
12:00 p.m. - 1:00 p.m.
Mesa Lab, Damon Room
Bring your lunch!