opinion
3 mins read 20 Dec 2019

The Skyentists 29 - Do not believe in climate change

Skyentists 29 - Do not believe in climate change

The Skyentists featuring Ángel and Kirsten sitting in front of a computer recording the podcast

Introduction

Australia, NSW, and Sydney are on fire! During the last month, we are suffering the most dramatic bushfires in more than a decade. They are releasing plenty of smoke that is extremely dangerous for our health, and indeed Sydney has been the city with the most polluted air in the world these days. Is all of this a consequence of climate change?

In this episode, our Skyentists, astronomers Ángel López-Sánchez and Kirsten Banks talk about global warming, climate change, and the huge difficulty to properly comprehend all these issues.

They also summarise the recent white paper "The imperative to reduce carbon emissions in astronomy" by Stevens et al 2019, that is available in arxiv.org/abs/1912.05834 . The plot "how global warming stacks up" provided by NASA that they discuss today can be obtained in svs.gsfc.nasa.gov/30615 .

For "Space News" Ángel talks about the dimming of bright red super-giant star Betelgeuse and Kirsten talks (again) about SpaceX's Starlink satellites. She panicked after watching a new simulation of planned 12,000 Starlink satellites which will be visible during a summer night (it is here: www.youtube.com/watch?v=LGBuk2BTvJE ).

For "What's Up!" they talk about bright Southern star Achernar.

Kirsten also provides some ideas about "astronomical gifts for Christmas". In addition to Kirsten and Ángel, there are two extra voices in this episode, but you have to listen to all of it to know who they are.

The Skyentists

Kirsten Banks is a proud Wiradjuri woman, astrophysicist and science communicator. She’s always had her eyes on the skies and loves to share her passion for space and astronomy. Kirsten jumps at almost every opportunity to share the wonders of the Universe with a wide range of people, from speaking to students at schools to sharing her love for space on national television programs such as ABC’s Q&A. In the years to come, Kirsten looks forward to completing a Ph.D. and becoming Dr. Kirsten Banks. 

Dr. Ángel López-Sánchez is an astronomer and science communicator at the Australian Astronomical Optics and the Department of Physics and Astronomy at the Macquarie University. He studies how the gas is converted into stars in nearby galaxies and how this affects galaxy evolution. He also provides support for visiting astronomers to the Anglo-Australian Telescope. He is a globally-recognised science communicator, with visibility in Spanish and Australian printed, broadcast, and social media (one of the Top-100 most-followed astrophysicists on Twitter). His stunning astronomy timelapse videos have received 1/4 million views on YouTube and have been used by ABC (Australia), BBC (UK), TVE (Spain) and in Science Museums worldwide. He is very active in social media, his Twitter feed is @El_Lobo_Rayado.

This podcast is syndicated with permissions.